ACA's Schmatz to retire in December
BETHESDA, Md. (March 12, 2015) — Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of the Auto Care Association (ACA) since Jan. 1, 2004, will retire Dec. 31, according to the ACA.
Ms. Schmatz joined the ACA — then the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association — in 2002 after 30 years with Babcox Media.
Her most noted achievement during her tenure at the association was rebranding it as the ACA — a name change that became official on April 1, 2014.
“The purpose of the rebranding was twofold,” Ms. Schmatz said in an interview with Tire Business earlier this year. “First, to rename and rebrand the industry from the automotive aftermarket industry to the auto care industry, and, second, to rename and rebrand our association to the Auto Care Association to reflect the industry we represent.”
Ms. Schmatz said she was pleased at how quickly the rebranding took hold.
“Before rebranding, our staff would waste valuable time in meetings with policymakers just explaining our industry before getting down to business,” she said. “Rebranding has been effective in addressing that challenge.
“We are also seeing widespread use of the term ‘auto care industry' among member companies and the trade media. We are delighted and encouraged to see that people get it.”
Among her other achievements during her tenure were:
- Her instrumental efforts in achieving a 50-state agreement on the Motor Vehicle Owners' Right to Repair Act;
- Creation of the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education program;
- Establishment of a dynamic association education program;
- Production of consecutive record-breaking trade shows and events; and
- A significant increase in association membership and VIP volunteer leader engagement.
“It has been an honor to work with Kathleen Schmatz, a true industry icon and dynamic leader who has helped develop the Auto Care Association into the world-class organization it is today,” said Rick Jago, chairman of the ACA board of directors, in a press release issued March 12. “The board is grateful for Kathleen's outstanding leadership and countless contributions to the industry and association over the past 13 years.”
Ms. Schmatz has received many honors during her ACA presidency, including:
- An honorary doctorate from Northwood University in 2007;
- Being named to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Committee of 100, consisting of the nation's top association executives in 2006; and
- The SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) Businesswomen's Network Woman of the Year from the Specialty Equipment Market Association, also in 2006.
The ACA Executive Committee has selected a recruitment agency and will lead the effort to find Ms. Schmatz's successor, the association said.
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