Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award

Nominations for 2022 are closed

Winners will be announced at Fall Leadership Days. Nominations for 2023 will open in June.

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"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

2021 Award Recipient

Small: 240 px widthRichard Beirne, MAAP

Richard Beirne, MAAP, is vice president of corporate development at Automotive Parts Headquarters (APH) in St. Cloud, Minn., and serves on the AWDA executive committee as treasurer emeritus.

Beirne started his career in 1968 as a delivery driver for United Auto Supply (UAS). After working in every aspect of the business, he was named president and CEO in 1989. Beirne continued in that role until UAS was acquired by APH in 2015.

During his tenure with UAS, Beirne served on the executive board of Federated Auto Parts, including chairman. He joined the AWDA board of governors in 1996 and served as chairman in 2004. He continued to serve the AWDA as treasurer and eventually treasurer emeritus.

Beirne received his MAAP from the University of the Aftermarket in 2016 and along with his wife, Lisa, became lifetime trustees of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation in 2019.

Read more about the 2021 Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award recipient Richard Beirne in this Insider article HERE


Past Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award Recipients

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