Art Fisher Award for Excellence in Education

Art Fisher Award for Excellence in Education

This annual award, presented in memory of former AWDA Chairman Art Fisher, recognizes a company or individual for their leadership and commitment to education and training, either within their own organization or throughout the industry. Winners will be drawn from traditional industry participants including jobbers, distributors, repair shops or manufacturers. Funds from the Art Fisher Scholarship program shall be presented in the name of the award winner(s) to two undergraduate students enrolled in the automotive aftermarket management program at Northwood University, Midland, MI. Award winners need not be AWDA members.

2023 RECIPIENT: Paul Louwers

The Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), a community of the Auto Care Association, presented the 2023 Art Fisher Award for Excellence in Education, to Paul Louwers, President of Automotive Video innovations (AVI) & The Group Training Academy.  The award was presented on October 29th by AWDA Vice-Chair Dan Hanson Jr. at AWDA’s 2023 Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

AWDA’s Art Fisher Award for Excellence in Education is presented annually to an aftermarket company or individual that demonstrates outstanding commitment to education and training, either within their organization or throughout the industry. Given in memory of former AWDA Chairman Art Fisher, the award grants scholarships in the name of the award winner to two students enrolled in the automotive aftermarket management program at Northwood University.

Paul Louwers is the CEO and co-founder of Automotive Video and the driving force behind the concept and execution of Automotive Video Innovations located in Fort Myers, Florida.  Since 1994, Paul and his wife, Sherry, have been taking automotive education to the next level by releasing some of the most modern and detailed training videos ever produced.  AVI is a technology company that excels at creating training for the automotive industry with an area of expertise in developing and producing relevant content for Service and Repair Centers, Parts Manufacturers, Parts Distributors, and Automotive Schools.  AVI has been recognized by automotive industry leaders numerous times and has won several awards for excellence in training.

Automotive Video began producing content solely utilizing DVDs, however it was in 2010 when Paul recognized what was coming and evolved to digital and AVI On-Demand Online was born.  Offering training-as-a-tool assessments, companies could manage their entire staff with groupings.

In addition to being the driving force behind the award-winning and very popular GROUP Training Academy, AVI also makes their presence known around the industry.  They host BOSCH online content, as well as becoming a key player in the Mobility Garage every year at AAPEX.

Paul stays on the leading edge because he is always pursuing networking opportunities from top professionals, and always looking for content development and instructors.

But online training is not the only commitment Paul makes to the industry, he believes in hands-on training because it is important for technicians to use their hands.  Therefore Paul facilitates leader-led, hands-on seminars for professionals because he engages more senses in the training. 

Either online or in person, AVI continues to provide the aftermarket with high-end training making certain the technician can apply that training and truly be able to fix a vehicle when they leave. 

During his spare time, Paul enjoys fishing and boating around Sanibel and Captiva Islands. He also enjoys watching sports, especially those teams from his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.


Previous Award Recipients
  • 2022 ASE
  • 2021 John Passante
  • 2020 Bobby Bassett, retired National Training Manager, Gates Corp
  • 2019 The Group Training Academy
  • 2018 Standard Motor Products
  • 2017 NAPA/Genuine Parts
  • 2016 Cliff Hovis
  • 2015 Tim Sturdevant
  • 2014 David Wesselman
  • 2013 James A. Tennant, AAP
  • 2012 Pete Kornafel
  • 2011 Steve Hoellein
  • 2010 John N. Castle
  • 2009 Federal-Mogul Corp. Technical Education Center
  • 2008 David Caracci
  • 2007 Fred Bunting
  • 2006 KYB America
  • 2005 Larry Sills
  • 2004 Richard Beirne and Ron Levene
  • 2003 MEMA
  • 2002 Art Fisher
  • 2001 Ted Wise, AAP
  • 2000 Chuck Udell, AAP
  • 1999 Marc Gelfand, AAP
  • 1998 Raymond Walker, AAP
  • 1997 Louis A. Zuanich, AAP
  • 1996 Tim Lee, AAP
  • 1995 Annie Kornafel, AAP
  • 1994 Bill Kuykendall, MAAP
  • 1993 Gary Kremer, AAP
  • 1993 Clay Buzzard, AAP
  • 1992 Aaron Berkowitz
  • 1991 N. Arthur Epstein, AAP*
  • 1990 Kenneth D. Walker, AAP
  • 1989 Robert H. Raff, MAAP
  • 1988 Jay L. Love
  • 1987 Raymond P. Peck
  • 1986 Larry Anton
  • 1985 Donald E. Edelmann
  • 1984 C. Hamilton Sloan
  • 1983 James L. Fine
  • 1982 Frederic S. Kotcher
  • 1981 Peter R. Kornafel, MAAP
  • 1980 Robert L. Sirotek, AAP
  • 1979 Emil G. Stanley*
  • 1978 Richard B. Black
  • 1977 O. Temple Sloan
  • 1976 Charles N. Gaskill, AAP*
  • 1975 Mort Schwartz, AAP
  • 1974 Dunbar Abston Jr.
  • 1973 Martin G. Brown
  • 1972 Sam Nakis
  • 1971 Herbert Lipton
  • 1970 R. Jack Alexander Jr.
  • 1969 S.G. Puryear
  • 1968 Frank Norfleet
  • 1967 Harry D. Rothman*
  • 1966 Ran P. Hall

The AWDA Memorial Scholarship Award was preceded by the Ernest A. Tapp Memorial Award. The recipients of this award are:

  • 1965 John M. Yantis
  • 1964 Bernard Bock
  • 1963 Paul Livoni
  • 1962 A.P. Walter
  • 1961 Jack F. Whitaker
  • 1960 Thomas S. Perry, AAP