Presented by Centric Parts and its StopTech performance and racing division

April 30, 2013

Centric Parts' Brian Griffin Leads National Catalog Managers Association Conference in St. Louis

This past week, Centric Parts' own Director of Catalog and Product Management, Brian Griffin, III, was in St. Louis to oversee the 40th Annual National Catalog Managers Association (NCMA) Knowledge Conference. As chairman of the NCMA, Griffin helped welcome the record number of attendees to the conference.

According to Amy Antenora of Aftermarket News, this year's event set a new attendance record with 320 registered attendees and exhibitors - which included a record number of first-time participants as well.

The event kicked off with a welcome reception at Busch Stadium on Saturday, April 20, followed by a Sunday that was packed with presentations from speakers like AAIA Chief Information Officer Scott Luckett, speaking on "The State of the Standards;” Marian Maasshoff of MOTOR Information Systems, discussing "Behind the Vehicle Database;" and Jim Grubbs of WHI Solutions, presenting "From Good to Great Content." There was also a panel discussion with parts store managers from O'Reilly, CARQUEST, Advance Auto Parts and NAPA, as well as some technical breakout training sessions.

Griffin noted, "NCMA is not an island, rather it is a specialized community within a larger organization, a segment of the industry with a common profession: content management." Indeed, the conference was a great opportunity for networking - with old members reconnecting to catch up and to welcome the new members into the fold.

As usual, the closing event on Sunday night was the President's Dinner, with great music, good food and stunning panoramic views - as well as riverboat-style gambling that benefited the Aftermarket Foundation.

Not just a chance to mingle and pick up the latest industry tips, the conference also earned attendees Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) from the University of the Aftermarket that can be applied toward their Automotive Catalog Professional (ACP) designation. In fact, eight automotive catalog professionals received their ACP graduation certificates during the event this year – signifying “a commitment to life-long learning, career development and industry participation.”

“The ACP was developed to recognize the best in this business and, on behalf of the full NCMA membership, we add our congratulations to these members who have worked so hard over the years to elevate their profession,” said NCMA President Brian Griffin, Centric Parts. “ACP is an acknowledgement of your accomplishments that employers and your colleagues look up to.”

In a separate event, Catalog Excellence Awards were also presented this year in the categories of paper, web and mobile automotive cataloging.

“NCMA members work hard all year long to produce the application and product data that fuels the aftermarket engine,” said NCMA president Brian Griffin, Centric Parts. “It’s always a highlight of the conference when we can recognize the very best examples of this work in print and electronic form. The demands on content professionals to be creative and do more with less are greater than ever. And the NCMA members are the best examples of the profession.”

Next year’s conference will be held May 4-7, 2014, at the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass Resort in Phoenix, Ariz. For more information about NCMA, visit