News, Trends & Reports from the Automotive Recyclers Association

Mar 1, 2024 | Industry

ARA Announces Completion of Succession Search with Appointment of Next Executive Director

On January 30, 2024, the ARA Board of Directors unanimously approved a plan presented by the ARA Succession Committee for the transition of Executive Director responsibilities from current Executive Director Sandy Blalock to Vince Edivan, ARA’s Director of Member Relations. The leadership transition will occur over the next nine months, culminating at ARA’s 81st Annual Convention & Expo in Reno, Nevada on October 23-26th.  Sandy announced her decision to return to automotive recycling industry consulting during the 80th Annual Convention & Expo. Her plan is to continue advocacy work as an ARA member, and through the state associations.  “I look forward to working with Vince and the ARA team this year to ensure a smooth transition as he assumes the role of Executive Director at the end of convention this October,” said Blalock.

Executive Director, Sandy Blalock and Director of Member Relations, Vince Edivan.

“Sandy has always protected the rights of the professional auto recycler and worked to ensure that auto recyclers could sell their parts in the most profitable and equitable manner,” said ARA President, Nick Daurio. “ARA Past President David Gold said when Sandy was hired in 2018, ‘What she brings to the table in terms of experience in the industry as a yard owner, Past President of ARA, and state association executive is a combination that is truly one of a kind.’ Now isn’t that the truth,” added Daurio. “We truly appreciate all that Sandy has given to ARA, its volunteer leaders and staff.”

The Succession Committee made up of selected volunteer ARA leaders was formed last year by the ARA Executive Committee. “On behalf of the Succession Committee, I am pleased to share with the ARA membership that we have presented an offer of Executive Director to Vince Edivan, and he has accepted,” said ARA First Vice President Eric Wilbert, chair. “We identified Vince as the best candidate, and we are excited to move forward with a clear direction. Working diligently with Sandy, Senior Director of Operations Jessica Andrews, ARA leadership and the amazing team at the ARA office, we are confident that Vince will be well-supported and prepared for the new role. Thank you to all ARA members for your trust, as we continue the important work here at ARA.”

Vince joined ARA in 2019 in a member relations capacity and has worked to build a strong rapport with ARA members and potential members. He has enjoyed a diverse career in the automotive and recycling industries, starting as an ASE Certified mechanic. Later, as a Claims Branch Manager at Progressive Insurance, he collaborated with corporate process and claims audit teams to establish Standard Operating Procedures for Claims Service Centers nationwide. He also gained experience working with industry leaders like Manheim and Copart. Prior to joining ARA, he served as the National Director of Remarketing for The Military Order of the Purple Hearts’ car donation program and served as an industry consultant.

“I am deeply honored to accept the role of Executive Director for ARA. I want to acknowledge the remarkable contributions of Sandy Blalock and the dedicated leaders who preceded me. Their vision, hard work, and unwavering commitment have paved the way for ARA’s continuing success, and I am humbled to carry forward their legacy,” said Edivan. “I am grateful to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for placing their trust in me. I am excited about the opportunity to work collaboratively with industry stakeholders, while advocating for practices that promote the automotive recycling industry and serve the needs of our members. Together with the tireless work done by our respected ARA team, we will build on the strong foundation established by those who came before us, and I am eager to embark on this journey of growth and excellence.”

Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program – Become a Mentor or Apply as a Mentee!

ARA’s Peer-to-Peer Mentoring Program is actively seeking new mentors for the program. Do you have the time to invest in sharing your knowledge with someone looking to learn? Are you willing to open your doors to a mentee so he/she can learn and observe your processes and procedures? Are you ready to give back to the industry through coaching and guidance? Led by program co-chairs and ARA past presidents, RD Hopper and Marty Hollingshead, the Mentoring Program is making a difference for ARA member businesses.

Are you looking for help with your short-term and long-term goals for your company? Are you open to devoting the time needed and resources required to invest to be better? If you are interested in being mentored, or serving as a mentor yourself, find out more by applying today on the ARA website (www.a-r-a.org) or contacting Senior Director of Association Operations, Jessica Andrews (jessica@a-r-a.org).

ARA Secures Legislative Wins to Defend the Industry

In the first month of the new year, ARA has already secured several legislative successes in state legislatures. ARA has successfully defended the automotive recycling industry by advocating for the use of recycled original equipment parts, the use of aftermarket parts, and the importance of automotive recyclers within the end-of-life framework for electric vehicles. So far, ARA has been working with local recyclers and industry stakeholders in multiple states such as Washington, Idaho, and Florida.

In Washington State, ARA opposed House Bill 2011 and Senate Bill 6252. ARA has successfully opposed this piece of legislation in past years and once again worked to ensure that it would not become law. These two bills require that any insurance covered vehicle repair follow OEM procedures and processes. ARA raised concerns with this language since several OEMs have public processes and procedures that disallow the use for recycled original equipment motor vehicle repair parts. After submitting testimony opposing the set of bills, ARA had productive conversations with the bill sponsors. Both of these bills will not move forward this year.

In Idaho, ARA opposed Senate Bill 1233 along with local recyclers and industry stakeholders. Senate Bill 1233 took a hard position against the use of aftermarket repair parts and repair parts not sourced by an OEM. For example, in the case an insurance repair includes the use of aftermarket or repair parts not sourced from an OEM, the bill would require an insured vehicle owner to receive a written estimate containing a statement that “use of nonoriginal equipment manufacturer (non-OEM) crash parts may affect the safety and performance of your vehicle. It is recommended that you consult with a qualified industry expert or repair shop before making any decisions regarding the use of non-OEM crash parts.” This statement is designed to dissuade vehicle owners from using any part other than one sourced directly from an OEM. ARA is pleased to have testified against the bill and to announce that the bill will not be moving forward.

