Canadian Automotive Repair and Service Council president Dan Bell has been awarded the Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s highest honour. The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Bell at the 2008 Aftermarket Conference for Executives (ACE) being held today at the Hilton Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Que., in recognition of his extraordinary service and leadership given to the growth and development of the motive power aftermarket industry in Canada. Bell has been working in the industry for over 40 years, having joined the Canadian Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) Council in 1992. He was chosen as “the recipient of this year’s award,” said John Cochrane, immediate past chairman of the association, “because of the significant contribution he has made to the automotive aftermarket industry from a training and human resources perspective. He has been an advocate and proponent of training for a number of years. He has ensured that our industry has access to training on a cost effective basis, which is a very important aspect to the growth and prosperity of the automotive aftermarket in Canada. CARS has been an innovator moving the sector to use contemporary technology for the advancement of skills training. Dan, along with his team, built CARS into the wide ranging Sector Council we know today.” Under Bell ‘s stewardship CARS training has kept pace with the technological upheavals that are challenging the skills of the industry workforce. CARS training has expanded to encompass not only traditional in-class delivery, but satellite broadcasts and most recently 24/7 easy online access of a larger than ever suite of programs targeting technical and business management skills. Before being elected in 1995 as CARS president by a unanimous decision on the part of the CARS board of directors, representing the manufacturing, retail and aftermarket arms of the industry, in 1994 Bell was appointed vice-president and chief operation officer for the CARS Council. Born in Aklavik, N.W.T., Dan Bell holds certification as an automotive machinist and automotive service technician, and became an automotive instructor at Centennial College in Scarborough, ON, in 1972. He is a former executive director of the Canadian Transportation Institute and has served as chair of the Heads of Apprenticeship Training Executive Committee for the province of Ontario. Dan is a graduate of the Ontario Institution for Studies in Automotive Technology and of the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Education.