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The Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA), a community of the Auto Care Association, presented its 2022 Outstanding Leadership Award to Larry Northup, the recently retired Executive Director of AWDA and Senior Director of Community Engagement for the Auto Care Association. The award was presented on October 30th at AWDA’s 2022 Annual Conference in Las Vegas.
Each year, AWDA bestows this prestigious award, formerly known as the “Leader of the Year,” on an aftermarket professional who has contributed to the industry in a unique and significant way. The award is named in honor of former AWDA President Jack Creamer.
Presenting the award this year was 2021 recipient Roger McCollum, chairman and CEO, N.A. Williams Company.
In his latest role as executive director, AWDA, Northup worked to encourage and support the re-establishment of the AWDA community’s decades-long tradition of leadership within the aftermarket. Since 2004, Northup’s efforts for the AWDA community included the integration of AWDA members into all aspects of the Auto Care Association’s leadership, including the board of directors; committees; task forces; the association’s political action committee; special projects like career promotion, Right to Repair, the University of the Aftermarket Foundation; and many other aftermarket industry advocacy efforts.
Northup’s career with the Auto Care Association began in 2000, where he served as a lobbyist for the association’s government affairs department and as the staff liaison for the Paint, Body and Equipment Specialists (PBES) community. He served as the head of the association’s membership department, where he was tasked with managing AWDA’s integration into the Auto Care Association as a community. Northup also managed the association’s community engagement efforts for several years, eventually becoming the full-time executive director of AWDA.
In his role, Larry was key to bringing the annual AWDA conference into the fold as part of Industry Week every year in Las Vegas making it truly “Industry Week” for AWDA members and supporting manufacturers alike. Larry was instrumental in bringing the Auto Care and AWDA Boards closer together and that has led to AWDA volunteer leadership within every community for the Association. In addition to that, Larry’s advocacy during the pandemic helped establish our industry as an essential service throughout the COVID crisis.
Northup’s entire professional career has been dedicated to the service and support of trade associations. Prior to joining the Auto Care Association in 2000, Northup worked for the National Wooden Pallet and Container Association and association management company Inter-Associates. From 1986 to 2000, Northup created and lead his own association management company, Spectrum Management.
“I had the good fortune of working with Larry for many years. I knew of few people more dedicated to this industry, especially when it came to his involvement with warehouse distributors and AWDA,” offered 2021 recipient Roger McCollum of N.A. Williams. “Larry worked with a passion that was contagious and made those around him better for knowing him and working with him. He deserves all the best in retirement – and this industry will not be the same without him.”