Auto Service World
News   September 30, 2020   by Allan Janssen

People & Places: Corporate moves in September 2020

We recap some of the personnel announcements we heard about this past month.

People & Places

Robert Chartrand, Bestbuy Distributors

Robert Chartrand has been named vice president of purchasing and inventory at Bestbuy Distributors Limited, assuming responsibility for Bestbuy’s purchasing, inventory, and all related initiatives.

Chartrand is based at the company’s head office address of 3355 American Drive in Mississauga, Ont., reporting directly to President Bill Hay.

Chartrand brings over 30 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket to Bestbuy, including his most recent senior position as VP of product management, purchasing, and procurement at Altrom.

“Robert has tremendous knowledge of the import market and what it takes to be successful in that market,” said Bill Hay. “We welcome Robert’s extensive and thorough background to the vice president group at Bestbuy.”

Jon Huckaby, PurePower

PurePower Technologies (PPT) has named Jon Huckaby as engineering director of research and development.

The maker of diesel fuel injectors and turbochargers said Huckaby will be a key member of the PurePower leadership team, with responsibility for leading OE and remanufacturing design, development and validation testing activities.

Huckaby will report directly to managing director Greg Butler.

“Jon’s leadership experience along with his deep understanding of complex engine component development will bring great value in the delivery of technologies that address customer requirements for performance and efficiency,” said Butler. “Jon’s expertise and perspective will serve our customers well and will help drive new innovations in PurePower’s current and future products.”

Huckaby has held progressive leadership positions for over 15 years related to the design, development and validation of complex engine and exhaust components for companies such as ArvinMeritor (Faurecia), Cummins Engine Company and Baker Hughes GE. Huckaby joins PurePower after spending the last four years at Cooper Machinery Services in Houston, Texas, where he was senior engineering manager.

PurePower Technologies, Inc., a Stanadyne LLC company, is a leader in the engineering and remanufacturing of diesel fuel injectors and turbochargers for OEMs and the aftermarket. Headquartered in Columbia, SC, the company is an authority for all precision fuel, air-management and after-treatment systems for light-, medium- and heavy-duty diesel engines, having produced more than 30 million precision diesel fuel injectors since 1999.

Kevin King, Gem-Car

Kevin King, the newly appointed vice president of operations for management software provider Gem-Car, said he will work toward the establishment of an operational Centre of Excellence to grow the company’s customer base.

King, an industry veteran with experience at a number of aftermarket companies, including Carquest, said the company plans to grow its footprint from 2,000 repair shops to over 10,000 in five years.

“Implementation and after-sales support are the two key issues for this growth,” he said. “My goal is to complement the team with experienced customer service professionals. My challenge is to transform the corporate culture to train coaches who will also be able to assist shop owners in improving their profitability and sales.”


Chuck Searles, AMI

Chuck Searles has been selected as the new president of the Automotive Management Institute, a provider of management education for automotive service and collision repair professionals.

The announcement, made by the company’s board of trustees, is effective immediately.

Searles succeeds Jeff Peevy, who left to return to I-CAR as vice president of technical products, programs and services in late July.

Searles brings to the position a wealth of knowledge in the industry. He has been an active part of the automotive service and training community for almost 28 years. His career began as a dealer service technician in 1992. During nine years as a service technician, he was employed by three different dealers in two different states, Alaska and Arizona. This diversity helped expand his skillset and knowledge base, which eventually led to a technical service support position with Nissan North America in 2001.

Over the last 19 years he has served in four different Nissan training roles; technical training instructor, sales training senior planner, technical training aperations manager, and technical training instructional design manager.

“I’m honoured and excited to serve the board of trustees and the ever-expanding client base as president of AMi,” Searles said about his new role.

“We are ever so pleased to announce Chuck Searles as the new president of AMI. Chuck comes with an immense background in business management, personal leadership, analytics, organizational development, curriculum design, problem solving and classroom instruction,” said AMi board of trustees chairman Darrell Amberson. “His relationships and understanding of vehicle manufacturers will be an asset. We are confident that Chuck will oversee the continuing growth and prevalence of AMI, leading it to new higher levels of performance and achievement.”

AMi was established in 1989 to answer the demand for continuing education and industry-accepted recognition programs tailored specifically for the business needs of the automotive service and collision repair industry. To date, AMi programs have attracted more than 350,000 enrollments throughout North America.


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