A Solid Foundation is a Key for Success as Change Evolves

Mar 1, 2024 | Industry

By Nick Daurio • ARA President

The way I look at change, change was yesterday. We must embrace today. Professional auto recyclers are resilient, facing change daily. Each day, we face it not only within our own facilities, but also in what is facing our industry. A look at the past 80 years reveals changes that we have had to overcome – such as environmental, YMS systems, buying and inventory tools, dismantling, quality control, trading groups, consolidation, etc.

At the ARA 81st Annual Convention & Expo in Reno, Nevada, October 23-26, ARA will face a significant change with transition of leadership.

The ARA Executive Committee (EC) is a rotating committee of volunteer leaders that changes with each convention. I am amazed that past and current Board of Directors have such a passion for this industry, and continue serving in other ways after their terms. You don’t see this in any other industry. I personally am blessed to work side by side with Eric Wilbert, First Vice President, Shannon Nordstrom, Second Vice President/Treasurer, Sean Krause, Secretary, and Shan Lathem, Immediate Past President. I can see a great future for ARA in coming years.

At convention this year, Sandy Blalock, our esteemed Executive Director, will be stepping down. I want to say to Sandy – thank you for your dedication to ARA and our industry. You have always protected the rights of the professional auto recycler, so that we can sell our parts in the most profitable and equitable manner possible.

To take us into the future, I am excited to announce Vince Edivan, Director of Member Relations, will move into the role of Executive Director. Vince is excited for this new role that begins after convention, and he is working now with Sandy and the EC to ensure a smooth transition.

A stabilizing force for ARA, the work of ARA committees is held in high regard by association leadership. They are leading the path to success for all professional auto recyclers worldwide, and include the Convention Educational Program, Awareness, Automotive Recycling Training Institute, Interchange, Scholarship Foundation, Industry Relations, Certification, and Governmental Affairs.

The work of the committees, staff, executive director, and the EC is to collaborate as a team to build upon ARA’s foundational programs and strategic pillars, to open new opportunities for every professional auto recycler, and to partner with others to elevate and protect our industry. We want to continue to sell our parts in the most profitable and equitable manner possible. That is our overall mission as we look to build new relationships with other organizations, and strengthen existing industry ties.

One of those key collaborations is with NAATBatt, where Emil Nusbaum, Sean Krause, and Scott Robertson Jr. recently attended their annual meeting. At the show, Emil Nusbaum, ARA’s VP of Strategy, Government and Regulatory Affairs, exemplified how ARA and the automotive recycling industry is viewed as a leader in the transition from internal combustion engine vehicles to battery electric vehicles. Emil moderated a panel on the second life battery industry, lead the Policy and Regulatory Committee as a Co-Chair of NAATBatt’s Policy and Regulatory Committee, and met with government stakeholders. Emil, Sean, and Scott also actively participated in giving additional presentations and even attended a live demonstration of a battery testing device that may allow automotive recyclers to sell more batteries into reuse markets.

Furthermore, ARA announced publishing the Battery Material Use Hierarchy created in collaboration with the Argonne National Laboratory. This describes putting batteries to their highest and best use and highlights a preferred path of batteries after they have served their initial purpose. Through its strategic relationship with the National Salvage Vehicle Reporting Program (NSVRP), ARA and its certified high voltage vehicle trained members are participating in the NSVRP battery registry program.

Finally, as a strategic pillar of ARA, advocacy is at the core. Please make note of the opportunity to talk to your legislators in person at Hill Days, to be held in Washington, D.C., April 9-11. I hope you will consider joining us. You can find details at a-r-a.org, or contact staff@a-r-a.org.

We must continue to share our rich recycling story as one of the largest and oldest recycling industries in the world!

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