Phoenix, Arizona — November 20, 2013 — The Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) met in Phoenix, Ariz. for its 70th Annual Convention and Expo. The program of educational and training sessions was focused in five core areas critical to professional automotive recyclers: executive leadership, parts management and sales, market outreach, safety and environmental compliance, and facility management and performance. The annual event took place at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel and the Phoenix Convention Center.
Issues covered in the over 50 sessions included the latest on recycled OEM parts sales and how best to position inventory to insurance estimators, how to improve quality parts data, and how to identify innovative ways to reach more consumers with recycled OEM parts options. In addition, there were opportunities for training on the new Global Hazard Communication Standard requirements, sessions on the ARADirect online auction platform, and a segment with representatives from PartsTrader.
The meeting featured three keynote speakers: Garry Ridge, CEO and President of WD-40, former Congressman J.D. Hayworth of Arizona, and Scott Blanchard, accomplished author and business consultant.
In addition to the keynotes, Ed MacDonald of Maritime Auto Parts in Truro, Nova Scotia, gave his inaugural speech as the President of the ARA. His tenure on the Executive Committee of the Association, where he has served as Secretary, Second Vice President, and First Vice President, continues in a leading role to help shape and guide the Associationâ€™s initiatives and directives as determined by the Board of Directors and membership of the ARA. MacDonald is among a select few Canadians to serve as ARA President.
â€œI have been fortunate enough to be involved with the ARA Board of Directors for 12 years, and the Executive Committee for the last three, as well as the Automotive Recyclers of Canada as a long-term founding member, helping it grow from baby steps to the quantum leap as a truly national association with worldwide recognition. I believe that the effective model of auto recycling in North America, which is based on free enterprise, is the way auto recycling should continue to grow here, and beyond,â€ said MacDonald.
In his speech, MacDonald said, â€œI am deeply honoured and humbled to stand before you this evening to accept the ARA Presidential Gavel, to pay tribute to all who have come before me and help pave the way for those who will follow. And for the many hands that hold the keys to the kingdom, I hope during my tenure as ARA President to establish in the ARA individual recycler the collective mindset of these two enduring principles: strength through partnerships, and growth through succession.”
â€œChanges in the marketplace are deluging us on a daily basis and to ensure that ARA is a major player in this economically driven arena, I intend to continue what others before me have begun â€“ the pursuit of long term relationships/partnerships with major stakeholders in our industry. Furthermore, we are principally made up of family-owned businesses. We rightly take great pride in the business model that is based on family involvement. I know firsthand the pride of passing on a successful business to my son, Andrew, who has now taken over the keys of Maritime. He and others like him are now the stewards of and rightful owners of the keys to the kingdom and it is through this succession of experience, wisdom, fresh new creative and dynamic hands that the professional automotive recycling industry will trump all others,â€ MacDonald said.
In addition to the meeting itself, the ARA welcomed delegates and professional automotive recyclers to the 7th Annual International Roundtable on Automotive Recycling, in downtown Phoenix, Ariz. The International Roundtable (IRT) is the global forum to discuss auto recycling, and issues such as global salvage acquisition, backyard competition, government interaction, OEM data, industry consolidation and parts procurement.
The IRT was formed out of the desire for the premier national auto recycling associations to get together and share knowledge, resources, challenges, and successes. Initially, the associations gathered on a more informal level to present what they were working on and to learn from one another. Gradually over time, it became apparent that there were reoccurring challenges within the industry, yet many different approaches to addressing these problems. The IRT was established to address this in a more formal setting, and has been hosted in different countries each year. This year, ARA was proud to host the IRT in the United States directly following the association’s 70th Annual Convention and Exposition.
“Our key stakeholders â€“ manufacturers, insurers, shredders, and increasingly repairers â€“ are all operating on a global stage. Even governments look around the world to see how other governments are approaching problems,” said MacDonald. “Vehicles, technology, metal markets are all global. It is becoming increasingly important that auto recyclers, too, participate in the global exchange of ideas, knowledge, expertise, and develop a footprint for the best interests of auto recyclers worldwide.”
The event includes country reports, global presentations, and facilitated roundtable discussions, as well as networking and social events.