Former Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) Executive Director Cindy Tursi passed away early last week. Tursi, who served the association from the 1988 through 2003, was 61.
Industry leaders from across the country expressed their sadness while sharing many memories of the woman known as “mom” to many of the state’s collision repair shops.
"There aren’t enough words to describe what she did for the industry and for the association it would take more of a book than a paragraph," said AASP/NJ President Jeff McDowell. "Through determination, attention to detail and her commitment to wanting us all to be successful, she continually went over and above what was required of her."
Former AASP/NJ presidents also paid their respects to Tursi.
"She was the backbone of our association for years," said Eddie Day, who served as AASP/NJ president during the 1990s. "She looked after us like we were her children. She called us, she worried about us…she was a good lady."
Guy Citro, who served two terms and hired Tursi as AASP/NJ executive director, added, "She was a professional and put her heart and soul into her work. Cindy kept the association going. She was not only my executive director, but also a good friend. Cindy helped many ASA/NJ presidents along the way before she retired. I will sadly miss her and her friendship."
In the over 50-year history of AASP/NJ, there have only been three executive directors. Tursi followed association founder George Threlfall and was succeeded by current AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant.
"When I took over as executive director, Cindy was my mentor," Bryant says. "I remember writing an article that it was a big job to fill those little shoes. Well, she showed me the way. I am sure Cindy will be missed by many, but our wonderful stories and experiences we had with her will remain forever."
Cindy Tursi is survived by her beloved husband of 32 years, Noel A. Tursi; her loving son, Dustin Tursi; her cherished granddaughter, Summer Ann Tursi; her dear father, Henry Novacek; her dear brother, Terry (Florence) Lunger; her niece, Tera Lunger; and her nephew, Hutch Novacek.