Kaufman, Baer among Northwood education award winners

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Updated Oct 30, 2014

Heavy-duty industry professionals Derek Kaufman and Chris Baer are among the honorees Northwood University will celebrate during the 39th annual Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Awards during AAPEX 2014 next month in Las Vegas.

Seven noted automotive aftermarket professionals will receive honors during a ceremony on Nov. 4, 2014. Northwood says the awards program recognizes leaders who have made significant contributions in support of education at any level inside or outside of the automotive aftermarket industry.

“This year’s class of awardees represents some of the very best people in the automotive aftermarket sector,” says Keith A. Pretty, president and CEO of Northwood University. “Their substantial dedication to their profession and commitment to education, both in their industry and in their communities, is an outstanding hallmark for all. They truly are role models, not only for our Northwood University students, but also for the entire industry, to emulate.”

The University says this year’s winners, tapped for their “substantial dedication over a number of years to the educational process and the field of automotive aftermarket,” include:

  • Christopher A. Baer, executive vice president, VIPAR Heavy Duty Inc., Crystal Lake, Ill. Baer is a strong advocate of education within all levels of an organization. All of his direct-reports are required to complete the Northwood University – Heavy Duty Leadership Program, designed to foster the development of the next generation of commercial vehicle aftermarket professionals. He also helped form VIPAR’s Young Leaders Forum, a program that focuses on education, networking and mentoring.
  • Derek Kaufman, president, C3 Network, Ada, Mich. Kaufman has been a strong proponent of education throughout his career. For the past two years has providing his expertise in the areas of powertrain alternatives, telematics and augmented reality for technicians and sensor technology. He also lends his talents as a mentor for senior leaders at a variety of organizations and serves on multiple advisory boards, including Grand Valley State University’s Seidman School of Business, Ferris State University’s Diesel Committee and North Park University’s Board of Trustees.
  • Joseph C. Bacarella, manager, Product Training & Technical Assistance Call Center, Tenneco Inc., Monroe, Mich. Bacarella plays a vital role in providing content for Tenneco’s ever-growing curriculum of technical training programs and was integral in developing Monroe’s popular “Ride & Drive” ride-control training experience and Walker Emissions Control Diagnostics workshops. Through Bacarella’s efforts, Tenneco has helped thousands of industry professionals remain on the leading edge of vehicle diagnostics and repair.
  • Elizabeth M. Estes, corporate training director, Parts Warehouse Inc., Little Rock, Ark. Estes recognizes that training is an ideal method of demonstrating corporate values of integrity, professionalism, customer service and personal success. In developing and executing training programs, she uses such resources as Dale Carnegie, Franklin Covery. Pulaksi Technical College’s Workforce Education Center, the University of the Aftermarket and Alliance University. Estes has developed an employee incentive program known as Training Incentive Performance (TIP) bonuses that ties achievement in sales and gross margin benchmarks by the store team and completion of training requirements on an individual basis. She also is heavily involved in educational opportunities provided through the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance.
  • William J. Hanvey, senior vice president, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, Research Triangle Park, N.C. Hanvey has played an integral role in the development of the AASA “Know Your Parts” campaign, which promotes educating service professionals on the importance of installing quality parts. He also created and directed the launch of the “Know Your Parts Hub Bearing” micro-campaign and initiated the AASA Warranty Task force, as well as having participated in APEX educational forums and presentations.
  • Darren R. Jackson, chief executive officer, Advance Auto Parts, Roanoke, Va. Jackson serves on the board of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School – Twin Cities and has fostered participation of Advance Auto Parts in the Corporate Work Study Program. The program underwrites more than half a student’s cost of education and exposes them to a corporate work environment and real-world work experiences. He also encourages a strong internal team training program at Advance, a company that was awarded a 2014 Head of Class Award in the Retail Segment from the Auto Care Association Education Committee for its excellence in education and training practices. The company constructed a dedicated training center at its corporate headquarters.
  • Larry R. Samuelson, president, The Samuelson Company LLC, Atlanta. Samuelson’s commitment to education and development of future leaders of business and industry is evidenced by his service to Emory University, where he serves as Executive-in-Residence and conducts training for Executive MBA students. He has served as a student mentor over the years. He also provides his expertise to Northwood University’s University of the Aftermarket Leadership 2.0 program, having served as a keynote speaker.


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