Thursday, 17 May 2018 22:18

ASA’s Annual Business Meeting Mixes Business with Pleasure



The Automotive Service Association (ASA) held its 2018 Annual Meeting at the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin Hotel and Resort in Orlando, FL, May 2--4.

The three-day event opened on Wednesday with various executive meetings by the ASA Board of Directors and ASA Affiliate Executive Directors. On Thursday, ASA held an open board meeting, which covered a range of reports from the mechanical and collision divisions, ASA’s Washington, D.C., office and ASA staff reports. Following the open board meeting, the new Board of Directors was sworn in for the 2018--2019 year during the ASA Luncheon. That evening, Federated Insurance, an ASA-sponsored benefit provider, hosted an outdoor Welcome Cocktail Reception.

ASA’s new board of directors began their terms at the close of the annual business meeting. Serving the second year of their two-year terms on the Board are Roy Schnepper, AAM, chairman, Butler’s Collision, Roseville, MI; Frederick Hules II, AAM, general director, Tech 1 Auto, Peoria, AZ.; Scott Benavidez, AAM, collision division director, Mr. B’s Paint & Body Shop, Albuquerque, NM; and Darrell Amberson, AMAM, immediate past chairman, LaMettry’s Collision, Minneapolis, MN. (Amberson is serving a second consecutive term as immediate past chairman.)

In addition, Bob Wills, AMAM, Wills Auto Service, Battle Creek, MI, was reappointed to the Board for a one-year term as secretary/treasurer. Dan Risley, ASA president/executive director, also serves on the ASA board of directors in an ex-officio capacity.

The new Board members who begin the first of their two-year terms include: Tom Piippo, AMAM, owner of Tri County Motors in Rudyard, MI, as mechanical division director and Elissa Larremore, owner of CBS 1 Collision based in Shreveport, LA, as general director.

On Friday evening, ASA and the Automotive Management Institute (AMi) jointly held the Celebration of Excellence & AMi Graduation Ceremony. The recognition night honored individuals and organizations that made significant contributions to the ASA mission and/or the automotive repair industry as a whole in 2017, including the board of directors and the work of the mechanical division and collision division operations committees.

Honorees included:

Scott Benavidez, AAM, owner of Mr. B’s Paint & Body Shop in Albuquerque, NM, and collision division director: Legislative Award for his consistent efforts to keep the collision repair industry front and center to legislators in Washington, D.C.


Carm Capriotto, owner of Remarkable Results Radio and producer of the AutoInc. Audio podcasts: Communicator of the Year Award of Excellence for his insightful interviews sharing business success stories that inspire other business owners.


Advance Auto Parts, Benefit Provider of the Year, for helping ASA grow through its regional representative recruitment efforts and promoting the value of ASA membership.


ASA-Michigan, and its executive director, Ray Fisher, AMAM: Affiliate of the Year Award for developing new procedures to improve accuracy in the database, while providing key input to address the challenges of working with the diverse group that comprises the ASA family.


Pete Rudloff, owner of Pete’s Garage in Newark, DE: the Alpha Award, for applying his technical knowledge and insights in helping to guide the mechanical division operations committee.


Chuck Sulkala, longtime industry veteran and former executive director of the National Auto Body Council: the Phoenix Award. Sulkala coordinated Recycled Rides, a popular collision industry-wide program that donates repaired vehicles to deserving families in need. This program has helped hundreds of individuals and families rebuild and change their lives.


Gary Keyes, AMAM, owner of E&M Motors in Stuart, FL, and secretary-treasurer of ASA-Florida: the Chairman’s Award of Excellence, for defining what it means to be a volunteer and serve others for the good of the entire industry.

The three-day Annual Meeting also featured shop management classes by top-notch trainers such as Bill Haas, AAM, Richard Flint, Bob Greenwood, AMAM, and Maylon Newton, AAM; this year’s Celebration of Excellence and AMi Graduation, sponsored by Pronto/Federated, Babcox and AmeriTrust; an Epcot Center fireworks display sponsored by AutoZone; and a Town Hall Academy Live presentation on the state of the states’ periodic motor vehicle inspections (PMVI), hosted by Carm Capriotto and sponsored by Flex Check Auto.

“This year’s ASA Annual Business Meeting returned to our roots. The focus was world-class AMi management training, networking events, business meetings and family,” said Dan Risley, ASA president and executive director. “It was especially nice to see many of our volunteers recognized with their husbands, wives, sons, daughters, children, grandchildren and partners in attendance. ASA was built on family-owned businesses and relationships. It’s those individuals that allow the recipients an opportunity to contribute to the greater industry and help advance ASA.

“We want to especially thank Federated Insurance, Advance Auto Parts, The Group (Pronto/Federated) and AutoZone that helped sponsor some of our networking events this year. Thanks also to Cintas, Babcox, AmeriTrust, FlexCheck and Lyft business for their support. Their combined efforts and support make the ASA Annual Meeting possible, and I speak for all ASA members in saying ‘Thank you!’”

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