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ASE Founder Passes Away

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Jack Prohanka

Pohanka in 1972, the year ASE was founded.

June 12, 2020—Jack Pohanka, one of the founders and former chairman of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), passed away on May 17 at the age of 92, according to a press release.

Pohanka, who was part of the group that founded ASE in 1972, was also instrumental in and first chairman of the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation that merged with the Automotive Youth Educational Systems in 2018 to become the ASE Education Foundation, according to the release.

As chairman of the Pohanka Automotive Group, Pohanka became the company’s dealer principal in 1958 after the death of his father, Frank. The family business was founded in 1919 and is one of the nation's oldest dealership groups. Today, with 17 new-vehicle stores and one non-franchised store, the company employs approximately 1,600 people in four states (Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and Texas).

Pohanka was involved in several other national and local industry and business groups, including serving as president of the National Automotive Dealers Association (NADA). He was the first U.S. auto dealer to sell both foreign and domestic vehicles and was named an Automotive News Visionary Dealer in 2009.

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