AAPEX Live 2022 Coverage
The Import Vehicle Community announced Wednesday the winners of its 2022 Import Vehicle Community People Awards. The awards were presented to the winners at the Import Vehicle Community Luncheon and Awards Program during AAPEX currently taking place in Las Vegas.
The Import Vehicle Community of the Auto Care Association focuses on serving the needs of all businesses engaged in import nameplate products and services. The Import People Awards honor men and women who have made significant contributions to the import automotive aftermarket.
Winners of the Import Vehicle Community Awards are determined based on nominations submitted by members of the Import Vehicle Community.
The 2022 Import Vehicle Community People Award winners are:
Hall of Fame Award
Aaron Lowe, Senior Vice President, Regulatory & Government Affairs (retired), Auto Care Association
Lowe has been with the Auto Care Association and previously with the Automotive Parts and Accessories Association (APAA) for 40 years. He oversaw the Auto Care Association’s federal and state legislative and regulatory efforts, focusing on a wide range of environmental, vehicle safety, workplace-health and safety and international trade issues. He also served as liaison to the Upholstery and Trim International Segment of the Auto Care Association.
Lowe coordinated the Auto Care Association’s successful effort in 2012 to obtain enactment of the Motor Vehicle Right to Repair Act in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Right to Repair ensures that independent service entities have effective and affordable access to the information, tools and software to work on today’s highly sophisticated computer-controlled vehicle systems. He also was part of the team that successfully negotiated a 2013 national agreement on Right to Repair that is modeled after the Massachusetts law.
Lowe also spearheaded the association’s successful initiative in Massachusetts to amend the 2012 Right to Repair law in order to ensure that vehicle owners could access and control their diagnostic and repair data that is transmitted from both on-board diagnostic port and wirelessly through telematic systems. Known as Question 1, the initiative was approved by voters in 2020 by an overwhelming 75%-25% margin.
Lowe was the recipient of the Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award in 2003. He has been on the board of directors and steering committee for several aftermarket coalitions aimed at ensuring the economic future of the auto care industry.
Prior to the Auto Care Association, Lowe worked for an energy consulting firm specializing in renewable fuels legislation and regulation. He has a bachelor’s of art degree in economics from George Washington University and recently moved with his wife to Yarmouth, Massachusetts.
Lifetime Industry Achievement Award
Paul Fiore, Senior Director, Government Affairs (retired), Auto Care Association
Paul Fiore previously held the position of senior director, government affairs for the Auto Care Association. His duties in the government affairs department included representing the Auto Care Association on Capitol Hill and at federal agencies.
Prior to the Auto Care Association, Fiore was director of government affairs for the Tire Industry Association from 2005 to 2011, with very similar duties. He also held the title of executive vice president of the Service Station Dealers of America and Allied Trades from 2003 to 2011. Fiore began his lobbying career with the Maryland Service sStation and Automotive Repair Association (WMDA) in 2003 and represented them in the capitals of Annapolis, Maryland; Dover, Delaware; and the District of Columbia until 2011.
Fiore had a previous career as the owner/operator of a neighborhood service station with auto repair for 27 years, when he also served on numerous industry councils and advisory boards. He values his many experiences in the industry over three decades, as he considers them integral to his understanding of the automotive aftermarket.
Fiore currently resides in Takoma Park, Maryland, with his wife Debbi Goodman. Together they have four children and six grandchildren ranging in age from 15 years old to six months.
Lifetime Industry Achievement Award
Abraham Garweg, Vice President of Innovation, CRP Industries, Inc.
Abraham Garweg has served as the vice president of innovation for CRP Industries, Inc. since January 2015, and was vice president of product development prior, joining CRP Industries in July 2002. As the vice president of innovation, Garweg developed a deep understanding of the changes in the market/consumer behavior. Under his leadership and through end-user connections and an open innovation concept, CRP Industries was able to capture new product opportunities early by understanding the consequences of technology changes.
Garweg worked closely with product managers in finding new suppliers for innovative programs and kit solutions. He developed pilot programs for new product groups and transferred them to product management after a pilot program’s successful launch with a fully established and vetted supplier base. He developed a CRP Innovation council that is able to guide CRP to be the most innovative supplier of truly needed parts solutions in the automotive import spare parts space.
“I learned the value of quality parts and worked closely with skilled technicians to find innovative product solutions for their problems. It was this spirit of innovation and the quest for quality products in our industry that led me to join CRP Industries,” said Garweg.
Garweg grew up and went to school in Germany, followed by military service in the Bundeswehr (NATO forces).
“My father owned a trucking business,” he said. “Anything with internal combustion engines had my full attention early on. The family car was a 1952 Hudson Hornet ’til 1961. I loved that car. When the automatic transmission failed, my father was told Hudson was out of business. Parts NLA. Nobody in Germany knew that Hudsons had a GM transmission with parts well available.
“If anybody in the German spare parts supply chain would have known that the transmission in the Hudson was a GM automatic, the car would have continued to be part of the Garweg family fleet for many more years. Perhaps this is part of the reason that I ended up in automotive spare parts, hoping to help save as many quality cars from the scrapyard as possible.
“My job is in more than one way also my hobby,” said Garweg. “I still love to work on my own cars and motorcycles. I truly enjoy talking to technicians and product managers. Driving my old Porsche on the track and riding my motorcycle are as much fun to me as spending time with other gear heads at the track. Most of all, I love spending time with my family, in particular my grandchildren as of late.”
Young Executive of the Year Award
Eric Lough, Vice President of Business Development, FCP Euro
Eric Lough is currently the vice president of business development for FCP Euro. His responsibilities include leading the product and digital catalog team, in addition to identifying and creating opportunities for growth in existing and new spaces. Lough is going on his 16th year in the automotive aftermarket and can’t imagine being anywhere else.
“My passion for collaboration is driven by my desire to create a connected aftermarket that has the right tools and opportunities to serve our customers in ways that we never thought were possible,” said Lough. Lough has been inspired by the industry’s most amazing people, having served as the former vice chairman of the Auto Care Market Intelligence Committee, former chairman of the Automotive Content Professionals Network and is a current member of the Auto Care Technology Standards Committee.
“When I take my professional hat off, I’m a father to my six-year-old son Cooper, and husband to my amazing wife Kristina, who is my inspiration. As a young female entrepreneur, she gives me the courage and inspiration to lead and show up as my best self, day in and out,” said Lough. “I can’t picture myself being anywhere else than in the aftermarket. The people, the challenges and the impact we have on the world of motorists keep me coming back for more.”