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GAAS announces new chairman

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Aug. 10, 2011 – The Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) has announced the retirement of chairman Dave Caracci and the appointment of Dennis Welvaert as his replacement. Caracci, who has served as chairman of GAAS since 2007, will work together with Welvaert in a transition of leadership during the next three months. The transition will be complete during Industry Week on Nov. 1.

“I’m thrilled to announce that Denny will be taking over as GAAS chairman,” said GAAS Founder and Chairman Emeritus Mort Schwartz. “I know he will carry on the great tradition of keeping GAAS at the forefront of the aftermarket. Dave Caracci did an outstanding job and I’m confident that Denny will do the same.”

Welvaert has been president of Dayco’s North American aftermarket division since 2003 and will officially retire from the company at the end of August. He is a recipient of the AWDA Pursuit of Excellence Award and Northwood University’s Aftermarket Management Education Award. He holds the designation of Master of Automotive Aftermarket Professional (MAAP) from Northwood University’s University of the Aftermarket. He’s held numerous leadership positions with various aftermarket associations.

“I’ve had the privilege of attending GAAS for a number of years,” Welvaert said. “I’m delighted to take over as GAAS chairman after my retirement from Dayco. I look forward to building upon the strong foundation that Mort, Dave and others have built. It is the best event in the aftermarket for education and networking and I hope to bring some fresh ideas to make it even better.”

A former executive of Bosch and other distinguished aftermarket companies, Caracci’s industry experience includes service as past president of the National Engine Parts Manufacturer Association, past Chairman of the Engine Repower Council, past President of the Automotive Sales Council, director of the board of the Car Care Council and past chairman of AAIA.

“When I was handed the keys to GAAS four years ago, my goal was to continue the tradition of producing an outstanding education event,” Caracci said. “I think we’ve succeeded. I wish Denny all the best and look forward to working with him over the next few months during the transition.”

The annual two-day Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium brings together industry leaders and experts to examine the issues and trends affecting the worldwide automotive aftermarket and influencing its future. GAAS 2012 is scheduled for May 16 and May 17 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare near Chicago. For more information visit the symposium site or call 301.654.6664.

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