In addition to plenty of networking opportunities, the convention offered a plethora of educational seminars, ranging from HVAC repair and aluminum technical presentations to discussions about streamlining administrative process, management strategies and marketing techniques, thus ensuring that AASP-MN provided something of interest to each of the 220 industry professionals in attendance.
The 2015-2016 AASP-MN Board of Directors. (L-R): Outgoing Board members Mike Cox and Dan Sjolseth; and current Board members Will Latuff, Wayne Watson, Kevin Martin, Jerald Stiele, Jim Siegfried, Mars Overlee, Greg Kasel, Tom Gleason and Joyce Weinhandl.
On Wednesday night, the event opened with "Diagnosing the Top Automotive HVAC Problems," as Standard Motor Products' Peter McArdle discussed new HVAC technologies. Thursday morning featured three seminars: "Template Estimating" by Ron Kuehn of Collision Business Solutions, "Tracking Internet Marketing" by Autoshop Solutions' Danny Sanchez, and "Chemistry Lessons for a Multi-Generational Workforce," presented by Bill Haas of Haas Performance Consulting. One attendee referred to Haas' presentations as "very interesting and very eye-opening. I can definitely apply these concepts immediately."
During the lunch break on Thursday, Judell Anderson, Executive Director of AASP-MN, provided members with a legislative update and introduced the association's new Board of Directors. For 2015-16, AASP-MN will be served by President, Tom Gleason of Pro-Tech Auto Repair, Immediate Past President Jerald Stiele of Hopkins Auto Body and Secretary-Treasurer, Greg Kasel, of Downtown Tire and Auto. Kevin Martin of PPG Automotive Refinishes will serve as Associate Division Director, while the role of Collision Division Director will be filled by Jim Siegfried of Crystal Lake Automotive, and Wayne Watson of Autoworks Diagnostics and Repair will act as the association’s Mechanical Division Director. This year, the Collision Seats on AASP-MN's board will be filled by Joyce Weinhandl of Twin City Auto Body and new board member Will Latuff, Latuff Brothers Auto Body. Mars Overlee of Rick's 36 Automotive Service also joins the board as a new member.
Anderson notes, "AASP-MN also extends a sincere thank you to this year's outgoing board members: Dan Sjolseth from Superior Service Center and Mike Cox of Ed's Collision Center."
Following Anderson's report on the association's current initiatives, attendees enjoyed the event's keynote presentation by comic storyteller Bob Stromberg and three afternoon seminars: Convene LLC's Josh Dye covered "Failing Fearlessly: How Failure Propels Us Forward," Shawn Collins of 3M discussed "Dispelling the Common Myths about Aluminum Repair," and "Developing a Business Continuity Plan" was presented by Dennis Begley of CBIZ AIA. Attendees then had a chance to network with peers and vendors at a Happy Hour social event and industry dinner and casino party.
AASP-MN's 2015 Annual Meeting and Convention concluded on Friday with presentations by Ron Kuehn, Danny Sanchez and Bill Haas, as well as CBIZ Payroll's Megan Beckman's seminar on "Employment Practices: Do's and Don'ts." Attendees felt the event was filled with important education and useful suggestions on improving their businesses; one attendee remarked, "I'm going to take all this information back and shake up the shop. I need to improve on a few things."
A large number of industry vendors sponsored AASP-MN's event, including Auto Value Parts Store & APH, Axalta Coating Systems, PPG Automotive Finishes, AAA Auto Parts, CBIZ AIA, Hertz Corporation, Inver Grover Ford, LKQ/Keystone, Lowell's Performance Coatings, Meadowbrook Insurance, Midwest Parts Advantage, Mitchell International, O'Reilly Auto Parts, PAM's Auto, Suburban GM Parts, United Fire Group, 3M, AASP-National, Autoshop Solutions, CARQUEST, CBIZ Payroll, Dent Impressions, IDENTIFIX, Robert Bosch, AmeriPride Services, BASF, Choice Auto Rental, Dentsmart PDR, Dorman Products, Enterprise, Net Driven, Norton Abrasives, Pro Paint Metro, and Sherwin Williams.
Anderson proudly states, “Year after year, without fail, members who take the time to attend this event rave about the quality of educational programming available. We thank our sponsors, who are so instrumental in making that happen. And, of course, there’s always a lot of conversation and good times to be had. We’re already looking forward to next year!”