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Outstanding Scholarship ‘Class of 2012’ Well-Deserving of Industry Support, Says GAAS Scholarship Chairman Pete Kornafel

Kornafel urges attendance at Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium in support of the scholarship program.


RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – A near record number of students applied for the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) scholarships during its 2012 application process, and GAAS Scholarship Chairman Pete Kornafel says he believes this year’s applicants are among the most outstanding ever received.


“We received almost 500 applications this year, nearly tying our record last year of 523, and this year’s applicants are some of the most outstanding scholars we’ve seen,” Kornafel said. “Many of the students applying for assistance in seeking automotive technician degrees already hold several ASE certifications and are working as repair professionals. Applicants range from young people who plan to succeed their parents in the family independent garage or auto parts store to students seeking engineering degrees to design the cars and parts for tomorrow’s vehicles.”

The scholarships are funded by the net proceeds from the annual Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS), slated for Wednesday and Thursday, May 16-17, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, Chicago. The 17th annual event this year will be focused on the theme, “One Industry: Endless Opportunities.”


“I encourage my fellow aftermarket professionals to attend GAAS 2012, not only for the education and networking opportunities, but for its investment in our industry’s future,” Kornafel said. “In its 16-year history, the GAAS Scholarship fund has presented more than $1.5 million in awards to more than 1,500 students. We need industry support and attendance at GAAS 2012 to award scholarships to as many of these worthy 2012 applicants as possible.”

The early bird deadline for GAAS 2012 registration has been extended until Monday, April 30. For GAAS registration information, click here. Companies also receive a discount for multiple company attendees: full price for three company employees, then $250 each for the fourth company registrant and any other subsequent employees who attend.


The conference rate of $175 per night at the Hyatt expires Monday, April 23. Hotel reservations can be made online here, or by calling 847-696-1234. Be sure to mention the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium to obtain the discounted group rate.

Full details on the GAAS 2012 agenda and registration are available at the conference website,

The GAAS program is a joint professional education effort of the of the Alliance of State Automotive Aftermarket Associations (ASAAA), Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada, Automotive Parts Remanufacturers Association (APRA), Automotive Service Association (ASA), Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), Motorist Assurance Program (MAP), Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), Tire Industry Association (TIA) and University of the Aftermarket. Polk is the corporate sponsor of the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium. The event is made possible through the generous support of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation.

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