02/15/17 - The Michigan Automotive Parts Association (MAPA) has announced the selection of Jerry Biggers, retired from Genuine Parts Co. (GPC) / NAPA, as recipient of its 2017 MAPA Lifetime Service Award.
Created in 2010, the MAPA Lifetime Service Award is designed to honor the excellence of individuals in the automotive aftermarket industry who have made significant impacts in the industry and/or the association to qualify for consideration of MAPA's Lifetime Service Award. The recipient must have/had an extensive career in the industry, contributed significantly to the automotive aftermarket industry in Michigan and made accomplishments within his or her local community.
Jerry started working for GPC in 1969 as a part-time employee while completing his bachelor's degree in marketing from Virigina Tech. When he left to return to school, the general manager called Jerry into his office and asked him to come back and see him when he finished school. Upon graduation, Jerry did just that and in 1972 he joined the management trainee program. After successfully completing the program in 1974, he accepted his first management role as jobber sales and service manager, and in 1978 he was promoted to operations manager.
There were numerous promotions for Jerry in the years that followed: In 1979, he was named operations manager at NAPA Denver, 1981 director of operations at HQ, 1982 assistant to GPC chairman and CEO, 1983 assistant to division vice president at newly-formed Midwest Division, 1985 general manager at NAPA Stevens Point, 1987 general manager at new Columbia DC, followed by two more promotions as general manager in Richmond in 1982 and Grand Rapids in 1998. In 2007, he returned to HQ as vice president of operations. After deciding to go back to the field, Jerry returned to the general manager position at NAPA Grand Rapids in 2012. When an opportunity opened back up at NAPA Richmond in 2015, he jumped at the chance to return to Richmond to take over as general manager.
Jerry's unparalleled performance and exemplary dedication over the years has contributed to GPC's success. Jerry retired in October 2016, and now he and his wife Gayle look forward to the next phase of their lives and a well-earned retirement.
The MAPA Lifetime Service Award will be presented to Jerry Biggers during MAPA Industry Day 2017 being held on Wednesday, September 13th at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre in Flint, Michigan.
July 6, 2016
The Michigan Automotive Parts Association (MAPA) is pleased to announce the 2016-2017 Leadership 2.0 Program Scholarship through the University of the Aftermarket Foundation at Northwood University has been awarded to Brian Burkett of Auto-Wares Group of Companies in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Brian learned to appreciate the automotive world at the heels of his father while watching him fix vehicles for family and friends. He found a strong appreciation for the hard work and experience required to be successful. Years later, he has had many responsibilities in the automotive aftermarket, including delivery driver, counter service, and currently Territorial Sales Manager. His strong desire to participate in the growth of the automotive aftermarket has been the fuel for his growth and success.
"Along with a deep desire to carry on a legacy of those great people who have paved the way, I would love this opportunity to better myself. After getting married and starting a family, my love for this career has been further enhanced by a need to provide the best possible example for my daughter. With hard work, and further education, I will do just that. I owe it to my peers, mentors, and especially my family".
Brian Cruickshank, Director of the University of the Aftermarket at Northwood University, provided the Alliance of State Automotive Aftermarket Associations (ASAAA) members with an opportunity to apply for one full $6,250 scholarship from the University of the Aftermarket Foundation which includes tuition, materials, and meals for the highly acclaimed 2016-2017 2-week Leadership 2.0 Program. This scholarship is an exclusive offer to members of the Michigan Automotive Parts Association (MAPA) through its affiliation with the Alliance of State Automotive Aftermarket Associations (ASAAA). Scholarship recipients are selected by ASAAA's scholarship committee from applications submitted by member state associations.
Leadership 2.0 is conducted in 2 one-week sessions at Northwood University; August 21-26, 2016 in Midland, Michigan and March 5-10, 2017 in Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information and complete details about the 2016-2017 Leadership 2.0 Program, visit: www.universityoftheaftermarket.com and click on Leadership 2.0.
The Michigan Automotive Parts Association is pleased to announce the selection of Edwin G. Thirlby, Sr., founder of Thirlby Automotive in Traverse City, Michigan as its 2016 MAPA Lifetime Service Award.
Thirlby Automotive was born out of the trunk of a car loaded with car polish. In 1956 at age 17, Edwin G. Thirlby (company founder) drove around the area giving demonstrations and taking orders for car polish at the local gas stations. After graduating high school, he married Beverly in 1958 and added other related products to his inventory and expanded his sales route to include a 70 mile radius of Traverse City. In 1959 his sales grew and became a full time job. He and Beverly bought a small house in Traverse City, the garage was used as a "warehouse" storing automotive related items. In 1963 their first "real" store opened and Thirlby Automotive was born. During the next 32 years five branch store locations were added throughout Northern Michigan. Ed's son, Eddie, and daughter Julie Strait opened four additional locations as they took over total control of the operations in 1995. Ed has since retired, however he remains an "administrative consultant" to the company when needed.
Today, Thirlby Automotive's nine locations represent one of the largest independently owned groups of jobber stores in the state of Michigan. In this age of "big box stores" and huge corporate discount chain stores, Thirlby Automotive is proud to remain a locally owned and family operated company. Through hard work, sacrifice, and dedication, the company continues to grow and remains committed to excellence while serving the communities of Northern Michigan.
The award will be presented during MAPA Industry Day 2016 being held on Wednesday, September 14, 2016 at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre in Flint, Michigan by Tim Mulcaster of Auto-Wares Group of Companies.
Created in 2010, the MAPA Lifetime Service Award is presented to an individual by the association. It is designed to honor the excellence of individuals in the industry who have made significant impacts in the industry and/or the association.Qualifying criteria for consideration of MAPA's Lifetime Service Award is recipient must be a Michigan based company, have or have had an extensive career in the automotive aftermarket industry, contributed significantly to the automotive aftermarket industry, and to their local community. Previous recipients include; Sam Rogers of Parts Warehouse Company, Bay City, Michigan, Al Blanchard, former owner of Mid-5 Auto Supply, Livonia, Michigan, Barry Hill of Auto-Wares Group of Companies, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Roy Rosquin (Posthumously), former owner of Marlette Auto Parts, Inc., Marlette, Michigan.
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