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Monday, 31 March 2014 21:08

AAAS Busy Strengthening Industry in 2014

Despite the harsh and unusual weather in the southeast portion of the country, the Automotive Aftermarket Association Southeast (AAAS) has been hard at work in their efforts to strengthen the industry—they aren’t going to let a little snow and ice slow them down!

Currently, their main focus is on two upcoming lobbying events, but they are also preparing to award scholarships as their scholarship deadline draws near and planning for their annual conference in June 2014.

AAAS held their second annual Capitol Day at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta, GA, on Wednesday, February 19, 2014. Georgia AAAS members were invited to join the association for a full day of legislative sessions and visits with elected officials as AAAS seeks to personally advocate for the industry’s priorities.

On March 18 and 19, 2014, AAAS members from the Sunshine State attended their annual Capitol Day event in Tallahassee, FL, again attending legislative sessions and visiting with legislators as they attempt to strengthen the industry.

Regarding these two events, president of AAAS Randal Ward explains, “members join us for a day or two of walking the halls of the legislature and visiting representatives.” Ward believes this is a proactive networking opportunity that allows them to gain advocates for future legislative concerns they may encounter.

AAAS is also preparing to award scholarships. The deadline for the AAAS Educational Foundation (AAASEF) scholarship program is March 31, 2014. The AAASEF scholarship pund was established in 2005 to encourage and financially support individuals wishing to continue their education in a technical training school or college. Applicants must be sponsored by an AAAS member to be eligible, but all eligible candidates will be considered, regardless of their chosen field of study. Submit an AAASEF application.

Additionally, AAAS is making arrangements for the upcoming AAAS Annual Conference and Trade Show at the Sandestin Village of Baytowne Wharf in Destin, FL, June 5–8, 2014. They are excited to present keynote speaker John Washbish, president and CEO of the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc.

With over four decades of experience in the automotive industry, Washbash’s leadership skills have been recognized with numerous awards, including the Automotive Warehouse Distributors Association Leader of the Year Award and Northwood’s Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award. AAAS chairman Mike Morgan feels “very fortunate to have John joining us for our annual conference. We look forward to his visit and him sharing his views and insight on the industry and the economy…We are honored to welcome an impressive list of guest speakers who will deliver very timely educational and informative presentations on some of the most important topics facing the aftermarket industry today.”

On the morning of Saturday, June 7, 2014, the conference will begin with Washbish discussing changes and trends that impact aftermarket businesses. Next, Scott Luckett, CIO of the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) will present “The Connected Car: The Impact of Vehicles Telematics in the Auto Care Industry,” and this will be followed by a presentation on “Aftermarket Access to OEM Vehicle Repair Information,” given by Skip Potter, executive director of the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF). The program will conclude with Wayne Bowling, senior vice president of employee benefits at Willis Group, who will discuss the effects of Obamacare on attendees, their businesses, and their employees.

In addition to the educational aspect of the event, AAAS promises networking opportunities and plenty of fun with a full schedule that includes a deep fishing charter, a reception at Baytowne Marina, a Saturday night dinner cruise on the Solaris, and the Bell/Hines Memorial Scholarship Fundraiser Golf Tournament.

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