CRP Industries Inc. announced that Director of Human Resources Rachael Sobon received the 2017 Brava Award for top female business leadership in New Jersey. The Brava Awards celebrate the distinguished achievements of 40 of greater New Jersey’s top female business leaders. Sobon was selected for the award for her work in her professional life, her family and community. Sobon has been with CRP Industries for 10 years and is responsible for all of the company’s human resources functions and payroll activities.
Harvest Partners LP and Audax Private Equity completed the combination of AP Emissions Technologies and Centric Parts to form APC Automotive Technologies (APC). As part of the transaction, Harvest completed a new equity investment into the combined business, and Audax retained a significant ownership stake in APC. Hugh Charvat will lead the combined businesses as chief executive officer. Dan Lelchuk will remain president of Centric Parts, and Doug Wolma was appointed president of the AP Emissions Technologies (AP Exhaust) division, replacing Mike Barto, who is retiring.
Covercraft announced the addition of sales veteran Bill McLaughlin as the new southeastern sales manager. He will cover the southern part of the United States, from the Atlantic coast through Texas, and handle both aftermarket and distribution accounts in the territory. McLaughlin is a veteran of more than 20 years in the soft-goods industry, last serving as the regional director of stores for Samsonite Corp. Covercraft Industries LLC, Pauls Valley, OK; 405-238-9651.
AAM Group selected GCommerce to implement electronic data interchange between the group’s warehouse distribution members and its manufacturing suppliers. The decision aims to reduce communication friction between stakeholders in order to effect increased sales for all parties. Enhancements will include simplified order entry and error reduction at the warehouse-distributor level and faster vendor responses relating to transit, invoicing, accounts payable and more. AAM Group, Piney Flats, TN; 423-282-0211. GCommerce Inc., Des Moines, IA; 515-288-5850.
Valspar expanded production capacity of its automotive refinish coatings products at U.S.-based manufacturing facilities. Recent technology and equipment upgrades at locations in Garland, Texas, and Pittsburgh have significantly increased manufacturing volumes and filling and storage capacity for select brands within the Valspar Automotive portfolio. The sites’ expansion is part of the final stages of integrating the automotive refinish coatings business of Quest Specialty Chemicals, which Valspar acquired in June 2015. Valspar Automotive, Minneapolis, MN; 800-444-2399.
Avery Dennison made Nick Tucci vice president and general manager for Label and Graphic Materials (LGM) in North America. In this role, Tucci will provide leadership and strategic vision for the North America region. He will also continue his current role as vice president of sales for LGM while searching for his replacement. Tucci has 22 years of experience with Avery Dennison. Avery Dennison, Mentor, OH; 800-282-8379.
Hypertherm’s annual Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report showed record results in all areas of CSR measured by Hypertherm, including community engagement, environmental impact and associate wellbeing. For 2016, nearly 85% of associates volunteered for an average of more than 16 hours. Hypertherm also provided support to 132 nonprofits through its Hypertherm Owners’ Philanthropic Endeavors foundation. In 2016, Hypertherm had a safety incidence rate of 1.8%, compared with an industry average of 4%, and announced that seven of its eight U.S. manufacturing locations are now OSHA VPP Star worksites. Hypertherm Inc., Hanover, NH; 603-643-3441.
Gold Eagle Co. was named a recipient of the Honda Supplier Performance Award for a 10th consecutive year for outstanding service delivered to American Honda Service Parts. Acknowledging its network of more than 600 OEM and service parts suppliers in North America, Honda recognized top-performing companies for excellence in key areas of operation, including quality, value, efficiency and delivery. Gold Eagle Co., Chicago, IL; 800-223-4303.
VP Racing Fuels Inc. announced an agreement with CANUSA Automotive Warehousing Inc., based in London, Ontario, Canada, to stock VP’s full line of products in CANUSA’s chain of Auto Parts Centre (APC) stores. There are 45 APC stores in south and central Ontario, each of which will carry VP Racing Fuels, VP Small Engine Fuels, VP Madditives and VP Motorsport Containers. VP Racing Fuels Inc., Elmendorf, TX; 210-635-7744.
Curt unveiled Curt Group as its new corporate name. The new name is part of a developing brand strategy designed to help distinguish the company’s individual brand identities while communicating its effectiveness as a unified family of brands. Curt Group encompasses Curt, Aries, Luverne Truck Equipment and Retrac. Each of these brands offers products that appeal to different consumer preferences. Under the umbrella of Curt Group, they will maintain their separate identities and continue to specialize in their own unique product categories. Curt Group, Eau Claire, WI; 715-831-8713.
Robin Krimminger joined Ranch Hand as an outside sales representative for the North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia areas. She has worked closely with national and regional automotive aftermarket warehouses for more than 15 years. Her experience includes sales, trend analysis, business development and market launch. Ranch Hand, Shiner, TX; 800-366-9712.
Kahn Media Inc. announced expansions to its staff and several promotions. Jeff Perlman joined Kahn Media as director of media relations. Justin Gagante, was appointed as a graphic designer, working with Lead Designer Heather Wilson (who was promoted after two years as graphic designer) and Creative Director Franco Gutierrez. Brad Speers joined Kahn Media as account executive, handling several key luxury clients, and Russell Stacey, most recently digital marketing coordinator, has been promoted to digital marketing manager. Kahn Media Inc., Moorpark, CA; 818-881-5246.
