Oscar Manzo, an O’Reilly Auto Parts counter person in Livermore, Calif., is Counterman’s 2016 Counter Professional of the Year, sponsored by WIX Filters.
This award is bestowed each year to one parts distribution professional who displays excellence in all they do. It’s the 31st year Counterman and Babcox Media has named a Counter Professional of the Year.
During the nomination process, those working with nominees have a chance to explain why they think a particular parts pro has what it takes.
Ro Salazar, an O’Reilly regional director, submitted the nomination on Manzo’s behalf.
“Oscar is a total team player,” Salazar wrote. “He started out at as a part-time cashier 27 years ago and has risen to be the No. 1 counter person in the Bay Area Region for O’Reilly Auto Parts.” He has helped grow O’Reilly’s professional business in Livermore, Salazar added.
Manzo takes personal pride in his community and along with his wife, Susana, volunteers their time to assist in food banks and local community projects helping the less fortunate.
Manzo continues to learn and has completed the company Certified Parts Pro program at O’Reilly Auto Parts, Salazar said. “Oscar always researches those hard-to-find parts for his customers,” Salazar wrote. “Oscar is always educating himself to further his support of his customers.”
John Radulovich, regional field sales manager for O’Reilly, said, “He is a outstanding parts person who always goes the extra mile for our company and his customers.”
Recently, Radulovich said, a shop customer’s delivery truck broke down with a bad alternator. Suppliers said it would take a day to two days to get a new one. So Manzo picked up the unit and dropped it off in Oakland, Calif., which is 25 miles away. He “had it rebuilt and got it back to them in four hours. That’s just what he does.”
At a recent workshop, Manzo was awarded “Highest Counter Person Sales for 2015” and the “Highest Commercial Sales Increase” for his store.
Manzo, who with his wife, Susana, was brought on an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas, and was recognized at several events during AAPEX week in early November.
WIX Filters, in partnership with Babcox Media, awarded a total of three automotive excellence awards recognizing game changers in automotive service at the recent AWDA conference in Las Vegas. Oscar Manzo, as Counter Professional of the Year, was one.
The winners are:
School of the Year — Ranken Technical College is the ninth recipient of the annual program to find and name the best technical training school in the country. Based in St. Louis, Ranken Technical also received a surprise ceremony for students and faculty.
WIX Driving Performance — Integrity Auto Care and Repair in South Beloit, Illinois is the third annual WIX Driving Performance Award winner. Owner Leon Anderson was cited for creating a “dealership mentality” designed to make customers feel as comfortable as possible.
“Our national award programs are designed to support excellence at every level of the automotive aftermarket industry,” said Jennifer Gibson, brand manager for WIX Filters. “This year’s programs offered excellent opportunities for technical schools, counter professionals and service shops to demonstrate excellence in their respective areas of the industry.”
Recipients of the three awards were recognized during the Babcox Media Night of Excellence, prior to the start of AAPEX.
5 Minutes With Oscar Manzo
Why did you get into auto parts?
I loved working on my own vehicles and maintaining them.
What do you like most about it?
I like to help my customers find the right parts and get the job done right the first time.
How do you approach work every day?
I love going in with an open mind.
What are some ways you’ve learned how to best serve your customers over the years?
Execute every resource available to better help my customers.
What are some ways we might be able to attract young talent into the auto care/aftermarket industry?
Enhance training programs within the network and provide more hands-on training.
What was your favorite part of the Counter Professional of the Year process/AAPEX show?
I had the privilege to meet the Babcox employees and other people in the aftermarket industry. The APPEX show was incredible. I loved the fact that they showcased the newest technology available for the after market world.
Anything else you’d like people to know about you or the industry?
As the technology continues to evolve, the aftermarket will continue to grow and expand.