2024 Auto Care Connect Conference Keynote Speakers Announced

March 19, 2024

2024 connectBETHESDA, Md. – March 19, 2024 – The Auto Care Association today announced its final lineup of keynote speakers for the 2024 Auto Care Connect event, taking place May 5-8 in Chicago, Ill., at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. This year’s guest speakers will be Armida Ascano, chief content officer, Trend Hunter; Dr. Peter Fader, Frances and Pei-Yuan Chia professor of marketing, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; and Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, United States Air Force F-16 fighter pilot and founder, Folds of Honor.

“Power is at the heart of each of our three incredible speaker’s keynotes this year,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “From Armida’s generational trend forecasting data, to Dr. Fader’s exceptional knowledge in consumer behavioral patterns, along with Lt. Col. Rooney’s demonstration of the potential of the human spirit, Auto Care Connect attendees will be inspired and equipped with powerful insights they can implement within their own lives and organizations.”

Monday, May 6, 2024: Armida Ascano, Trend Hunter
As Trend Hunter’s most-requested Futurist, Ascano has a passion for trend forecasting with a specialized focus on generational segmentation. As the founder of Trend Hunter’s Futurist team, Arminda Ascano coaches the company’s innovation speakers and develops frameworks on the future of innovation, technology, marketing, lifestyle and culture, while co-creating custom workshops for clients. With these tools in her arsenal, she has helped hundreds of brands innovate—including Red Bull, TOMS, and Samsung—and has spoken at conferences like Foresight and Trends, OmniShopper, Future Festival and Dreamforce.

During her presentation, Ascano will dig into the demographic evolution and not only highlight the major generational demographics but show how consumers who share the same overarching generation can also greatly differ from one another and can be further segmented into micro-generations. Industry professionals will glean valuable insights on the trends relevant to those micro-generations alongside consumer behavior and innovative strategy takeaways to help drive growth in a highly competitive market. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2024: Dr. Peter Fader, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Fader’s expertise centers around the analysis of behavioral data to understand and forecast customer shopping/purchasing activities. He works with firms from a wide range of industries such as telecommunications, financial services, gaming and entertainment, retailing, and pharmaceuticals to focus on customer relationship management, lifetime value of the customer and sales forecasting for new products.

Much of his research highlights the consistent (but often surprising) behavioral patterns that exist across these industries and other seemingly different domains. In addition, Fader co-founded the predictive analytics firm Zodiac in 2015, which was sold to Nike in 2018. He then co-founded (and continues to run) Theta to commercialize his more recent work on “customer-based corporate valuation.”

Dr. Fader is the author of three books and has also won various awards for his research and teaching accomplishments, including being named by Advertising Age as one of its inaugural “25 Marketing Technology Trailblazers” in 2017, making him the only academic on the list.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024: Lt. Col. Dan Rooney, United States Air Force
United States Air Force Lt. Col. Dan Rooney is the founder of the Folds of Honor; an F-16 Fighter Pilot (with 1,800 hours of flight time) with three combat tours in Iraq; and a PGA Golf Professional. He is a Fox News contributor and host of the Fox Nation’s series “Fly into the Wind.” As an author, he has written two bestselling books and as a PGA Golf Professional, he started Patriot Golf Day to benefit Folds of Honor and founded two nationally ranked golf clubs, The Patriot Golf Club and American Dunes Golf Club, in collaboration with Jack Nicklaus. From humble beginnings above his garage, Lt. Col. Rooney started the non-profit Folds of Honor. Its singular mission is to provide educational scholarships to the spouses and children of wounded or killed military service members.

Lt. Col. Rooney continues his military service as aggressor pilot as a proud member of the 301st Fighter Squadron at Eglin Air Force Base in Destin, Florida. Rooney is a decorated military aviator; he is a two-time recipient of the Top Gun award and was honored with the Spirit of Attack award as a top graduate of F-16 training. He has received many military decorations and recognition for his service and patriotism He has been recognized as one of People Magazine's “Heroes of the Year”, Money Magazine’s “Hero of the Year” and ABC World News Tonight's “Persons of the Year.”

He was a CNN Hero and awarded the Fox Nation Ultimate Patriot Award.

He lives in Owasso, Oklahoma, with his wife, five daughters, and three dogs.

To register and learn more about the education and sessions at 2024 Auto Care Connect, please visit autocare.org/connect.