- pursuit of excellence award: recognizing special achievement
pursuit of excellence award: recognizing special achievement
This annual award is presented in recognition of excellence in business performance and the setting of high standards as an example for others to follow. Such performance may be related to innovative and successful methods of management, marketing, manufacturing or service. In addition, this award may be presented for exemplary volunteer or advocacy efforts made on behalf of the winner's company and/or industry.
ABOUT THE CURRENT RECIPIENT
The Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), a
community of the Auto Care Association, presented its 2019 Pursuit of
Excellence Award to the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG). The award was
presented on behalf of AWDA by Ryan Samuels, vice president, Samuels Inc. and
Buy Wise Auto Parts. at AWDA’s annual conference in Las Vegas, Nev. on Nov. 3.
Accepting the award for YANG was its current chairman, Dave Shapiro, Sales
Representative, SRS Marketing Company, Inc.
Established in 1983, the Pursuit of Excellence Award is
presented exclusively to AWDA member organizations or their employees for
special achievement in areas of business management, marketing advocacy or
YANG, a community of the Auto Care Association for young
industry professionals, is without question a major aftermarket success story.
Evolving from AWDA’s Next Step Program and the Auto Care Association’s
Leadership Development Network, YANG represents—by far—the industry’s most
ambitious effort to unite and harness the energy of its youngest participants.
The seeds for YANG were planted in the fall of 2012 by two
talented and ambitious young aftermarket professionals who saw an obvious need
within their chosen industry. Together, Michael Rukov, at the time employed by
One Stop Parts Source and Alena Van Cleave of A & Jay Automotive Warehouse,
Inc., took the first steps: working the phones and email lists to bring life to
their vision of an aftermarket resource that could help develop young careers
through a robust networking program designed specifically for the under-40 set.
Rukov, Van Cleve, original staff liaison Courtney Hammer and
a number of other members, along with strong support from the Auto Care
Association and Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), rapidly
expanded YANG to levels never before seen in any previous group of young
YANG events include panel discussions with industry leaders,
professional development sessions and networking events throughout the country.
YANG awards a number of scholarships to rising stars in the industry as well.
Most importantly, YANG provides its members with the
opportunity to network with industry peers, and in so doing, members can
develop new skillsets and improve their leadership capabilities. Upon joining,
YANG members immediately become part of a constantly expanding network of young
industry professionals around the world. Members are invited to attend and host
events at trade shows, leadership conferences and Regional Meet-Ups throughout
the country. Members receive recognition as well as opportunities for
mentorship offered by seasoned industry leaders. YANG membership also helps
foster employee retention for companies through networking, mentorship and
exposure to the broader industry.
“We just got together
at the bar,” said Michael Rukov, Sr. Account Executive, RepWorks Marketing LLC.
“On a piece of paper, a napkin, we wrote the name and said, ‘We want to have a
place where peers of our same age can network with each other,’” said Rukov.
“Look at YANG today, from 37 people at our first AAPEX reception, six or seven
years ago, to 1,500 members strong, all under 40!”
Auto Care Association President and CEO Bill Hanvey agrees.
“The men and women of YANG are taking an active role in leadership right now,”
said Hanvey. “We, as current industry and company leaders, can create a
reciprocal learning environment from the upcoming leaders to ensure relevance
today and long-term viability in the future.”
YANG and AWDA Board Member, Kyle Byrne,
Vice-president of Distribution, Merrill Company, believes AWDA’s Pursuit of
Excellence Award, “…says that we are being recognized for our efforts to help
young people find their way in the auto care industry.”
+ Previous award recipients
- 2018 Tom Seboldt
- 2017 Corey Bartlett
- 2016 Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance
- 2015 Wix Filters
- 2014 Wilson McMillion
- 2014 George Segal
- 2013 John Bartlett, Jr.
- 2012 Frank Frederick
- 2011 Richard Beirne, MAAP
- 2010 David Caracci
- 2010 Brian Cruickshank, MAAP
- 2009 Rusty Bishop
- 2008 Dennis Welvaert
- 2007 Jay Burkhart
- 2006 Bill Schlatterer
- 2005 Jerry McCabe
- 2004 Rosemary Hall
- 2003 Barbara Cunningham, Jim Eady
- 2002 Jon Owens, AAP
- 2002 Ken Mullen, AAP
- 2001 Richard H. Morgan, AAP
- 2000 Bill Dotson, AAP
- 1999 John M. Riess
- 1998 Standard Motor Products
- 1997 Moog Automotive
Chuck Udell, AAP
- 1996 Dayco Products Inc.
- 1995 Robert Egan, AAP
Jack Creamer, AAP
- 1994 A.E. Clevite Engine Parts
The Gates Rubber Company
- 1993 Triad Systems Corporation
- 1992 John Castle
Charles J. Monahan
- 1991 Robert Miller
Stephen C. Horn, AAP
- 1990 Gus Carlson
Richard D. Kudner
- 1989 William Wade, AAP
- 1988 Jack Heyler, Automotive Service Association
Tenneco Automotive Wagner Division, Cooper Industries
- 1987 S.R. "Dick" Downey
Charles J. Monahan
Robert H. Raff, MAAP
- 1986 Jay L. Love
N. Birnie Pryor
Kenneth D. Walker, AAP
- 1984 Worldparts Corporation
Louis A. Zuanich, AAP
- 1983 ACDelco, General Motors Corporation
- 1982 Bank of America
Ford Motor Company