Two PPG collision centers—Karl Malone’s Body and Paint of Draper, Utah, and Puente Hills Auto Body of City of Industry, California—received the 2016 Toyota Certified Collision Center of the Year Triple Crown Award. The annual award is given to the three top-performing Toyota-certified collision centers in the country. According to Toyota, collision centers are evaluated on a point system based on customer satisfaction; manager, estimator and technician certification; facility and equipment requirements; and other benchmark achievements.
Holley is now able to offer its in-depth, informational Holley EFItraining seminars for racers, engine builders, tuning shops and performance enthusiasts in the western region of the country through EFI University in Lake Havasu, Arizona. At EFI University, courses are available at three different levels: Introduction to EFI, Advanced EFI Concepts, and High Performance Engine Tuner Certification. Holley Performance Products, Bowling Green, KY; 270-782-2900.
Built by Bobby Hilton and Tony Lombardi, Ralph and Linda Miller’s candy-colored, supercharged, Hemi-powered Model A Tudor sedan won the Goodguys 2017 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year award at the Goodguys 11th Nashville Nationals in Music City USA. Runner-up finalists for Goodguys 2017 Tank’s Hot Rod of the Year included Ted Hubbard’s ’30 Model A, Gary Corkell’s ’32 Ford roadster, Bill Herb’s ’33 Ford coupe, and Harold Chapman’s ’32 Ford five-window. Goodguys Enterprises Inc., Pleasanton, CA;
Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. welcomed Northern Radiator to its speed and performance line card. The company has been manufacturing heating and cooling products across the automotive, racing, agricultural, truck and industrial industries for more than 40 years. Keystone carries and supports more than 800 brands of aftermarket products and will continue to expand its footprint to meet the growing needs of its customer base. Keystone Automotive Operations Inc., Exeter, PA; 800-603-2616.
Grote Industries hired Kevin Cornelius as a new business-development manager for harness and power delivery. With a background in manufacturing, design and operations, Cornelius will be responsible for managing Grote’s power delivery product lines, including developing and launching all new-product projects and direct growth. Grote Industries, Madison, IN; 812-273-2121.
Avery Dennison announced the expansion of its graphics materials production facility in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. The investment in this manufacturing facility provides Avery Dennison with additional capacity to bring branded, premium-cast vinyl products to a wider audience. The decision to expand the graphics manufacturing facility and invest in northeast Ohio was driven by the region’s strong workforce, expertise and access to North American customers. Avery Dennsion, Mentor, OH; 800-282-8379.
Mercantile Development Inc. (MDI), a specialty converter of nonwoven wiping products, received certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. MDI is celebrating 70 years as a family-owned business. The company became women-owned when controlling interest was acquired by Lucia Furman, Calla Morgan and Jenna Fankhanel, marking the third generation of family ownership. Mercantile Development Inc., Shelton, CT; 203-922-8880.
Topp Performance Race Parts (TPRP) announced the hiring of Jeff Fuller as general manager. Fuller comes to TPRP with more than 20 years of industry experience, including open-wheel cars, late models and drag cars. Fuller has owned race cars for 30 years, including an asphalt sprint car. He has previously raced with the United States Auto Club, United States Speed Association, Must See Racing and the Auto Value Super Sprints.
Aisin Group announced D. Brad Owens’ promotion to vice president of sales. As vice president, Owens is responsible for direct OEM customer contact and interface between the Aisin sales team and North American plants in order to ensure quality, delivery and customer-satisfaction standards. Owens, who had been assistant vice president of sales for all Aisin customers, originally joined Aisin in 2000 as manager of engine component sales.
AFR announced that Steve Arent joined the company as national sales manager. Arent brings more than 20 years of experience in the aftermarket high-performance industry. His responsibilities are to support AFR’s fast-growing dealer network, explore new market opportunities and strengthen the company’s position in the marketplace. Arent will also attend local and national events. He will work remotely from his Michigan-based location and be available to AFR customers across the country.
Wilwood Disc Brakes is partnering with Goodguys Rod & Custom Association as the preferred performance brakes at all events through the 2018 season. As a preferred sponsor, Wilwood’s presence will be highly visible through signage, exhibit space and a variety of consumer-facing opportunities. Additionally, Wilwood will display new industry innovations in the New Product Showcase at the 2018 Goodguys Nationals in Columbus, Ohio. Starting in 2018, a $250 Wilwood product certificate will be distributed at all national events as part of the Goodguys Choice Product Program. Wilwood Engineering, Camarillo, CA; 805-388-1188. Goodguys Enterprises Inc., Pleasanton, CA; 925-218-9137.
Weego, a Paris Corp. brand, announced a new partnership with Meyer Distributing. Meyer specialty parts retailers and aftermarket wholesalers across North America will now have access to Weego’s product line, including jump starters, accessories and battery packs. Paris Corp., Westampton, NJ; 609-265-9200. Meyer Distributing, Jasper, IN; 812-482-2914.