If you’re reading this, congratulations – you’ve almost made it through 2020 in one piece. I’m hard-pressed to remember another time in my life when pretty much everyone I talked to was chomping at the bit to flip the calendar to the next year.
Yes, it’s been a tough year. But looking back over the last 12 months, I’ve never been prouder to cover the automotive aftermarket – a truly
essential industry. Throughout the year, we’ve been highlighting the people who make the aftermarket great, and their businesses that have stood the test of time. I’ve had the honor to write about a number of them. There’s Automotive Parts Headquarters – which celebrated its 100th anniversary this year – and the Bartlett family. Momentum USA – 75 years old this year – and the Amalfe family. Falls City Auto Supply, which is closing in on 100 years. And W M Automotive in Fort Worth, Texas, which has endured for more than 40 years with the golden rule as its guiding light.
In May, we celebrated the accomplishments of the many women who are making a difference in the automotive aftermarket. In August, we celebrated some of the multi-generation, family-run businesses that are the backbone of our industry. And throughout the year, we featured industry leaders who exemplify the moxie and resilience of the aftermarket. One that immediately comes to mind is Amy Antenora’s October “Icebreaker,” which detailed JohnDow Industries President Robert Christy’s triumph over Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Along the way, AMN/Counterman received a prestigious Folio Eddie Award for our inaugural October 2019 issue, and Babcox Media – publisher of AMN/Counterman – celebrated its 100th anniversary. We’re humbled by the achievements and eager to keep improving our product in 2021.
Unfortunately, 2020 did not include a crowning of our annual Counter Professional of the Year. It’s been our longstanding tradition to announce the winner in late October during AAPEX in Las Vegas, and then feature the Counter Pro of the Year as the cover story in our December issue. This year has been a year like no other, so it’s perhaps fitting that for the first time in more than 30 years, we decided to postpone the Counter Pro of the Year announcement until February 2021.
With promising vaccine news making headlines at press time, we’re hopeful that 2021 will begin to usher in a return to normalcy for our nation. It probably will take longer than we’d like it to – but here’s to better days ahead anyway. In the automotive aftermarket, there was plenty of positive news to talk about in 2020, even in the midst of a pandemic. I think that bodes well for a strong 2021.