Jim Shapiro, 65, president of SRS Marketing Co., passed away in his home early on the morning of May 29, surrounded by his family.
Shapiro joined his father, Malcom Shapiro, as a manufacturers’ representative at Shapiro and Boehm at the age of 22 and took the company over when Malcom passed. SRS Marketing was established in 1996 when Shapiro and Boehm merged with Robert Riefberg Sales, where Jim served as president alongside his partners, Robert Riefberg and Bob Slemmer, until his passing.
“I met Jim in 1990 and we became close friends immediately,” said Riefberg. “We recognized the future consolidation of the aftermarket and merged our companies in 1996. Jim has been a dear friend, confidant and business partner for the last 24 years and amazingly we have never had one disagreement. Jim’s passion for the business and intellect have been a breath of fresh air along our journey together. He always wanted to do what was right for our customers, employees and our manufacturer partners.”
In 2014, Jim brought his son, David Shapiro, into the fold as a fourth-generation member of the automotive aftermarket.
“My relationship with my father was beyond special,” David Shapiro said. “People who saw us together recognized this almost instantly. It is my professional mission to carry on the legacy of respect and admiration that he garnered from our clients, customers, and peers in the industry. The six years we had been working together will be some of the greatest memories of my life. I know it’s cliché, but he really was my hero.”
Jim has served on both ASIA and APAA committees and has more recently served on the Auto Care Association board of directors. Recognizing the need for a strong volunteer presence in the industry, Jim held many different roles within the association:
- Manufacturer’s Rep Council – Chairman (2006-2008)
- Manufacturer’s Rep Council – Member (2003-2015)
- Auto Care Events Committee – Member (2003-2008)
- Auto Care Association Nominating Committee – Member (2009-2010, 2015)
- Auto Care Association Investment Committee – Chairman (2010-2012)
- Auto Care Association Investment Committee – Member (2010-2015)
- Auto Care Association Finance Committee – Member (2017-2020)
“Jim was an active participant in the industry he loved and truly understood that if we all collaborate, we all do well,” said Bill Hanvey, CEO of the Auto Care Association. “Jim was a careful observer of people and trends and was always quick to add a smile or a laugh during tense negotiations with his customers. As a rep he was able to balance the need of the customer to the desires of the supplier and was a fantastic matchmaker. Countless companies in the aftermarket should be thankful to Jim for their success.”
In lieu of flowers, the Shapiro family has requested that donations be made to one of the charities that Jim supported:
- Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) – www.aacfi.org
- Gary Senise Foundation – www.garysinisefoundation.org
- The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) – www.aspca.org