Centric Parts President and Co-Founder, Dan Lelchuk, Named AIA Person of the Year

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LAS VEGAS, NV -- The Auto International Association (AIA) hosted its 13th annual awards luncheon on Wednesday afternoon at the Venetian Hotel, where more than 350 attendees helped to congratulate the winners of its prestigious AIA People Awards presented during the annual SEMA/AAPEX automotive industry event.

Among the honorees in this 30th Anniversary celebration for AIA was Centric Parts President and co-founder, Dan Lelchuk, who was awarded the AIA Person of the Year Award, given to an individual in recognition of his or her outstanding contributions to the industry, and to the AIA in particular, over the prior 12 months.

Steve Bearden, AIA chairman, opened the program with welcome remarks, and provided an overview of AIA’s initiatives and its various programs and services, before naming the award winners.

Joining Mr. Lelchuk in receiving an AIA People Award this year were:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->AIA Lifetime Achievement Award: Chris von Lenski, CRP Industries, Inc.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->AIA Lifetime Achievement Award: CR “Dick” Berreman, Berreman & Co.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->AIA Hall of Fame Award: Lee Kadrich, AAP

<!--[if !supportLists]-->·         <!--[endif]-->AIA Young Executive of the Year: Brian Griffin III, Interamerican Motor Corp. (IMC)

In choosing Mr. Lelchuk for the Person of the Year, Bearden noted that Lelchuk was the passion driving the AIA’s actions in most of the issues facing the industry this year:

It’s not uncommon for a board member to win the AIA Person of the Year, and this year follows that pattern. In my opening remarks I mentioned the AIA’s fight against hub bearing duties, our strong disapproval of the Know Your Parts campaign and other legal battles we have waged this past year, and with his passion for free and fair trade and his belief that the industry should be responsible for its own products and should therefore be self-policing, it was only natural that we would ask Mr.Lelchuk to be on this year’s board. His passion for these issues had a huge impact on the AIA’s actions in these matters and he was therefore very deserving of this award.

AIA Person of the Year Award: Dan Lelchuk, Centric Parts

Dan Lelchuk, President, Centric Parts, has been part of the aftermarket since 1976. He held positions with Beck/Arnley, Brembo and Autospecialty before co-founding Centric in 2000.

Starting as a very junior counterman and driver at age 16, Lelchuk worked at parts stores through high school and college. He joined Barry Breslow at International Parts Service in 1984. As the import aftermarket consolidated, he moved on to Beck/Arnley, Western Automotive Warehouse Distributors, Autospecialty and Brembo North America. In 2000, he teamed with Dino Crescentini as co-founder and president of Centric Parts.

Lelchuk has helped grow Centric Parts into one of the largest aftermarket brake manufacturers and suppliers. Centric’s catalogs, a practical standard in the industry, now boast more than 40,000 braking system parts supporting nearly every make and model from passenger cars to medium-duty trucks. The company has earned a string of braking technology patents, has been repeatedly recognized by the Friction Materials Standards Institute, AIA and multiple program distribution groups for catalog and program excellence, and has earned the highly coveted TÜV approval on several products.

AIA Mission

The AIA mission is to provide a bridge between the international automotive community and the North American aftermarket and to promote the unique qualities associated with the distribution of parts for import nameplate vehicles.

AIA’s government affairs group is tasked with:

  • Promoting free and fair trade between the international automotive parts community and the North American aftermarket.
  • Supporting policies to open markets, prohibit inappropriate trade behavior such as counterfeiting and patent infringement, and repeal excessive import duties.
  • Supporting self-regulation by the aftermarket industry to develop recommended practices and certification standards.
  • Fighting for legislation that ensures that the independent repair industry has full and affordable access to tools and information that car manufacturers provide to their dealer franchises.
  • Supporting the election of government officials who share the industry’s goals: consumer choice, free trade and reasonable regulation.