A selection of photos from the ARA Convention. Check out the gallery below for more!

By Mike Davey

Charlotte, North Carolina -- October 14, 2105 -- The annual Convention & Exposition of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) is easily one of the biggest events on the auto recycling calendar, drawing together professionals from all across Canada and the US. This year’s convention, the organization’s 72nd, took place in Charlotte, North Carolina from October 7 to 10.

Highlights of this year’s convention included over 30 educational sessions, a trade show featuring nearly 100 exhibitors, and ongoing updates from various ARA committees on recent activities, priorities and how recyclers can get involved to move the industry forward.

Presentations over the three days were chock full of information automotive recyclers can use to protect or grow their companies. Although there were simply too many to go into detail, a few highlights stand out.

Jon O’Malley of YouProfit presented “7 Drivers of Faster Growth & Profits,” focusing on how to grow a business from chaos to maturity. Robert and Chad Counts of CDC Dashboard are well-know as consultants and knowledge leaders in the auto recycling world. Their presentation focused on things they say recycling yards must do to survive and grow, centred around obtaining and controlling inventory. Jeff Schroder of Car-Part.com’s presentation, “Collision Advice: Gain Insight into Your Collision Customers,” certainly piqued attendees interest. Schroder supplemented his presentation with data analytics, while providing tips on how to sell into the collision repair industry and pitfalls to avoid.

The session on October 9 wrapped up with the official Awards Dinner and Gavel Passing. A Canadian company brought home two high profile awards. Carcone’s Auto Recycling, based in Aurora, Ontario, took home the Certified Auto Recycler of the Year award and also received the inaugural Randy Reitman Memorial Traveling CAR Award. Read more about this here.

Canadian Ed MacDonald of Maritime Auto Parts concluded his term on the ARA Executive as Past President, and President Ricky Young from North Carolina passed the gavel to incoming President Mike Swift of Swift’s Trails End Auto Recycling. Board members now move up one position along the track. Another Canadian, David Gold of Standard Auto Wreckers, started as a board member last year as Secretary, and now has taken the position of 2nd Vice President.

“I was involved in various discussions with a lot of different people, and one thing I noticed was a sense of unity across all auto recyclers,” says Gold. “Whether big consolidators, smaller independents, or working groups, recyclers know we’re not each other’s competition. That was one of the most profound messages from this year’s convention.”

For more information, please visit a-r-a.org.

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