October 28, 2011

Professor Emeritus Otis Wilson 

On October 12th, as part of a memorial ceremony in his honor, Northwood University bestowed emeritus status upon the late Professor Otis Wilson who passed away in July of this year. 

Well-liked and highly regarded by all, Professor Wilson left a lasting impression on the Northwood Community during his twenty year tenure, most especially his ability to express wisdom with wit. In addition to his vigorous engagement on campus, Professor Wilson was very active in this community in a variety of ways as a long-serving Midland County commissioner.  

As Dr. Lance Lewis, academic dean for the Michigan Campus, observed it was only fitting that we honor him in this way. 

“Honoring Otis with emeritus status will remind all of us who had the privilege of knowing and learning from him that his example to others – students, faculty and staff – will be his lasting legacy.  Otis lives on in the wisdom, the humor, and the inspiration he freely shared with others.” 

And that he will. While we miss Professor Wilson’s earthly presence we are reminded that we are united with him still, that we are part of a unique community that connects the dead, the living, and those yet to be born - what G.K. Chesterton called the “Democracy of the Dead.” 

The 2011 NU Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Awards

Since 1975, Northwood University has annually recognized individuals in the Automotive Aftermarket who made noteworthy contributions to education and the Automotive Aftermarket industry.  

On Tuesday, November 1, as part of the Automotive Aftermarket Parts Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, Northwood will present the 2011 Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award to eight leaders who, like their predecessors, exemplify educational and Automotive Aftermarket industrial excellence:

  • John P. Bartlett, Jr. - CEO of Automotive Parts Headquarters, Inc. in Saint Cloud, MN.  He has led his family’s warehouse distributor store in 1976. Through his leadership and vision, APH has instituted a number of educational programs for customers, vendors and employees. He has also been very involved with Northwood’s University of the Aftermarket. 
  • Gordon R. Botts - President of the Gordon Botts Company in Woodstock, IL, a family owned company which he purchased in 2006. He is active with several industry associations and strongly supports technician training and is committed to youth education as a leader with the Boy Scouts of America. 
  • Jack A. Cameron, - V. P. of Programs and Member Services for the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association in Research Triangle Park, NC. In his role he is immersed in providing services and educational opportunities to the members of AASA, and plays a key role with a number of industry education organizations. 
  • Richard B. Guirlinger - Aftermarket Consultant for General Parts International, Inc. in Raleigh, NC. Having spent thirty-five years in the aftermarket industry, he has earned the respect and gratitude of his employer and colleagues at General Parts International, Inc. He played a significant role in coordinating an employee gift of support for the Sloan Family Building for Aftermarket Studies on the Northwood University campus in Midland, MI. 
  • Gregory L. Henslee - CEO and Co-President of O’Reilly Automotive Inc., located in Springfield, MO.  He began his career more than 32 years ago and has served his company in a variety of capacities. Under his leadership more than 49,000 teammates comprise the O’Reilly Automotive Inc., a company which prides itself on customer service. 
  • Susan L. Kalish – Sr. Director of Education for the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association in Bethesda, MD. By virtue of her professional title, she understands the significant role education plays in the development of professionals in the aftermarket industry. She also serves in various capacities on a number of industry related boards and committees. 
  • Kathy L. Noga - Manager of Marketing Communications for SKF, in Elgin, IL.  Her 30 plus years as an aftermarket professional has provided her with an in depth knowledge and appreciation for the importance of education. She is committed to working with and mentoring the next generation of aftermarket leaders. 
  • Jeffrey P. Stankard - V.P. and Publisher of Babcox Media in Akron, Ohio. He is responsible for a number of publications aimed at educating the technicians of independent garage owners, including a growing population of Hispanic owned companies. He is also involved in providing technical knowledge to instructors of high school technician programs.

Please join me in celebrating the contributions and efforts of Professor Emeritus Otis Wilson and all of this year’s Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award honorees. We are indeed the better for having known and worked with each and every one of them.

Have a great weekend,


Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640
989.837.4203 (phone)
989.832.9590 (fax)