The University of the Aftermarket Foundation board of trustees is mourning its former chairman Clay Buzzard, who passed away on Feb. 7 at the age of 87, and has pledged that donations made in his honor will be used to advance industry education.
"Clay Buzzard was a true aftermarket visionary who left a legacy of excellence that will always be remembered,” said Rusty Bishop, chairman of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation. “One of his lasting accomplishments will be his work as chairman of the University of the Aftermarket Foundation. Clay was instrumental in getting the industry to emphasize the importance of education and training, and the foundation is a tribute to his hard work and dedication.
“We have received numerous inquiries from those who want to make a donation to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation in Clay’s name. This is a testament to the effect Clay had on people’s lives as well as his commitment to the industry. We are honored to accept these donations in his memory and will ensure that they are used toward one of his favorite causes, aftermarket education.”
Buzzard was the former chairman and CEO of Middle Atlantic Warehouse Distributor Inc. (MAWDI) from 1963 until 2004, when Uni-Select purchased the company. After the sale, he served on the Uni-Select Inc. board of directors until May 2012. He remained very active in the aftermarket during his time on the Uni-Select board. Buzzard received many honors during his distinguished career, including Leader of the Year by the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association (AWDA) in 1996, Hall of Fame honors by the New York State Automotive Aftermarket Association in 2000 and the Automotive Aftermarket Education Award by Northwood University in 2003.
Industry colleague Mort Schwartz remembers Buzzard: “When Clay took over as chairman of the foundation, he elevated the program to new heights, bringing energy, enthusiasm and direction to the group. He focused on the main objective of providing more funds for education and scholarships, and with his background of building a highly successful family WD business, he used his contacts and know-how to raise the foundation to the level it is today. The aftermarket has lost a true leader and a wonderful person.”
Fellow University of the Aftermarket Foundation board member Jack Creamer recalls: “When Martin Fromm was looking for real leadership to head up the foundation, he turned to Clay. Everyone he asked had suggested Clay because of his reputation for tough, yet fair leadership in business and his warmth, yet coolness under pressure. Clay rallied those on the foundation board and they responded to his ideas and plans. The result was the strong organization that endures today. Clay was ahead of his time in business and he set the tone for the foundation.”
To make a donation to the University of the Aftermarket Foundation in memory of Clay Buzzard, call (816) 584-0511.