The Aftermarket Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) recognized the recipients of its annual AWDA Industry Awards on Oct. 29 during the 2023 AWDA General Session which took place in Las Vegas, Nev.
The annual AWDA Industry Awards honour individuals and companies who have shown an exceptional ability to educate, innovate, manage and lead. Over the years, the list of AWDA award recipients has evolved into a “who’s-who” of aftermarket luminaries.
Mauro Cifelli has been awarded the Outstanding Leadership Award in Honour of Jack Creamer. Cifelli is President and CEO of Vast-Auto Distribution.
Mauro Cifelli has been a key figure in the Canadian aftermarket for the past quarter century, but in recent years he has taken on a significant leadership role within the United States as well. Cifelli led AWDA through one of the most tumultuous global environments in recent history brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, he worked to advance the Right to Repair, as well as pushed the growth of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc. within Canada.
Cifelli joined Vast-Auto in 1994 and held a variety of positions there in information technology, sales, marketing and customer service. Cifelli led the company’s Sales and Marketing department and chaired the Alliance’s Sales and Marketing Committee before being selected to lead the company in 2018.
Cifelli has served as the chairman of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada at both the Provincial and national levels. In addition to previously serving as chairman of the board there, he has been a longtime member of the association and frequent speaker at the group’s events. He has held a chair on the University of the Aftermarket Foundation’s Board of Trustees and currently serves as an elected board director and the treasurer of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance. He is also director/administrator for the Quebec Employers’ Center for Occupational Health and Safety. He served on the AWDA board as a governor, secretary, and vice chair before being appointed chairman of the AWDA Board of Governors in 2018. Cifelli led AWDA through the uncertain early days of COVID and led the group in hosting its first ever virtual conference, which was well-received by attendees.
Right to repair
He also used his time leading AWDA to back the technician’s right to repair, a critical issue particularly in 2020, when Massachusetts voters decided whether to back the aftermarket stance in favor of it. He and the Executive Committee determined that the threat of losing access to the mechanical and repair information available today—as automakers move it to wireless platforms—would be a threat to the livelihood of its members’ 1,400 employees in Massachusetts as well as to the entire U.S. auto care industry. Massachusetts citizens voted in favor of the Right to Repair by a 3-1 margin.
In early 2021, AIA Canada announced Cifelli as its Distinguished Service Award winner. The honour is the association’s highest award, presented in recognition of distinguished service and outstanding leadership given to the growth and development of Canada’s automotive aftermarket industry.
Congratulations Mauro—well deserved!