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AAIA creates Young Auto Care Network Group

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BETHESDA, Md. (March 19, 2014) — The Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) has created the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) for future auto care industry executive-level staffers seeking industry connections and collaboration.

YANG’s first planned event is the Young Auto Care Network Group Education Workshop Sept. 3 at the Westin Boston Waterfront in Boston as part of the AAIA’s Fall Leadership Days. YANG said it will be offering scholarships to “deserving young professionals” attending the workshop.

“On behalf of all the YANGsters, I am proud and very excited to announce the creation of a new group catered specifically to the auto care professionals under 40,” said Michael Rukov, One Stop Parts Source, Riverside, Calif., and YANG chairman.

“YANG is a unique club of very passionate individuals who are determined to help our industry become the ‘it’ industry in the new age. Not only do we intend on bringing and helping the youth move forward, we are also tasked to improve our industry with its new identity and new beginnings.”

Besides Mr. Rukov, members of the YANG advisory council include: Chase Baxley, The Parts House, Jacksonville, Fla.; Joe Davis, United Automotive Supply Co., Warren, Mich.; Jenni Lucero, Gates Corp., Denver; Chris Strappel, FMI-Automotive Inc., Panama City, Fla.; and Alena Van Cleave, A & Jay Automotive Warehouse Inc., Redford, Mich.

The AAIA said events being planned include a networking happy hour at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) on Nov. 5 in Las Vegas and participation in the AAPEX Learning Forum.

All professionals in the auto care industry under 40 are eligible to join YANG.

The AAIA listed several benefits of joining, including:


  • Build a substantial network of other young auto care professionals by attending YANG networking events at industry trade shows, sales meetings and conferences.

  • Gain direct access to decision-makers, influential thinkers and auto care industry leaders.

  • Receive opportunities to participate in the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association’s volunteer leadership committees.

  • Enhance your career by participating in an array of professional development opportunities including the Young Auto Care Network Group Educational Workshop.

  • Receive scholarships to attend learning workshops held during AAIA Fall Leadership Days.

The group also pointed out some "value points" to belonging:

  • Help foster long-term stakeholders in the auto care industry leading to employee retention.

  • Build a succession plan involving young professionals.

  • Keep Generation Y and X engaged in industry trends and events.

  • Employees have a better understanding of the auto industry as a whole.

  • Companies with active YANG participants gain more credibility and awareness in the industry.

  • Companies gain from the training while scholarships allow them to participate.

  • Networking will help enhance current and future customer relationships.

Membership is free and open to AAIA members and non-members. For an application and more information, visit the YANG website or contact Courtney Carbone at 240-333-1067 or



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