Automotive Parts Associates (APA) shareholders selected the 2020 board of directors with a secure online election, in lieu of a traditional in-person election as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With shelter-in-place orders and social-distancing practices, the pandemic created an opportunity for APA to offer shareholders an alternative option to choose whom they felt would best represent their businesses through leadership of the organization. The online votes were tracked and tallied by the system, making the process simple to add the traditional absentee ballots on file, prior to the cancellation of the in-person election to the final count.
The results are as follows:
- Chairman – Douglas Squires, Bestbuy Distributors Limited of Mississauga, Ontario
- Vice chairman – Jim Holmquist, H&H Wholesale Parts of Arleta, California
- Secretary/treasurer – Ben Yelowitz, POJA Warehouse of Philadelphia
- Board director – Edward Harake, Value Plus Auto Parts Wholesale of Westland, Michigan
- Board director – Suzanne Koudsi-Walker, S&J Euro Parts of North Hollywood, California
- Board director – Randall Swedlove, Morris Automotive Supply of Fontana, California
Upon ratification, APA welcomed a new director, Suzanne Koudsi-Walker of S&J Euro Parts in North Hollywood, California, to the board. Koudsi-Walker brings her industry experience and perspective from international business negotiations, implementation of strategies toward future growth, and as a board member of the Society of Import Parts Specialists (SIPS), to represent the best interests of shareholders.
“The ability to hold an official and secure election online was a positive alternative to traditional methods of casting absentee ballots and is a testament to its success,” Squires said. “The entire process took a couple of minutes with a few clicks through a secure link, rather having to print and fill out a ballot, then scan and email or fax it back to HQ for tallying. We appreciate everyone that took the time out of running their businesses to vote whether through an absentee ballot or online, it’s the Shareholders that make APA a community and unique in that all members are owners with equal voting rights in the organization.”
APA already utilizes various forms of online engagement strategies for quick and effective shareholder communications. By providing a solution for an immediate and private response, shareholders were able to make their voices heard toward representing their best interests quickly, which led to the election’s success with a high participation rate, APA noted in a news release.