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January 28, 2021

Eric Johnson - Arnold Motor SupplySpencer, Iowa — Eric M. Johnson has been promoted to Managing Partner and President of The Merrill Company and Arnold Motor Supply, a Midwest-based automotive parts chain, following the retirement of former managing partner Dennis Spooner at the end of 2020. 

While the move from IT to the managing partner may seem an unusual step, Eric has a myriad of training and skills that have brought him to this position, not the least of which is the fact that he literally wrote the book on Arnold Motor Supply.With a varied career path that has included finance, marketing, public relations, and IT, Eric notes that he transitioned to different areas primarily because he questioned processes and was continually commenting, “There has to be a better way.” Twelve years ago, Eric joined The Merrill Company to head up their IT department. In 2018, the senior partners unanimously voted to name Eric Johnson, then Vice President of Information Systems, as the next managing partner/president.

The story of how EP Arnold started the company and the economic principles he utilized fascinated Eric. Eventually, he took that interest to the next level and in 2013 authored a book about the company, “You Build a Business with People.” The conviction that there has to better way has served Eric well as he led the company through a business system transition and as he looks towards the future of the company and the aftermarket industry.

Eric has earned the Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) designation from Northwood University and has a BA in Economics and Finance and an MS in IT. Raised in Northwest Iowa and living on the farm his grandparents first bought, Eric and his wife have raised two sons.

Eric is active in the community and the Aftermarket Industry, having served as Chair of the IT committee for the Automotive Aftermarket Alliance (Auto Value/Bumper to Bumper). Moving forward, Eric is excited about the future of Arnold Motor Supply. “We’re a great company, and we can keep getting better!”

Arnold Motor Supply

Arnold Motor Supply is a member of the Auto Value network of independent distributors, auto parts stores and professional service repair shops located throughout the world.

The Arnold Group of Companies includes Arnold Motor Supply, Auto Value, Industrial Paint Solutions, Auto Refinish Solutions, Midwest Cylinder Head and Machine, Specialty Sales of Omaha, and The Merrill Company. The Arnold Group is one of the nation’s premier suppliers of replacement parts, accessories and supplies for virtually all makes of automobiles, light to heavy-duty trucks, off-road equipment, marine and agricultural equipment. The Arnold Group of Companies also distributes the highest quality tools, equipment, paint and body supplies, and collision parts available in the auto care industry. Visit arnoldmotorsupply.com to find a location near you.


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