Northwood University will recognize William “Bill” Grote III, chairman and CEO of Grote Industries, at its 30th Annual Outstanding Business Leader (OBL) Awards Ceremony in Palm Beach, Fla. Grote began his career at Grote Industries as a district manager, then worked his way through several sales and marketing positions. In 1969, as the third generation of family took the helm at Grote, he was elected to the board of directors. In 1972 Grote was appointed director of OEM sales and in 1979 was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing. He became president and CEO in 1989 and since 2004 Grote has served as the company’s chairman and CEO. A 1962 graduate of Xavier University, Grote has served as a past president of the Transportation Safety Equipment Institute (TSEI), a former chairman of Motor Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (MEMA) and has held board seats with the Automotive President’s Council, Automotive Sales Council and the Heavy Duty Business Forum. In 2007, Grote was the recipient of the prestigious Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) Leader of the Year Award, honouring aftermarket professionals who have contributed to the industry in a unique and significant way. The gala event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010 at The Breakers, Palm Beach.