After more than 30 years in the business, Craig Bradley has earned the nickname “Mr. NAPA” in his hometown of Lansing, Mich. As Craig is known for being not only incredibly knowledgeable but also always eager to share what he knows, it’s not uncommon to find neighbors and friends knocking on his door at home, seeking advice on tricky auto repairs.
His extensive automotive parts knowledge and eagerness to help others has earned “Mr. NAPA” yet another title the 2008 Counterman magazine Counter Professional of the Year. Sponsored by Affinia, the award was created in 1986 to recognize those who excel in the demanding parts distribution profession.
Bradley, manager of NAPA Auto Parts in Lansing, Mich., was recognized for his work Monday during the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association luncheon prior to the kick-off of AAPEX. He previously was a runner-up for the award in 1998; and in 2002 was also selected as the NAPA ASE Parts Specialist of the Year.
Above: Counterman Magazine’s 2008 Counter Person of the Year, Craig Bradley, with Jeff Stauffer of Affinia, which sponsors the annual award.
Part of the honor includes an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas to attend Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW). Counterman Editor Mark Phillips presented Bradley with the award.
“We were really looking for a person who shows leadership skills, but also goes beyond that and has a vision,” said Phillips during the award presentation. “The Counterperson of the Year must be someone who is dedicated to moving this industry forward.”
With no end to his enthusiasm in sight, even after 30 years, Bradley certainly qualifies. Bradley began his career as a counter professional in 1975 at an independent NAPA location, then after three brief years ‘turning wrenches’ he returned to NAPA and has been there ever since.
NAPA, the largest division of Genuine Parts Co., distributes more than 375,000 products through its 58 NAPA distribution centers located across the United States. This group also consists of UAP Inc., Canada’s leading automotive parts distributor going to market as NAPA Canada. In 2007, the U.S. and Canadian platform was further expanded to include Heavy Duty and Import Parts distribution.
In addition to his time spent behind the counter at NAPA in Lansing, Bradley also developed the professional training curriculum at the vo-tech school in his area. He also has written questions for the ASE P2 exam.