ASE mourns the loss of founder Jack Pohanka 

Jack Pohanka

fROMJack Pohanka

From ASE

LEESBURG, Virginia – June 11, 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.

“Jack Pohanka was a visionary who made an incredible impact on the entire automotive industry,” said Tim Zilke, ASE president and CEO. “ASE would not be the organization it is today without the leadership and guidance of Jack. One of his many contributions to the success of the automotive world was to volunteer his time and provide his expertise to numerous industry organizations, including ASE. On behalf of everyone at ASE, we honor his memory and send our sincere condolences to the Pohanka family.”

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.

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. 

About the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE)

Established in 1972 as a non-profit organization, the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a driving force in the transportation industry. As an independent third party, ASE upholds and promotes high standards of service and repair through the assessment, certification and credentialing of current and future industry professionals, and the prestigious ASE Blue Seal logo identifies professionals who possess the essential knowledge and skills to perform with excellence. Today, there are approximately 250,000 ASE Certified professionals at work in dealerships, independent shops, collision repair shops, auto parts stores, fleets, schools and colleges throughout the country. For more information about ASE, visit