Rob Grabowski, a counterperson at Auto Parts Central, a Bumper to Bumper store in Thunder Bay, Ont., has been selected as the Jobber News Counterperson of the Year. The award, created in honour of Abe Schwartz who spent more than 50 years behind the counter as owner of hundred-year-old British Auto Supply in Toronto, Ont., is being presented for the first time in 2005. Jobber News has served the Canadian automotive aftermarket for 75 years. Sponsored by computer systems supplier Activant and Wakefield Canada, Castrol’s Canadian distribution partner, the award recognizes the importance of the front-line worker to the success of the automotive aftermarket parts wholesaler as well as the aftermarket at large. “I’m dumbfounded,” says Grabowski about receiving the award. “It still hasn’t sunk in. I’ve just been pretty much doing my job and to get this kind of recognition is just awesome.” Grabowski was chosen from nearly 100 excellent nominees from across the country on the strength of comments from coworkers and customers alike. “The response was fantastic,” says Jobber News publisher and editor Andrew Ross. “It certainly made the job of selecting a winner more difficult. There many counterpeople who received glowing nominations, but in the end we had to make a choice.” Comments supplied by those nominating Grabowski were clear in how he exceeds the expectation of his customers. “Rob is a dedicated worker, who always goes the extra mile for his customers. He is ASE certified and participates in any and all of the training seminars. If we have an automotive question, Rob will most likely know the answer. Rob is very proficient with our computer system catalogue and with all the books. Rob is always pleasant and helpful to everyone. It is a pleasure to work with him!” wrote Ginger Szyja, who works at Auto Parts Central. Chris Walker at Midas Auto Service Experts says Grabowski goes out of his way to help. “Rob is very knowledgeable in all aspects of the automotive parts business. I can call him after hours and even on Sunday’s. He will open for me to get parts when my customers are in need of repairs after I close. I sometimes have to work on customer cars on Sundays for them to have them back first thing Monday morning.” “I have been in the industry since 1983 and I just love it,” says Grabowski. “It’s different stuff every day. I have to give credit to the company, too. They spend so much money on counterperson training and they’re selective about who they put on the counter. When you have a good crew like we have, it makes the job easy.” Grabowski will come to Toronto for the Annual Aftermarket Forum and Young Executives Conference November 30 and December 1 with his wife Teresa who is also a counterperson November 30 and December 1. It is there where he will be formally presented with his award. He will also be featured in the December issue of Jobber News.