August 2015 - National People & Places

The AAPEX Remanufacturing Section – co-hosted by the Motor & Equipment Remanufacturers Association (MERA) and the Auto Care Association – is sold out for 2015, with more than 40 exhibitors set to grow their remanufacturing business before an international audience of more than 39,000 buyers. APPEX 2015 is from Nov. 3-Nov. 5, at the Sands Expo Center, in Las Vegas. An AAPEXedu session focused on remanufacturing will be held at the Sands on Monday, Nov. 2. “We are excited to see that the AAPEX Remanufacturing Section is sold out for the fourth time in four years,” said John Chalifoux, president and COO, MERA. “The Remanufacturing Experience at AAPEX continues to expand because member companies know that they will grow their business at AAPEX.”

NGK Spark Plug announced the closing of its acquisition of Wells Manufacturing and the Wells Vehicle Electronics business from UCI Holdings Limited. Wells is a global manufacturer and supplier of advanced vehicle electronics components for automotive original equipment and replacement applications. “This acquisition significantly strengthens the reach of our respective product portfolios and positions our combined organization for continued growth within the North American market and around the world,” said Wells President David Peace. Wells offers more than 38,000 parts, including distributor caps and rotors, ignition coils, control modules, sensors, wire and cable sets, emissions components, switches, fuel system components, voltage regulators, and diagnostic solutions.

Wade Kawasaki of the Coker Group has been elected the chairman-elect of SEMA and joins the newly elected board members to help lead the association for the 2015–2017 term. Kawasaki fills the position held for the past two years by Doug Evans of Luken Communications. Evans will begin serving his term as chairman in July. The newly elected SEMA Board volunteers are Susan Carpenter of JR Products, Laurel Dasher of Powerteq and Dan Kahn of Kahn Media Inc. Jim Bingham of Winner’s Circle Speed & Custom Inc. and Nick Gramelspacher of Meyer Distributing were re-elected and will serve another term.

Nominees are now being accepted for the Auto Care Association Impact Award: Four for the Future. The award is open to anyone aged 40 or younger, with relevant professional work experience, of which a minimum of two years must be in the auto care industry. Nominations are due by Aug. 15, and honorees will be notified in October. Winners will be selected by the Auto Care Association Marketing and Communications Committee and representatives from YANG, and recognized at AAPEX in November in Las Vegas. The nomination form is now available at A resume or professional biography must accompany the nomination form. Email the nomination form and resume/bio to For more information, call 678-894-0832.

Automotive Parts Associates (APA) announced the addition of Paul Brokaw to the APA headquarters staff and will be assuming the responsibilities of director of Program Development for the APA Group. He will be working to meet and exceed membership needs and expectations while working closely with the APA supplier partners. Brokaw has more than 30 years of industry experience.

Devin Hart, an executive with more than 20 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket, has joined The Marx Group as the firm’s new president and co-CEO. In addition, Hart will become executive vice president of Marx Group Advisors. Tom Marx, founder, president and CEO of The Marx Group since its inception, has been named co-CEO, and chairman. He will continue as CEO of Marx Group Advisors. Most recently Hart served as president and general manager of CADNA Rubber Company, owned by Continental AG/ContiTech. Hart led the sale of CADNA, an aftermarket supplier for replacement belts, hoses and hose accessories, and metal components, to Continental in 2014.

Steffanie Savine, marketing director and account executive for The Marx Group (TMG), was recently elected president of the Automotive Communication Council (ACC). Savine has been active in ACC for two years and has served on the association’s board since 2014. Savine has been a part of The Marx Group since 2013, where she is responsible for developing the company’s marketing strategies, recruiting new business and managing accounts. Her 18 years of professional experience include 12 years in the automotive aftermarket.

NGK Spark Plugs announced the promotion of Mark Sprague to general manager of marketing, who was previously the corporate marketing manager. In this role, he will focus on marketing the aftermarket division. Sprague has been with NGK for 12 years and reports to Michael Schwab, senior vice president.

Design Engineering Inc. (DEI) announced the company’s 20th anniversary. Formed in 1995 by Dale and Nancy Markley, the company continues to expand under the leadership of their son, David Markley. In the course of the past 20 years, DEI has designed and developed a multitude of new and innovative thermal protection materials and products. It is also a sponsor of many industry and motorsports events including Hot Rodders of Tomorrow, Craftsman Restoration Rollout, the Circle Track Great American Racing Series, Martino Motorsports, while also supporting many racers across a broad mix of motorsports events through the company’s Team DEI program.

KYB Americas Corporation was again honored by Federated Auto Parts as the Outstanding Co-Man Vendor of the Year. NGK and Anchor Industries shared the Co-Man Vendor of the Year – Order Fill honor, each recognized for excellence in this essential aspect of the Federated Co-Man operation. Presented annually, the Federated Co-Man vendor awards recognize supplier partners that have shown outstanding dedication and support of the Federated Co-Man operation and programs.

CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts has selected Enterprise Rent-A-Car as its preferred car rental partner throughout the U.S. Through the partnership, CARSTAR is able to leverage Enterprise’s network of neighborhood car rental locations, its Automated Rental Management System (ARMS) applications for customers in need of transportation while their vehicles are being repaired. “Partnering with Enterprise Rent-A-Car allows us to provide world-class rental car service to our customers and our store owners,” said David Byers, CEO of CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts.

Parts & People

Parts & People is published monthly by Automotive Counseling and Publishing Company, Inc., a Colorado corporation, P.O. Box 18731 Denver, CO 80203, 303-765-4664. President-Lance Buchner. Founded by Lance Buchner and Dave Lucia.