Steve Handschuh has announced his retirement from MEMA.Phil Armbruster joins Original One Parts.Federal-Mogul’s Brent Berman, flanked by Auto Care Association’s Bill Hanvey (left) and RepWorks’ Michael Rukov, accepts the Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award.Clockwise, from top left: The 2018 Impact Award winners are JR Bishop, James O’Dell, Nathan H. Shipley and John C. Washbish.Gabrielle Hopkins has joined the Auto Care Association.William “Bill” E. Cook is Engine Pro’s new president.Joe Mittelman has died, founding member of AACF.

National People & Places - October 2018

Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA) President and CEO Steve Handschuh has announced his retirement, effective Dec. 31. “I am very honored by this release and only wish my health would have allowed me to complete my commitment to the board of MEMA and the outstanding members of the association,” Handschuh said. “I will never forget the kindness and support I have been shown by the board, an incredible team of MEMA employees and most of all, the association’s members. Handschuh joined MEMA in 2006 as the president and COO of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), then was appointed president and CEO of MEMA in October 2013.

Aisin Seiki, Advics, JTEKT and Denso have announced that the four companies have reached a basic agreement to establish a joint venture company to develop integrated ECU software for automated driving and vehicle dynamics control. The integrated ECU manages components, such as sensors, brakes, and steering, which are basic driving functions and critical for automated driving. Through the joint company, the companies will focus on expediting the development of more sophisticated software required for larger and more complex integrated ECUs.

Original One Parts has announced that Phil Armbruster has joined the team to further develop its growing portfolio of regional and national accounts as the director of OEM Business Development. Armbruster has spent the last 25 years at Ford Motor Company where he was instrumental in numerous management roles including product engineering, product marketing and remanufactured program management. Wade Hilburn, co-founder and president, said, “Our new innovations and the increasing demand from our customers led us to look for an addition to our team who will fit in with our ethos of innovation and exceptional service.”

The German oil and additive specialist LiquiI Moly and racing engine manufacturer and tuning specialist Prefix Corporation have agreed to a technical partnership. “With it we can show that our products not only deliver top performance in import vehicles from Europe, but also in racing and American muscle cars,” said Sebastian Zelger, responsible for U.S. business at LIQUI MOLY. The cooperation with the engine and performance division of Prefix also means that Liqui Moly can test its lubricants, greases and additives under extreme conditions.

Brent Berman, director, training and consumer experience, Federal-Mogul Motorparts, was selected as this year’s Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award for his stewardship of the Garage Gurus’ technical training program. Berman has been involved in the automotive industry for more than 25 years, primarily in the technical field evolving from mechanical to digital. In his 21 years at Federal-Mogul, Berman has held roles in technical training, marketing and now manages the Garage Gurus training group in addition to the catalog and research team.

The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund awarded $297,000 to 102 individuals this year, including scholarships for current students and loan-forgiveness awards to employees of SEMA-member companies. More than $2.5 million has been awarded to over 1,400 deserving students since the program’s establishment in 1984. Online applications for next year’s awards will be accepted Nov. 1, through March 1, at

AkzoNobel has announced it has become an Automotive Management Institute (AMi) Foundation Partner. AMi is a nonprofit, tax-deductible education organization. The accreditation enables AkzoNobel to further support and promote AMi’s role in filling a critical need for training and certification in the automotive collision industry.

The Auto Care Association presented its ACE (Auto Care Career and Education) Award to the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance for its Alliance University, its internal Learning Management System; more than $30,000 in scholarship funds that are given away every year to Alliance shareholder personnel and staff; and the Auto Value and Bumper to Bumper Technician of the Year program.

National Pronto Association has become a Gold Lifetime Trustee of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation following its recent donation to the Foundation. The Gold Lifetime Trustee designation is reserved for those donating $250,000 to $499,999 to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation. National Pronto Association joins the following organizations in this category of donors: Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Automotive Distribution Network (ADN), Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), Dayco Products, Federated Auto Parts, Gates Corporation and Tenneco Automotive.

The Auto Care Association has announced the 2018 recipients of its annual Impact Award: Four for the Future, which honors four auto care industry professionals, age 40 or younger, who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership or have made remarkable strides within the auto care industry. The 2018 winners are: JR Bishop, Federated Auto Parts Dist., Inc.; James O’Dell, Motown Automotive Distributing Co.; Nathan H. Shipley, The NPD Group, Inc.; and John C. Washbish, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc.

The Auto Care Association has announced the addition of Gabrielle Hopkins as vice president, federal affairs. Hopkins joins the Auto Care Association’s government affairs department, where she will assist in the leadership of the department. The new role will task Hopkins with identifying legislative initiatives for the association to pursue and recommending advocacy efforts on both Capitol Hill and with federal agencies.

Engine Parts Group, Inc. (Engine Pro) has named William E. Cook as president of the engine parts distribution group. Cook most recently served as National Sales Manager for SFA Companies. Cook assumes the position of president from Don Weber who passed away in March of 2018. He will be based in Kansas City, Mo., which is also the home of the central distribution warehouse for Engine Pro. The business office will continue to be located in Denver.

Genuine Parts Company has announced it has received notice from Essendant of its intent to terminate the merger agreement to combine GPC’s S.P. Richards business with Essendant, entered into on April 12. The notice stated that Essendant’s Board of Directors has determined that the competing acquisition proposal from Staples, Inc. is a “Superior Proposal” as defined in the Merger Agreement. Upon termination of the Merger Agreement, Essendant will be required to pay a termination fee to GPC in the amount of $12 million.

Brake Parts Inc is the official sponsor of the AAPEX 2018 International Buyer Center, the central meeting place for attendees from around the globe to do business while at this year’s event in Las Vegas. “This sponsorship not only allows us to showcase our flagship Raybestos, Remy and Maval brands, but it gives us the opportunity to meet and interact with delegations and industry members from countries across the globe,” said Kristin Grons, marketing manager, Brake Parts Inc.



The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) announced the passing of founding member, Joe Mittelman.

Past CEO of The Mittelman Group for more than 50 years, and former chairman of the Auto Parts & Accessories Association, Joe Mittelman co-founded the organization now recognized as AACF, and has been actively involved in board and committee leadership since its inception.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Mittelman family, and all whose lives he touched,” said AACF executive director, Joel Ayres. “Joe was a wonderful, kind and generous man who loved the aftermarket because he loved the people that make up the industry. He was the sort of man that treated everyone with the greatest respect. He was strong, smart, sincere and funny, and he’ll be dearly missed.”

“Joe dedicated his life to helping others through service, including his service to AACF,” said Lynn Parker, AACF board president. “Because of Joe’s dedication and his continued efforts, thousands of lives have been positively impacted.”

Donations in memorial tribute to Joe Mittelman are currently being accepted, with more than $25,000 pledged toward a $100,000 goal. Contact Ayres at 916-628-0271 to contribute, or email to for more information.

Joe Mittelman has died, founding member of AACF.



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.