By David Gold
November 22, 2018 — A lot has changed in these past few months within the ARA, and within the industry itself. We all acknowledge that the only constant will be the change going forward. Some of that will be within our control and some of it will not—so this has been our guiding principal as we work on the strategy to further the association. Associations with strong volunteers can be so much more effective, so those of you that support it with your own personal time and especially the past presidents who have given us so much, with five full years on the executive committee, are acknowledged and appreciated for how they have helped pave the way for the association to get to this point.
Many of us have worked together for so long and developed strong friendships; we know we can count on each other, as there are some of the most generous people working in our industry and we should be very proud of that. We are one team – with united goals, that makes both our industry and the association flourish. Those of us that have been around and have gone through the ranks already know the dedication and time required to make ARA the best it can be, and we are all here for the right reasons. We have to as an industry look out for ourselves and push for what’s right as we know that others have and will continue to question our legitimacy.
I want to acknowledge Herb Lieberman who is going to be stepping back from his duties at LKQ Corporation at the end of this year, but he assures us—and I quote, “This ol’ junk man ain’t headed for the crusher just yet, even though my desk is getting closer to the loading dock.” Herb is not only a past president, but a distinguished ARA lifetime member and he has offered ARA his support in any way that may be of benefit. Now would be a good time to let Herb and other ARA legacy members know that we indeed desire to reach out to them and involve them—enabling us to build on their past experiences as we aim to promote strategic partnerships with key stakeholders that we know will benefit the auto recycling industry.
In addition to our desire to promote strategic partnerships, many have spoken up about an industry data study and there is no question this is going to be crucial for us as an organization and is a high priority. We as auto recyclers do so much good for the environment, economy and consumers’ alike and we need to boast about this and around the world in a concise and clear manner. No one else will spearhead this for us and we have to turn our image into one that is seen in the most positive light. With special outreach we as an association can tackle the tough issues as we strive to work on initiatives that can make a difference to the everyday lives of auto recyclers.
In 2017, we as a group acknowledged four key strategic pillars for ARA to focus on; data access, government relations, awareness and strategic partnerships. These four key pillars have not changed and the focus for the association and the time and resources spent are divided up based on where we believe we can make an actual difference and further the association this year. We are goal orientated and the strategy to divide and conquer is what we are all tasked to do—so we multi-task accordingly. I trust that the auto recyclers out there feel energized about our great association and know that your leadership has made promises to protect all things auto recycling for all our collective interests and we will continue to do so.