If there is one person synonymous with the aftermarket parts industry, that person, clearly, is Mort Schwartz. An engineer by training, receiving two degrees from New York University, Mort Schwartz spent 12 years at Westinghouse Electric Corporation, from 1956 to 1968, rising to the level of Vice President. Schwartz was named president of the distribution group of Maremont Corporation, a manufacturer of muffler and suspension parts, now a part of ArvinMeritor.
Between 1968 and 1999, he served as chairman and CEO of four different automotive aftermarket companies. Schwartz currently serves on the Board of parts distributor WorldPac, Incorporated. He has served the aftermarket ably for over 40 years. He was chairman of the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association, the Automotive Parts and Accessories Association, the California Automotive Wholesalers Association, and the California Automotive Task Force. He was instrumental in enacting many changes in the aftermarket industry, particularly in the area of education. He was one of the first aftermarket board members of the National Institute for Automotive Excellence and led the way for the aftermarket to embrace certification for both technicians and countermen.
It’s safe to say that if you are even remotely involved in the automotive aftermarket ….. you’ve heard of Mort Schwartz! In 1996, Schwartz founded the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium, a forum where leaders in the automotive aftermarket industry could come together in one place, at one time, and hear top industry leaders present their points of view about the trends taking place today–and over the next five years. The primary goal of the Symposium, however, was that the net proceeds of the event would be used to fund scholarships for students pursuing careers in the automotive aftermarket. Well over 1,400 students have been beneficiaries of Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium Scholarships since the program began. Students who receive scholarships and plan careers as automotive aftermarket technicians are eligible for a matching grant upon graduation from their program and after completing six months of employment in the automotive aftermarket. In just over 10 years, in large part due to the vision of Mort Schwartz, the Symposium has donated over $1.4 million in scholarship aid.
Whenever there is a gathering of aftermarket industry executives, you will most likely find Mort Schwartz as a presenter, panel moderator, or simply as an ambassador and friend. Schwartz received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Northwood University in 2007. In addition, Northwood University has established the Mort Schwartz Fellowship, a scholarship awarded to a student studying Automotive Aftermarket Management.