Doug Cumming, chairman of Acklands-Grainger, was named the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award the Automotive Industries Association of Canada today in Penticton, B.C. He was presented to award today for his outstanding service to the automotive aftermarket industry in general and, in particular, for his leadership abilities at the association’s convention being held this week. Cumming, who retires from his post at Acklands-Grainger this year, was born in Viking, Alberta, and began his tenure with Acklands in 1957 as an equipment repairman. Over the year he rose through the organization, taking on roles including branch manager, territory manager, eventually to senior vice-president. When the Acklands organization was purchased by WW. Grainger in 1996, Cumming was appointed president of the organization. In 1999, he was named chairman of Acklands-Grainger Inc. In addition to his professional career, he graduated from Harvard University in the Advanced Management program. Cumming was suitably appreciative of the honor. "It’s a culmination for me as I retire this year. So things are really coming together. "Part of the reason I’m up here today is all the help I’ve had from other people. I’ve been very blessed with (leadership abilities) and I think you need to believe in yourself as you go forward. I always believe in the win-win situation. When both people walk away from the table with a win it’s so much easier to go back to work and feel that you’ve accomplished something." Cumming was presented with a large engraved plaque of geese in flight with the inscription "The natural beauty of Canada geese in their distinctive V-shaped flight pattern is a reminder of the importance of teamwork and leadership–qualities upon which the aftermarket industry was built."