Wednesday, 10 June 2015 17:00

IAR Pays Tribute to Founders at 2015 Summer Outing and Tradeshow

On May 29 and 30, the Iowa Automotive Recyclers (IAR) held their Annual Summer Outing and Tradeshow at the Prairie Meadows Event Center in Altoona, IA. The association also used the opportunity to pay tribute to John Vander Haag and his wife Ruth, who founded IAR in 1957.

Herb Lieberman, Mike Swift, and John Vander Haag


Sue Schauls, Executive Director of IAR, noted, "The event went really well, and our founders were extremely happy with the tribute. Special guests from all over the country attended to honor the Vander Haags."

Mike Swift, Past President of IAR and current First Vice President of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA), added, "The association presented the Vander Haags with an one-of-a-kind trophy made of automotive parts. We also had some other pioneers of the industry in attendance who knew John in the beginning: Lloyd Van Horn and Bruce Chase both had some great stories about John and Ruth. It was a very good time and a great celebration!"

The event was well-attended with more than 147 registered attendees (plus walk-ins) and 40 vendors managing 27 booths at the tradeshow. Schauls believes these numbers are great for a state affiliate. "Our members are very grateful to John, and I think that we showed him that he can be proud of our progress. As good as we've been, we're still striving to be better through scholarships, charitable activities and our legislative agenda. We will also be launching our new website this month so our resources will be web-based in the future."

Some scholarship recipients attended the event, the event concluded on Saturday with IAR's Scholarship Auction Fundraiser. On Saturday, IAR's 2015 Summer Outing featured educational sessions on topics such as hybrid Lithium batteries new shipping rules, recent legislation, lien checks, and how to save money on shipping. Special guest speakers included ARA Past Presidents Herb Lieberman and Don Cowell, as well as ARA's current President, Ricky Young.

Schauls believes these types of local events are important to the industry because it provides an opportunity for members to meet with vendors and learn about new technology in this constantly changing industry, especially given the difficulty of attending national events in the current economy. She also notes that the automotive recycling industry has been in a slump due to fewer wrecked and end-of-life vehicles being available as new car sales get back on track.

Between the great turnout and the educational seminars, Schauls' expectations were exceeded. "On a personal level, it was an incredible experience. Some 'old-timers' and retired industry professionals came out and shared their stories. It was as close as you can get to experience the history of the automotive recycling industry without actually living it!"