art fisher award for excellence in education

This annual award, presented in memory of former AWDA Chairman Art Fisher, recognizes a company or individual for their leadership and commitment to education and training, either within their own organization or throughout the industry. Winners will be drawn from traditional industry participants including jobbers, distributors, repair shops or manufacturers. Funds from the Art Fisher scholarship program shall be presented in the name of the award winner(s) to two undergraduate students enrolled in the automotive aftermarket management program at Northwood University, Midland, MI.

Bobby Bassett / Art Fisher Award



The Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), a community of the Auto Care Association, presented the 2020 Excellence in Education Award, in Honor of Art Fisher, to Bobby Bassett, recently retired from his position as National Training Manager, North America for the Gates Corp. The award was announced on November 16 during AWDA's 2020 Virtual Annual Conference by Sue Godschalk, President, Federated Auto Parts Distributors.

AWDA’s Excellence in Education Award is presented annually to an aftermarket company or individual that demonstrates outstanding commitment to education and training, either within their organization or throughout the industry. Given in memory of former AWDA Chairman Art Fisher, the award grants scholarships in the name of the award winner to two students enrolled in the automotive aftermarket management program at Northwood University.

Bobby Bassett began his career in the motor vehicle aftermarket in 1978, and for 22 years was in charge of customer training in both the automotive and heavy-duty markets. In his capacity as National Training Manager, Bassett was the administrator of Gates' "Tools for Schools" and Performance Center eLearning platforms. He was a skilled and relentless educator and a familiar figure to countless aftermarket professionals including technicians and High School/Community College automotive programs and customers.

Dave Miller, Gates Corp. said, "Bobby has done a great job of drawing in all parts of the industry, not only warehouses, jobbers and installers, but also institutions with teachers and students."

Added Norman Scott, Pittsburgh State University, "Bobby Bassett changed the automotive industry and the way we look at belts, accessories and tensioners. Because of him, we now know the proper procedures for servicing these items."

Bassett has always believed volunteer involvement is a key to the health of the motor vehicle aftermarket. He currently serves as Chair of the ASE Board of Directors and is a past member of the Technical Committee of SkillsUSA Automotive Service Technology. Bassett was a member of the TMC SuperTech Technical committee, Past-Chair of the Automotive Training Managers Council; Past-Chair, NACAT Foundation; and Past Co-Chair, Auto Care Association Education Committee

In addition to AWDA's Excellence in Education Award, Bassett's other industry awards include: Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education - 2014 and Northwood University's Auto Aftermarket Management Education Award - 2013.

Mike Mohler, Automotive Parts and Services Group, stated, "We as an industry will be enjoying the fruits of Bobby Bassett's labor and the seeds that he has sewn for generations to come."  

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