Bill Long’s start in the industry started with a bang – literally. During one of his first jobs, he actually crashed a NAPA delivery vehicle. But luckily, that was a learning experience, and over his quarter of a decade in the industry, he worked his way up to the top spot at the nation’s leading association for motor and equipment suppliers.
After his stint as a NAPA driver, Long held various positions of increasing importance to get where he is today.
“The Monday after I graduated from high school, I was working at a NAPA Auto Parts store in Massachusetts as a delivery driver. I did such a good job in crashing the company delivery vehicle that I was promoted to the machine shop and then to the counter and then managed a store and I did all of that while going to college between courses,” Long said in a recent AMN Drivetime episode with Bill Babcox that he really got his start in this industry on the “ground floor.”
“Eventually that led to a factory job in the Brake Parts division at Echlin, where he spent 25 years and stayed with the company through 2001 and a merger with Dana,” Long shared. Long left the supplier side to become part of the industry trade association world. He joined MEMA in 2012 to lead its AASA division before taking the top spot as MEMA president and CEO in February 2019. In between everything, he’s had a passion for and spent some of his career in racing as well.
Be sure to check out the full video to hear more about Long’s career and see some of the many photographic memories he’s captured and shared for AMN. AMN Drivetime with Bill Babcox is presented by Litens and published by AftermarketNews.com.