The Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) was the dream of its founders to bring together the leaders of the industry for a world-class educational and networking event. The first event was held in the Chicago area at the Hyatt Regency in Deerfield, Ill. and was billed as "an in-depth forecast through 2001."
It included an impressive list of industry leaders, such as: Paul Baffico, Marc Graham, Derek Kaufman, Larry McCurdy, David O'Reilly, Larry Pavey, O. Temple Sloan, and John Washbish. Plus, several outside perspectives were presented by Dr. John Stoessinger, distinguished professor of international affairs from Trinity College and distribution expert D. Bruce Merrifield Jr.
The Cause - Scholarships
When the event was first held in Chicago in 1996, it was agreed that the net proceeds of the event would be used to fund scholarships for students pursuing careers in the automotive aftermarket. As a result, over 1,600 students have been beneficiaries of GAAS Scholarships since the program began.