(UPDATED) News has reached us of the sudden passing of leading aftermarket trainer and management consultant Bob Greenwood at the age of 71.
While information is still arriving, word is that he passed away at his home in Surrey, B.C. September 9 from a heart attack. Updates will be added as they become available.
Bob Greenwood was president and CEO of Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Centre founded in 1997, but his work as an aftermarket business coach goes back further.
For more than four decades Bob Greenwood was a cornerstone of Canada’s automotive aftermarket, providing expert guidance and consultancy to automotive service providers across Canada, and those who wanted to understand the service providers’ business better.
He was a pioneer in changing the way the aftermarket referred to the service segment, driving out the term “installer” from common usage in favour of the term automotive service provider. He played a pivotal role in turning many auto shop owners from tradespeople to businesspeople and successful entrepreneurs.
He had expanded the reach of his coaching throughout North America and was one of a founding group that created the Coalition of Automotive Management Professionals.
He was a prolific contributor to many aftermarket media outlets and received numerous professional awards for his work in the industry, including the Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award for 2003, the “Training Provider of the Year” Award Mechanical Service Repair Segment by the Automotive Management Institute in 2003, and one of 37 Canadians within the Canadian automotive industry honoured by the Governor General of Canada and awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Along the way he created a tremendous number of lasting friendships through his personable nature and infectious laughter.
On a personal note, Bob and this writer shared many hours discussing matters large and small as related to the automotive aftermarket and our own lives. We embarked on business projects in the past–sharing a desire to raise the bar of the industry as it were–but continued to have regular talks and send notes to each other as friends.
Usually ending on a joke. It was just the kind of guy Bob was.
Many others in the automotive aftermarket can share similar experiences.
Among the many words of condolence at the news were reminders of his continual push to improve the business professionalism of the aftermarket.
“A great industry leader and a great AIA ambassador who just a few days ago reached out to how he could further help make our industry a better place for all,” wrote J.F. Champagne, president of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada.
“Bob – raised the bar – and pushed installers to be great businessmen,” offered Stephen Krieger, president of Barton Auto Parts in Hamilton, Ont.
“My very first coach, trainer and peer in this business,” said Carlos Sabucco, owner of Sil’s Complete Auto Care in Caledon, Ont. “One of the many reasons for my success this many years later. His words told to me 25 years ago, resonant with me always. ‘If you’re not a profitable business Carlo, don’t expect your customers to come and hand you checks at your retirement, because they won’t. You need to run a profitable company.’ Gonna miss our emails, chatting and his amazingly sharp skills in the financial side of an automotive repair business.
“A true leader in this industry.”
“As a powerful and effective communicator, you couldn’t help but admire Bob’s passion for the automotive aftermarket,” said long-time automotive aftermarket sales executive Dean Clark, now Ontario Territory Sales Manager at TransCanadaSales – TCSA Inc.
Bob was loving partner to Patti Sater, father to Sean and Jason, grandfather to Mason and Hannah, and “Uncle Bob” to Patti’s grandchildren and family.
We send our condolences to all family and friends.
We are all devastated and thank everyone for all their love and support.
Details on services in his memory are not available as of this writing but will be communicated as soon as they are available.