Wednesday, 12 August 2020 13:36

ARA Takes Summer Road Trip Virtual, Annual Convention to Follow Suit

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Auto Parts City in Gurnee, IL, owned by Larry Brosten, right, was among the shops Vince Edivan, left, visited during ARA’s Summer Road Trip. Auto Parts City in Gurnee, IL, owned by Larry Brosten, right, was among the shops Vince Edivan, left, visited during ARA’s Summer Road Trip.


The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) planned its inaugural ARA Summer Road Trip for July 23-25, with the intention of connecting up-and-coming industry leaders with experienced auto recycling veterans through tours of several ARA member facilities.

The Road Trip was to be an evolution of the association’s Future Leaders of Automotive Recyclers Educational Summit (FLARES), established in 2018.


The tour was scheduled to begin in Chicago, but unfortunately, in the days leading up to it, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued an emergency order requiring two weeks of self-quarantine for travelers from 15 different states due to COVID-19 concerns.


Although ARA was forced to postpone the Road Trip out of precaution for members’ health and safety, ARA Director of Member Relations Vince Edivan, who had planned to act as host of the trip, was able to safely travel to Chicago, since his home state of Virginia was not on the restricted list.


Edivan took the tour virtual, posting pictures and videos to the organization’s social media accounts to allow would-be attendees to join him for the road trip experience.


Edivan began his road trip on July 23 by visiting CAR Auto Recyclers in North Manchester, IN, and Legal Chop Shop in Fort Wayne, IN. Over the following days, he visited Auto Parts City in Gurnee, IL, and Rockford’s Auto Parts in Rockford, IL, as well as Bionic Auto Parts & Sales in Chicago and Northlake Auto Recyclers in Hammond, IN.


Edican also dined with the owners of ABC Auto Parts in Riverdale, IL, owned by Jim Watson, ARA past president, and his brother, Joe Watson, current president of the Auto & Truck Recyclers of Illinois (ATRI.)


“All locations are either CAR- and/or Gold Seal-certified automotive recycling facilities, having achieved the top tier of certification for general business practices, environmental and safety issues, and customer service offered by ARA and recognized by the industry,” Edivan shared. “It was a rewarding experience for all, as the ARA members who graciously agreed to open their doors to their peers were able to still reach the ARA membership at large through videos and postings on ARA’s social media platforms.”


Sandy Blalock, executive director of ARA, added, “While the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic made the widely-attended Road Trip unrealistic, ARA was able to adapt and leverage the reach of social media and technology to bring ARA members together and share knowledge.

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