It’s always a difficult task to choose a single recipient for the Counter Professional of the Year award. The staff of Counterman magazine sifted through piles of entries and identified several people who are worthy of recognition. After narrowing all the entries down to five finalists, Thomas Dayton, of J S Auto Supply, Jamestown, N.Y., was chosen as the recipient. Here is a look at those who made it to the final round.
J & L Parts Group
Pleasant Grove, Utah
Brightenburg began his career as a parts professional at age 17. Early in his career, Brightenburg managed the parts department of a car dealership and learned how to work collaboratively with technicians, service managers and salespeople. He’s owned his own parts store, J & L Parts Group, for the past 18 years. In addition to managing and owning his store, he organizes car shows and cruise nights, truck and tractor pulls (the proceeds from which he donates to a local charity), as well as offers free car clinics. He’s the president of his local chamber of commerce, is the vice president of his city’s Downtown Advisory Board and serves on an automotive advisory council.
RULES TO LIVE BY
He follows a few simple, but important guidelines each day:
1. Every person walking through our door should be greeted or acknowledged immediately.
2. If we do not have the part, we will do everything we can to find it.
3. Integrity and honesty are key.
4. Cleanliness, organization and professionalism are of utmost importance. My motto is “professional, friendly, service.”
The three biggest challenges he sees in the industry are inventory management, employee productivity and maintaining an ethical reputation.“ Aftermarket businesses not only have to increase inventory with every new make and model, they also face the challenge of what to keep for the older models,” he wrote in his essay.
“If automotive companies looked at the aftermarket as an ally instead of a competitor, we could work together better to provide our mutual customers with all of their automotive needs. Bottom line, we have the same goal, to keep America’s cars running.”