The automotive aftermarket runs through Todd Carpenter’s blood. He got started in the business at age 13, working in his father’s NAPA store in Cambridge, Minn., where he swept floors and put away stock. Eventually, he became a counter professional and later was promoted to store manager.
Carpenter was chosen as Counterman magazine’s 2011 Counter Professional of the Year, sponsored by Affinia, Wix and Raybestos brake and chassis. The Counter Professional of the Year award recognizes counter pros who go above and beyond the call of duty and are committed to furthering not only their careers, but the level of service they provide to their customers and bettering themselves as automotive aftermarket parts professionals.
As this year’s recipient, Carpenter and his guest will be brought to Las Vegas, where he will receive his trophy and will be given the recognition deserved by this automotive aftermarket parts professional. During his all-expenses-paid trip to Vegas, he will attend AAPEX and be awarded his recognition during the AWDA luncheon as well as attend a special dinner held to recognize him.
With more than 33 years of experience in the business, Carpenter has dedicated his career to being the best counter professional he can be.
In his entry for Counter Professional of the Year, Carpenter was asked what he believed to be an important issue facing the automotive aftermarket. “With all the new technologies and ever-changing regulations, anyone in this industry, especially the aftermarket, cannot survive without constant training,” he wrote. “Even the most seasoned parts counter person, or mechanic for that matter, cannot keep up with all the new updates. Our service is the key to keeping the aftermarket successful. I believe anyone can look up a part on the computer, but is it the right part? Knowledge of automotive systems, parts descriptions, and how they function are the most important parts of being a true parts professional.”
Carpenter is true to his word: He holds ASE’s P2, P3, P9 and C1 certifications and is in the process of becoming AIA certified. He is enrolled in the Automotive Parts Technology program at Alfred State University. He’s also taken more than 350 online training programs within the NAPA system. He is an Anoka Area Vocational Technical Institute (Minnesota) graduate in the automotive repair field. He’s also an Altrom Import Parts Specialist; NAPA Echlin Master Counterperson and Standard Motor Parts Master Counterperson.
Currently, Carpenter is a NAPA store manager in Pocatello, Idaho, at a location owned by the Dyson Group, which is comprised of 17 stores and five NAPA Integrated Business Solutions (IBS) systems.
Carpenter is just coming off of receiving the national 2001 NAPA/ASE Parts Specialist of the Year Award. It’s the 12th time the recognition has been awarded by NAPA.
In bestowing the NAPA award, Brent Facer, owner of Mel’s Repair in Pocatello had this to say about Todd: “[Todd] portrays a professionalism second to none. His knowledge of the automotive industry always seems to amaze me, never asking unneeded questions. I appreciate how (he) has mentored his employees to improve the overall professionalism and service of the entire store through his leadership. Mel’s Repair has done business with the local NAPA auto parts location for over 30 years and in our experience, the service has never been better than with Todd as manager.”