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Friday, 25 May 2018 16:35

ARM Hosts 10th Annual Road Show and Business Networking Conference

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On May 3--5, the Automotive Recyclers of Michigan (ARM) hosted its 10th Annual ARM Road Show and Business Networking Conference  at GoGo Classic Cars & Showroom in Galesburg, MI. 

The exciting weekend-long event attracted around 250 attendees from more than 40 member facilities. 


According to ARM Executive Director Barb Utter, “Every year is a new experience, and we had a lot of great things this year. Our members find it really valuable to bring their employees and key people, and we are grateful to the industry professionals who gave up time with their families to attend the educational portion of the event on Saturday. That’s why it’s important for us to ensure the event offers a lot of value, and everyone seemed to enjoy meeting with people they do business with.


“Our members are passionate about the industry, and it’s amazing how they are all so willing to share with each other so we can all be successful.  Members of ARM work together to promote professionalism without reinventing the wheel, and the goal is for everyone to leave the Road Show feeling energized with new ideas. Everyone realizes that you cannot be an island by yourself and expect to make it. Owners and managers need to support and value their teams, and we all need to come together to learn and do our best for the industry as a whole.”


The event started on Thursday with an afternoon of golf and networking at the Stonehedge North Golf Club in Augusta, and the evening continued with the ARM Car Cruise-In and Bonfire. Friday’s focus was on facility tours, beginning with GoGo Auto Parts, proceeding to Airway Auto Parts and ending with a tour of Morris Rose Auto Parts, which included fire training. 


Utter shared, “The yard tours are a huge attraction, and we had 114 people attend on Friday. We try to feature facilities of all sizes. At the final stop, at Morris Rose, the Kalamazoo Fire Department set three cars on fire and provided us with a demonstration of how to use a fire extinguisher.”


Friday evening featured the grand opening of the Road Show, happy hour with the exhibitors and the exposition itself, as well as a live auction and raffles. The training portion of the event took place on Saturday.


“We had a good cross-section of educational seminars,” Utter said.


Following the President’s Welcome with ARM President Ross Lewicki, attendees enjoyed a seminar titled “Don’t Feed the Monkeys” about individual’s personality traits, covered by Paul D'Adamo of RAS Recall Team. Next, Sandy Blalock, Acting CEO of ARA, provided an update on the happenings and current direction of ARA. An employee roundtable was also held, broken out by job function. 


Utter said, “Attendees enjoy discussing things with their peers, and we already receive great feedback on the roundtables.”


Next, the options were “Don’t Think It Can’t Happen to You” with Shannon Nordstrom of Nordstrom’s Automotive, Forklift Training with Paul Secker of SAS Forks, D’Adamo’s “Building a Safety Culture from Steel Toe Shoes to Safety Recalls,” and Copart’s Amanda Zmolek’s presentation on “The Millennials are Coming! Employee Retention, Social Media Marketing, and More in an Awesome World.”


The afternoon began with the 2nd Annual ARM Top Dog Production Recognition. 


“Top Dog is one of the event highlights after only one year,” Utter noted. “The member facilities nominate their top production people, and all of the nominees are recognized with a cash reward and drawing for a reward from their employer, which ranges from a day off, lunch, their boss doing their job for an hour, and so much more. Everyone laughs and loves it. In fact, I think it’s one of the strongest teamwork things we do.”


The afternoon’s scheduled events were cancelled due to lack of a convenient meeting space after the wind destroyed the group’s tent.


ARM will host its 18th Annual Golf Outing on June 18 at the Links of Novi. Proceeds benefit the Kent Utter Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund and ARM. 


To register or for more information about ARM, visit http://www.automotiverecyclers.org/.