Around 40 salvage yards attended the educational event, the theme of which was Gateway to the Future.
According to ATRI Executive Director Michelle Lechner, “The event was a great success, especially since we teamed up with Missouri for the first time. Also, any time you have this kind of event at a salvage yard, it seems to be a better turnout. Holding this event at St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part was a pretty good indication that we would have a good turnout, and of course, it always means more people when more than one association teams up.”
Some of the training opportunities offered during the convention included a seminar on social media use and another titled “Know the Value of Your Business.” During the Illinois Green Car Program presentation, awards were distributed to recognize salvage yards that strive toward this initiative. The group also held a “Young Guns Roundtable” that focused on how the younger people in the business may be doing things a bit differently from their more seasoned counterparts. ATRI and MATR also provided training for sales associates and staff working in the businesses.
Lechner shared, “This is an annual event held for auto recyclers to keep up on the latest and greatest this industry has to offer. It is also a time to meet new faces, maybe to do business with and for the camaraderie. There is always something new around the corner in this ever-changing industry. The sponsors and exhibitors make these events happen, and they are also the suppliers to this industry. The attendees learn of new products and/or use these suppliers in their day-to-day operations.”
ATRI is currently working on some legislative issues to improve the automotive recycling industry in Illinois. The group also plans to host its first Lobby Day in January because “this is a highly regulated industry, so we are always keeping our ears and eyes open on issues pertaining to our members,” Lechner noted.