The Automotive Industries Association of Canada presented John Vanstone of Specialty Sales & Marketing with the prestigious Distinguished Service Award. Vanstone was presented with his award during the opening ceremonies of the AIA Aftermarket Conference for Executives, "Driving Force: Innovating the New Tomorrow", in Ottawa. Vanstone has been active in the automotive aftermarket industry for 30 years. He began his career in the food services industry, and joined the aftermarket industry in 1975 at Monroe Auto Equipment. In 1992, he joined Don Chase as a partner in Specialty Sales and Marketing, where he continues his work with current partner Ken Coulter. "John has had a stellar and exciting career, and while many people may know him for his humour and ‘legendary entertaining’," said Larry Jefferies during the award ceremony, "John is better known for his volunteer work, most particularly for his work with Shad’s R & R." He has been working with Shad’s since 1976, a member of its board since 1985, and he has acted as chair since 1999. It is the largest one-day fundraiser for Muscular Dystrophy, with a cumulative donation total of over $2.8 million. Vanstone has been a member of the Automotive Services Marketing Association for over 20 years, and was president in 1990-1991. He has also been an active AIA volunteer; he served on, and also chaired, the Suppliers Council and the Membership Marketing Committee for many years. He continues to sit on the Suppliers council today. He was also on the AIA Executive, serving as AIA chair from 1993-1994. The AIA Distinguished Service Award is presented in recognition of distinguished service and outstanding leadership given to the growth and development of Canada’s automotive aftermarket industry. It is the highest award presented by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada to an outstanding individual within the Association membership. Criteria for the award include outstanding leadership, community service, and personal contribution to the growth and progress of the aftermarket industry. "John is clearly a driving force — an innovative leader in the industry who has driven the automotive aftermarket to higher standards and performance, and who gives back to both the aftermarket industry and the community at large," concluded chair Larry Jefferies during the award ceremony.