Next Step Program Scholarship Winners Announced

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The Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) and the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) have announced the 2015 Auto Care Association Next Step Program honorees. Twelve young industry professionals will receive scholarships of $1,100 to attend the Auto Care Association Spring Leadership Days, scheduled for May 6-8, 2015, at the Hyatt Regency in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The 2015 recipients are Thurston Adams, Heri Automotive Inc; Michael Atkins, Napa Auto Parts/Genuine Parts; Sean Ayala, W M Automotive Warehouse Inc; Carolyn Barquist, Universal Air Conditioner; Dustin Ryan Crump, Arnold Oil Company; Alex DeYoung, KYB; Ted Hess, H.G. Makelim Co.; Meagan Jensen, ZF Services LLC; Jesse Kaplan, Gem Auto Parts/Neptune Warehouse; Tunc Kip, Temel Gaskets USA and Brian Wheeler, Dayco.

The Next Step Program offers future leaders in the auto care industry opportunities to experience how the association and various aspects of the industry work. The program, formerly known as AWDA’s Next Step Program, previously provided scholarships for distributors only. With YANG’s participation this year, the revamped Next Step Program opened its doors to young professionals performing any job function in the industry.

“We are excited to host these high-quality young professionals at this year’s Spring Leadership Days, where they will have the opportunity to rub elbows with more than 450 volunteer industry leaders during committee meetings and valuable networking events,” said Kathleen Schmatz, president and CEO of Auto Care Association. “The Next Step Program is one of the many ways we, as an association, are supporting continued professional development in the auto care industry.”

A committee of AWDA and YANG leaders chose the scholarship recipients. For more information, visit:

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