Deborah Bjorklund, Aftermarket Woman of the Year
Photo credit: Car Care Council
Audra Fordin, Female Service Shop Owner of the Year
Photo credit: Car Care Council
The Car Care Council Women’s Board is pleased to announce Deborah Bjorklund, president/principle owner of TMR (The Main Resource), has been chosen as the eighth annual “Aftermarket Woman of the Year,” while Audra Fordin, Great Bear Auto Shop, has been named the first “Female Service Shop Owner of the Year.” The announcement was made at the 2011 Women’s Board reception, Tuesday, Nov. 1, during the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX) in Las Vegas.
“I would like to congratulate Deborah and Audra on being named the 2011 Aftermarket Woman of the Year and the 2011 Female Service Shop Owner of the Year, respectively,” said WB president Ruth Ehlinger, AAA. “They are both highly regarded in their industry segments for their dedication and commitment to educating and empowering women. We are honored to have them represent all women within the industry.”
Aftermarket Woman of the Year
Bjorklund began her career in the automotive aftermarket more than 17 years ago as a general manager for Will-Fix Automotive. She purchased TMR (The Main Resource) in Sarasota, Fla. in December 2005. Today, not only is TMR woman-owned, but the company is totally managed by women. Over the years, she has more than doubled the size of the company and is the source (directly and indirectly) of employment for more than 100 families.
TMR is a manufacturer and distributor to the automotive aftermarket, providing several lines to support the distribution network to automotive repair shops. It is also a manufacturer and distributor to the automotive equipment industry, providing parts and accessories for tire changers, wheel balancers and brake lathes.
Bjorklund graduated from the University of South Florida. She is a member of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA), as well as a participant in the Tire Industry Association (TIA). TMR is an exhibitor at the Automotive Aftermarket Products Expo (AAPEX), Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), Autopromotec and Reifen.
Bjorklund was chosen by the Women’s Board membership and special programs committee, based on her longevity in the aftermarket, her career accomplishments, her leadership capabilities and dedication to the automotive aftermarket industry.
Female Service Shop Owner of the Year
Fordin is the fourth generation and the first female owner/operator of her family’s automotive repair business, Great Bear Auto Shop in Flushing, N.Y., which has been in the same location since 1933. Fordin has been in the auto repair industry all of her life – close to 30 years. While growing up, she spent weekends going to the shop with her dad, learning all aspects of automotive repair.
Fordin holds monthly workshops to educate women and men on basic auto repair and maintenance. Her goal is to empower women to not be intimidated by the “machine” that they drive. She believes that every woman should be able to understand how a car runs and how to maintain the life of their car. At her workshops, she collects donations to help pay for auto repairs on women’s cars who cannot afford to have the work done. In addition to her workshops, Fordin educates women on car care through a weekly radio call-in show called “The Auto Lab” and through her website www.womenautoknow.com.
Fordin was recognized as a “Rising Star in Queens” in 2011 for her workshops as well as a “Distinguished Citizen of Queens” by the local council members. Her repair shop was recently honored by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as the 2011 New York City Small Business of the Year for all her efforts to educate and empower women.
Fordin attended Arizona State University and is ASE Certified, Tech certified, NYS Inspection certified and ICAR trained.