Thursday, 18 December 2014 00:00

IAR Recognized as ARA’s 2014 Affiliate Chapter of the Year

During the Automotive Recyclers Association’s (ARA) 71st Annual Convention and Exposition in Nashville, TN on October 22 through 25, the Iowa Automotive Recyclers Association (IAR) was named ARA’s “2014 Affiliate Chapter of the Year,” an award meant to honor an affiliated chapter of ARA that, through their service and work on behalf of their members and the association as a whole, has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the professional automotive recycling industry.

Sue Schauls, Executive Director of IAR, says, “we were thrilled to be recognized at the awards banquet for ARA. Being honored for doing our best for our association in Iowa adds to the satisfaction that not only are our members being served, but our peers see that too.”

Ed MacDonald, immediate Past President of ARA, credit Schauls and IAR President Andy Wilken for being at the forefront of the industry.

“The achievements of the IAR have served as a model to others in the automotive recycling community, and IAR leaders have been a valuable resource to ARA and other state affiliate chapters as they have been more than willing to share their experience and help others fighting to promote and protect the professional automotive recycling industry… With their I-CARE Environmental Certification Program, the Iowa Automotive Recyclers truly set a standard of excellence for automotive recyclers in Iowa and throughout the auto recycling community.”

In 2010, IAR implemented their Iowa Certified Auto Recyclers Environmental (I-CARE) Program which was established as a way to set a standard of excellence for automotive recyclers in Iowa in order to maintain full environmental and safety compliance. Sponsored by the IAR, the I-CARE Program has established standards in the following categories: general business practices, environmental compliance and stewardship, safety practices, and licensing and regulatory requirements. I-CARE certified recyclers undergo an intensive on-site audit and documentation of their salvage yard’s practices which is conducted by an independent auditor approved by the IAR Board of Directors. All members of IAR are certified through I-CARE as a method of distinguishing them as professional recyclers who adhere to the industry’s highest standards of excellence.

Additionally, IAR’s I-CARE Program has been reconciled with ARA’s Certified Automotive Recycler (CAR) Program so that all of the CAR program standards are included in the I-CARE Program or incorporated into more stringent and specific Iowa standards. This allows IAR members who are I-CARE certified to easily acquire CAR certification through ARA without any additional auditing or reporting efforts.

When questioned about IAR’s efforts that led to their being awarded ARA’s “2014 Affiliate Chapter of the Year,” Schauls states, “IAR tries to set a good example as well as to share any information we have with other state chapters and members at-large. We often provide articles for trade publications about our I-CARE program standards, such as environmental waste handling or safety tips. We have a nice newsletter with contemporary information published six times per year, and we make those articles available for republishing by any other chapter or trade news. We also host a trade show and conference, called IAR’s Summer Outing, that attracts about 250 people each year which is pretty big for a state show, especially in a lower-populated state such as ours… I think this mindset of cooperation and sharing makes us very likeable by our peers. As the Executive Director of IAR, I also participate in many ARA committees to give and receive information, work on cutting-edge technology projects, and define consensus across states for enforcement actions and sustainable practices.”

While Schauls is very proud of IAR for their association’s individual efforts, she also recognizes the value of their affiliation with ARA: “ARA advocates at the national level just like IAR does at the state level. I often chuckle when recyclers call to ask ‘What does the association do for me?’ When that questions arises, it means we associations are doing our job; otherwise, the phone would be ringing off the wall, asking ‘How did you let that unfair law get passed?!’ Most importantly, being affiliated with ARA gives us the national perspective, a chance to compare notes with other members and other state/international chapters, and to support the work they do at the federal level. We also get a chance to see what is going on in Canada, England and the world through ARA, which is something we would not have access to otherwise. Also, the resources ARA offers the membership are just fabulous, not just vendors’ discount programs either but also the education through ARA University, their scholarship program, a huge conference each year, publications, and of course, the government affairs staff keeping an eye on Washington! The global economy is very prevalent in the used auto parts industry so having ARA there to bring it all together is an insurance program for us.”

In addition to setting industry standards through their I-CARE Program, IAR undertakes various state legislative initiatives through a lobbyist who monitors state legislature for actions that impact IAR members. Association members also support the Charitable Chariots program, run by Steven Youngs at North Western Community College, by donating used auto parts and cash to the college’s student program which rebuilds the vehicle and donates it to an eligible recipient through a local charity organization.IAR’s efforts to support the future generation of automotive recycling professionals also extends to their scholarship program which was designed in 2007 to assist the children of association members with offsetting the costs of a college education. Funds for IAR’s scholarships are raised at their Outing Auction, and the funds generated in 2014 allowed IAR to award scholarships to four students: Aaron Van Beek, Clinton Kannegieter, Jeramie Mitchell and Adrian Mitchell.

Founded in 1957 by John Vander Haag, IAR has established itself as “a non-profit organization of persons, firms and corporations involved in the recovery and sale of used parts of motor vehicles, or those who support or are engaged in the selling of parts, equipment, supplies or services to the dismantling industry.” Since IAR’s inception, the association has maintained a stable membership, currently boasting 61 members throughout their state. An important function of IAR is to provide an opportunity for members to fellowship and network with their industry peers because they recognize that there is strength in numbers, and collectively, they can do more than any individual can do on their own. IAR works doggedly to improve both the current state of the automotive recycling industry and the image the industry presents to the public consumers.