Monday, 16 November 2020 09:31

Auto Care Association’s Fall Leadership Days: Successful and Collaborative

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The Auto Care Association’s Impact Award: Four for the Future recognizes auto care industry professionals, age 40 or younger, who’ve demonstrated extraordinary leadership or made remarkable strides in the auto care industry. Pictured left to right are Megan Dineff, Elisabeth Eisleben, Dave Shapiro and Arnoldo Ventura. The Auto Care Association’s Impact Award: Four for the Future recognizes auto care industry professionals, age 40 or younger, who’ve demonstrated extraordinary leadership or made remarkable strides in the auto care industry. Pictured left to right are Megan Dineff, Elisabeth Eisleben, Dave Shapiro and Arnoldo Ventura.


The Auto Care Association (ACA) hosted its 2020 Fall Leadership Days virtually, Sept. 23-25.

“The event was successful and extremely collaborative, even in its virtual format,” said Michael Barratt, ACA's senior vice president of meetings and events. “Fall Leadership Days is a gathering of our volunteer leadership, and the purpose of this event is to bring together volunteers, association members and professional staff for meetings aimed at discussing issues and initiatives that are currently affecting our membership and the industry at large.


“The goal of the association’s twice-yearly Leadership Days events is to gain insights and receive feedback from our volunteer members to help set the direction of the association," Barratt said. "Now more than ever, it is crucial for our association to have that stewardship. We need to make sure we are providing the right support, resources and tools to ensure our membership are informed and equipped for the current business environment."


During the three-day event, in addition to participating in community and committee meetings, ACA members attended an Executive Industry Briefing, which featured ACA President and CEO Bill Hanvey, as well as Mike Wall, executive director of automotive analysis for IHS Markit.


Hanvey and Wall provided an update on “the latest news on the vehicle data battle in Massachusetts; the impact of COVID-19 on the aftermarket industry and the economy; the latest available information on the upcoming Virtual AAPEX Experience; new ACA data and resources to assist with navigating the pandemic; and recognition of industry innovators in the association's award program,” Barratt recalled.


“Kicking Advocacy into High Gear!,” a special Revolutionary, Educational and Visionary (REV) Talk session focused on the value of advocacy, was presented by Corey Bartlett of Automotive Parts Headquarters, Inc. and U.S. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN.) Explaining why building relationships with elected officials is important, Emmer and Bartlett discussed cars, politics and engagement, as well as how the ACA is “equipping our member companies to make an impact with policymakers,” according to Barratt.


The ACA also presented its 2020 awards during the Fall Leadership Days, recognizing excellence in education, innovation and the next generation in the auto care industry.


The winner of the 2020 Mort Schwartz Excellence in Education Award was Bo Fisher, CEO of Fisher Auto Parts.


The Auto Care Career and Education (ACE) Award was presented...

...to companies in three categories, small, mid-size and large; respectively, the recipients of this year’s awards were Dykstra’s Auto in Kentwood, MI; Arnold Motor Supply of Spencer, IA; and Auto Value Bumper to Bumper in San Antonio, TX.


Four auto care industry professionals, age 40 or younger, were honored with the Impact Award: Four for the Future, for demonstrating extraordinary leadership or making remarkable strides within the auto care industry. This year’s recipients were Megan Dineff of Ervine’s Auto Repair & Grand Rapids Hybrid; Elisabeth Eisleben from Advance Auto Parts; Dave Shapiro of SRS Sales and Marketing; and Arnoldo Ventura from Frontera Radiators & Parts.


Women in Auto Care, an ACA community, also announced the 2020 Women of the Year award winners, recognizing outstanding female contributors who make a difference in the automotive industry.


Women of the Year Awards web

Pictured left to right: Lauren Beaulieu, Danielle Sonnefeld and Kim Auernheimer.


The 2020 Auto Care Woman of the Year is Lauren Beaulieu, vice president of professional marketing for Advance Auto Parts. Danielle Sonnefeld, vice president of business development for N.A. Williams Company, was named the Auto Care Woman of Excellence, and the honor of Female Shop Owner of the Year was bestowed upon Kim Auernheimer, owner and business manager, Cool Springs Automotive, LLC.


The Auto Care Association’s 2020 Fall Leadership Days event was a definitive success, according to Barratt.


“Fall Leadership Days is where the attendees have the opportunity to speak up, speak out and make their voices heard," Barratt said. "This is critical to the success and viability of our industry. The attendees, although wishing they could have met in person, were glad to be able to come together and collaborate within their community and committee meetings on important association initiatives to help advance the industry.


"We held our Spring Leadership Days virtually in May, so the association and our volunteers were aware of what to expect for our recent Fall Leadership Days event. Fortunately, since the spring meeting...

...attendees have become very adept at holding meetings in a virtual platform.


“The Auto Care Association has a variety of dynamic events presented for all communities of our membership and the industry each year to make connections, do business and get informed,” he added. “Much of what our association and industry are focused on right now is developing solutions to address the challenges we’re facing as an industry so we can protect the future of the aftermarket. Our association and its community and committee leaders are working tirelessly right now in the Right to Repair battle, both legislatively and technologically.


“On the legislative front, the association is supporting the Massachusetts Right to Repair Ballot Question 1, which would require that motor vehicle owners and independent repair facilities be provided with expanded access to mechanical data related to vehicle maintenance and repair," Barratt continued. "On the technological front, the association’s emerging technology team has been hard at work on the development of the Secure Vehicle Interface (SVI), a safe, standardized and secure solution for the sharing of telematic vehicle data.”


For more information on the Auto Care Association, its events and initiatives, visit autocare.org.