AASA Individual Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Award Winner Named

AASA Names Individual DEI Award Winner

The award recognizes an aftermarket leader who supports and represents the core values of diversity, equity & inclusion. 

NGK Spark Plugs’ Franchelle Thomas, director of culture, communication and people, has been named the recipient of the 2022 AASA Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Individual (DEI) Award. This award annually recognizes an influential leader in the automotive aftermarket who supports and represents the core values of diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI). 

Created to recognize the importance of DEI in the automotive aftermarket and to celebrate those individuals and organizations who champion the spirit of DEI in the organizations and communities, the award recognizes those who meet the following qualifications: Influential leader in the automotive aftermarket, inspires others in the industry and future generations of industry leaders, supports, advances, and/or embodies core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion, advanced and advocated DEI within the industry and/or within their organization, works collaboratively with others to achieve DEI objectives in the automotive aftermarket setting and encourages positive outcomes as part of larger solutions. 

“We are proud to announce the annual AASA Individual DEI award, with the purpose of recognizing an influential leader in the automotive aftermarket that supports and represents the core values of diversity, equity, & inclusion,” said Ben Brucato, vice president of engagement for AASA. “Franchelle embodies the spirit of this award, challenging our industry to be forward-thinking and retaining and attracting talent from all backgrounds and walks of life. Her work and dedication to DE&I make our industry stronger and more resilient. We applaud her efforts that affect real change.” 

Thomas is a seasoned human resources professional holding degrees in business administration and management and philosophy. In addition, she has a PHR (professional in human resources) certification granted by the HR Certification Institute and a SHRM-CP (certified professional) certification from the Society for Human Resources Management.

“Throughout her 17-year career at NGK Spark Plugs, Franchelle has demonstrated a high level of commitment and leadership. She has continuously delivered personal and professional excellence, integrity, engagement, and mentoring to the next generation in support of NGK’s business objectives,” said Michael Schwab, NGK’s president & CEO. “We are grateful to have Franchelle as a leader in our organization, upholding our commitment to creating a culture where we treat each associate with dignity and respect, recognize individuality, their value and contributions, and their humanity.” 

Thomas was presented with the award at the AASA Member Awards Ceremony on Nov. 2 at AAPEX.

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