Meet Roger Patkin | Gordon Institute at Tufts University
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Roger Patkin

Lecturer, Entrepreneurial Leadership

Roger Patkin is Founder & Principal of Next Generation Group, LLC and Senior Advisor, Board Member & Former CEO of Autopart International, Inc.


Roger Patkin is Founder & Principal of Next Generation Group, LLC and Senior Advisor, Board Member & Former CEO of Autopart International, Inc.

I have worked 25-years, and counting, building Autopart International, Inc. – my third generation family business, turned wholly owned subsidiary of a Fortune 500 company, Advance Auto Parts (AAP: NYSE) – the largest auto parts distributor in the U.S. The business was founded in 1957 by my Tufts-trained, engineer father, working to solve the customer service problem caused by a limited and unpredictable parts supply at my immigrant grandfather's foreign auto dealership.

After two years commercial lawyering, I realized I wanted to be the client growing a business, not the attorney drawing up papers for it. And in 1990, I came on board and up through the ranks, learning all aspects as an International Category Manager, the Vice President of Operations, and General Counsel. Named President and CEO in 1998, I led the business through a strategic name change and expansion of our global manufacturing base, several acquisitions and family leadership transitions, and the deal to sell the company to Advance in 2005. Continuing on as President and CEO for six more years after the sale, my team and I grew the business from 32 stores and $46M sales in 1998 to 203 stores and $301M sales in 2011. Upon informing the Advance Board of my intention to move out of a day-to-day leadership role, they asked me to remain on the Autopart International Board and become Senior Advisor to the CEO and Executive Team – my first order of business being to identify and/or recruit and develop our first generation of non-family leaders. That was five years and two Presidents ago, after they promoted my first hire to Advance.

Today, I am privileged to be able to share my expertise more widely. I counsel private clients through Next Generation Group – a consultancy dedicated to empowering enterprising families and their next-generation leaders. I mentor social entrepreneurs through two Boston area incubators, and teach and speak at universities and business schools. I serve as a Trustee of the Carroll School, where I’ve helped forge a collaborative agreement with MIT’s neuroscience lab, tapping their cutting-edge research expertise to advance the cognitive software Carroll is pioneering to identify and treat the underlying causes of learning difficulties. My family – wife Susan, our three teenagers, and dog – keeps me busy, humble, and ever inspired.

Roger earned his J.D. at Boston University School of Law and B.A. in Philosophy & Psychology from Tufts University (Magna Cum Laude).