ARA CEO Michael E. Wilson states, "We expect big things out of the 74th Annual ARA Convention and Exposition this year in Dallas---big ideas, big opportunities, and big attendance. ARA has been busy planning a program that showcases speakers whom you won't see elsewhere, as well as plenty of opportunities for peer-to-peer discussions."
The largest annual gathering of the automotive recycling industry, ARA's Annual Convention and Exposition generally attracts more than 1,000 industry professionals from around the world and offers a wonderful opportunity for building strong relationships with peers. The four-day event will be packed with association updates, automotive recycling training, and important industry information as well as many social activities.
The first day of ARA's 2017 Convention will be filled with committee meetings, an affiliate chapter meeting, and the Annual Board of Directors and Membership Meeting with Committee Reports. On Wednesday evening, attendees can participate in ARA's Recyclers Appreciation Night at Crashed Toys, a large nightlife venue.
Thursday’s educational offering features the popular and interactive Recyclers Roundtable, which provides industry professionals with a chance to tackle tough issues they face in their daily business operations as well as Self-Service Operations Peer Group sessions. The day’s agenda also includes an introduction to ARA’s new awareness campaign and seminars on building wealth, economy principles, social media and eBay sales. A unique addition to this year’s event will be the Buckle and Shift Fashion Show at 1 p.m., showcasing a clothing line created entirely from antique car upholstery and automotive accessories.
The educational portion of the day will conclude with a keynote presentation and book signing with historian and educator Dr. David Lucsko, author of Junkyards, Gearheads, and Rust, as he delves into the role recycled parts play in the circular economy. The evening concludes with the Past Presidents Reception and Expo Opening.
Among Friday’s many sessions are “Changes in the Collision Repair Industry and the Impact on Automotive Recyclers,” “Discovering a Bigger Piece of the Pie,” “Environmental Compliance,” and “Public Speaking for Recyclers.”
Friday night’s main event is the Annual Awards Dinner and Presidential Gavel Ceremony, where outgoing President RD Hopper will pass the gavel to David Gold, a longstanding and active ARA member who has served in a variety of volunteer roles. During the awards ceremony, ARA will present awards for Member of the Year, Regional Director of the Year, Affiliate Chapter of the Year, Certified Automotive Recycler (CAR) Member of the Year, and Gold Seal Member of the Year.
On Saturday, the last day of the educational sessions, ARA will continue bringing value to attendees with “The Real First Image of Your Business,” “Expanded Recycled Parts Marketplace – The Value Added Proposition,” and “Acquisitions and Managing Multi-Site Operations,” in addition to several more seminars, self-service peer groups, and a Keynote Presentation: “Q & A with Thomas Weeks and Sue Martin.” Saturday evening will conclude with a Yard Tour at American Auto Salvage, followed by a visit to the Fort Worth Stockyards.
The final day of ARA’s 2017 Convention and Exposition will provide an opportunity for attendees to visit the Texas Motor Speedway to watch the AAA Texas 500 NASCAR race.
Throughout the weekend, the Exposition will be open on Thursday at 5-9 p.m., Friday at 12:30-5 p.m., and Saturday at 8:30 a.m. until noon.
ARA has also scheduled activities for the spouses of automotive recycling industry professionals who may be accompanying them. Thursday will offer lunch and a makeover, and they can take a JFK/Dallas City Tour on Friday morning. On Saturday morning, the Ladies of ARA (LARA) will hold their annual breakfast. This year’s topic is “Survival after Losing a Spouse.”
Full educational convention attendance costs $695 for non-members. All social events require additional fees. Discount rates are available for ARA members. For more information or to register, visit araexpo.org.