Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award

Now Open!

Nominate an industry professional for the 2023 Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award today!

Nominate Someone Today

Deadline: Friday, July 14th, 2023

Cost: Free


"It set me on a trajectory that I never expected. It floored me that I was considered for a nomination. When I won, it change me: it changed my attitude and how I saw the industry looking at the content we were producing - it was a game changer for me. I'm humbled and honored. If I can win an award like this, so can you."

Carm Capriotto, Founder and Host, Remarkable Results Radio Podcast & 2017 Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award Recipient

The Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award is given annually by the Auto Care Association’s Education Committee to an individual that best advances the concepts and programs for education or continuing education in the North American auto care industry. Nominations are evaluated in accordance with the candidate's:

  • Innovation of new auto care education programs for any auto care audience,
  • Advancement of existing programs, and/or
  • Superlative effort to further promote the educational programs or education fund raising efforts.

The award was established in by Mort Schwartz, aftermarket entrepreneur, business owner and now investor/consultant. 

The Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award was created to honor one of the automotive aftermarket’s greatest success stories, a man who rose to the top of the auto care industry by virtue of his enormous talent, hard work and dedication to the industry that he helped shape.

As a young entrepreneur, long-time business owner and now investor/consultant, Mort Schwartz has always put back more than he has taken out of the industry. Not only has he been involved in and chaired some of the largest and most powerful industry associations, Schwartz has always been a strong advocate for industry education, training and scholarship programs.

The Automotive Aftermarket Scholarship Program,, which he helped create, continues to grow today through contributions given by industry organizations and individuals.

Mort Schwartz pic

Mort Schwartz

2022 Award Recipient

John Passante - May 2013John A. Passante, MAAP

John A. Passante, MAAP, is a broad-based senior executive with over 30 years of extensive general marketing, sales, organizational development, and senior human resources experience. John was the President & CEO of Brenton Productions, as well as the President & CEO of The Organizational Development Group, Inc. The firm specializes in recruiting, coaching, change management, and culture enhancement. He has worked with corporations such as Carquest, where he was Senior Vice President. He was also Senior Vice President, Human Resources for MOOG Automotive and Senior Director, Worldwide Human Resources, Sales and Marketing for Delphi Products and Service Solutions.

In 1995, John was inducted into the Automotive Aftermarket Hall of Fame. In August 1980, he was awarded the University of Toledo Pacemaker Award, which is granted each year to an accomplished business graduate for outstanding achievements in business, as well as contributions to the community and the university. Additionally, in 2021 he received the Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) Art Fisher Award for Excellence in Education for his commitment to education and training in the aftermarket. He was an active board member at StreetGlow and the Eliot Montessori School in Boston Northwood Gallery of Distinction–1995.

John is an adjunct professor at Northwood University and the University of the Aftermarket. He was also a member of the Northwood University Board of Governors. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Toledo, St. Louis University, and a guest lecturer at Bowling Green State University, University of Missouri and Providence College. He authored, “The Human Side, High-Touch Leadership in a High-Tech World,” and created the book, “A Women’s Perspective on Leadership.”

John is a motivational speaker who conducts many seminars for major corporations throughout the U.S., Canada, and internationally. He has functioned as an internal consultant, facilitator, and executive coach.


Past Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award Recipients

2021: Richard Beirne, MAAP, Vice president of Corporate Development, Automotive Parts Headquarters (APH)

2020: Bo Fisher, CEO, Fisher Auto Parts

2019: E. Fletcher Lord, Jr., Replacement Parts Inc.

2018: Brent Berman, Director, Training and Consumer Experience, Federal-Mogul Motorparts

2017: Carm Capriotto, AAP, Host/Producer, Remarkable Results Radio Podcast

2016: Richard (Rick) B. Guirlinger, President, Bourke Services LLC

2015: Susan Kalish, Senior Director, Education, Auto Care Association

2014: Bobby Bassett, Manager of Training, Gates Corporation

2013: Hovis Auto and Truck Supply

2012: Brian Cruickshank, Director, University of the Aftermarket

2011: Fred Bunting, CEO of Auto-Wares, Grand Rapids, Michigan

2010: Chuck Udell, MAAP, President, Essential Action Design Group

2009: Jim John, Instructor & Chair, Automotive Aftermarket Management Program, Northwood University

2008: Steve Hoellein, President, Felt Auto Parts Co.

2007: Pete Kornafel, MAAP, Vice Chairman, CARQUEST

2005: Northwood University