As he had for the previous 30-years, Sam Mikhail of Prestige Auto Body attended the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ)’s annual membership meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel of Clark in late October, expecting to learn and enjoy the night’s presentations from Erica Eversman and Larry Montenez. What Mikhail didn’t expect was to become the 28th member of AASP/NJ’s Hall of Fame.
“I am honored and thrilled to receive such a prestigious honor,” Mikhail said from his shop in Garwood, NJ. “It really never crossed my mind. To be acknowledged by my peers this way is very, very gratifying.”
Mikhail’s was one of several awards presented during the event. Flemington Auto Body (Flemington, NJ) was named the Stan Wilson / New Jersey Automotive Body Shop of the Year; Edison Generator Tire and Auto Center (Dayton, NJ) was named New Jersey Automotive Mechanical Shop of the Year and Deivy Planco was awarded the Russ Robson Scholarship, which is given each year to an automotive repair student in memory of the late AASP/NJ former president.
But the surprise Hall Of Fame announcement was clearly the highlight of the night. “Sammy has been an incredibly dedicated member to the association for what seems like forever,” AASP/NJ President Jeff McDowell says with a laugh. “Seriously, Sam is the kind of guy who is there anytime you need him. I don’t think he’s missed a meeting in decades. Sam’s a fighter. You might not agree with everything he fights for, but he you can’t deny that he has been and always be an asset to our association and our industry. We’re proud to have him in the Hall of Fame. It’s overdue.”