The 2014 SEMA Show and ARMO Award Winners

SEMA Member News—January/February 2015

The 2014 SEMA Show and ARMO Award Winners

American Autowire was named the ARMO Business of the Year.
American Autowire was named the ARMO Business of the Year.

The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) kicked off a spectacular week of activities at the SEMA Show by hosting its annual industry awards reception at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino on November 4. A highlight for many council members each year, the event provides an opportunity to showcase the efforts of the very best people and companies who tirelessly work to keep the restoration industry moving forward.

By continuing to innovate and creating new products and processes for enthusiasts around the world to use in following their passions, the 2014 ARMO award winners have proven that there’s always room for improving the performance, reliability and user experience of restoration products.

ARMO Business of the Year: American Autowire

American Autowire was started in the mid-’80s by Michael Manning and Frank Colonna, who worked together in a basement to figure out how to reproduce Camaro console gauge conversion harnesses. Beginning with rescuing many of GM’s blueprints, original molds and tooling, the company is now able to provide customers with a safe, reliable source of OEM replacement wiring for many makes and models. Expanding its catalog of available parts, the company currently has more than 10,000 part numbers in its Factory Fit line.


Rick Schmidt (right) of National Parts Depot was honored as the ARMO Person of the Year. ARMO Chair Dennis Roberts (left) presented the award.
Rick Schmidt (right) of National Parts Depot was honored as the ARMO Person of the Year. ARMO Chair Dennis Roberts (left) presented the award.

Mitch Williams, president/CEO of Parts Unlimited Inc., was presented with the ARMO Industry Recognition award.
Mitch Williams, president/CEO of Parts Unlimited Inc., was presented with the ARMO Industry Recognition award.

In addition to developing outstanding products—each assembled in the company’s plant in Bellmawr, New Jersey—American Autowire provides exceptional customer service and technical support before, during and after each sale. Staffed with industry veterans, the tech support team at American Autowire is considered among the best resources of automotive wiring/electrical knowledge in the business.

ARMO Person of the Year: Rick Schmidt, National Parts Depot

Rick Schmidt is vice president and COO of National Parts Depot, one of the largest classic auto-parts companies in the industry. Schmidt’s love for classic cars began while working alongside his father Jim, the company’s founder.

Through his sponsorships of car shows and active participation in events for the GM and Ford markets, Schmidt takes great pride in sharing his enthusiasm for classic cars. Together, Schmidt and his father now own more than 175 rare and classic cars that have each been beautifully restored to their original condition.

ARMO Industry Recognition: Mitch Williams, President/CEO, Parts Unlimited Inc.

Mitch Williams is a true “car guy” who has a passion for restoration projects of all kinds. In fact, he actually drove one of those project cars to the SEMA Show this year!

Having successfully led the integration of several companies—Soffseal, Mr. Mustang, TrimParts, The Right Stuff and First Place Auto Products—into Parts Unlimited Inc., Williams continues to be an inspiration to others in the industry for his management skills and vision.

Parts Unlimited Inc. (then PUI Interiors) was founded in 1977 with a deep commitment to serve the automotive aftermarket industry. Through decades of research and development experience and an unrelenting focus on its in-house quality controls, PUI has become one of the leading manufacturers and wholesalers of classic car parts in the world.

ARMO Hall of Fame Inductee: Jack Holland, Founder, Auto Custom Carpets

Jack Holland was an automotive industry veteran, well respected for his hands-on approach to product development and customer service. When Holland founded Auto Custom Carpets in 1977, the company relied on purchasing carpet from established OEM suppliers to manufacture its molded carpeting products. In 1984, Holland purchased Academy Carpets Inc. and began tufting his own carpets. He was always looking to improve his products for customers.

In 1986, Holland purchased a manufacturing plant that had served as a prime supplier of carpeting to both GM and Chrysler. At that point, ACC could further control the production of high-quality products.

In 1995, Holland sold the company to a management group. Today, Auto Custom Carpets is employee owned and operated, employs more than 150 people and supplies more than 25,000 automotive flooring applications for vehicles built from the ’40s to the present.

 

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