As the sun sets on 2014, and I reflect on the association’s achievements, I must say this past year has been one of the best, if not the very best ever. The list could go on forever to elaborate on them all, but I’m delighted to highlight 10 key successes.
1. After a decade-long battle over the Motor Vehicle Owners’ Right to Repair legislation, we secured a memo of understanding with the car companies.
2. The rebranding initiative, which changed our name to the Auto Care Association and introduced the term auto care industry, has been very well received inside and outside of the industry.
3. The Car Care Council reported that largest number of industry-hosted vehicle check-up events during April and October car care months and the highest level of overall involvement in the Be Car Care Aware campaign.
4. The newly-redesigned 80-page Car Care Guide by the Car Care Council made its debut, available in English and Spanish, which uses easy-to-understand everyday language rather than technical automotive jargon to explain common car care and maintenance to drivers and fits easily in a glove box.
5. AAPEX 2014 was the most successful ever, based on attendee feedback regarding expanded education sessions, quality of buyers, record AWDA attendance and one-on-one meetings, the new Wednesday morning General Session with Steve Forbes, and other show enhancements.
6. We significantly expanded our international outreach on behalf of members through hosting U.S. pavilions at international trade shows, co-hosting summits in China and Europe, working more closely with Department of Commerce, to create and implement a strong trade promotion program aimed at helping members find new international business partners and markets for their products and services.
7. We established a place at the association table for young industry professionals – our future leaders – called the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG).
8. The association took a leadership role in the new battleground for telematics and the connected car, serving on the industry Telematics Task Force and working towards a technological solution and regulatory criteria.
9. We saw record attendance at Spring and Fall Leadership Days by volunteer leaders, demonstrating support for the association’s initiatives and a desire to be involved.
10. We began creating a first-of-its-kind auto care industry career website with information and resources about working in our dynamic industry (launching in early 2015 – more information coming soon).
Clearly, this sampling doesn’t do the year’s work justice, but you get the gist. Thank you to our talented and dedicated professional staff and our supportive and engaged volunteer leaders. We are looking forward to an exciting and productive 2015.