- outstanding leadership award in honor of jack creamer
outstanding leadership award in honor of jack creamer
This annual award recognizes an individual, employed in the aftermarket, who over the past several years, has made a unique and monumental contribution to the industry and/or the association. The accomplishment that warrants this award must go well above and beyond any routine day-to-day activity and shall be reflective of a commitment to the industry that few individuals can match. This award is to be perceived as the industry's highest honor/recognition.
ABOUT THE CURRENT RECIPIENT
The Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), a
community of the Auto Care Association, presented its 2019 Outstanding
Leadership Award to John P. Bartlett, Jr., executive chairman, Automotive Parts
Headquarters (APH). The award was presented on Nov. 3 at AWDA’s 2019 Annual
Conference in Las Vegas, Nev.
Each year, AWDA bestows this prestigious award, formerly
known as the “Leader of the Year,” on an aftermarket professional who has
contributed to the industry in a unique and significant way. The award is named
in honor of former AWDA President, Jack Creamer.
Presenting the award this year was AWDA’s 2018 Leader of the
Year, Larry Pavey, president, Federated Auto Parts Distributors and co-CEO,
Automotive Parts Services Group. Also participating in the presentation was
John Bartlett’s son, Corey Bartlett, president and CEO, Automotive Parts
Based in St. Cloud, Minn., APH was originally founded in
1920 as the National Bushing and Parts Company. Over the course of its 99-year
history, the family- and employee-owned warehouse distribution business has
grown to more than 160 locations and 1,200 employees throughout Minn., Wis.,
Mich., N.D., S.D. and Mont. For 45 years, John Bartlett was the driving force
behind much of the company’s growth.
Like many in the industry, Bartlett was born into an
aftermarket family. He grew up in a parts store and worked alongside his
father, Jack Bartlett, where he learned the business from the ground up. Jack
Bartlett died unexpectedly in 1976, leaving John to take over the head position
at the age of only 28.
Today, his son Corey oversees APH’s business operations,
while John Bartlett focuses primarily on company strategy and employee
engagement in order to ensure a steady business environment for his family and
employees for years to come.
Under Bartlett’s leadership, APH has garnered multiple
awards for high performance and professionalism and Bartlett himself has been
widely recognized for the key role he has played in the company’s success. In 2011, he was honored with Northwood
University’s Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award and two years
later, earned AWDA’s Pursuit of Excellence Award in recognition of his high
standards and exceptional business performance.
“John is one of those guys that you see at meetings or
events and think, ‘Wow, if I could be like him more like him, I would put
myself in a better position in this industry!’,” said JC Washbish,
Vice-president Marketing, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance.
In addition to leading his company, Bartlett has also played
a key role in supporting the aftermarket industry. He spent six years as a
member of the Alliance’s Board of Directors and another two years as chairman.
He has also served on the AWDA Board of Governors.
Like all outstanding business leaders, Bartlett’s dedication
extends far beyond his business and industry. “John and his family have always
demonstrated a commitment to the many communities they serve,” said Doug
Wiggin, Director of eCommerce Solutions, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance. “It’s
never just about auto parts and distribution, but also family, people and
As a father of an adult child, Lee, who requires 24/7 care,
Bartlett has always professionally and personally supported training and work
opportunities for those with special needs. He’s an active supporter and board
member of WACOSA, a nonprofit organization that connects local businesses with
a workforce of more than 600 adults with disabilities. APH’s annual Chili Cook
Off event efforts have raised close to $1 million in recent years for WACOSA,
with John and Nancy Bartlett personally matching each donation.
The list of APH charitable and philanthropic causes is
extensive and Bartlett has passed the same spirit of philanthropy along to
APH’s stores, which are equally committed to serving their local communities.
When APH facilities are not in use by the company, Bartlett opens them up for
use by local nonprofits.
“You just can't find a more gracious human being—just a
wonderful, wonderful man,” said Jon Owens, National Sales Manager, EPICOR
Software. “He makes sure he's enjoying every day and it really resonates and
echoes out from him.”
Larry Northup, executive director, AWDA, agreed.
“Men like John Bartlett are the heart and soul of this industry,” said Northup.
“I congratulate him for this well-deserved award.”
+ Previous award recipients
- 2018 Larry Pavey
- 2017 Bill Maggs
- 2016 Fred Bunting
- 2015 Larry Sills
- 2014 Joseph A. Pomaranski, MAAP
- 2013 Rusty Bishop, AAP
- 2012 Kathleen Schmatz, MAAP
- 2011 Dennis M. Welvaert, MAAP
- 2010 Rollance E. Olson
- 2009 E. Fletcher Lord
- 2008 Robert F. Egan
- 2007 William D. Grote, III
- 2006 Dr. David Fry
- 2005 Timothy A. Lee, AAP
- 2004 John Washbish, AAP
- 2003 Richard Morgan, AAP
- 2002 Joe Owen
- 2001 Michael Cardone Jr.
- 2000 Jack Creamer, AAP
- 1999 Tom Gallagher
- 1998 N. Arthur Epstein, AAP
- 1997 Aaron Berkowitz
- 1996 Clay Buzzard, AAP
- 1995 David O'Reilly
- 1994 Nathaniel Sills/ Bernard Fife
- 1993 Robert H. Raff, MAAP
- 1992 Arthur E. Lottes III
- 1991 Larry McCurdy
- 1990 Martin Fromm, AAP
- 1989 O. Temple Sloan and
C. Hamilton Sloan
- 1988 Peter R. Kornafel, MAAP
- 1987 Robert Sirotek, AAP
- 1986 Allen C. Richey
- 1985 Sen. John C. Danforth
- 1984 R. Jack Alexander Jr.
- 1983 Charles N. Gaskill, AAP
- 1982 Elliot Lehman, AAP
- 1981 Wilton Looney
- 1980 Mort Schwartz, AAP
- 1979 Robert Z. Friedman
- 1978 A.K. Hannum
- 1977 Basil J. Mezines
- 1976 Rene C. McPherson
- 1975 Richard C. Teasel
- 1974 John M. Yantis
- 1973 Frederick J. Mancheski, AAP
- 1972 Frank M. Norfleet
- 1971 Arthur Wolff
- 1970 E.N. "Ernie" Robinson
- 1969 Thomas S. Perry, AAP
- 1968 H.C. "Skip" Stivers
- 1967 Olin Ennis
- 1966 Edward Gammie
- 1965 C.M. Scates
- 1964 C.S. Rogers
- 1963 C.A. Benoit Jr.
- 1962 Harold T. Halfpenny
- 1961 Joe E. Bickel
- 1960 Ira Saks
- 1959 Victor L. Toft