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Wednesday, 28 May 2014 00:00

Sunrise Automotive Training Expo and Convention in Arizona

The Automotive Service Association of Arizona (ASA-AZ) held their annual Sunrise Automotive Training Expo and Convention at the Doubletree Hilton in Phoenix, AZ, April 25–27, 2014.


Though the 2014 event was moved from Prescott, AZ, in July to Phoenix in April, Luz Rubio, ASA-AZ executive director, believes that Sunrise 2014 “was a success. Automotive professionals and industry vendors all joined the weekend festivities to learn, network, and exchange ideas…[attendees’] responses to the event were well-received with the incorporated changes, and we were able to add additional classes for technicians to attend a half-day or full-day.”

Sunrise 2014 featured a full agenda of great topics relevant to the industry and today’s economy, as well as an opportunity for attendees to network with independent shop owners from all over the state to exchange ideas and discover solutions to the daily challenges faced in their businesses.

On April 25 at 7:30 am, the conference began with a collision seminar on “Lean Transformation: Making the Move to Lean,” presented by Dave Dewalt, manager of Business Consulting Services for Sherwin Williams. After that, Rick Palmer, president and CEO of ComputerLogic Inc., discussed “Paint and Materials – The Paradigm Shift,” which included topics such as revenue versus cost, gross profit margins, and getting insurers to properly pay for paint and materials. Running from 8:00 to 11:30 am, GM/ACDelco automotive instructor Jess Garcia held a seminar on “Tech 2 Familiarization Global Diagnostic Systems (GDS) 2/MDI” in Spanish.

At 1:00 pm, the ASA-AZ golf tournament began at the Raven Golf Course, but that social event didn’t inhibit the educational seminars taking place at the conference. In the afternoon, three segments were held: “Management: Results Based Leadership – the Art of Overcoming” was presented by CompuTrek founder David Schedin and CompuTrek vice president Jude Larson. Another management seminar entitled “Automotive Service Providers Can Become Invincible to Lawsuits and Save Thousands in Taxes” was led by Larry Oxenham, one of the country’s leading asset protection experts, and sponsored by the American Society for Asset Protection. Jess Garcia also held another seminar in Spanish to discuss “GM: SIDS – Spark Ignition Direct Injection.”

That evening, attendees had a chance to network and visit trades how exhibitors at the ASA-AZ Welcome Reception and Sponsor Showcase.

Following breakfast and welcome announcements on April 26, four concurrent sessions were held on the following topics: “Management: Creating a Culture Where New Hires Succeed,” “Character Quadrants – Understanding Customers and Employees,” “Technical: Tech 2 Familiarization Global Diagnostic Systems,” and “Ford: Body and Chassis Electrical/Electronics Systems.” The last mentioned seminar was presented by Mike Sanom, a Ford trainer with over 40 years of experience in the automotive field.

From 11:00 am until 2:30 pm, the Sponsor Showcase and lunch included a presentation on “Seven Factors for Building Extreme Customer Loyalty.” The afternoon’s concurrent sessions included “Management: Perfecting Profitability” by Bill Haas of Haas Performance Consulting, Dave Schedin’s “Management: Preventing and Breaking Through Burnout,” Jess Garcia’s “Spark Ignition Direct Injection” seminar in English, and Mike Sanom’s “Ford: IDS Operations and Utilization.” The day concluded with another Sponsor Showcase, buffet dinner, silent auction, and prize drawings.

The final day of Sunrise 2014 began with breakfast and Bill Haas’s presentation on “Rewarding Bad Behavior.” Running simultaneously, the last seminars of the 2014 conference were “Management: The Game Changer – How to Take It to the Next Level” by Dave Schedin and Jude Larson and “Ford: 6.7L Powerstroke Diesel JJ. Components and Operation,” a technical presentation given by Mike Sanom.

Rubio was very pleased with Sunrise 2014 as the purpose of the event “is to offer an opportunity for automotive professionals statewide to exchange ideas with others and learn from one another. The offering of training and fun activities is just an added bonus…we were very impressed with the response from our attendees from both the mechanical and collision membership. Our vendors supported the event financially and through the trade show.”

The ASA-AZ 2014 Sunrise Expo and Convention attracted a variety of sponsors, including Crexendo, Kahuna Payment Solutions, Federated Insurance, AutoZone, Parts Authority, NAPA, ETE Reman, Jasper Engines and Transmission, US Distributing, ALLDATA, Factory Motor Parts, Hawkes Discount Radiator, KuKui, LKQ All Models, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Omnique Shop Management Software, and RO Writer. Additional exhibitors were EMC Owners Ally, G&K Services, Mitchell 1, Hertz, and Demandforce.

In discussing how association-sponsored events are important to ASA-AZ members and the industry as a whole, Rubio notes that the value “continues to be the benefit of associating with other business owners who are like-minded and want to succeed.” Sunrise 2014 was so successful that the ASA-AZ Board of Directors has decided to hold Sunrise 2015 in April 2015, and though the location has not yet been determined, the association plans to announce it soon.

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