You are here

Knopf Automotive Chairman Receives 2018 Michael Cardone Leadership Award

Date: October 11, 2018

Award recognizes Woody Knopf for exceptional leadership in the remanufacturing community.

Woody Knopf, chairman, Knopf Automotive LLC, is the recipient of the second annual Michael Cardone Leadership Award. The award was created by MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing – to recognize individuals who demonstrate exceptional leadership in remanufacturing and sustainability.

MERA Chairman David Overbeeke, who also serves as president and CEO of Brake Parts Inc, and MERA President and COO John Chalifoux presented the award on Sept. 27, 2018, at the MERA Sustainable Manufacturing Conference in Troy, Mich. At the award ceremony, MERA honored the legacy of the Cardone family and recognized Woody Knopf for his vision, passion, teamwork and excellence – the key traits associated with the award.

“In addition to his outstanding ability to build long-lasting business relationships, Woody Knopf has a passion for giving back,” said John Chalifoux. “With this award, we recognize and thank Woody for his dedication to our industry and for his love and support of the people in the communities in which he lives and works.”

“It is a great honor to receive the second annual Michael Cardone Leadership Award,” stated Woody Knopf. “I am humbled that my contribution to our industry and the community have been recognized by the members of MERA and the Cardone family.”

Knopf Automotive, headquartered in Red Bank, N.J., was founded in 1945 by Woody’s late father Max Knopf upon his return home from World War II. Max purchased scrap metal and car parts from New York City wrecking yards and established himself as a supplier of parts to the remanufacturing industry. His business specialized in starters, generators, engines and transmissions. Max's sons – Marshall, Michael and Woody – joined their father in the early 1970s after graduation from college. The family did not know it at the time, but their company was about to grow exponentially – in large part because of Woody’s vision and the business relationships he would nurture with companies such as BBB Industries, CARDONE Industries, Delco Remy, LKQ Corporation, Motorcar Parts of America and Saginaw Steering (Nexteer). Today, Knopf Automotive is a unit of LKQ Corporation.

“The legacy of Knopf Automotive remains the standard for value, excellence, and integrity in the automotive industry,” stated David Overbeeke. “It has been my pleasure to serve with Woody Knopf on the MERA Board of Directors for the past five years.”

The Leadership Award is named in honor of Michael Cardone Jr., co-founder and chief strategy officer, CARDONE Industries, a global supplier of new and remanufactured automotive products with headquarters in Philadelphia. In 1970, Cardone Jr. co-founded CARDONE Industries with his late father Michael Cardone Sr. Today, the family business, spanning three generations, is the largest family-owned remanufacturer of automotive parts in the world. Cardone Jr. is the founding chairman of MERA. Today, he is a special advisor to MERA. His son, Michael Cardone III, serves on the MERA Board of Directors.


About MERA

MERA – The Association for Sustainable Manufacturing – is internationally-recognized as a leading organization for companies focused on excellence in “manufacturing with reuse.” The principal sustainable manufacturing processes are more commonly known as remanufacturing; maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO); and refurbishing. The MERA network of sustainable manufacturers, suppliers, universities, and professional services firms promotes the economic, environmental and product performance benefits of sustainable manufacturing. By definition, these goods must be produced in a factory or factory-like setting. MERA is a division of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), which has been advocating on behalf of the mobility supplier industry since 1904. Although MERA's roots are in the automotive and commercial vehicle sectors, MERA now represents the interests of the broader remanufacturing community. MERA is also the home of Manufactured Again Certification, where manufacturing and sustainable manufacturing are held to the same international quality standards. The program also promotes environmental stewardship. To learn more, visit or

Printer-friendly version