Here are some of the major highlights of the year:
Legislation, Regulation and Legal Highlights
• Waded through hundreds of legislative proposals to ascertain their relevancy to the auto care industry and members of CAWA.
• Worked in coalition with chambers of commerce and other business groups to speak out against unnecessary regulations and legislation that impedes the growth of business.
• Introduced a bill in Arizona the purpose of which was to prevent the introduction or reintroduction of stolen vehicles into interstate commerce, reducing the use of stolen vehicles for illicit purposes and protecting states and consumers from fraud.
• Supported a bill in Arizona that continued the State’s Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program.
• Introduced a bill in California requiring new car dealers, at the point of sale, to inform the consumer that parts and service outside their dealership would not void their warranty.
• Supported the Lead Acid Battery Act in California to encourage the continuation of the successful recycling of batteries in the State (arguably above 98%) and to protect distributors, retailers and manufacturers from onerous regulations in the commerce of batteries. Worked with the Board of Equalization to assure our members were aware of the new regulatory requirements of the new Act.
• Introduced a bill in Arizona, which was signed into law, which removed a $15 dollar cap on battery refundable deposits to assure members would not be penalized in the commerce of batteries. Now retailers can charge a deposit on new lead acid battery sales that reflect a market based approach.
• Distributed Association political action funds to legislators deemed friendly to the auto care industry.
• Commissioned its attorneys to provide FREE legal consultation to members for a variety of legal issues. Engaged a new legal firm of Laxalt & Nomura, in Nevada, for members in the Silver State.
• For educational purposes, met with the Counsel of the California Senate Judiciary Committee and participated in a legislative hearing on the impact of telematics and the auto care industry.
• Maintained vigilance on behalf of the industry in the state capitols --- Sacramento, Carson City, Phoenix and our nation’s capitol Washington D.C. in partnership with our national colleagues at the Auto Care Association. Engaged a new legislative advocacy firm in Nevada, called the Ferraro Group.
• CAWA was represented on the Auto Care Association’s Government Affairs Committee to assess what was occurring nationally that could impact our members in California, Nevada and Arizona.
• Meet during the California legislative session with executives and lobbyists of other aftermarket associations to assure the industry would speak with one voice in the legislative process.
• Met with governmental regulatory agencies to research members’ issues so that the member could remain anonymous in the discussion regarding the issue.
• Communicated to members regarding new laws, case law, compliance alerts and regulations that impact their business.
Training and Scholarships
• Awarded 12 scholarships ($12,500) to deserving students either currently employed or seeking careers in the auto care industry.
• Held training programs for our members. Examples include: “Connected Aftermarket: Why Wait on the Connected Car;” “Managing Your Workers Compensation Premiums;” “Headwinds and Trends for the Auto Care Industry;” “The Impact and Implications of Telematics on the Aftermarket Industry;” ”Mergers & Acquisitions in the Auto Care Industry;” “Etailing and its Impact on the Distribution of Parts,” to name a few.
• Supported career technical training in the states we represent.
• Actively provided information and training on new technologies, including telematics, to educate members and others regarding its future impact.
• Co-sponsored an Industry Summit which brought contemporary training and information to representatives from throughout the distribution chain.
• Promoted “best practices” of human resource issues to the membership.
• Promoted an industry specific online job board for companies and individuals through the CAWA Career Center.
Speakers at Association Meetings
• Hosted nationally recognized guest speakers to present to our members including Bill Hanvey the President and CEO of the national Auto Care Association and Chris Gardner, Vice President of the Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association.
• Engaged Malcolm Sissmore of Delphi Products and Service Solutions, a renowned expert on technology and telematics, as the keynote speaker for our annual dinner meeting.
Participation in Member and Other Association Events
• Participated in the following events: National Performance Warehouse customer show, and Levin’s Auto Supply customer event.
• Continued to implement a plan to reach out to members of the Young Auto Care Network Group (YANG) to encourage them to participate in Association training sessions and added a YANG member to the Manufacturers Advisory Council.
• Participated in Arizona’s “Cars, Careers & Celebrities Expo” which attracted several hundred students interested in auto care industry careers.
• Attended and participated in the Auto Care Association’s leadership days.
• Our President & CEO served as the President of the national association called the Alliance of State Automotive Aftermarket Associations (ASAAA).
• Continued a partnership with the Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation and promoted its mission to the industry.
Endorsed Programs and Services
• Continued to provide quality and competitive business services including FREE legal consultation, insurance programs, website development services, credit card processing, financial services consultation and business forms, as examples.
• Offered the deepest discounted workers compensation and general liability insurance to the membership. Engaged a new provider of insurance services, Reliable Risk Management, in Nevada and Arizona.
• Provided access to an electronic human resource library to answer members’ questions regarding human resource-employment issues, personnel policies and practices, etc.
• Continued to endorse the “American Jobs for American Hero’s and Vets” Program which seeks to integrate veterans back into the business sector.
• Conducted a most successful scholarship fundraising effort at the annual dinner. meeting, exclusively sponsored by Motorcar Parts of America (MPA).
• Continued to promote an active presence in social media to become a clear voice for the auto care industry out west.
• Actively provided information and training on new technologies, including telematics.
• Answered many questions from the membership and directed them, as appropriate, to where their issue or questions could be resolved quickly.
A statement from CAWA read, "Our success as an automotive aftermarket trade association comes from an active and contributory leadership made up of the Board of Directors and the Manufacturers Advisory Council. The Association thanks them for their time, effort and commitment to CAWA and the industry we represent. Our general membership, too, gave the Association the capability to make the industry’s voice heard throughout the west, as the industry’s 'first line of defense.' We look forward to another productive year in 2017 and wish our members the best in business and thank them for their support."