Wednesday, 16 August 2017 14:27

YANG's Chicago Meet-Up Attracts 40 Young Professionals

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The Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) held a Regional Meet-Up on Wednesday, August 2 at the Lakeview Baseball Club, adjacent to Wrigley Stadium, in Chicago, IL. 

Forty young auto care industry professionals enjoyed the opportunity to network with peers while cheering at a major league baseball game. 

“Networking is in our name,” JR Bishop, YANG Chair, stated. “It is the core of this group. These events are what tie us all together in this great big industry.”

The all-inclusive event was held on the rooftop during the Chicago Cubs game against the AZ Diamondbacks, and was sponsored by Bosch, NGK Spark Plugs, Gold Eagle and APDI. 

“YANG Regional Meet-Ups are a great way to meet your peers who live locally,” said event host Kevin O'Connor, Director of Sales for APDI's Western Region. 

"As someone who has hosted two Regional Meet-Ups, I would recommend partnering with additional companies,” O’Connor added. “It gives you more venue options, and you are not limited to your own company’s budget. APDI isn’t a household name like Bosch or NGK, so this event really helped get our name out there. Hosting a Regional Meet-Up can be a great advertising tool for your company. If I wasn’t turning 40 next year, I would definitely host another event next year.” 

Courtney Hammer, Director of Job and Career Development for the Auto Care Association and YANG Liaison, said it was a very successful event. 

“Forty young professionals were able to meet each other for the first time,” Hammer said. “In fact, there were a few members from out of state who scheduled a sales meeting in Chicago on the day of the meet-up so that they could come to our event!  Everyone left with new connections. This group of young folks has actually reached out to Auto Care Association headquarters to see when they could schedule an event again. They loved it and want to try to do something together on a regular basis.”

Feedback from the event included: “Taking part in YANG Meet-Ups has allowed me to network with other professionals in the auto industry whom I wouldn't otherwise have a chance to meet,” and “While it has been great from a professional development standpoint, having the chance to be part of a community of like-minded individuals sharing similar life and work experience has been very rewarding.” 


Another participant noted, “With the opportunity of networking at the local event, I have been able to gain a broader knowledge of the industry, while understanding the importance of what we do.”

YANG hosts its Regional Meet-Ups as a way for members from every part of the supply chain, in any job title, to connect with local peers. 

According to Bishop, “Having the opportunity to network in the same room with a variety of different types of aftermarket companies and people in different roles than your own is an eye-opening experience. When members get to meet others in the supply chain, suddenly they see a whole new bigger part of the aftermarket that they never ever knew existed.”

YANG also held a Regional Meet-Up at the Tenneco Lodge in Monroe, MI, on August 16, hosted by Tenneco, Inc. and the FRAM Group. 

Four additional Meet-Ups are planned for the next two months. 

• On Sept.13, YANG’s Meet-Up in National Harbor, MD, will be hosted by A & Jay Automotive Warehouse and held at the Gaylord National Resort in conjunction with the 2017 National PRONTO Fall Shareholders Conference.

• Hosted by Federal-Mogul Motorparts, the Southfield, MI Meet-Up will take place at Champion Motor Speedway on Oct. 3, in conjunction with the University of the Aftermarket's Aftermarket 101 Class. 

• YANG will host the Washington, DC Meet-Up on Oct. 4, in conjunction with the Auto Care Legislative Summit, at the Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar.

• On Oct. 17, the Memphis, TN Meet-Up will take place at the High Cotton Brewing Company and will be hosted by AutoZone and sponsored by Tascosalesreps. 

YANG will also be represented at AAPEX in Las Vegas on Nov. 1, offering headshots from 10:30-3:30 p.m. and holding a Town Hall at 3:45-4:45 p.m. at the Venetian Hotel. The topic of the Town Hall will be "Get in the Driver's Seat: The Three Keys to a Successful Auto Care Career." YANG will also host a Networking Happy Hour that evening at LAVO, The Palazzo. 

"The YANG Regional Meet-Up program was created to better serve our members across the country,” Hammer said. “We understand that not all of our members travel to industry events---however, it is important to us that all of our members experience YANG. Encourage your young people to host an event.  If you are interested in hosting an exclusive YANG Regional Meet-Up, please email yang@autocare.org."