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NGK’s Franchelle Thomas Receives AASA DEI Award


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The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) recently recognized Franchelle Thomas of NGK Spark Plugs (USA) with the 2022 AASA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Individual Award.

Thomas, director of culture, communication & people for NGK, received the award on Nov. 2 at AAPEX in Las Vegas.

“We are proud to announce the annual AASA Individual DEI award, with the purpose of recognizing an influential leader in the automotive aftermarket that supports and represents the core values of diversity, equity, & inclusion,” said Ben Brucato, vice president of engagement, AASA. “Franchelle embodies the spirit of this award, challenging our industry to be forward thinking and retaining and attracting talent from all backgrounds and walks of life. Her work and dedication to DE&I makes the industry stronger and more resilient. We applaud her efforts that affect real change.” 

As an alumnus of Northwestern University and the University of Illinois, Thomas holds degrees in both philosophy and business. In her career, she has held leadership roles in healthcare, education and insurance, but found her love of all things in human resources.  

She is a certified professional in human resources and a longtime member of the Society of Human Resources Management. Thomas has been invited to present HR topics to a variety of private- and public-sector employers, and her writing has been published in a series of HR publications such as HR Bulletin, HR Hero and the Society of Human Resources. Thomas has served as an advisor on employment issues with Michigan State University and several not-for-profit organizations.   

“I am honored to be selected to receive this award from AASA,” Thomas said. “I believe at its core, diversity, equity and inclusion creates a space for all to be successful. AASA has championed the aftermarket industry’s success for many years. People, especially in our industry today, are an integral part of that success. I am delighted to stand alongside them in this endeavor.” 

Ben Brucato took the stage to name Thomas as the 2022 AASA Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Individual Award winner.  

Also honored during the award presentation was MOTOR Information Systems, which was awarded the AASA DEI Leadership Award (Company) and Eric Sills, president and chief executive officer at Standard Motor Products (SMP), who was named the 2022 AASA Advocacy Champion. 

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