BETHESDA, Md. – November 27, 2017 – Al
Gaspar, industry icon and former president and CEO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry
Association (AAIA), passed
away at his home in Cave Creek, Ariz. on Saturday, Nov. 25, 2017.
"Al was one of the most respected and revered
individuals in the business," said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto
Care Association. "When Al walked into a meeting room you knew it - he had
a presence that commanded attention."
Prior to becoming president and CEO of AAIA (now the Auto
Care Association) in 2000, he was president of the Automotive Parts and
Accessories Association (APAA) for five years following an unprecedented three terms
as Chairman of the Board of APAA. Previous aftermarket positions included executive
vice president of McKay Chemical Company (a division of Blue Coral); vice president,
consumer sales for Wynn Oil Company; and vice president, sales and marketing
worldwide operations, Bardahl Manufacturing Corporation.
Among a number of milestone successes during Gaspar's more
than 40-year career in the industry, two key achievements during his term as
AAIA president were widely applauded. He spearheaded an ambitious fundraising
campaign to build the $5 million state-of-the-art Aftermarket Education Center
building at Northwood University in Midland, Mich.; and he lead several member
companies in raising funds to research the viability of consumer education as a
solution to capture a share of the $70 billion in unperformed vehicle
maintenance, which validated the need for and creation of the Be Car Care Aware consumer education
His commitment to the industry began as a marketing student
at San Jose College in California. As an undergraduate student, he served as
national president of Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA), a
national foundation to encourage high school and college students to pursue degrees
in marketing and merchandising. Upon graduation, he began a 14-year career with
Standard Oil Corporation in San Francisco, Calif.
Gaspar was a recipient of numerous recognitions, including
the Distinguished Service Citation from the Automotive Hall of Fame and AAIA
Aftermarket Executive of the Year. He served on a number of committees and
boards, including the board of trustees of the Automotive Foundation for the Aftermarket
and vice president of the board for the Coalition for Auto Repair Equality
Gaspar is survived by his wife Timmi, son Chris, daughter Angela
and two grandchildren, Logan and Sienna.
Donations in Gaspar’s name can be made to the University of the Aftermarket