Overcome Adversity with the ARA Advantage

Jul 1, 2020 | Training & Education

“Edge above the rest” with the advantage of the industry’s high-powered info-packed annual think tank – ARA’s 77th Annual Convention & Expo. Join ARA to crush your goals in 2021.

By Caryn Smith

We will look at how elite level organizations define their mission, set a course and swiftly and efficiently execute with maximum impact and minimal risk despite uncertainty. Ultimately, action is the answer!

This is not your typical “convention preview” article, but then it is not your typical year. 2020 has certainly delivered plenty of uncertainty, inconvenience and, for some, unexplainable heartache. Business has been less than predictable. Compassion and empathy have become the two most needed assets a business owner and leader should possess to successfully manage their teams. Strong financial management is no longer optional. Finding new ways to leverage sales is a must. Marketing online is essential. There is no getting around these facts.

Cirba Solutions

Yet, with all that, the resilience of the automotive recycling community has stood strong. The beacon that shines light on the path forward for most auto recyclers has been the support they’ve received from their peers and professional organizations. The increased popularity of Facebook groups and live events, as well as Zoom and Go-To meetings, tell the story of automotive recyclers connecting, learning, sharing and empathizing together – electronically – more now than ever.

Thankfully, the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) has taken a leading role to find ways to help auto recyclers take advantage of opportunities for support, as well as decipher information and regulations from governments and regulators. A quick look at the ARA Facebook page, ARA website or your email reveals need-to-know information, especially through the COVID-19 Dashboard on a-r-a.org.

“ARA leadership saw early on that we needed to pull together resources and information that auto recyclers could use to make their way through this crisis,” says Sandy Blalock, ARA Executive Director. “We scoured the news, CDC, OSHA, SBA and federal government websites, and reviewed legislation coming out at rapid fire to pull together the ARA COVID-19 Dashboard and weekly email updates. Now, looking towards our Annual Convention, we will continue to deliver the tools and education that recyclers will need to excel in 2021.”

Back Together Again

Bringing all the recent ARA efforts back to building an excellent in-person event, ARA’s 77th Annual Convention & Expo is planned for Nov. 11-14, in Reno, Nevada. This pinnacle meeting is one of the industry’s largest, which brings auto recyclers and supporting businesses from across the globe together under one roof to learn, network, celebrate, demonstrate, and more. (At this time, there are no plans to cancel this much-needed event.)

“We believe this year, more than ever with the cancellation of so many state and industry events that we need to bring our industry back together if we can do it safely,” says Blalock. “Auto recyclers do better together, and this event allows them to take the needed time out to focus on their business. It also allows them to see so many great ideas presented by our expert speakers and panelists, as well as vendor and sponsor industry partners.”

The annual event boasts many of the activities attendees enjoy: The annual Awards Dinner with a Gold-Rush theme; Yard Tour; Past President’s Reception & Exposition Opening, a favorite of almost everyone; and more.

“While we won’t jeopardize the health and well-being of anyone,” says Kim Glasscock, ARA meeting planner, “we continue to plan this event with high hopes we can bring everyone to Reno, utilizing safe event practices. Our hotel property is also committed to diligence in cleaning and sanitizing for the safety of our attendees.”

Rest assured, ARA leadership understands the unpredictability this year has delivered. They are not only building an excellent “Plan A,” they are also co-developing a “Plan A-lternative” just in case scenario, to guarantee auto recyclers will have the tools they need to succeed in 2021.

Crushing Adversity

The ARA Annual Convention Educational Programming Committee is still formulating the agenda (see page 31) and promises quality programming. The goal is to give

you the “edge above the rest” experience, assembling the industry’s finest speakers, panelists, and experts.

Jason Redman returns as ARA’s 77th Annual Convention & Expo Keynote Speaker.

The biggest news is the return of Jason Redman as the 2020 Convention Keynote Speaker. In fact, ARA named Redman its “2020 Industry Coach.” As a decorated retired Navy SEAL officer who was severely wounded in Iraq in 2007, Redman went on to use his experience to become a New York Times bestselling author, speaker and coach.

He is currently presenting a Facebook Live sessions each month for ARA leading up to the Convention, titled “Crush Adversity,” to help participants redirect the current chaos into an actionable plan for profitable results. (Recorded sessions are accessible on ARA’s Facebook page.) His focus on leadership and teamwork, and the use the principles associated with the “Overcome Mindset” helps individuals, teams and companies to “GET OFF THE X”™ effectively after “Life Ambushes.”

