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March 31, 2022

Congratulations 2021 AWDA Award Winners

by Larry Northup, AAP, Executive Director, AWDA

ON Nov. 1 during their 2021 AWDA Reception at AAPEX in Las Vegas, the Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), a community of the Auto Care Association, recognized the recipients of its annual AWDA Industry Awards. The winners were recognized at the 2021 AWDA Reception event last night in Las Vegas, Nev. These annual awards honor individuals and companies who have shown an exceptional ability 
to educate, innovate, manage and lead. Over the years, the list of AWDA award recipients has evolved into a who's-who of aftermarket luminaries.

Pursuit of Excellence Award Recipient:

Mauro Cifelli
Mauro Cifelli, president and CEO, Groupe Del Vasto
Mauro Cifelli, president and CEO, Groupe Del Vasto

Cifelli joined the Del Vasto organization in 1994 and has held 
a variety of positions in the areas of Information Technology, Marketing, Sales and Customer Service. In 2018 he was named president and CEO. Over the past 27 years, he has played a pivotal role within the organization. His inspiring leadership, obvious management skills and extensive knowledge of the industry have served him well in driving the advancement of the organization’s vision and mission.

Cifelli’s was chairman of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada at both the provincial and national levels and also serves as director and treasurer of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance Board of Directors. During his recent two-year term as AWDA Chairman, the aftermarket industry was forced to deal with the COVID pandemic and resulting move to all-virtual conferences and board meetings. 

"Like everyone, he faced huge business and personal challenges, but he never let them negatively affect his AWDA chairmanship. Mauro was an absolute rock--the right guy, at the right time," said Larry Northup, executive director, AWDA.

Outstanding Leadership Award Recipient:

Roger McCollum
Roger McCollum, chairman and CEO, N.A. Williams Company
Roger McCollum, chairman and CEO, N.A. Williams Company

In nearly 45 years of dedication to the automotive aftermarket, starting with his first job at a local parts store when he was a college student, Roger McCollum has distinguished himself as one of the industry’s top leaders and most committed advocates. Since joining N.A. Williams in 1984, McCollum was elected CEO of N.A. Williams Company in 2007 and Chairman of the Board in 2014, and currently serves in both positions. 

McCollum has a long and varied history of volunteer industry service, including positions on the Auto Care Association Board of Directors and Government Affairs Committee. Currently, McCollum serves as chairman of the Auto Care Association Audit Committee; vice chairman of its Political Action Committee (ACPAC) and is a member of the Auto Care Association Nominating Committee. Importantly, McCollum has encouraged and supported the volunteer activities of many N.A. Williams personnel over the years.

McCollum also serves on the Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast (AAAS) Board of Directors and the AAAS Employee Benefit Fund Board of Trustees. In addition, McCollum serves on the Board of Trustees of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation and its Executive and Contribution Committees and chairs the Foundation’s Grant Review Committee.

“I have had the privilege of working with Roger for many years and can say without reservation that his commitment to the aftermarket is second to none and absolutely deserving of being recognized with the AWDA’s Outstanding Leadership Award,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association and 2020 award recipient.

Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient:

Richard Beine
Richard Beirne, MAAP,, vice president, corporate development, Automotive Parts Headquarters
Richard Beirne, MAAP, vice president, corporate development, Automotive Parts Headquarters

With more than 50 years of service to the aftermarket, Richard Beirne has been an active and well-respected industry advocate, applying his leadership skills to some of the industry’s most impactful decisions of the 21st century. 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.

Among his many awards, Beirne received the 2004 Art Fisher Memorial Scholarship Award from AWDA for his support of training and education and in 2007, Federated Auto Parts presented him with their Art Fisher Memorial Membership Award. In 2011, Beirne earned AWDA’s Pursuit of Excellence Award. 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.

'Throughout all those many years, Dick has remained one of my most valued advisors, an incredibly wise and thoughtful man that everyone should listen to and seek to emulate,' said Larry Northup, executive director, AWDA.

Art Fisher Award for Excellence in Education

Bobby Bassett
John Passante, president and CEO, The Organizational Development Group.
John Passante, president and CEO, The Organizational Development Group 

As president and CEO of The Organizational Development Group, John Passante has become a familiar face to countless aftermarket industry personnel for over 35 years by providing guidance in human resources, sales and marketing and organizational development. He also serves as an adjunct professor at Northwood University and as a guest lecturer at various other universities and industry organizations. 

“Over his decades teaching for the University of the Aftermarket, John has literally impacted thousands of aftermarket lives - mine included,” said Brian Cruickshank, director, University of the Aftermarket. 

“John, who is an Automotive Aftermarket Hall of Famer, has been an influential leader in our industry for many years providing guidance through education from a plethora of platforms,” said Mike Allen, vice president, Federated Auto Parts Distributors, Inc. His contributions have touched many and I cannot think of a better recipient of the prestigious Art Fisher Award.”



Important updates from the Auto Care Association leadership team and Board of Directors.

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