NAPA Auto Parts and the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) have named Bill Steele the 2010 NAPA/ASE Parts Specialist of the Year and Paul Marquardt the 2010 NAPA/ASE Technician of the Year.
Steele is the parts specialist at Adams County Auto Supply in Gettysburg, Pa., which is one of three stores owned by Sam Shafer, Brad Shafer and Carol Witthoff. Steele is the eleventh individual to receive this national award, which is presented annually to an outstanding automotive parts specialist within the NAPA system.
Marquardt, who owns Northwood’s Auto Techs in Rhinelander, Wis., was recognized with the annual award for his excellence in the automotive repair and maintenance industry. Marquardt is a master automotive technician with an L1 certification and a certified service consultant.
Steele, an ASE parts specialist in the Automobile Parts (P2) category, has dedicated his career to the automotive industry. Having served in a variety of capacities, he uses his many years of experience to provide outstanding service to every customer. Steele stays current on the latest automotive techniques and practices by participating in numerous technical training schools and clinics offered by NAPA suppliers and Quaker City Motor Parts.
Steele’s history in the automotive industry began at age nine when he would help at a “filling station” that was eventually purchased by his father. Through the summers and during high school, he worked alongside his dad learning the service business. At age 18, Steele became a full-time partner and helped manage the operation. His strong passion for the business lead him to buy-out his father in 1990 and turn Steele’s Sales and Service into a NAPA AutoCare Center. In 2006, Steele joined Adams County Auto Supply and made a career change to the parts side of the business as a way to stay involved in the industry and use his expertise in the automotive aftermarket.
In addition to Steele’s dedication to the automotive industry, he’s also very involved in family activities and the community. He has coached local youth basketball, baseball and football teams and serves as the vice president of the New Windsor Recreation Council, a position he’s held for seven years. Steele is also president of the VFW Post 8806 Men’s Auxiliary and organizes charity events for the group.
Steele currently resides in Union Bridge, Md., with his wife, Linda, sons William and Christopher and step-children Collin and Caely.
Training is important to Marquardt, as evidenced by his own automotive education and his leadership to educate others. All three of the full-time technicians at his shop are ASE Master Automotive Technicians. Also, his business is a AAA Approved Auto Repair Facility and an ASE Blue Seal of Excellence Shop.
With more than 30 years experience in the automotive industry, Marquardt got his start working after school at a gas station. He began working full-time at the station in 1979 and purchased the business in 1990 with his wife, Karen. In 1994, they removed the tanks to focus the operation on auto repair and expanded the business in 1995. At that time, they decided to join the NAPA AutoCare program. Since then, he has maximized his partnership with NAPA by using NAPA programs and AutoCare enhancements to drive car count and increase the bottom line.
Marquardt is also involved in his community. He has served as president of the local Jaycees, district director for the state of Wisconsin Jaycees, head instructor for a non-profit martial arts school and a member of the Northwood’s Aviation Association. As a part-time pilot, Marquardt educated local Boy Scouts about basic flight instruction and mechanics of flight.
Marquardt currently resides in Rhinelander, Wis. with his wife, Karen.