On Oct. 25 and 26, the Auto & Truck Recyclers of Illinois (ATRI) and the Missouri Auto & Truck Recyclers (MATR) combined forces to host the 2019 MO/IL Convention and Trade Show at the Best Western Premier in Alton, IL.
This year’s theme was “Soaring to New Heights,” and the event rose to the challenge as automotive recyclers converged for education, industry updates, networking and fun. According to ATRI Executive Director Michelle Lechner, “The MO/IL show was a huge success and exceeded all my expectations and met our goal of educating automotive recyclers. Participants’ responses have been overwhelmingly positive.”
The convention began on Friday, Oct. 25, with a tour of Grossman Iron & Steel in St. Louis. On Friday evening, the trade show opened for Exhibitor Appreciation Night. Lechner shared, “All mingled and spoke with the exhibitors while eating hors d’oeuvres during the cocktail reception. The room was full. There were about 40 yards that came through. We then had our live auction. We had placed some of the items at the exhibitors’ table which drew people to them. Our auction was a bit hit, and one item alone brought $6,000!”
Saturday, Oct. 26 began with breakfast with the exhibitors, and attendees heard several short presentations from exhibitors. The educational portion of the meeting commenced at 11 a.m. Car-part.com presented “Crashlink and Car-Part Interchange Plus Options for All Management Systems” before lunch. Then, George Metos discussed “Business Options for Small Operators.”
The afternoon’s training sessions included “Increase Profitability Through eBay Sales” by Hollander, “Maximize Your Scrap and Core Values” with Legends Smelting, and “Bounty Hunter 2019 – Defective Takata Airbag Recovery Self Service – Operations and Marketing Update,” presented by Paul D’Adamo of RAS Cores.
Saturday afternoon concluded with VET Environment’s IL Green Car Awards followed by the MATR Board/Membership Meeting. Saturday evening featured a pig roast at Red’s Auto Parts, complete with hayrides through the yard and live music by Rogers and Nienhaus.
Lechner expressed, “These types of events are important because, in addition to the educational aspect, they give auto recyclers a chance to meet new auto recyclers and visit with the ones they already know. They may meet someone to do business with, and they learn a lot from each other.”