Kari Foster, Executive Director of ASA-CO, stated, "The Symposium was really great this year. The purpose of the event is to bring shops together for fun and learning. We strive to bring the best automotive trainers to Colorado. It's important because it builds community; members learn the most from each other, and based on the surveys, attendees raved about the event this year."
Registration opened at 5:30pm Friday, with a fun charity event kicking off at 6pm. The pre-party allowed attendees to sample food from around the world, participate in a variety of games and win prizes.
Foster recalled, "The event started off with fun and food on Friday night with our pre-party sponsored by Advance Auto Parts to benefit the Food Bank of the Rockies. Attendees were asked to donate canned goods, and we were able to donate more than a ton of food to the food bank."
Saturday's registration began at 7:45am. Master of Ceremonies, Mark Kulaga, commenced the Symposium at 8:30am with a Welcome Breakfast. From 8:30-9:15am, Cecil Bullard, an industry vet of over three decades, presented "Attitude is Everything - Success Begins with YOU."
From 9:15am to 12:15pm, five seminars were held. For entry-level technicians, Mike Leslie and Kris Hammon presented the first part of "Get More from Your Lube Tech," while advanced technicians had the option of attending Kevin McCartney's "NOX Busters" or "Diesel: Today's Challenges for Technicians and Owners" by Tony Salas. Shop managers and owners were treated to a six-credit-hour AMI course presented by Cecil Bullard and entitled "Business Diagnostics: Determine Where Your Efforts Will Make the Most Impact," and Greg Marchland's "Discovering Your Gold Mine" was directed at sales and service personnel.
During lunch at 12:15-1:30PM, Bogi Lateiner, President of 180 Degrees Automotive and also from the TV show All Girls Garage, presented "Not Your Father's Auto Shop: Differentiate Your Business and Thrive in the New Economy."
According to Foster, "The big highlight from Saturday was Bogi. She is very passionate about our industry and its shows. She participated in classes and hung out after the Symposium to talk with attendees."
Afternoon sessions ran from 1:30-4:30PM with five more seminars, starting with the second part of "Get More Productivity from Your Lube Tech" for entry-level technicians. Advanced technicians also had the option of Kevin McCartney's "Misfires." Sales and service personnel attended Greg Marchand's "You're Not What You Think You Are," and shop managers and owners had the opportunity to receive six credit hours through AMI for participating in "Gaining Control of Your Business," presented by Cecil Bullard.
Event sponsors included NAPA, CARQUEST, Central Automotive Power, Kenz & Leslie BG, Federated Insurance, WorldPAC, Advance Auto Parts and Universal Lubricants.
Foster said he was pleased with the results of ASA-CO's 2016 Independent Automotive Professionals Symposium.
"Every year, we go over our notes and attendee surveys and make adjustments for the next year. It is a lot of hard work, but this year, I felt like the hard work is really starting to pay off. Attendees, sponsors and trainers all came together to create an awesome two days!"