During the weekend of June 19 through 22, ASA-Northwest held their Semi-Annual Summer Retreat and Management Conference at the Red Lion Hanford House in Richland, WA. The four-day event featured educational seminars, industry roundtable discussions, networking opportunities and general fun for all present. Jeff Lovell, President and Executive Director of ASA-NW, noted that the event went very well with around 80 participants, though this year’s retreat was smaller than in the past were attendance was closer to 100 individuals, a fact he attributes to many graduation ceremonies taking place that weekend.
On Thursday, attendees had the option of enjoying a free day or playing golf with their peers, and those who chose to golf seemed to immensely enjoy the day in the sunshine. Later in the day, a group of ASA-NW members traveled to the Bombing Range Sports Complex in West Richland for their “Hogs & Dogs” event where over 2000 motorcycles were on display.
On Friday, the group gathered for their Board of Directors meeting where conversations ensued about the association in general and their financial plans, followed by a Mechanical and Collision Roundtable which allowed members to discuss common issues in the industry as well as their biggest challenges. Lovell shares, “most agreed that finding good technicians is one of the biggest challenges currently facing the automotive industry today. Our members shared information on how they advertise for employees and where technicians come from. Another topic was the challenge of running a family-owned business; how do you fire your son? Being the boss can be tough on families!”
During the roundtable discussions, the Ascettes played a game of croquet in the courtyard, and in the evening, the Cool Desert Nights event allowed attendees to enjoy two hours of classic cars cruising past the hotel. From 9-11PM, the evening concluded, as did all others during the trip, with ASA-NW’s Hospitality Suite, allowing members to indulge in hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages while socializing with their peers in a relaxed setting which provided “an excellent networking opportunity,” according to Lovell.
On Saturday morning, Rick White of One Eighty Business Solutions presented a seminar, approved by the Automotive Management Institute (AMI), entitled “Communicating for Success.” Lovell states, “the seminar was great, and everyone loved Rick… He praised ASA-Northwest as one of the most fun associations he gets to work with!”
When the group gathered for lunch, Joel Baxter, Past Board Chairman, presented plaques to Brian and Zoya Johnson as well as ASA Honorary Member Ron Willand. Current Chairman Todd Black also presented the “Hunt Endowment” to Travis and Renee Mosley of My Auto Pro.
That afternoon, ASA-NW members gathered for a productive General Business Session, while the Ascettes held an equally fruitful business meeting. Saturday evening’s main event was a barbeque in the hotel courtyard where attendees partook of ribs and chicken while playing lawn games such as croquet and ladder ball. During the barbeque, the Ascettes auctioned off a “Pamper Yourself” basket donated by the Ascettes, a two-person fishing trip donated by Scott and Rachael Tveten, and a Butter Pecan cake donated by Casey Hall; the cake was so popular that a second one was also auctioned off, to be supplied at a later date.
At the Hospitality Suite later Saturday evening, the Ascettes held their raffle prize drawings with prizes donated by Jude and Lindsy Larson of CompTrek Consulting, Brian and Jen Smith of Gig Harbor Automotive, Beven Weeks of ICM, Mark and Sara Simons of Rolf’s Import Auto Service, Bryant and Melissa Kelley of Valley Automotive Electric, Janel Black of Unlimited Services, and Janae Schindler of Rod’s Japanese Auto Care. Between the live auction and the raffle, the Ascettes raised over $2300 towards their scholarship fund.
ASA-NW is grateful to the members who took time from their busy schedules to make the event such a success. Lovell believes everyone had a great time networking and discussing the issues, and he looks forward to the next retreat this winter.
7403 Lakewood Drive W, Suite 7
Lakewood, WA 98499