GAAS in the Windy City

It was a day and a half of presentations, panel discussions and networking with more than 350 aftermarket industry executives at the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) in Chicago this week.

But I’m not writing to report on the agenda or the take-aways — let the trade media do that.

I want to give a shout out to the individuals and companies in our industry who pay the registration fees to attend GAAS and those who also opened their checkbooks to make donations to the GAAS scholarships fund. This event alone generated more than $100,000 in scholarships for young people interested in pursuing careers in the aftermarket.

And I want to salute Pete Kornafel, an industry veteran and staunch promoter and supporter of education. Not only did he establish the scholarship fund and direct it, but he and his wife Anne match dollar for dollar each donation.  Today, there are many professionals working in companies throughout the automotive aftermarket because received a helping hand with a GAAS scholarship.

Thank you Pete and Anne and thank you to everyone who has attended GAAS and has donated to the GAAS scholarship program.

One final thank you to David Caracci, who has gratefully trimmed his “retirement” time with his boat and racecars to administer the GAAS program for several years. Everybody knows that one of the toughest jobs ever is to follow a hero, and David followed in Mort Schwartz’s shoes to enhance, enthuse and enlarge the GAAS program of late.

Lots of folks talk about being involved in GAAS and the scholarship program, but David has lived it.

Thank you all!


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