President George W. Bush Speaks at AAPEX 2019 Grand Opening Session

November 12, 2019

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Nov. 6, 2019 – George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States and Founder of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, joined AAPEX 2019 on Nov. 5, offering his thoughts on eight years in the Oval Office, the challenges facing the nation in the 21st century, and the power of freedom.

Bill Rhodes, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Customer Satisfaction, AutoZone, had the honor of joining the president in his conversation with the AAPEX audience. Throughout their discussion, President Bush emphasized the importance of the principles that defined his presidency: freedom, opportunity, responsibility and compassion.

President Bush was sworn into office on Jan. 20, 2001, and served as Commander in Chief for two consecutive terms. Before his presidency, he served for six years as Governor of the State of Texas.

As Commander in Chief, he worked to expand freedom, opportunity, and security at home and abroad. His Administration reformed America’s education system with the No Child Left Behind Act, restored robust private-sector economic growth and job creation, protected the environment, and pursued a comprehensive strategy to keep America safe after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Since leaving office, President Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush have focused their attention on developing the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. The Bush Center is home to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and the George W. Bush Institute, a nonpartisan public policy and leadership development.

President Bush is the author of three bestselling books: Decision Points (2010), 41: A Portrait of My Father (2014), and Portraits of Courage: A Commander in Chief’s Tribute to America’s Warriors (2017).

The AAPEX keynote address was preceded by the annual Automotive Aftermarket State of the Industry presentation by Bill Hanvey, president and chief executive officer of the Auto Care Association, and Paul McCarthy, president and chief operating officer of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA).

AAPEX represents the $1 trillion global automotive aftermarket industry and runs from Nov. 5 – Nov. 7, at the Sands Expo in Las Vegas.

With more than 2,500 exhibiting companies, AAPEX is the showcase for the latest products, services and technologies that keep the world’s 1.3 billion vehicles on the road. More than 48,000 targeted buyers are expected to attend, including automotive service professionals, auto parts retailers, warehouse distributors, service chains, automotive dealers, fleet buyers and engine builders. Approximately 162,000 automotive aftermarket professionals from 126 countries are projected to be in Las Vegas during AAPEX and the SEMA Show.

AAPEX is a trade-only event and is not open to the general public.

AAPEX is co-owned by the Auto Care Association and the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA), the light vehicle aftermarket division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA). For more information, visit or e-mail: On social media, follow AAPEX at #AAPEX19.