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The Institute for Automotive Business Excellence and Herzberg Smith & Co Merge to Accelerate Growth

October 31, 2023

OGDEN, Utah – Cecil Bullard, Kent Bullard, Jimmy Lea, and The Institute for Automotive Business Excellence is proud to announce our merger with Michael Herzburg Smith and Herzberg Smith & Co. This is a significant milestone for both organizations; their combined offerings advance the automotive service industry with a full range of services to strengthen and empower both the owner and company.

Michael will join The Institute leadership team as the Chief Strategy Officer, spearheading The Institute’s expansion programs, fostering client high performance, facilitating strategic growth, and orchestrating succession plans.

Michael brings a wealth of experience, having built numerous businesses and supported clients for 42 years across more than 40 different industry verticals. Michael was asked to bring his extensive knowledge base first to advise a leading automotive service company seven years ago, and his team has since focused exclusively on accelerating top independent auto service companies.

One of Michael’s latest projects included his design, strategy, and preparation of some of his top clients to become one of the industry’s newest and largest automotive consolidation platforms, Straightaway Tire & Auto funded by private equity.

As the automotive industry evolves at an increasing pace, The Institute continues to lead at the forefront, providing unparalleled resources and support to automotive enterprises seeking to thrive in the dynamic automotive industry. Michael and his company, Herzberg Smith & Co, are recognized as one of the premier leaders in the auto repair industry and have successfully facilitated boutique advisory specializing in high-performance mergers & acquisition, leadership development, and emergent exit strategies.

“I am pleased to combine forces with The Institute, an organization with a long, successful history of excellence and unwavering support for the automotive service business,” said Michael. “I look forward to working with our members and strategic partners to drive innovation, high-performance and sustainable growth in this exciting sector in the decades to come.”

Michael H. Smith’s initial responsibilities as Chief Strategy Officer will include:

  • High-Performance Group – Michael will oversee The Institute’s industry-redefining High-Performance Group, focusing on helping automotive businesses optimize their operations, enhance their customer experience, and boost profitability. Under his leadership, the High-Performance Group will continue to provide cutting-edge insights, best practices, and tailored solutions to The Institute’s members.

  • Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) Group – Michael will establish and lead the Mergers and Acquisitions Group, guiding automotive businesses through their exit paths with strategic mergers, acquisitions, and partnerships. His expertise in this area will enable The Institute’s members to identify growth opportunities, prepare for successful transactions, and navigate the complex landscape of mergers and acquisitions.

  • The Institute for Automotive Business Excellence’s Expansion & Growth – Michael will join The Institute’s executive leadership team to serve and expand, opening new markets and creating business development opportunities for our members and strategic partners.

The Institute is confident that Michael's visionary leadership, deep industry knowledge, and strategic business acumen will play a pivotal role in driving the continued growth and success of our organization and its members, providing our clients the ability to greatly increase profitability and the value of their businesses, as well as accelerate sustainable growth, while moving our mission forward. Michael’s knowledge and experience will expand our client’s ability to expand their footprint quickly, increase profitably, and create an exceptional range of exit options and strategies for our clients.

"We are excited to welcome Michael to our team and believe his expertise will be instrumental in our mission to elevate the automotive industry," said Cecil Bullard, President, and CEO of the Institute for Automotive Business Excellence. "His appointment underscores our commitment to providing our members with the highest level of support and strategic guidance as they strive for excellence in this rapidly evolving world of ours."

About The Institute for Automotive Business Excellence:

The Institute is a leading organization dedicated to helping automotive businesses thrive in today's competitive landscape. With a focus on high performance, operational excellence, and strategic growth, The Institute offers a wide range of resources, education, peer group programs, and networking opportunities to its members. By fostering innovation and collaboration, The Institute empowers automotive businesses to achieve excellence and success in an ever-changing industry.

For media inquiries and further information, please contact:

Jimmy Lea

VP Business Development


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