FAREWELL TO A FRIEND

By Carter Hammett

It was with shock and sadness that I learned that long-time Auto and Trucking Atlantic contributor Bob Greenwood had passed away September 9 of a sudden heart attack.

A force of nature, Bob’s was a distinct voice in the automotive world. Whether functioning as a business coach, trainer, speaker or writer, he was a force to be reckoned with.

He was perhaps best known as president and CEO of Automotive Aftermarket E-Learning Centre Ltd. (AAEC). AAEC is a company focused on providing business management resources and development for the independent sector of the aftermarket industry utilizing the Internet environment as a learning platform. 

He was one of only 150 AMI-approved instructors in the world. He successfully  created business management learning materials for aftermarket shop employers/managers, and other stakeholders which are among the most highly touted, comprehensive, industry-specific training of their kind in North America. Always concerned with a shop’s profitability and bottom line, he tackled issues intended to help shops become prosperous.

He always stood behind the little guy and over the years, his common-sense, plain spoken approach resonated with hundreds of people employed in the industry.  He seemed to be a bottomless pit of information and from this source sprang articles advising small business owners on everything from succession planning to calculating the costs, fiscal and otherwise—sometimes down to the penny—of unnecessary spending. 

He was by no means, what you would consider a “natural” writer and I often felt a twinge of guilt every time I altered one of his bold, italicized and underlined sentences. I felt as if I was knocking part of his personality out of the column somehow, and yet, that, of course, would be impossible. His voice was too distinct and pragmatic in tone, application; the personality simply too strong to be altered that easily.   In addition to his work with us, Bob’s byline also appeared in a wide variety of sector publications including CARS, Jobber Newsmagazine and HDA Truck Pride among others.

“Bob was always a fan of our publication; was always there to help with advice and direction. I think he had a soft spot for us here in Atlantic Canada. He was very proud of his son, who is now some kind of fire chief or such in Toronto. When he had the occasion to be down here teaching skills for automotive types, he enjoyed it and was respected by one and all. His death came as quite a shock to me, and he will be missed by myself and our readers,” said Auto and Trucking Atlantic publisher Rob Alfers.

He developed a reputation as someone you could count on. Bob was always available to lend an ear and provide guidance to everyone from manufacturers to jobbers across the automotive industry. And four decades in the business never once left him snide or cynical.

Greenwood served on the board of directors for the Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA Canada)  and was one of only 37 Canadians in the Canadian automotive industry honoured by the Governor General of Canada and awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal on November 23, 2012.

Join us in celebrating the life of Bob Greenwood.

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