The Person of the Year award honors an individual for their outstanding contributions to the industry during the past 12-month period preceding the selection of the current year’s award recipient. There shall be no more than one individual per year honored as the Person of the Year.


An individual should not be considered for the Person of the Year honors for historical industry contributions, as provided for in the Hall of Fame criteria. The individual’s performance during the preceding 12-month period is to be considered by the committee.
An individual can win the award more than one time, provided the person qualifies for a second nomination by virtue of the aforementioned “Purpose.” A period of five years must elapse before an individual can be nominated for a second or subsequent Person of the Year award.
The candidate must be involved in the automotive aftermarket for import vehicles.
Self-nominations are not accepted.

2023 Person of the Year Award Winner

2023 Person of the Year - Julian Hentze - Photo

Julian Hentze

President, Global Parts Distributors, llc


Julian Hentze is President of Global Parts Distributors, a warehouse distributor specializing in automotive aftermarket HVAC products, headquartered in Macon, Georgia. Hentze’s journey in the automotive field began at the young age of 17 as an apprentice mechanic in Australia. Equipped with valuable hands-on experience and a passion for the automotive industry, Hentze’s career quickly accelerated into product management and sales in the automotive sector. Working for Australia’s largest importer and wholesaler of Automotive Aftermarket Products, Hentze facilitated new value-delivery approaches which proved successful in increasing market share and penetration.

Hentze developed a national training program for installers, successfully grew market share with a national sales team and launched two new brands as well as new product lines. In 2008, Hentze immigrated to the United States and joined Global Parts Distributors as a marketing and sales executive. Hentze has remained an integral part of the Global Parts Distributors team for the past 15 years.

Hentze’s entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to the industry are evident in the substantial contributions he has made within the company and as an advocate for the automotive aftermarket taking volunteer leadership roles with the Auto Care Association’s Government Affairs Committee, Import Vehicle Community and Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), as well as the Mobile Air Climate Systems Association and locally, the Central Georgia Technical College Automotive Industry Advisory Committee. Beyond his professional career, Hentze enjoys spending weekends in his workshop, where he works on restoring and fixing classic cars, including his beloved XD Falcon.

Hentze says, “My journey in the automotive aftermarket has been a thrilling ride and I am proud to be in a position where I can invest and advocate for the longevity of this trade. My time with the Import Vehicle Community’s Executive Leadership Committee has been the most valuable and memorable.”

Previous Award Winners

Person of the Year Award

  • Randy St. John (1985)
  • Stephen Herrick (1986)
  • Peter Neuwirth (1987)
  • Hank Allessio (1988)
  • Mike Spagnola (1989)
  • Fred Olefson (1990)
  • Marty Gold (1991)
  • Steve Kirby (1992)
  • Barry Breslow (1993)
  • Brad Glazer (1994)
  • Chris Kersting (1995)
  • Mike Spagnola (1996)
  • Fred Olefson (1997)
  • Ira D. Davis (1998)
  • Steve Holt (1999)
  • ** (2000)
  • Kathleen Schmatz (2001)
  • Tony Perticari (2002)
  • Ira D. Davis (2003)
  • Gary Garberg (2004)
  • Stephen Bearden (2005)
  • Dan Lelchuk (2011)
  • ** (2012)
  • ** (2018)
  • John Treece (2019)
  • ** (2020)
  • Steven Hughes (2021)
  • **(2022)

Barry Breslow AIA Person of the Year Award

  • Lee Kadrich (2006)
  • W. Michael Brown (2007)
  • Brian Cohn (2008)
  • Mary DellaValle (2009)
  • Martin T. Gold (2010)

Peter Klotz Person of the Year Award

  • Stephen Bearden (2013)
  • James "JD" Bailey (2014)
  • Steven Hughes (2015)
  • Andres Castrillon (2016)
  • Thomas Beer (2017)

**Award not presented.