John R. Washbish, president and CEO of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, accepted Northwood University’s Outstanding Business Leader award at a March 16 ceremony in West Palm Beach, Florida.
“We couldn’t be more excited and proud of John,” Northwood University President and CEO Keith Pretty said. “John is a Northwood man. He has dedicated his life and career to the automotive market. His roots are here at Northwood. We’d like to think that some of his wild success comes from his foundation he received here.”
Northwood officially bestowed the honor at the university’s 39th annual ceremony at The Breakers Hotel. More than 200 people attended, including the 2019 incoming honoree class, past honorees, board members and Northwood students, friends and family.
The award recognizes leaders in the American free-enterprise system. Members of the Northwood University board of trustees select awardees based on each nominee’s: contribution to the philosophy of private enterprise; support of the integration of business and the arts; contribution to education; economic innovation; creative marketing ieas; community involvement; religious leadership; philanthropic contributions; and business success.
A 50-year industry veteran described by Northwood as an “icon” of the automotive aftermarket, Washbish has been leading the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance since Jan. 1, 2010. In the near decade he has spent as president of the Alliance, he has expanded the organization’s international presence, first by joining forces with TEMOT International and then by becoming the first program group to create a footprint in China.
Washbish’s industry career began as a boy at his father’s automotive and heavy-duty warehouse in Louisville, Kentucky. He worked through almost every level of the supply chain, graduated from Northwood University and began his adult career with AEC Universal Joints.
For the next 35 years, Washbish’s abilities as a leader became more and more apparent as he successfully moved up the ranks at a number of companies, including Michigan Engine bearings, Clevite Engine Parts, Dana Corp. and Affinia Group.
Outside of the office, Washbish is just as committed to serving the industry. He has served as president of the Automotive Sales Council and National Engine Parts Manufacturers Association, as chairman of the Young Executive Society and the Manufacturers’ Advisory Council of AWDA, and as a board member for the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association and Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association.
He currently serves on the AWDA council of governors, is senior vice chairman of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation and is a mentor for the Young Auto Care Network Group.
Washbish has been recognized for his leadership with numerous awards, including the Automotive Warehouse Distrbutors Association Leader of the Year in 2004, the Northwood Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award and twice the university’s Alumni of the Year.
Click here for a full list of Outstanding Business Leader 2019 winners.