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CARS Dan Bell receives AIA’s distinguished service award

At the 2008 Aftermarket Conference for Executives (ACE) held recently at the Hilton Lac-Leamy in Gatineau, Quebec, Dan Bell, the President of the Canadian Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) Council was given the Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s (AIA) Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his extraordinary service and leadership given to the growth and development of the motive power aftermarket industry in Canada.


Dan Bell

In introducing Dan Bell John Cochrane, AIA’s Immediate Past Chairman, noted “It is the highest award presented by the Automotive Industries Association of Canada to an outstanding individual within the Association membership. Criteria for the award include outstanding leadership, community service, and personal contribution to the growth and progress of the aftermarket industry.” Dan Bell has been working in the industry for over 40 years. His career has taken him from the shop floor to the corporate suite. Dan Bell was chosen as “the recipient of this year’s award,” Cochrane said, “because of the significant contribution he has made to the automotive aftermarket industry from a training and human resources perspective. He has been an advocate and proponent of training for a number of years. He has ensured that our industry has access to training on a cost effective basis which is a very important aspect to the growth and prosperity of the automotive aftermarket in Canada. CARS has been an innovator moving the sector to use contemporary technology for the advancement of skills training. Dan, along with his team, built CARS into the wide ranging Sector Council we know today.”

As President of CARS, Bell is responsible for the overall strategic policy and planning development of the activities of the “CARS family” and the overall day-to-day management of CARS operations. Dan joined CARS in 1992, to head up CARS Network in Richmond Hill, Ontario. The CARS Network has proved a constant direct link between industry, its employees, educational institutions and private trainers to ensure the highest quality training in all areas of the motive power repair and service industry. Under Bell’s stewardship CARS training has kept pace with the technological upheavals that are challenging the skills of the industry workforce. CARS training has expanded to encompass not only traditional in-class delivery, but satellite broadcasts and most recently 24/7 easy online access of a larger than ever suite of programs targeting technical and business management skills.

Before being elected in 1995 to the position of CARS President by a unanimous decision on the part of the CARS Board of Directors, representing the manufacturing, retail and aftermarket arms of the industry, Bell was appointed in 1994 to the position of Vice-President and Chief Operation Officer for the CARS Council. Born in Aklavik, NWT, Dan Bell holds certification as an automotive machinist and automotive service technician, and became an automotive instructor at Centennial College in Scarborough, ON, in 1972. This embarked him upon a life-long career in training for the automotive industry. He is a former Executive Director of the Canadian Transportation Institute and has served as Chair of the Heads of Apprenticeship Training Executive Committee for the province of Ontario.

Dan is a graduate of the Ontario Institution for Studies in Automotive Technology and of the University of Toronto with a Bachelor of Education. The Canadian Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) Council is a national sector council that plays a vital role in helping to strengthen the labour market, thereby contributing to the productivity and competitiveness of the economy and the standard of living of all Canadians. CARS brings together governments, business, labour and educational stakeholders to share ideas, concerns and perspectives about work force issues and develop pro-active training and professional development initiatives for the motive power repair and service industry.

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