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Parts Authority president & CEO honored with education award

November 9, 2023

Northwood University recently honored the president and CEO of Parts Authority and six other prominent supporters of educational

learning within the automotive aftermarket industry during its annual Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Awards luncheon in Las Vegas, Nevada.

As a visionary leader and innovative executive, Randy Buller transformed what was once a New York-based family business with less than 10 locations into a leading, nationally recognized automotive warehouse distributor with more than 250 locations in 22 states and Washington, D.C.

Buller utilized his financial background, entrepreneurial mindset, and automotive industry expertise. He and his co-founders built the business by offering customers a breadth of brand name inventory, focusing on customer service, investing heavily in technology, and valuing team member satisfaction. Over the span of 40 years, Buller drafted the Parts Authority roadmap for rapid growth through both M&A strategy and organic expansion.

Buller’s impressive career began as a delivery driver for Parts Authority, formerly known as “Clearway Auto Parts,” in 1982. As a team member, he worked directly with customers and experienced first-hand the challenges of the automotive aftermarket industry, which led to his advancement in several leadership roles.

For his dedication to the aftermarket industry, Northwood University was pleased to name Buller among this year’s Class of Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award honorees.

“We appreciate our university’s special relationship with the aftermarket industry,” said President Kent MacDonald during the luncheon. “The future is bright for Northwood students, as we have implemented a strategic plan for growth in all programs with a focus on automotive and the automotive aftermarket. We are exceedingly grateful for industry leaders who continue to support and shape our students through internships and experiential learning.”

Since 1975, Northwood has honored aftermarket leaders for their significant efforts to further the cause of education for business and society. The Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award honorees, past and present, comprise a “who’s who” of this industry.

This year’s other honorees include:

  • Michael C. Buzzard, of Dallas, Texas, managing partner, Schwartz Advisors (headquartered in La Jolla, California)

  • Arthur “Bo” Fisher III, CEO/owner, Fisher Auto Parts, Staunton, Virginia

  • Dr. Donald R. James, CEO, Solero Technologies, Rochester Hills

  • Brian B. Norko, senior vice president, commercial business operations, Niterra North America, Inc. (formerly NGK Spark Plugs), Wixom, Michigan

  • Aaron M. Shaffer, director of marketing services, Standard Motor Products, Long Island City, New York.

  • Chris Williams, president and CEO, NA Williams, Atlanta, Georgia

The Automotive Aftermarket Management Awards were developed in partnership with the Auto Care Association, Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association, Motor & Equipment Manufacturer’s Association and Northwood University. The awards luncheon was held during the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas, Nevada. AAPEX is one of the leading international meetings for the global automotive aftermarket industry.

Northwood students enrolled in the Automotive Aftermarket Management program — which is the only four-year degree program of its kind in the nation — presented the awards to the honorees.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to gather today to recognize and celebrate the successes of these professionals who are being honored by Northwood University for making a difference in the lives of many in their communities and in the aftermarket industry,” stated Northwood student Owen Hayes, of Whitehall, Michigan.

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