We Are ONE

Dec 1, 2023 | Toolbox

Preparations for URG’s 2024 conference in St. Louis, MO are in full swing.

By Kristi Werner

This year’s theme, “We Are ONE,” is a perfect fit for our annual conference now that URG and PRP will be hosting side by side, once again! We went back to our roots and became ONE for the better, not only for recyclers, but for vendors as well. When we come together as ONE, for the better of the industry, it benefits everyone. This is a trend I hope to continue as we move forward! 

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When I first started in our industry, the concept of working as one is what made me love it so much. If someone from outside our industry came to our conference, they would never realize recyclers and vendors attending are competitors. What other industry will share key things that have helped them succeed in their own business with their own competitors? I can’t think of any. There is no comparison to the family dynamic within our industry.

Working as ONE is vital to the success of our industry. It is important that everyone collaborates and shares ideas with one another, because everyone has different views on how to solve a problem. Bringing together different views as ONE will get you to think differently, and help you get the best answer to your problem.

Change in our industry is a given. With that in mind, we need to adapt and make sure we all remember that sticking together is key to everyone’s success.

Our rekindled partnership with PRP already has brought another organization to follow suit. RCD (Recyclers Cross Dock) has decided to move their 3 regional meetings they host each year, to one meeting at our conference. This will make it easier for recyclers and vendors that attend multiple shows a year to see and do more in just ONE show.

As we continue to go back to our roots, we also decided to bring back the focus we had on sales and production training from past conferences. Our upcoming Saturday session schedule contains a fantastic lineup of sales and production classes from talented guests within our industry. That Saturday evening, we will also be hosting a mixer for everyone to socialize, make new friendships, and catch up with old friends!

Our Friday sessions are jam packed as well! Starting off with our motivational speaker Ross Shafer, we have an array of sessions for owners and managers that are sure to engage everyone in attendance. Topics range from AI, to EV, to recession planning, marketing, buying…name a hot topic and we are most likely covering it.

We also have a lot of great events planned for our show. This year, we are changing it up a bit for Thursday and not only hosting our annual scholarship golf tournament but having the National Auto Body Council (NABC) host a F.R.E.E. (First Responder Emergency Extrication) event and tours at the MCI manufacturing plant. This will give attendees who don’t golf an alternative outing. Thursday evening, we will host a meet and greet at the St. Louis Arch with food and entertainment and tram rides up into the Arch itself! On Friday, NABC will be giving away cars to deserving nominees, which will lead into our Friday night auction event at the PBR bar inside of Ball Park Village, attached to the Cardinals’ stadium. I have been informed that there IS a mechanical bull in the bar, so beware!

The URG 2024 conference is going to be the elite show of the year, and I am looking forward to seeing you there.  Don’t forget! You don’t need to be a URG or PRP member to attend, but if you aren’t a member, you couldn’t pick a better time to join and become ONE with the top recyclers in the U.S. and Canada!

Kristi Werner is an 18-year veteran of the automotive recycling industry and was named CEO for United Recyclers Group (URG) in 2023. She is credited with helping recyclers take back control of their data so they can integrate with new platforms not previously available to them. She received her Bachelor’s degree from St. Cloud State University and her Master’s from Colorado Technical University. She joined URG in 2011 and became CTO in 2021.

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