Embracing aftermarket opportunity the path to success

by | Apr 26, 2024 | 0 comments

2024 Young Leader of the Year recipient says following in his father’s Bert’s footsteps wasn’t something he embraced at first, but when he did, the aftermarket returned the favour.

Patrick Verriet, Business Development Manager – Canada, Mann+Hummel Filtration Technology and the 2024 Young Leader of the Year, says he had no idea what he was getting into when he joined the aftermarket, but he’s glad he did.

“Quite honestly, I had no idea what kind of culture I was getting into. To be honest, I wasn’t super pumped about working for the same company as my father, and in my professional career, in fact, I tried to hide it when I went up to make my first industry sales calls.”

Each year, the Young Professionals in the Auto Care Sector Committee presents the Young Leader of the Year award to an outstanding young leader in Canada’s auto care sector. The 2024 Young Leader of the Year Award was presented to Patrick Verriet at the AIA Canada National Conference.

“Well, I can tell you that plan didn’t survive my first business sales call: ‘Oh, you’re Bert’s kid. Great. Here we go!’,” he says with a laugh. “This wouldn’t go away either. And miraculously, after five years post-retirement for my dad, it still happens to this day.”

Bert Verriet was at the helm of the filter business that is now Mann+Hummel in Canada for decades and became synonymous with the Canadian aftermarket filter business.

Patrick Verriet remembers packing filters as a young boy, but never really saw himself as part of the industry, her originally pursued a career outside of it.

So he was ambivalent about coming back, until an opportunity arose at the behest of his father. That’s when the elder Verriet offered him an additional piece of advice.

“The second great piece of advice I received from my dad was to get invested with the industry and the business of your customers. So that’s what I did.

“So as I got more involved with Young Professionals in Auto Care, I pivoted. [Now] I embrace the family connection, while promoting this industry and trying to attract the next generation of talent from post-secondary institutions.

“What is the reason multiple generations choose to work in the same industry? Why does the aftermarket generally buck the trend? People make 20-, 30-, 40-year careers in one industry, sometimes at one company. We traditionally weather recessions very well – and we even like golf tournaments and barbecues. The answer, of course, that is obvious to everyone in this room is: It’s a great place to work.”

And in what he calls a “full-circle moment,” he says that the company he works for – family oriented, focused on filtration – also has couples, families, second- and third-generation employees.

“I’m incredibly fortunate to have benefited from fantastic mentorship, leadership, and investment into my career and success. And I would like to thank Dave McCauley, Jeff Blocker, Mike Harvey for nominating me for this award, and (recently retired) Steve Ellis for recognizing that I was worth the effort and supporting me along the way.”

He closed his speech with, fittingly, a recognition of what family has meant to the success of his career so far.

“Anything that I do, be that business travel, continuing education or volunteer activity with AIA Canada, would also not be possible without a strong partnership at home. And so a big thanks to my wife, Michelle, for holding down the fort with our two little boys, Ethan and Benjamin.

“Lastly, I need to thank my dad, of course, for the advice, the guidance, for not forcing me in anything but allowing me to find my own path and my own pace. I’m right where I belong. Thank you to the entire auto care industry for this award. It is truly a career highlight and a humbling recognition.”

Visit aiacanada.com for more information.


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