auto care career and education award

ACE Award - Auto Care Career and Education Award (formerly the Head of the Class Award)

ACE AwardThe Auto Care Career & Education (ACE) Award recognizes auto care companies dedicated to excellence in education. The award was initially created by the Auto Care Association Education Committee to acknowledge aftermarket companies dedicated to employee professional development and growth. As the industry adapts and innovates to changing business needs, the award has been expanded to recognize industry companies dedicated to investing in the growth of knowledge and skills within their organization and/or throughout the industry.

Watch this informative CarmCast on the benefits of getting involved

CarmCast Auto Care Association Awards Highlights

Award-winning companies are acknowledged as leaders in the industry. The Auto Care Association promotes the winning companies as examples of what leading companies are doing, outlining their successful programs, and sharing the return on investment each company experiences.

2020 applications are now closed. Thank you for your continued interest.

2019 ACE Award Recipients

Small Company Winner 


Aspen Auto Clinic
Headquarters: Colorado Springs, Colo.
Employees: 45
Locations: 5

  • Education is part of Aspen Auto Clinic’s core value statement and DNA. They continually strive to add and update their education options and career paths for all employees.
  • Employee training requirements include: a minimum of 40 hours of technical training for technicians, 40 hours of leadership and sales training for managers, 20 hours of sales training for service advisors, and 15 hours of relevant training for the accounting department.
  • Aspen Auto Clinic was the first in the auto repair community of their size to create an ongoing sales training program with a dedicated instructor. Most recently, an online video training program has been implemented. The program is duplicatable and is now being taught nationally.
  • Weekly management workshops are implemented where, together as a group, managers work through the challenges they are faced with, first by identifying the problem and then finding solutions to the obstacles.
  • The results of the training and workshops have resulted in a $150 increase per repair order.
  • Certification assistance and tuition reimbursement and assistance is provided for employees.
  • Aspen Auto Clinic takes advantage of every training opportunity for their technicians: technical schools, vendor training such as WTI and CTI, on-line video training through AVI on-demand, and in-house training. Every employee goes through a new hire orientation that discusses their history and values. The orientation has helped in establishing lifelong learning as part of their culture.

Large Company Winner 


Replacement Parts, Inc.
Headquarters: Little Rock, Ark.
Employees: 1,200
Locations: 330

  • Throughout Replacement Parts Inc.’s 100 years of business (who does business as Crow-Burlingame and Parts Warehouse, Inc.), the company has adapted, changed, and grown to meet the challenges of the times. However, one constant has always remained: the company’s dedication to education.
  • Replacement Parts, Inc. hosts a business conference every three years which includes educational classes for employees. The 2019 conference included their centennial celebration.
  • External training opportunities and certifications are financially supported for employees, including ASE certification and re-certification, Northwood University’s Leadership 2.0 courses, and other programs such as Dale Carnegie, Franklin Covey, and Pulaski Technical College’s Workforce.
  • In addition to working with external trainers and programs, Crow-Burlingame has a fulltime corporate training director, who leads a department with three other team members. The training department is dedicated to designing new training programs, improving existing ones, and ensuring education remains a top priority in all company activities.
  • Replacement Parts, Inc. participates in the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance education and training opportunities, including their LMS entitled Alliance University, workshops at their bi-annual shareholder meetings and Sales & Marketing Forum, the Technician of the Year program and their scholarship program.
  • To incentivize employees, Replacement Parts, Inc. employs a Training Incentive Performance bonus program. Bonus structures take into account the number of training employees have completed.


Past ACE Award Recipients

2018 ACE Award Recipients

Ervine’s Auto Repair & Grand Rapids Hybrid
Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc.  

2017 ACE Award Recipients

National PRONTO Association
MOTOR Information Systems 
Genuine Parts Company/NAPA

2016 ACE Award Recipients

Federal Mogul Motorparts
Painters Supply & Equipment Co.
Vic’s Service Ltd.

2015 (Head of the Class Award)

Automotive Supply Associates, Inc./Sanel Auto Part’s
Dynamic Automotive
Robert Bosch LLC, Automotive Aftermarket Division, North America

2014 (Head of the Class Award)

The Auto-Wares Group
Advanced Auto Part
Don McNeill Enterprises LTD
Eau Clair Auto Parts
Gates Corporation
N.A. Williams
Olympus Imported Auto Parts
Sears Automotive

2013 (Head of the Class Award)

Dorman Products, Inc.
Motown Automotive Distributing Co.
Sonsio, Inc.

Tasco Sales Reps.
The Merrill Co- Arnold Motor Supply

2012 (Head of the Class Award)

Automotive Parts Headquarters, Inc.
Crow-Burlingame Company
Gold Eagle Company
Gustafson’s Auto Clinic, Inc./Tirecraft
The Timken Company
VIP – Parts, Tires & Service

2011 (Head of the Class Award)

Car Doctor
KOI Auto Parts
N.A. Williams Company
Olympus Imported Auto Parts
Tenneco, Inc.

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