chairman's message

chairman's message

Excerpts from the incoming chairman’s address presented by Bobby Segal, Automotive Supply Associates, Inc., at AWDA’s Annual Business & Education Conference, Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 29, 2017.

Good evening fellow AWDA members, manufacturer and supply chain partners and invited guests. I offer my sincere appreciation to the folks at Epicor for their sponsorship of this year’s annual business and education conference as well as their long time commitment to AWDA. Thank you!

For seventy years, it has been the Chairperson’s duty to report to the membership an update of the past year’s activities and events. If you have formerly been chair of AWDA please stand up and remain standing!  I congratulate you for your dedication and commitment to the association and our industry. From the vantage point of being alone on the stage looking out to you, I assure you that speaking tonight it is not an easy task. However, I’m sure that as chair of the Council of Governors, you found the opportunity to be to be fulfilling and beneficial to your career. Thank you for your past service! Please remain standing for a couple minutes.

Because of the dedication of your volunteer Council of Governors and the hard work of our executive director Larry Northup, we have an updated strategic plan that lays out details of the direction that AWDA will take in its role as representative and advocate for the industry’s distribution sector. If you are a current member of the AWDA board, please stand. Thank you for your support. Additionally, if you have ever served on the AWDA Council or Governors, or our Manufacturers Advisory Council – the MAC - in the last seventy years, please stand.

Look around and make note of the amount of members that have volunteered countless hours and time to do association work on your behalf. As dedicated volunteers, these AWDA members and MAC representatives have “watched your back” doing association and industry work. The reason; is because they’re ALL IN for our association and our industry! Thank you for your service, dedication and commitment to representing the traditional distribution sector of the aftermarket. Please be seated.

The central theme of our new strategic plan is for AWDA to become more integrated and influential within the Auto Care Association. As I stated in a June 12th press release, “As AWDA broadens and strengthens its relationship with the Auto Care Association, we expect synergies to emerge between auto care sectors and we recognize potential opportunities to collaborate with entities that were previously unthinkable. The Council of Governors understands that the pace of change within the entire auto care industry is accelerating and it is imperative for AWDA to become an even more integral part of the Auto Care Association and by extension, the auto care industry”. In simple terms, we’re ALL IN!

The economics associated with AWDA’s contribution to the Auto Care Association are unmatched. Collectively, we are the largest supporters of the PAC; we are the largest contributor to the U of A. Foundation. Grant money for next step, college outreach, and scholarships come from AWDA funds. Through the major program groups, AWDA members provide the Auto Care Association with its most effective grass roots activities. Lastly, with the growth of the DIFM sector, AWDA’s members play an increasingly critical role as the conduit for connection to repair shops.

Without question, AWDA members are deeply involved in Auto Care Association activities; including energizing and advocating peers to support the Auto Care PAC, educating members of Congress about telematics, imbedded software in auto parts and tax reform.  AWDA member distributors and manufacturers also took the lead in connecting with colleges and universities and even funded the creation of a model curriculum for supply chain management that focuses on the aftermarket. AWDA members are deeply involved in the development and use of Auto Care’s technology standards; we support consumer education through the Be Car Care Aware campaign.  And increasingly, AWDA members volunteer their time to in service to the industry on many association committees and other leadership groups. 

This past year, approximately one hundred seventy-five, (175) AWDA members served on Auto Care committees!  I would like to ask all AWDA members in the audience to stand if you currently serve, or have ever served on an Auto Care or AAIA committee or board.

Look around; there are a lot of people standing. They have “watched your back”! The simple reason why they are standing is that they’re ALL IN!

This is an impressive group. But not everyone has the interest or the time to volunteer. For those who have the time and the interest, great, we can use the help. For those who either do not have the interest or the time to participate, we understand; all of us have businesses to run and personal lives to manage. That’s why one of the key points from our strategic plan is to acknowledge that it is not necessary for everyone to become active members.

The fact is there are many ways that you can serve our industry locally by supporting grassroots activism, provide your input through surveys and questionnaires, and by participating at local job fairs to promote recruitment of top-notch employees and as well as to support “Be Car Care Aware” activities. You can simply contribute to our industry by making financial contributions to increase our influence on Capitol Hill, and last but certainly not least, to support all AWDA and Auto Care operations through membership dues.

A quick word about our industry’s PAC.  Your support is needed not just this year, but every year!  The battle for influence will be long and fierce.  Corey, imagine AWDA’s contribution if everyone in this room donated $2.74 per day for 365 days. $1,000.00 multiplied by eight- hundred people. With $800,000.00 annual donations, we could support our friends in congress who are members of the auto care caucus as well as those who support the industry at the state and local level. As importantly, we would be making a huge statement about the power, influence and importance of the auto care industry and traditional distribution. Tonight, immediately following this event at the cocktail reception, sponsored by our dear friends at Standard Motor Products, you have an opportunity to support the PAC. You will see a roped off area for current and new supporters of the PAC. Government affairs team member Gary Whidbey will happily process your financial donation.

The bottom line:  all our members are essential, valued and important in their own way. Everyone can – and should – be “ALL IN!” for our association and our industry.  Now is the time to commit - or re-commit – to that support.  Your association has made that commitment. We have your back! We’re all in for our industry and “we‘re ALL IN for you!”

To quote our good friend, Bill Maggs: “this is a great place to work”. We’re in a great industry with countless and boundless opportunities! Enjoy the fellowship of the conference and best wishes to you for a prosperous, meaningful and beneficial week. I look forward to seeing you here next year. 

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