BOWIE, Md. — Steve Akridge, executive director of the Virginia Automotive Association, was presented with the Tire Industry Association's State Executive Leadership Award this year, in recognition of his leadership on aftermarket-related issues in Virginia.
Mr. Akridge, who has led the association since 1990, led the VAA's efforts over the past year to defeat bills in the Virginia state legislature that would have abolished the state's vehicle inspection program, which the VAA argued was essential to the keeping Virginia roads safe.
Among the efforts cited were Mr. Akridge's building a coalition of 20 industry trade groups and encouraging auto service shops and tire dealers to gather 20,000-plus signatures in support of keeping the program.
In addition, prior to an unanticipated move by Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam to abolish the program, the VAA led an effort in mid-2019 to raise the fee for the state inspection to $20 from $16, generating an additional $32 million in funding to cover the program's administration costs.