By Sandy Blalock • ARA Executive Director
The ARA 79th Annual Convention and Expo in Orlando, Florida was, in my opinion, a tremendous success in every way. Thanks to our event committee, led by Chairperson Natalie Miller, for timely and quality educational sessions and great speakers. It seems every year, we are getting closer to pre-COVID attendance at our events and this year we had terrific attendance, along with generous sponsors, and a sold-out exhibit hall full of the industry’s finest vendors.
Events of this size are a monumental task to put together and pull off. Thanks to the leadership of our Event Manager Kim Glasscock, I believe we had very few noticeable glitches and certainly nothing that we could not handle without disruption. Thanks goes to all my staff – Jessica Andrews, Kelly Badillo, Maria Miller, Emil Nusbaum, Vince Edivan, John Caponiti and our Events intern Emily Counselman. I hope that everyone enjoyed our new app this year; we all owe a special thanks to Emily who built out the app, and Vince for helping load all the logos for our exhibitors and sponsors. Another special thanks to our magazine Editor and Advertising Sales team of Caryn Suko Smith and Jay Mason for all the work you did to help promote our event. All of you played significant roles in assuring a great show for our members and the industry.
We are fortunate to have outstanding leadership in our Executive Committee, Board and Committees that made sure during this year’s convention everyone knows of all the challenging work going on at ARA during the year. Attendance during the Thursday committee meetings showed us here at ARA that our members want to know and participate in the work of our organization. We simply could not do all the work necessary without our volunteers who chair and lead our committees, along with the members that participate in those monthly meetings.
As we move on past the convention, we will continue all the work we do for our members and the auto recycling industry. I hope that everyone understands that what we do is to protect the integrity of our industry and assure that our members can run their businesses without outside influence that may hamper your ability to be profitable. We will continue to work on assuring that auto recyclers parts are a viable option in the repair market. What we ask of our members is to participate at the highest level and continue to grow your businesses, participate in our certification program so as we promote the use of quality recycled original equipment parts, we can do so knowing that our members are doing their due diligence in assuring quality recycled parts are available for resale.
Your ARA staff is always available for questions and to assist in any way. Please do not hesitate to reach out and let us help answer your questions or concerns.
Please mark your calendars now and plan to attend ARA’s 80th Anniversary Convention and Expo in Kansas City, Mo., October 12-14, 2023. Hope to see you there!
Reach Sandy Blalock at firstname.lastname@example.org. Share your thoughts pertaining to the advancement of professional automotive recycling. Your letter could be published in an upcoming issue.