In Florida, ARA worked closely with Florida Auto Dismantlers & Recyclers Association (FADRA) to provide input on a bill that would create a deposit program for electric vehicle batteries. The bill sought to create a battery deposit program that appears to mimic a can deposit program where a vehicle owner will receive a statutorily prescribed dollar amount when a battery or vehicle containing a battery is: (1) relinquished or sold to a motor vehicle dealer or motor vehicle repair shop; (2) a vehicle’s titleholder provides proof of the vehicle leaving the state; (3) a vehicle’s titleholder proves the vehicle was stolen; (4) a fire department can claim the deposit if they extinguish a battery fire originating from a vehicle. As written, the bill makes the assumption that the mere act of returning a battery electric vehicle or battery to a dealer or repair shop will result in the responsible handling of a high voltage battery. ARA and FADRA were able to communicate the importance of the automotive recycling industry in relation to the processing and safe handling of high voltage vehicle batteries and welcome further cooperation between our associations and the legislature in preparing effective electric vehicle battery management policy.

It has only been two months since the start of 2024 legislative sessions throughout the state legislatures and ARA has already secured important wins for the automotive recycling industry. ARA is currently monitoring over 76 pieces of legislation and regulatory actions both in the states and federally. As the advocate for the automotive recycling industry, ARA continues to promote the importance of the automotive recycling industry on the vehicle repair market and the environment. ARA is here to work with local and state affiliates on legislative and policy matters and will continue its work to advocate for the industry.

Welcome ARA’s New Accountant

ARA staff welcomed a new team member earlier this year, as Rebecca D’Andrea, CPA, joined the office in Manassas as in-house bookkeeper for the association. Rebecca comes from the tax world and has taken over all areas of billing, accounts payable, receivables, and bookkeeping for ARA. You can reach Rebecca at Accounting@a-r-a.org.

ARA’s Emil Nusbaum, is Named Co-Chair of NAATBatt’s Policy and Regulatory Committee

This month, Emil Nusbaum, VP of Strategy, Government and Regulatory Affairs, was named co-chair of NAATBatt’s Policy and Regulatory Committee. Emil will serve as co-chair along with Jeff Yambrick, Founder and CEO of Energy Supply Developers. NAATBatt International is the preeminent trade association for advanced battery technology in North America. Members of NAATBatt include organizations and companies across the entire battery value chain. Emil is excited to have the opportunity to work with committee members on issues related to the proliferation of battery technologies and policy.

Are You Taking Advantage of the New SHiFT Program for Inventory?

Interested in getting more SHiFT cars? It’s easy to add the SHiFT plug-in to your website. Plug-in available on sites hosted by URG, WordPress and custom applications. See mock-up above.

Reach out now to success@arscars.com to get set up and start acquiring more cars today.

“Decent”…”Usable”…What Words Does YOUR Facility Use? Interchange Committee Seeking Input on Subjective Parts Grading

ARA’s Interchange Committee continues to identify ways to bring consistency to the industry when it comes to inventorying and grading parts. One challenge has always been that the ARA Damage Codes are a language few outside of the professional automotive recycling industry speak. “Auto recyclers often find themselves on an island speaking a language that nobody else knows,” says ARA Past President and Interchange Committee member, RD Hopper. This is particularly the case when it comes to subjective parts that don’t easily fit into an “A”, “B” or “C” grade classification.

“We want to help the industry be more professional by suggesting an alternative to what they are currently using to describe these parts,” says Emily Yancey, Chair of the Committee. Together, Emily and RD have spearheaded the Peer-to-Peer Interchange Subcommittee, which as been reviewing crowdsourced interchange for the past several months.

The Committee is seeking input from the membership at-large with the goal of identifying words that better describe subjective parts. For example, is “decent” a good word for a B grade part? “Usable” for a C grade? What do you call an A grade part?

“We want to assign words to distinguish these subjective parts so that inventory management systems and bidding systems don’t throw that part out,” adds Hopper. “We want to help ARA members make that sale.”

To send in your word suggestions, please email the Peer-to-Peer Subcommittee at: ARAPI@a-r-a.org.

ARA Committee Corner The Latest News

The Annual Convention Educational Programming Committee is fresh off the heels of a successful 80th Annual ARA Convention and gearing up for next year’s event. Thank you to all Kansas City attendees that took the time to send session-specific feedback via the Convention mobile app. That input is very important to your volunteer leaders’ planning process for future events. The formal “Call for Proposals” opportunity to submit educational session ideas opened in early January and all are welcome to submit their ideas. Please contact Chair, Natalie Miller, for more information and any questions. The 2024 Annual Convention will take place October 23-26 in Reno at the Peppermill Resort. Stay tuned for details in the coming months!

The Interchange Committee is successfully integrating peer interchange into the yard management software thanks to the cooperation of all committee members, Hollander, and Car-Part. Please continue to submit your peer interchange feedback to ARAPI@a-r-a.org – the individual that submits the most ideas AND the individual that submits the most accurate ideas will both win a prize at the end of the year! Future projects for 2024 include assigning interchange numbers for EV parts that do not currently have interchange and updating the Recycled Parts Guide to include EV parts and photos.

Get involved! Join a committee today by emailing staff@a-r-a.org. 

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