This year’s theme was “Accelerate Your Business,” and according to ARA Executive Director Sandy Blalock, “The event went very well. It was the 76th annual gathering for ARA and professional automotive recyclers and industry suppliers, drawing many long-time members of the association as well as new members and exhibitors. ARA’s Annual Convention & Exposition is the largest gathering of professional automotive recyclers from around the world each year and the premier event for progressive auto recyclers and industry suppliers.”
ARA’s agenda was packed full of networking opportunities and educational seminars, including two keynote sessions, one of which featured retired Navy Seal Jason Redman “who gave a very motivating presentation,” Blalock recalled. “We also held a raffle to benefit the ARA Scholarship Foundation.”
Thursday, Oct. 10 featured an Opening Keynote on the “State of the Automotive Recycling Industry,” presented by Cris Hollingsworth, Jeff Schroder, Bill Stevens, and Jerry Gastineau. The evening concluded with a Past President Reception and the opening of the expo.
The schedule on Friday, Oct. 11 included seminars on trading partners, electronic parts ordering, marketing, business culture, telematics, industry changes, ransomware and more. The expo was open all afternoon, and the night concluded with an Awards Dinner and Gavel Passing where attendees were encouraged to dress in Top Gun theme.
In addition to International Roundtable Discussions, the educational seminars on Saturday, Oct. 12 covered the topics of fire risk, safety, body shops' expectations, workflow management, customer service, and selling a business to the next generation. The 2019 ARA Convention and Exposition ended with dinner and networking fun at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Saturday evening.
Several sessions were streamed via Facebook Live and were also videotaped to be uploaded to the ARA University for future viewing and to provide the content to ARA members who could not attend the conference.
Blalock shared, “The feedback we’ve received from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive. This year, ARA offered a record number of educational sessions, divided into six tracks of targeted learning which all ran simultaneously. Attendees really enjoyed the diversity of the available choices as well as the line-up of speakers. By offering six tracks, we ensured that there was information that each person needed – from owners and managers to dismantlers and support staff.”
“The education, expertise and insight shared at this annual industry event is unmatched anywhere else in the industry,” Blalock continued. “The ARA Annual Convention is the place to be for the industry’s leading facilities and the information sharing and networking opportunities are priceless. Many attendees share that the tips and new information they learn at this event is well worth the price to attend. With so many educational sessions this year, there truly was something for everyone.”
For more information on ARA and its future events, visit a-r-a.org.