AACF Announces New Board Members

The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) recently announced the election of Andrew Johnson and Jim Merle to its board of trustees.

AACF Announces New Board Members | THE SHOP
Andrew Johnson

Johnson brings more than 13 years of experience in the automotive industry in writing, marketing, and publishing to the AACF board, the organization said. He is currently an associate publisher in Endeavor Business Media’s Vehicle Repair Group.

Merle is an industry executive with more than 30 years of experience in publishing, the group said. Merle has been with Babcox Media since 1993 and currently serves as VP and group publisher of ShopOwner, AftermarketNews and several other Babcox brands serving the automotive aftermarket.

“We are thrilled to welcome Andrew and Jim to our board of trustees,” said Joel Ayres, executive director of AACF. “Their commitment to the industry and passion for helping others make them valuable additions to our organization. We are confident that they will help us continue to fulfill our mission and serve those in our industry who need assistance.”

AACF Announces New Board Members | THE SHOP
Jim Merle

“The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation does incredible work providing resources, guidance, and financial assistance to automotive aftermarket professionals who have fallen on difficult times due to catastrophic illnesses, accidents, and other life-changing events. This is a philanthropic mission near and dear to my heart,” said Johnson. “The aftermarket industry has provided me with tremendous opportunities, experiences, friendship, and professional growth over the past 13 years, and I’m looking forward to giving back to my amazing industry colleagues who need it most. I am honored to join the AACF, and absolutely thrilled to leverage my industry knowledge and resources to enhance the organization’s mission and vision for the long-term benefit of all aftermarket professionals across the country who unexpectedly need assistance for themselves and their families.”

“I’m looking forward to participating with my industry colleagues in support of the continued mission of the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation that extends financial assistance to those in need. We are in this together, and we must continue to support those who have a critical need for the help provided by AACF,” said Merle. “It’s important that members of the automotive aftermarket understand and effectively identify the value of AACF. As a board member, my hope is to elevate the AACF message to assist in the growth of charitable contributions from our industry.”

With the addition of Johnson and Merle, the AACF board of trustees now comprises 30 members. The board is responsible for overseeing the AACF’s operations and providing guidance on strategic initiatives, the organization said.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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