Redman’s keynote will bring together the action items from the four online sessions and convention attendees will walk away with clear goals and a plan for 2021. Last year, Redman spoke (looking back, almost prophetically) about getting off the X of conflict and moving forward. Then, Covid-19 – the ultimate X – happened. His message this year is especially insightful, and for some, it will be just what they need to get past current roadblocks.

“2020 has been crazy,” says Redman, “but it has also enabled me to put my content to work and validate it. ARA will be one of the first to receive newly-developed information on several critical concepts I knew from my military career, but have now witnessed its effectiveness during this COVID crisis. We will look at how elite level organizations define their mission, set a course and swiftly and efficiently execute with maximum impact and minimal risk despite uncertainty. Ultimately, action is the answer!”

Reflecting on the resilience of the automotive recycling community, Redman says, “I think resilience is the ability to endure hard and uncertain times, but also to recognize opportunity within them. When I first spoke to ARA, pre-COVID,  the members were dealing with the industry’s evolution, technology and challenges from outside forces.

“With COVID, the resilience needed is born more from sheer necessity, yet also from tremendous opportunity. Current economic conditions and unemployment means people are looking for ways to save money. The option of recycled auto parts is a great way to do just that. Resilience will be expressed by leveraging new marketing opportunities to leverage these new opportunities.”

“I think that getting off the X, outside of your comfort zone, constantly challenging your beliefs, and striving for small gains every day are what we need to be focusing on with full force. So many of us have had a cataclysmic change in life and business. We need to understand that the world may not go back to normal and that the new virtual world we live in will continue into the future. Put the focus on small incremental changes to make sure we are always moving the needle in our life and business forward.”

“I met so many good down-to-earth people at the ARA event last year, who, like me, want to have a successful business. Most people and businesses have great hopes, dreams, and plans, yet so many fail to execute sufficiently because they wait too long for the perfect plan, take half steps, or fail to act due to uncertainty and lack of information. I want to encourage all of you to take action in 2021; that an imperfect plan ferociously executed is far better than a good plan never used!”

High Altitude, High Expectations

Now more than ever, the association sees the need for auto recyclers to connect. While November 11-14th is a few months away (and in the shadow of the COVID timeline, each month is like a year, isn’t it?), ARA is expecting that members will attend this educational event as they always have. Registrations are already coming in, and you too can register now at www.a-r-a.org.

The event offers a much-needed respite from COVID-19 – a mountain refresher that rejuvenates the weary or recharges those who powered strong through 2020.

Whatever you need, this host city and property has it all.

The exciting city of Reno, Nevada and the stellar Peppermill Resort Spa Casino serve as hosts to the ARA. If you have not checked out the Peppermill’s video on ARA’s convention webpage, you need to see it for yourself.

The “Biggest Little City in the World” got its name as a result of the wide range of cosmopolitan amenities in a city of its relatively small size. It has a small-town feel, with small-town friendliness, yet has so many big-city activities to offer you’ll want to extend your stay.

Reno is just 22 miles from Lake Tahoe and sits in a high desert river valley at the foot of the Sierra Nevada at an elevation of about 4,400 feet above sea level. It is steeped in the rich American history of gold mining travelers who trekked through the area on the California Trail to find their fortunes in the Gold Rush of the 1800s. Then, roads and railroads through the region established the town of Reno in 1868. The city took a tourist leap forward when the state of Nevada legalized gambling in 1931, making Reno a hub of entertainment.

Something for Everyone

For those who enjoy the great outdoors, Reno has been called “magical” in the winter months, with snowfall usually light to moderate. While the weather will be chilly in November – in the 60s by day and 30s by night – the location brings so much outdoor activity to life due to its proximity to Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe and numerous ski resorts, you’ll want to bring your family. Wintery highlights include Tahoe skiing and snowboarding, backcountry skiing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides, ice skating and more.

For those who are put off by the cold weather, you don’t even need to leave the hotel property to get the most from Reno. Experience the eco-conscious Peppermill Resort Spa Casino, a Premier AAA Four Diamond property, boasting 1,621 luxurious guest rooms including the 600-room all-suite Tuscany Tower. ARA has arranged accommodating price points for your stay, with North/West Wing at $89 per night, Peppermill Tower at $119 per night and the Tuscany Tower at $139 per night (make reservations from the hotel link on ARA’s Convention webpage).

