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WIX Filters and Babcox Media Name Amanda Balk the 2022 Counter Professional of the Year

Amanda Balk

WIX Filters and AMN/Counterman magazine, a Babcox Media publication, named Amanda Balk the 2022 Counter Professional of the Year. Balk is the manager of the Auto Value parts store in Thorp, Wisconsin.

The Counter Professional of the Year award, sponsored by WIX Filters and presented at AAPEX in Las Vegas, annually recognizes an automotive aftermarket parts professional whose dedication, work ethic and expertise elevate their business and the profession as a whole.

“Amanda is the very personification of the career counter professional,” says Tina Davis, senior marketing manager for WIX Filters. “Her customers respect her judgment and wise counsel, and her leadership skills are second to none. It is an honor to recognize this tenacious advocate in our industry.”

A lifelong Wisconsite, Balk joined the Auto Value team in 2010, and quickly established herself as a highly capable counter pro who could connect with the local clientele in Thorp. “I know the community,” she explains. “I’m involved with the people here. I know most of them from when I grew up as a kid here.”

As a former technician, Balk brings a high automotive IQ to each customer interaction.

“She couples all of that ability with a great personality,” adds Matt Koxlien, regional manager for Auto Value in western and northern Wisconsin. “She feeds off the relationships with the customers. She takes pride in getting to know people really well, and understanding what they need.”

In 2014, Automotive Parts Headquarters Inc. (APH) recognized Balk as the Auto Value Counterperson of the Year. In June 2019, Auto Value promoted her to store manager, and the store has been thriving under her leadership. In 2020, Balk was the Auto Value Impact Player of the Year, and earlier this year, APH named Balk the 2021 Auto Value Store Manager of the Year.

“We’re thrilled to recognize Amanda Balk as our 2022 Counter Professional of the Year,” says Josh Cable, editor of Counterman. “The Counter Pro of the Year award recognizes the best of the best, and Amanda certainly fits the bill. When you get to know Amanda, it doesn’t take long to realize that her dedication, professionalism, expertise and customer focus are off the charts.”

As part of the Counter Professional of the Year award, Balk and her husband received an all-expenses-paid trip to Las Vegas for AAPEX 2022. AMN/Counterman presented the award to Balk at the WIX Filters and Babcox Media Night of Excellence on the AAPEX show floor at Joe’s Garage, and at the AWDA Monday Recognition Luncheon in Las Vegas.

“Being Counter Professional of the Year didn’t hit me on how big of a deal it was until I was in Las Vegas with people from our industry,” comments Balk. “In addition to the special recognition events, I met comedian and podcaster, Adam Carolla, and rode in Valvoline’s drift car with Formula Drift champion, Chris Forsberg. Walking the AAPEX show floor, I truly felt like Cinderella at the ball with all of the and pictures taken.”

However, Balk quickly points out that her recent rise to the top wouldn’t be possible without the support of WIX Filters, Babcox Media, APH, Auto Value, her team in Thorp, and her family members at home, especially her husband, Cowboy. “They all helped me get to this point and receive an award I never thought was possible,” adds Balk.