According to MSCRA’s Ricki Garrett, “I think our most memorable activity of 2018 was taking over the Southern Automotive Repair Conference (SARC) from Steve Plier of Alabama. Steve had begun the conference and provided an excellent automobile repair conference for the southeastern region for many years but was ready to retire from this responsibility. The Mississippi Collision Repair Association had the ability to take this on and try to create an even bigger and better conference for the future.”
The Auto Body Association of Texas also made large strides with its annual conference.
ABAT President Burl Richards shared, “Having our trade show this year was one of the most memorable things because we were able to bring legislators inside the ‘collision arena,’ and it allowed them to see all the specialized equipment needed to repair vehicles properly, along with a lot of the technology that has changed our industry and the way we repair vehicles. It also allowed Texas shops to vet questions and give our concerns to the legislators that are headed into session in a few months, which hopefully will carry weight with our legislative efforts. The unveiling of the crash-tested Honda Fit that was repaired using OEM parts was also a great moment during the show, as we are attempting to define what LKQ parts really are.”
The Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) was proud to improve its trade show in 2018 as well.
“Turning our trade show around from declining attendance over the years and taking it to a level where we are very proud of it was one of the best things we did this year,” IGONC Executive Director Bob Pulverenti said. “Our vendors are happy, and our members and attendees are enthusiastic about attending again.”
IGONC also sees its fundraising efforts as one of the highlights of the year.
“We are very proud of our fundraising efforts to help automotive shops affected by Hurricane Michael. We were able to get fund matches from both Repair Pal and Autoshop Solutions to donate to over 10 impacted shops and create a fund for future emergencies,” Pulverenti noted.