Auto Care Association Import Vehicle Community People Awards

Young Executive of the Year Award

Nominations for 2023 Awards are Closed

Please check back in the spring of 2024 for more information about the 2024 awards.



The Import Vehicle Community honors outstanding young executives in the import automotive industry for his/her dedication, enthusiasm and accomplishments. This award recognizes the leadership and integrity of executives and managers who carry a significant responsibility under the age of 40.


The candidate must be involved in the automotive aftermarket for import vehicles.
The candidate must have made remarkable contributions to his or her organization, which also have a positive benefit for the import vehicle aftermarket.
The candidate must be known as one whose character and integrity are beyond reproach and admired.
The candidate should be a role model for the future of the import vehicle aftermarket and be actively involved in the Import Vehicle Community.
Self-nominations are not accepted.

2023 Young Executive of the Year Award Winner

2023 Young Executive of the Year - Sebastian Zelger - Photo

Sebastian Zelger



Sebastian Zelger, CEO of LIQUI MOLY USA, was born in Germany, and his journey has been marked by an appreciation for family and an entrepreneurial spirit.

At five years old, Zelger embarked on a two-year RV trip across the USA with his family, experiencing the joys of travel and the challenges of living on the go. This left a lasting impression, teaching him the values of family, flexibility, love, and the importance of financial stability.

Zelger’s early work experiences shaped his entrepreneurial mindset and made him the leader he is today. A summer job in a local brewery at the age of fifteen taught him, for example, the importance of creating a safe and pleasant work environment. Working in a 30-foot deep, mold filled cellar comes with challenges...

Several jobs and a German high school degree later, Zelger pursued higher education in Industrial Engineering at a prestigious university near Ulm, the home of LIQUI MOLY’s headquarters.

His career started with jobs at renowned companies such as Porsche AG and Carl Zeiss Vision. In 2014, he joined LIQUI MOLY as a Junior Export Sales Manager. Only two years later, in 2016, he took the reins of LIQUI MOLY USA.

Zelger’s life came full circle when two decades after his family’s RV adventure, he went back to his favorite country and spent a year on the road visiting employees and partners, emphasizing his commitment to his people and business relationships.

Under his leadership, LIQUI MOLY USA’s revenue and headcount more than quadrupled and made the brand to what it is today in North America.

Zelger’s journey is a testament to his family values and his dedication to the world of business.

Previous Award Winners

  • Brian Cohn (1999)
  • ** (2000)
  • Jeff Olefson (2001)
  • Fred Snow (2002)
  • Pat Suiter (2003)
  • Todd Patkin (2004)
  • Eric Michael Breslow (2005)
  • Matthew Waters (2006)
  • J. Scott Huston (2007)
  • Dan Bouchey (2008)
  • Brian Cruickshank (2009)
  • John Sanford (2010)
  • Brian Griffin III (2011)
  • Kenny Ho (2012)
  • Nick Bauer (2013)
  • Ted Hughes (2014)
  • Scott Drozd (2015)
  • Aaron Shaffer (2016)
  • Naomi Rivas (2017)
  • Matthias Kopecky (2018)
  • Meagan Moody (2019)
  • ** (2020)
  • Mac Eash (2021)
  • Eric Lough (2022)

** Award not presented.