One of the worlds great sporting events is the Tour de France, which ended last month.
Whether you like professional cycling or not, you have to respect a sport that involves riding a bike for more than 2,000 miles over some of the steepest terrain in Europe at an average speed of some 25 mph.
Professional cycling is, believe it or not, very much a team sport. There are the team captains, like Lance Armstrong, who exist only to win. And then there are his teammates, called domestiques, who work behind the scenes to make sure the team leader wins.
Too often its the team captain who gets all the glory. I think the same can be said for the thousands of parts professionals who quietly, professionally and enthusiastically work behind the scenes, making sure their customers get the parts they need. Its certainly not an easy job, as described by our own Store Operations Editor Dave Zeiger in his column A Day Full of Challenges.
To give a little glory, attention and well-earned recognition to parts professionals across the industry, Counterman magazine annually awards the Counterperson of the Year honor to one parts professional. For the one selected, its a great deal. We fly the winner and a guest to Las Vegas for the annual Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW), the worlds largest aftermarket trade show. We put them up at one of "The Strips" top hotels. The honoree is showered with accolades in front of the entire industry and gets to rub elbows with the top brass in the business. Its quite an experience.
There are deserving parts professionals quietly working all over the industry. But to their customers, they are a vital part of their business. A good counterman can make or break his wholesale customers.
You can nominate yourself or a colleague for Counterperson of the Year by completing the form that appears on page 17, or you can send a nomination through our all-new website, www.counterman.com.
By the way, the only caveat to winning the Counterperson of the Year honor is that the nominee must be ASE certified. If youre not ASE certified, or if your certification has lapsed, ASE will offer its full complement of 40-plus certification tests for repair professionals and parts specialists this Fall over the course of three evenings on November 13, 18 and 20, 2003. The tests will be given at over 700 locations throughout the U.S. and Canada. The registration deadline is September 26, 2003.
ASEs online registration option (www.ase.org) began in June, while telephone registration will be available beginning next month (866-427-3273). These methods are in addition to the traditional mail-in method. Full details on registration procedures and policies can be found in the Fall 2003 Test Registration Booklet or on the ASE website.
Lance Armstrong won his fifth Tour this year, but you can bet that much of the glory and credit goes to his team. This November, Ill be hosting one Counterman reader in Las Vegas. This year, it just might be you or someone you work with.