Derek Wessels Named Operations Head at Leeds West Groups

Aug. 20, 2019

Leeds West Groups (LWG) has named Derek Wessels chief operating officer and advisory board of directors member. Wessels will oversee all three of LWG's automotive divisions. Wessels comes to LWG with 22 years in the industry, and most recently spent 13 years at Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC, where he led up to 240 Firestone Complete Auto Care stores and more than 2,000 team members. LWG says Wessels has delivered results "while creating world class leadership cultures within his team with hands-on training processes" and defined careers paths for his team.

His appointment was effective August 19.

“We have spent tremendous resources over the last nine months setting up our operating teams’ structure in a way that we believe to be best in class streamlined with the mindset and ability to achieve our growth expectations and culture for our team members growth," says CEO Judd Kyle Shader. "During the process we set a lofty goal of identifying a leader that we believed had the skillset of large multi-unit automotive retail experience that is highly driven with a mindset of in-field presence, with a hunger and passion to win and the skillset that could achieve our expected growth numbers all while being able to deliver to their teams personal growth. We believe we have found that in Derek and could not be prouder to have him leading all aftermarket automotive divisions and joining LWG. We look forward to welcoming Derek and his family to Colorado and LWG from Texas."

Alan Mahrt, chief operating officer of ASE Division, Tim Moran, vice president of LW Midas Division, and James Gould, vice president of the Big O Division, are all reporting to Wessels.

“I am very excited to be joining the LWG team and family," Wessels says. "It's an honor to lead this organization from an operations perspective as our core values and vision for the future fully align. Teammate development, outstanding customer service, high paced nationwide growth and long-term thinking are a few key items that stand out. I'm extremely motivated to lead our teammates who have high expectations and a passion to take LWG to the next level. My family and I are excited to get going, and I look forward to building meaningful relationships with all teammates throughout the organization."

Josh Weinreich, chairman of the LWG board of directors, says, "LWG has grown to over 100 locations nationwide, and Derek’s arrival highlights our development and maturation under the leadership of our CEO, Judd Kyle Shader. Derek’s track record as a leader and his deep roots in our industry make him a natural fit for our organization given our focus on combining institutionalized operational excellence with entrepreneurial innovation."

Wessels joins Judd and Chief Financial Officer Peter Derschang on the executive team, and Weinreich says the team "is well positioned to drive our strategy and upcoming expansions to be announced later this year, and the continued strategic expansion of our locations nationwide. As we scale our business we remain strongly committed to providing excellent service to the communities in which we operate while providing a dynamic work environment with upward mobility for our amazing team of now over 900 members. We are proud of our position with the addition of Derek as both a best-in-class operator and a strong ambassador for our brands.”

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