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.
July 10, 2015
Michigan Automotive Parts Association (MAPA) is pleased to announce the 2015-2016 Leadership 2.0 Program Scholarship through the University of the Aftermarket Foundation, Northwood University has been awarded to Attila Hardy of Auto-Wares Group of Companies in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Attila grew up in a family-owned parts store, is an established automotive professional with over 20+ years of ongoing experience in sales, merchandising, marketing, management, training, operations, and inventory control in the automotive aftermarket industry. Attila aspires to spend the second half of his career being a leader in the automotive aftermarket sharing his experiences with a broader audience. "I appreciate that organizations like MAPA have scholarships like these available for people who want to further their education and training in the Auto Care Industry." Atila is the Multi-Store Director of Operations for Auto-Wares Detroit Group. Congratulations Attila!
Brian Cruickshank, Director of Northwood University's University of the Aftermarket announced earlier this year that the University of the Aftermarket Foundation would once again offer ASAAA members one full $6,250 scholarship which includes tuition, materials, and meals for the highly-acclaimed 2015-2016 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), demonstrating the value of state associations connecting our local people to the national universe. 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 23-28, 2015 in Midland, Michigan and April 24-29, 2016 in Raleigh, North Carolina. For more information and complete details about the 2015-2016 Leadership 2.0 Program, visit www.universityoftheaftermarket.com and click Leadership 2.0.
July 22, 2014
The Michigan Automotive Parts Association is pleased to announce the selection of Barry Hill, Vice President of Auto-Wares Group of Companies, Grand Rapids, Michigan as recipient of its 2014 MAPA Lifetime Service Award.
Barry’s involvement in the automotive aftermarket industry spans 55 years, beginning at the age of 13 working in his family’s business Tri-State Automotive Warehouse and Hill Piston while going to school. Today, Barry is Vice President of Auto-Wares Group of Companies located in Grand Rapids, Michigan and is semi-retired. Throughout his career, Barry has been a champion of the independent, and a strong supporter of the automotive aftermarket industry.
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. The award will be presented during MAPA Industry Day 2014 being held on Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 at the Holiday Inn Gateway Centre in Flint, Michigan.
Qualifying criteria for consideration of MAPA’s Lifetime Service Award is recipient must be a Michigan based company, have 25 or more years of service in the industry, and contributed significantly to the automotive industry and to their local community. Previous recipients include Sam Rogers, Parts Warehouse Co., Bay City, Michigan and Al Blanchard, Mid-5 Auto Supply, Livonia, Michigan.
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