Auto Service World
Feature   July 1, 2001   by Auto Service World

AIA CONVENTION REPORT: Acklands-Grainger Chairman Receives Association’s Highest Award

Doug Cumming, chairman of Acklands-Grainger, was named the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada.

He was presented the award for his outstanding service to the automotive aftermarket industry in general and in particular for his leadership abilities, at the association’s convention held May 30 to June 1, 2001.

Cumming, who retires from his post at Acklands-Grainger this year, was born in Viking, Alta., and began his tenure with Acklands in 1957 as an equipment repairman. Over the years he rose through the organization, taking on roles including branch manager, territory manager, and eventually senior vice-president. When the Acklands organization was purchased by W.W. 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.”

New Brunswick Jobber Named Jobber of the Year

Charlie Main, founder of Sussex Auto Supplies based in Sussex, N.B., has been named the 2001 Jobber News Jobber of the Year.

Main, who juggled a variety of responsibilities throughout his professional career, opened five UAP stores in his thirty years in the aftermarket. Main, 73, has segued into retirement over the past two to three years. He was diagnosed with cancer, though he says he’s apparently in the clear now.

“I am very sorry I can’t be there with you,” said Main in a letter of acceptance. “I am overwhelmed by the honor that you have bestowed on me. To say that I was very surprised would be the understatement of the year.

“Let me just say here that my involvement in the automotive parts industry has been most enjoyable; I wouldn’t change a minute of it if I had to do it all over again.”

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