Those who love the good life indoors can embark on a luxurious journey at the remarkable three-story, 33,000-square-foot Spa & Salon Toscana featuring 24 treatment rooms. Enjoy Northern Nevada’s only Caldarium with indoor pool, sun deck and enjoy full-service salon services. Other amenities include a posh 9,900-square-foot fitness center; two beautiful outside pools and three outdoor jetted spas, heated with on-site geothermal energy. Boutique shopping is available, too, along with free WiFi Internet access for all guests.

Of course, the Peppermill delivers on the slots, table games and poker in the 82,000-square-foot casino you’d expect from the other city that doesn’t sleep.

Finally, gourmet food is at your fingertips with an exciting assortment of bars and lounges, including the iconic Fireside Lounge; and nine award-winning restaurants offering authentic Chinese, inspired Italian, steaks and chops, seafood, deli and café dining.

Visit www.peppermillreno.com to view all the amenities available and www.visitrenotahoe.com to check out all the activities of the area.

Supporting State Auto Recycling

This year, as most industry events were cancelled, ARA was mindful of the impact this has on the already limited budgets of ARA Affiliate Chapters. Therefore, ARA’s Annual Fundraiser will benefit the ARA Affiliate Chapters.

Your Edge Starts Here

To help you develop your 2021 plan of action, sessions at ARA’s 77th Annual Convention & Expo in Reno, NV will deliver on actionable content and information. The full agenda is available on www.a-r-a.org/2020-reno-agenda.html. Some sessions include:

Opening Keynote – THE DOUBLE WIN with Speaker Blake Stratton

In this signature talk from Michael Hyatt & Co., you will learn the 4-step system for growing your business while working less. Following this process has resulted in clients growing their business an average of 67 percent in their first year, while cutting an average of 11 hours from their work week. This message will equip you to start winning at work and succeeding at life.

Getting the Most from Social Media

Learn the importance to your overall business strategy to be present on social media and why you should leverage various platforms and why you shouldn’t approach them all the same. Discover the basics about the who, what, where, why and when to post on social media.

Inventory Acquisition: The Single Most Important Thing You Do

Full-service auto recyclers spend more money on inventory than any other item. It’s the single most important factor in maximizing profitability. Discover why inventory acquisition is so important yet so challenging. Leave this session with the information needed to thrive during this time of opportunity.

How to Kick A** at a Self-Serve Auto Facility – Nuts & Bolts Business

Open panel discussion on the key focus areas of running a successful self-service or hybrid facility. Topics will include stocking, sales and customer service. We will also highlight scrap material harvesting.


(as of press time)

ARA Power of Mentoring Program

Powering the Auto Recycling Industry with Interchange

Surviving 2020

HR: Finding & Developing

the “Right” People

Top Technology/Consumer Trends/Marketplace Insights

Things Your CPA May Not Know

What is the New Normal?

ARAU Battery Program

Sales for Self Service

Full Service Session on Sales

Determining Success! The Mediocracy Trap

Quality Parts Handling


Recyclers Roundtable

Hybrid/EV Battery Recycling/

Battery Safety

From Order to Out the Door

Customer Expectations & Part Types

Maximize Core and

End of Life Revenue

Edge Above the Rest Exhibitors

(as of press time)

366 International, Inc.

AB CatTech

AER Manufacturing


Arrow Recovery Group Inc.

Auto Data Direct, Inc.

Automotive Recyclers Association

Axe Payments

BASF Corporation

Brock Supply

Buddy Automotive Innovations



Commercial Forms Recycler Supply


Counts Business Consulting

Crow Environmental

Crush Software

Dorman Products

ELVS (Ntl. Vehicle Mercury Switch Recovery Program)

GJ Sullivan Company Insurance

Global Refining Group, Inc.

Helluva Container

Hollander, LLC

Hotlines, Inc.

HUB Industrial Supply

Interstate Batteries Recycling

Kobelco Construction Machinery

Lamb Fuels, Inc.

Lefort America

Midwest Gas

Mike French & Co., Inc./

Auto Recyclers Toolbox

OVB Holdings LLC dba Overbuilt

Parts Trader

Peddle LLC

PGM of Texas

PGM Recovery Systems

Phoenix Automotive Cores

PMR Inc.

Rebuilders Automotive Supply

Recycling Services Intl.

Recycling Today Media Group

RM Johnson Co. (EZ Crusher)

SAS Forks


SEDA Environmental LLC

Sierra International Machinery

Supershear Inc.

United Catalyst Corporation

United Recyclers Group

VET Environmental Engineering, LLC

Vortex De-Pollution & Recycling Equipment

WEN Industries

Caryn Smith is the editor of Automotive Recycling magazine, and has covered the industry for over 20 years.

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