LAS VEGAS Rusty Bishop, of Federated Auto Parts Distributors, Staunton, Va., has been named the 2013 recipient of the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) Leader of the Year Award. Each year, AWDA bestows this prestigious honor on an aftermarket professional who has contributed to the industry in a unique and significant way.
Bishop began his career in the aftermarket 43 years ago with Fisher Auto Parts. Taken under the wing of CEO Art Fisher, he worked in warehouse and store management and eventually became a director of the company. In 1985, Bishop co-founded Federated Auto Parts Distributors, growing it to become one of the nation’s largest automotive parts distribution networks. Bishop holds the position of CEO with Federated, which today includes 57 independent distribution companies, representing more than 4,000 parts store locations.
Throughout his many years in the auto care industry, Bishop has always remained extremely active as a volunteer leader. His service to the aftermarket includes: Board of Directors of ASIA 1991-’93 and AAIA 2010-’12; AWDA Membership and Marketing Committee Chairman 1999-2002; AWDA Board of Governors 2000-’03 and 2005-present. In 2006, Bishop entered the AWDA Chairs and served an extremely successful term as chairman in 2009. His drive and personal commitment are widely credited with revitalizing AWDA’s Annual Business and Education Conference.
In 2010, Bishop was called upon to join the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) Board of Directors and was named Chairman of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation Board of Trustees that
same year, spearheading an effort to dramatically increase donations and grants. Bishop’s years of service have not gone unrecognized. In 2008, Northwood University presented him with their Annual Automotive
Aftermarket Management Educational Award, and, in 2010, he earned the AAIA Aftermarket Advocate Award. In November 2009, Bishop was presented AWDA’s “Pursuit of Excellence Award.”
Said AAIA President and CEO Kathleen Schmatz in presenting the Leader of the Year Award, “Rusty has been an aftermarket fixture for decades; a powerful and unwavering advocate for the industry he so clearly loves. Now it’s his time for this most prestigious recognition.”