2017 SPARK Luminaries Announced

Industry Icons Introduce Group of College Students to Aftermarket

Rich Jolivet, Bret Jordan, Derek Kaufman, Mike Kealey, Howard Kesten, Dan Lelchuk, Larry Pavey, Mort Schwartz

Multi Parts today announced the SPARK 2017 Luminaries. In this, the SPARK Initiative’s fourth year, eight of the automotive aftermarket’s biggest names share their expertise and insights with eleven SPARK student-participants from across the U.S.

Multi Parts President Brian Cohn commented, “Every year, we wonder: Will our industry’s leaders continue to sacrifice their time and effort in the midst of what we know to be their busiest week of the year? For the fourth year in a row, we are gratified that they are choosing to spend their energy with the youngest men and women of the aftermarket. They are the lifeblood of our industry going forward.” Cohn continued, “Thank you to every single person who gives of themselves to support SPARK. Ultimately, we all benefit.”

SPARK again takes place at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (“AAPEX”), being held in Las Vegas, October 31 – November 2, 2017. On Tuesday, Oct. 31, Mort Schwartz, Founding Partner of Schwartz Advisors, LLC and former Chairman and CEO of Strauss Discount Auto Import Parts of America and Chanslor & Lyon, and Bret Jordan, Managing Director, Jefferies, LLC, kick off SPARK at a breakfast meet and greet designed to formally introduce participants to the aftermarket and all its opportunity. Following the meet and greet, Derek Kaufman, Managing Partner of Schwartz Advisors, LLC unpacks the scope of that opportunity in his presentation, “The Automotive Aftermarket – A Very Cool Place To Be.”

On Wednesday, APA Search’s Howard Kesten shares insights from his career as a highly regarded global recruiter to numerous aftermarket companies in their search for great talent. His topic: “How to Differentiate Yourself from Your Peers.”

Following their time with Kesten, SPARK participants will glean perspective from three panelists about their decades of experience in the industry, having held numerous positions—both domestically and internationally—in sales and marketing, supply chain management, and manufacturing.


Mike Kealey – Executive Vice President – Commercial, Dorman

Dan Lelchuk – Advisor to the Board, APC Automotive Technologies (AP Emissions/Centric Parts)

Rich Jolivet – Vice President Global Sourcing & Store Brands Advance Auto Parts, Autopart International

Wednesday ends with a special session hosted by Larry Pavey, President of Federated Auto Parts. His topic: “The Bright Future of the Aftermarket.”