Learning from Others – 78th Annual ARA Convention & Expo

Sep 1, 2021 | Industry

By Sandy Blalock • ARA Executive Director

“Coming together is a beginning; Keeping together is progress; Working together is Success! ”

Henry Ford

I have always believed that the best way to learn was to help others learn. I also believe that is the way to succeed, especially as a team or an industry. My motivation for continuing my work in the auto recycling industry is that I feel I still have work to do and the time to do it.

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Our industry is sadly misunderstood even after a century. Unfortunately, some of that misunderstanding is within our own industry. We still have many who believe that things will change without putting any effort into making change happen; regrettably that will just not happen. Change only occurs when you are willing to actively participate in the process.

Selfishly, I want everyone to succeed, but not everyone will. As in business, those that are always preparing for the future, a future that grows closer every day, will thrive.

Auto recyclers: Let me urge you to really take a hard look at your business and evaluate where you see yourselves in three, five or 10 years. I assure you that what you determine in your answer is not something you can do alone. That’s why ARA and your state associations are here to help; our only motivation is your success. For the sake of the industry, we need all of you to grow, prosper and be profitable. We will continue working hard to do everything possible to make sure that happens.

ARA’s first priority is you. You are the reason we are here, and we are deeply committed to your success as auto recyclers. (Just take a look at the accomplishments we have attained on page 65 as proof.) We are here to insure that no one takes away your rights to sell parts, ALL PARTS. As your advocate, we are here to make sure that regulatory oversight is fair and not slanted in a way that will thwart your success.

We are here to make sure that you have access to training and resources necessary for professional development for you and your employees to safely process and handle every vehicle that you see coming into your facilities now and in the future.

We are here to make sure you have access to the compliance tools and certification programs that will assure you are running your facilities in a way to protect the environment and the communities you serve. We take ownership of our role and if a call for help comes in, we will respond.

We are here to make sure the auto recycling community continues to dialogue through networking and mentoring to share mistakes and victories that further our collective efforts to make this industry into one that we all love. 

ARA will continue building alliances that will strengthen our industry to withstand the potential threats that will surely surface at some time. We may not win every fight, but we will give it everything we have because that’s who we are. We will not cower in the face of defeat, but continue to fight because we have made the promise that YOU are our first and only priority and your success will be our success.

Together We Succeed. Working together, we know we can achieve great things.

I see the future of auto recycling as an unfolding set of opportunities, challenging us to continually unwrap them and move forward. Everyone’s journey in our industry is unique, that’s what makes it so much fun. It’s not about following the exact same path, but listening to your heart and finding your own way. It is important to take every experience, including the negative ones, as merely steps forward to proceed. Failure is often the best teacher.

Being an active participant in our industry’s association has immediate benefits, and should nurture an improvement in the overall business climate. As recyclers get to know one another, they find ways to share resources, unite on important issues, and develop new tools for securing their profitability, all the while creating an atmosphere that encourages competition and attracts customers.

We are in exciting times in that we are seeing an influx of talented, smart next generation men and women who will lead the way into the future of the business. With effective leadership and adequate participation, ARA as an association can make it easier for all our members to make money and also enjoy the process.

I hope to see you in Dallas! 

Reach Sandy Blalock at sandy@a-r-a.org. Share your thoughts pertaining to the advancement of professional automotive recycling. Your letter could be published in an upcoming issue.

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