Education, networking among the top draws at ARA Convention

A few photos from the ARA Convention in Nashville. Check out the gallery below for over 150 photos from the event!   

Nashville, Tennessee — November 5, 2014 — The Automotive Recycling Association’s (ARA) 71st Annual Convention and Exposition took place October 22 to 25, 2014 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee. It was one of the best attended conventions so far, with over 1,100 auto recyclers traveling from across North America to attend.

“One of the greatest attractions is our top-notch educational program,” says ARA CEO, Michael E. Wilson. “This year’s educational and training program was focused on seven key areas: business management, future technology, operations, profitability, salesmanship, sustainability, and global perspectives.”

Other highlights included tours of Nissan North America’s manufacturing plant, 12 hours of Exposition with over 100 exhibitors, a networking breakfast for the Ladies of the Automotive Recyclers Association, and the Annual Awards Dinner and Presidential Gavel Passing. Attendees also heard a report on how ARA is working on several different fronts to obtain necessary parts information from OEMs.

“We are actively pursuing this issue in Congress, NHTSA, and with the automakers,” says Jessica Andrews, Director of State Government and Grassroots Affairs for ARA. “The attention on the OEM parts recall issue provides a critical opportunity for us to educate policymakers and industry on the need to have parts data so that we can better identify parts for repairs and to estimate vehicle value.”

Other highlights included tours of Nissan North America’s manufacturing plant, 12 hours of Exposition with over 100 exhibitors, a networking breakfast for the Ladies of the Automotive Recyclers Association, and the Annual Awards Dinner and Presidential Gavel Passing.
Ed MacDonald of Maritime Auto Parts in Truro, Nova Scotia, gave his final speech as the President of the ARA. His tenure on the Executive Committee continues in a supportive role as the Immediate Past President, where he will help direct the actions of ARA, as well as lead ARA Regional and At-Large Directors, the organization’s eyes and ears at the grassroots in each region.

“What a year it has been,” says MacDonald “It has indeed been a privilege to share experiences and work with you – a diverse membership of progressive and talented industry leaders.”

MacDonald was first nominated to serve on the Executive Committee in 2010.

“In my first address to you as ARA President about this time last year, I spoke of my plans to help strengthen ARA through building partnerships and promoting certification. With the help of leadership, colleagues and staff, your association has made great strides on both of these initiatives this past year,” says MacDonald. “As I traveled this past year, I became acutely aware of the various colourful and creative differences common to our industry not only within North America but worldwide.”

Ricky Young of Young’s Auto Center & Salvage in Benson, North Carolina, will serve as ARA President for 2015.

MacDonald isn’t the only Canadian on ARA’s Executive Committee. David Gold of Standard Auto Wreckers starts his tenure this year in the position of Secretary. He will become President at the Convention in 2017 and serve in that role through 2018.

“David Gold has been on the Nominating Committee’s list of possible candidates to serve on the ARA Executive Committee for many years,” says Chris Wright, ARA Past President and Chair of the Nominating Committee. “We are very pleased that David accepted the position and is ready for the role and responsibilities that come with serving on the Executive Committee.”

Gold has many years of experience both as a recycler and as an active association member of ARA, the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association and the Automotive Recyclers of Canada.

“I grew up in this industry and have watched it mature over the last two decades. I am so proud to be a part of this industry and I am truly lucky to now have the opportunity to help steer it into the future,” says Gold. “I am really proud to be in an industry that is so important to both the economy and the environment. I have always been progressive minded in my own business and hope to bring that type of positive, forward thinking energy to my position with the ARA.”

The 2014 STAR Award Winners were:

ARA Member of the Year – Steve Holland, Brandon Auto Salvage,Valrico, Florida

ARA Regional Director of the Year – Lawrie Beacham, Jeepart Recyclers, Hervey Bay, QLD Australia

ARA Affiliate Chapter of the Year – Iowa Automotive Recyclers, Waterloo, Iowa

ARA CAR Member of the Year – Reitman Auto Parts & Sales, Melbourne, Kentucky

Ed MacDonald proudly awarded his President’s Award to the very deserving Jerry Brock of Brock Supply, saying “Jerry Brock and Brock Supply have exhibited at every ARA Convention since 1967. His history of support to ARA, the culture of giving back that is instilled within his company, and service within his home state of Arizona speak volumes about the kind of man Jerry is. His enthusiasm and passion for the industry is contagious. Jerry is a true asset to the automotive recycling industry and we are lucky to have him.”

MacDonald also presented a special posthumous award to automotive recycler Bob Phelps for all his industry and association contributions and announced that a permanently named scholarship has been established in his memory.

Three new ARA Lifetime Honorary Members were recognized for their significant contributions to the association and for furthering the goals of the association and the automotive dismantling and recycling industry. They were Kennie Andersen, Bob Griggers, and Bob Eubanks.

Next year’s ARA Convention will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina on October 7 to 10, 2015. Please visit for more information.



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