Recycling Rundown: ARA’s 76th annual convention and exposition

Charlotte, North Carolina  Oct. 16, 2019 ⁠— Last weekend, auto recyclers across North America took to Charlotte Convention Centre in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Automotive Recycler’s Association’s (ARA) 76th annual convention and exposition.

This year’s theme was “Accelerate!”, which aimed to offer one-of-a-kind learning opportunities on new products and services, deliver in-depth educational sessions and network with industry colleagues. The event featured top-notch speakers and industry experts focusing on topics requested by auto recyclers to arm them with useful tools and information.

The ARA’s 76th convention and exposition kicked off on Friday, Oct. 11 at 7 p.m. with an awards dinner and gavel passing. The industry celebrated its top guns by donning their bomber jackets and aviators and diving into the danger zone with the dinner’s Top Gun theme.

Saturday’s itinerary featured a keynote presentation specifically targeted at the ladies of the ARA, or LARA. Women in the industry had the opportunity to network at the annual Ladies of the ARA meeting. Led by Michelle Coffino, owner of Queen City Metal Recycling and Salvage, attendees heard how Coffino took her $1 million company to $10 million.

Several tours of local yards were also offered on Saturday. Yards at Lewisville Motor Company in Winston-Salem, N.C., Matlock’s Used Car and Parts in Claremont, N.C. and Tri-City Auto Salvage in Greensboro, N.C. were opened up to convention attendees, allowing them to explore and network with the local facilities.

The convention ended with a night of networking at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The event allowed recyclers to test their driving skills in the racing simulator, participate in the pit crew challenge while enjoying the facility’s countless other interactive displays.

The ARA also announced its new president at the convention. Chad Counselman of Counselman Automotive Recycling in Mobile, Alabama is the association’s new president. He takes over from Jonathan Morrow, who served as this year’s president.

“I am honoured to represent my fellow auto recyclers,” said Counselman. “Truly and honestly, my mission is to go out and positively influence others in the industry.”

Counselman was born into the business as a third-generation auto recycler. His father and grandfather established Counselman Automotive Recycling in 1966. Counselman previously served as secretary, first vice-president and second vice-president for the ARA.

Check out photos from the event below!

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