Automotive Parts & Service Association of Illinois

APSA of Illinois History


In the waning days of 1958, five men met at the Hotel Pére Marquette in Peoria and laid before the industry people the first meeting outline for AWOI/Automotive Parts & Service Association of Illinois (APSA of Illinois). From this meeting, and two subsequent meetings in Springfield & Chicago, the successful groundwork of the organization was made. By January 1959, APSA of Illinois was already in business and well on it's way to becoming an outstanding state automotive aftermarket association.

To accomplish its intended goals, APSA of Illinois quickly set forth statewide representation. Its first Board of Directors’ was established and the ten members took on the challenge of making the Association a viable organization with 79 member companies.

Shortly after it's incorporation as a not-for-profit association, APSA of Illinois hired its first Association Executive Secretary, Harry Bellmer. In 1974, Vince Madonia became the Executive Vice President. Vince retired in 1997, after completing 37 years with the Association. Vince’s assistant of eight years, Jan Firth became the third Executive Vice President of the Association.

The Association moved forward and in 2004 established a new name which would better reflect the membership. The Board of Directors’ chose Automotive Parts & Service Association of Illinois (APSA of IL) in the belief that this new name would tell the world who we are, better describe what we do and let them know that we are here to serve the motoring public.

2007 reflected the passing of the leadership for the Association as Jan Firth retired and Matt Wells began as the Executive Vice President.

The Board of Directors’ passed a resolution in 2008 to change the service/repair industry to regular members of the Automotive Parts and Service Association of Illinois. This move facilitates the opportunity for the association to work for the entire automotive aftermarket industry in the state of Illinois. This equal representation can ensure that it builds on the 50 years of history and work to provide programs, services and benefits that will support this industry in the future. The automotive industry has changed tremendously in the last 50 years and this move solidifies the organization as an intricate part of being in the industry.

As we celebrate over 50 years of service, we look forward to the next 50 years as we continue to build tomorrow’s opportunities to better represent the Association in the automotive aftermarket industry in the state of Illinois.


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