DARBELNET APPOINTED NEW AAA PRESIDENT
ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- An American-born Canadian auto club executive who began his career driving emergency road service vehicles has been named to head the 36-million-member American Automobile Association, it was announced today. At a special meeting in Chicago Monday, the AAA Board of Directors unanimously elected Robert L. Darbelnet to succeed Paul R. Verkuil as president and chief executive officer. Verkuil announced in April that he would not continue beyond his original three year term as president. That term expires in December. Darbelnet currently serves as president and CEO of CAA Quebec, the second largest AAA-affiliated auto club in Canada, with more than 600,000 members. In announcing the selection of the new president, AAA Chairman Lawrence B. Lindemer said, "Bob Darbelnet is a well-known and respected auto club president who will guide the association as it moves forward to implement the plans and programs developed over the last three years." Under Verkuil's leadership, a thorough evaluation of AAA's competitive environment was completed, a new strategic plan was developed and AAA reached the 36-million-member-mark in a record seven months. Darbelnet has spent his entire business career with the Quebec Automobile Club, having joined the staff as an emergency road service driver after graduation from college in 1972. He served in a number of managerial and executive positions with the club until it merged with the Montreal Automobile Club in 1983. At that time he became director general and CEO of the merged club, CAA Quebec, and was named its president and CEO in 1990. Darbelnet is a member of the board of directors of the Canadian Automobile Association and a member of the AAA Service Quality and Performance Standards Committee. He is secretary of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and vice president of the International Tourism Commission and a member of the Judiciary Committee of the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile (AIT) in Paris. Born in Portland, Maine, with dual American and Canadian citizenship, Darbelnet is a graduate of Sainte-Foy College and holds a law degree from Laval University. He and his wife, Mary Ann, have two children. -0- 11/1/94 /CONTACT: Jerry Cheske, 407-444-8000, or Richard F. Hebert, 202-942-2060, both of the American Automobile Association/
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