This month's issue is our own stab at Top 10 mania. You'll read our eighth annual Top 10 Distribution Influences that details the 10 issues that most impacted the parts distribution business in 2004. In addition, Counterman in association with our on-line news service aftermarketNews.com, presents the Top 10 News Stories of 2004. This new, annual feature chronicles the biggest industry events of the past year. It's been a very interesting 12 months in the aftermarket, and I know you'll find this article to be a thought-provoking read.
Another year's end tradition for many people involves charitable deeds. Take a read through Outside the Box, under our Market Feature. It is our yearly article about this year's winner of the prestigious Counterperson of the Year award. Each year we bestow the honor upon one parts professional who excels at the very demanding parts distribution business. This year's honoree is Randy Lipscomb, an outside salesman/store manager from my own community of Akron, OH. Randy works for Pat Young Service Co., a Cleveland-area Federated member WD. The folks at Pat Young and Federated are deservedly proud of the work Randy does.
But what really makes Randy shine, particularly this time of year, is his steadfast dedication to some rather worthy charities. National SuperKids Classic is an annual program that allows 'special needs' children the opportunity to participate in regional soap box derby races. The annual event culminates in races down the very same hill that hosts the national All-American Soap Box Derby (right here in Akron). It's completely free - Randy and his group supply the cars, the hill and a full day of excitement for these special children. You can get more information about SuperKids at www.nationalsuperkids.com.
Randy also donates his time to another worthy cause, Camp Quality. Camp Quality, which has 15 locations around the country, is an annual summer camp for children with cancer. You can find more information on Camp Quality at www.campqualityohio.org. Anyone who would like to help these charities (financially or otherwise), may call Randy at 800-317-1550 ext 161.
Our industry is more than parts. It's people. And with people like Randy, our industry is a better place to make a living.
On that note, I'd like to wish everyone a joyous holiday season and a healthy and prosperous New Year. Thanks for your loyal readership.
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A hearty welcome to Counterman's newest team member, Managing Editor Michael V. Freeze. Michael has extensive publishing experience as the former associate editor of Transportation & Distribution Magazine. I know you'll enjoy reading his insightful articles in future issues.