Scott Howat as the Aut Care Association’s new Business Development Executive.Brian Lesiewicz, new NGK appointment.Beth Skove, new NGK appointment.Dale E. Hopkins accepted the GCommerce Hall of Fame customer induction recognition on behalf of the Alliance.From left: Rusty Bishop, CEO, Federated Auto Parts; Jim Zhang, owner, Friction One; and Bo Fisher, chairman of the board, Federated Auto Parts.

National People & Places - June 2019


Toyota Motor North America recently donated $100,000 to the NADA Foundation’s new Workforce Initiative, multi-faceted effort to spark interest in service technician careers at car and commercial truck dealerships is gaining financial support from across the entire industry. A new website,, includes the first and only interactive U.S. map of training and scholarship opportunities available for aspiring technicians.

MEMA President and CEO Bill Long has been selected to serve on the board of the Automotive Hall of Fame. During his three-year board term, Long will help oversee the Hall of Fame’s financial direction and help preserve the mission of the organization. As part of his role as board member, he will help with the selection of those inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Spanesi Americas has earned Global Certification for Spanesi products by the Ford Motor Company and joins the list of tool and equipment providers that are currently in the Ford program. As a part of Spanesi’s continued OEM certification program efforts, Ford has recognized and certified Spanesi products.

The Auto Care Association has announced Scott Howat as the association’s new Business Development Executive. The new role focuses on establishing long-term strategic goals, building key customer relationships, identifying business opportunities and maintaining extensive knowledge of current market conditions. Howat will connect Auto Care Association members and nonmembers alike to the association’s products and services, identifying solutions that will create value by addressing operational issues.

The Import Vehicle Community and the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) are offering full scholarships for two association members to attend the University of the Aftermarket’s 2019-2020 Leadership 2.0 Program. The scholarship is valued at more than $6,000 and includes the price of tuition, class materials and meals. The deadline to apply is June 7. For more information, email or

Automotive Parts Associates (APA) released details for the 39th Annual Shareholder and Supplier Conference to be held March 18-20, 2020, at the seaside Hyatt Regency Mission Bay & Marina hotel in San Diego. More details and locations will be released closer to the event.

NGK Spark Plugs has announced new appointments for general managers in sales and marketing for the aftermarket. Brian Lesiewicz has been named the general manager of traditional sales and Beth Skove to general manager of marketing. Lesiewicz comes from Brembo North America where he held the position of Aftermarket Business Unit Manager, responsible for U.S., Canada and Mexico. Skove joined NGK Spark Plugs in 2018 as general manager of sales where she was responsible for leading and restructuring the company’s traditional sales organization. Prior to joining NGK, Skove held the position of director of marketing for Valeo.

The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance named Denso Products and Services Americas the winner of the 2019 Receiver’s Choice Award, presented at the Auto Care Association’s Automotive Content Professionals Network Knowledge Exchange Conference, May 1, in Tampa, Fla. Denso received exceptional ratings in every content category including product details and attributes, marketing descriptions, images, and timely delivery of quality data.

Jasper Engines & Transmissions was named as one of U.S.’s Best Midsize Employers for 2019 by Forbes magazine. It’s the second consecutive year Jasper has been named to the list. Jasper ranked 22nd out of 500 nationwide employers they recognized with 1,000 to 5,000 employees. Jasper was ranked as U.S.’s top midsize company in the Automotive and Suppliers sector. The 2019 Forbes list was based on an independent survey.

National Coatings & Supplies (NCS)/ Single Source have donated $88,830 to the Collision Repair Education Foundation, which was made in part with NCS/ Single Source’s paint manufacturer partners (AkzoNobel, Axalta, BASF, and PPG), along with customer participation. The funds will assist the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s ability to support high school and college level collision school programs.

Genuine Parts Co. (GPC) Board of Directors has appointed CEO Paul Donahue as chairman of the board. He has served as president and CEO of GPC since May 2016, and will continue as CEO while adding the position of chairman.

Women in Auto Care hasannounced it is accepting nominations for the 2019 Women of the Year Awards. The Women of the Year Awards include “Auto Care Woman of the Year,” “Female Shop Owner of the Year” and “Auto Care Woman of Excellence” and highlight women who have made a significant impact in the auto care industry. Award recipients will be honored during AAPEX, taking place Nov. 5-7 in Las Vegas. The deadline is July 1. For more information, visit or contact

The SEMA council previously known as the Light Truck Accessories Alliance is now called the Truck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA), continuing to represent businesses related to traditional pickup accessories such as bedliners, running boards and caps while now including off-road products such as specialty wheels, tires, suspensions and nerf bars, in the off-road and UTV markets. The change was made to provide the growing off-road segment with a dedicated council, while recognizing the crossover from many truck accessory companies.

The Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) Business and Education Conference contributed more than $92,000 to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation. The donations will be used to support the foundation’s mission of funding scholarships and educational initiatives that help develop a strong, knowledgeable aftermarket workforce. To make a donation, visit

The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) and S/P2 ( have announced a partnership to provide ARA members with access to the S/P2 Careers database of entry-level technician candidates across the country. Each ARA member will receive a discount to S/P2 Careers they can use to recruit students who are in or have recently graduated from automotive career tech programs.

The Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance was recognized for its partnership with GCommerce and was inducted as the inaugural customer in the GCommerce Hall of Fame at the GCommerce annual kick-off meeting and awards banquet. Accepting the award for the Alliance was Dale E. Hopkins, vice president and COO at the Alliance. The Hall of Fame Award was presented as part of the annual GCommerce Recognition and Awards banquet in Des Moines, Iowa.

Elgin Industries has again earned Platinum Supplier status from the General Motors Customer Care and Aftersales organization. Platinum status, GM’s top supplier level, is awarded only to manufacturers that have maintained 100-percent on-time delivery over the course of a year. Elgin manufactures a variety of engine components that are installed as original equipment and/or distributed through the automaker’s Customer Care and Aftersales organization.

Col-Met has announces that Judy Lietzke will join Col-Met Engineered Finishing Solutions as marketing manager. She joins the Col-Met team with broad experience in marketing related to the finishing industry having led marketing efforts for DeVilbiss, Ransburg and BGK at various periods throughout her 32-year career with ITW Finishing (now Carlisle Fluid Technologies).

Jim Zhang, founder, chairman and CEO of Friction One, has been inducted into the Federated Auto Parts Vendor Hall of Fame. “Jim Zhang embodies what we look for in a Hall of Fame member as he is a great friend to Federated members in numerous ways, supplying not only quality products, but also great advice and guidance,” said Bo Fisher, chairman of Federated Auto Parts. “We couldn’t ask for a better partner and sincerely appreciate Jim Zhang.”



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.