Friday, 13 February 2015 00:00

AAAS GA and MS Capitol Days Deemed Successful

The Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast (AAAS) recently held their annual Capitol Day events in MS and GA.

AAAS President Randal Ward says, “Capitol Day is an annual event facilitated by AAAS for its members.  The event allows AAAS to advocate for a strong, free and competitive automotive aftermarket industry to legislators that make decisions affecting the industry.”

On January 21, AAAS held their first Capitol Day in Jackson MS with Ward, Steve Kean of Rick’s Pro Truck, Tally Noah of Big 10 Tire, Christine Sankar of LKQ Corporation and Terisha Lee of LKQ walking the halls of the Capitol to meet with over a dozen legislators. In addition to offering association members an opportunity to introduce themselves and their businesses to legislators, the event provided a chance for AAAS members to promote the automotive aftermarket industry in MS and make legislators aware of the concerns and issues impacting the industry. Ward calls the event “an unqualified success.”

According to AAAS Board of Directors member Steve Kean, “Capitol Day was well worth the time and a great success in my mind. I never recognized the importance of our industry being politically active until now. I was able to see how our efforts could help set the stage for an effort to either defeat or pass a piece of legislation. I saw firsthand that our legislators are actually interested and concerned about us as business people and employers. I believe our effort helped educate those we met with and certainly strengthened our hand in the legislature. I believe we have some friends in Jackson.”

The third annual AAAS GA Capitol Day on February 20 was also very successful with Ward, Sankar, Lee, Keith West of Auto Supply Company and Bob Knight of PSKB meeting with over a dozen legislators to discuss GA’s automotive aftermarket industry.

Ward recounts, “Legislators such as Senator Michael Dugan and Senator Tyler Harper were knowledgeable of the industry and offered great feedback regarding industry issues and concerns, as well as, the success of small businesses in Georgia. Senator Buddy Carter graciously thanked the members for coming to the Capitol to meet with legislators.  Representative Lynn Smith was very engaged with members and eager to learn about their businesses and the aftermarket industry. Members solidified old and established new relationships with legislators and offered AAAS and themselves as a resource to the legislators should they have any questions about the industry in the future.”

“A day well spent! This is a great opportunity to meet with and help educate elected officials learn about our industry. It was gratifying to visit with people we met in previous visits and to hear them discussing our industry and the economic impact it has. Our message of consumer choice in parts and repair options is shared by many of our elected representatives and resonated well with the new folks we met with.  I encourage anyone in the industry to take advantage of this opportunity and participate in the next Capitol Day in the state that you reside. This effort is beneficial to all of us who make a living in the automotive aftermarket,” says AAAS Board of Directors Vice Chairman Keith West.

AAAS’s Capitol Day events are designed to allow the association membership and staff to meet with legislators and educate them on the aftermarket industry and its concerns.

Mike Morgan, AAAS Chairman, shares, “we feel like our Capitol Day events, along with our day to day efforts and our strong Political Action Committee (PAC), fit perfectly into the effort to establish a nationwide legislative advocacy network recently announced by the Auto Care Association, the Alliance of State Automotive Aftermarket Associations and the Alliance of Auto Service Providers. We are proud to have our association taking a leadership role in this tremendously important effort.”

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