ASA Northwest meets at Leavenworth for winter conference
Leavenworth, Wash.—ASA Northwest (ASA-NW) held its Semi-Annual Winter Retreat & Management Conference, Jan. 19-22, in this Bavarian village that offered plentiful snow. The event drew some 140 attendees from the Northwest region to enjoy wintery outdoor activities, business meetings, roundtable discussions, an AMI-approved management seminar, and an awards banquet.
Following a Thursday evening hospitality suite gathering, the conference was under way Friday morning with a general business session that included reports from various ASA-NW officers, committee chairs, and industry representatives on subjects that included government affairs, the environment, education, benefits, ASE, medical insurance, and more, plus reports from unit officers in the region. The Ascettes support group of ASA-NW also held its business meeting on Friday.
Friday evening’s collision/mechanical roundtable offered dozens of shop owners and managers, as well as allied members, the opportunity to discuss and review matters of interest to the service and repair trade ranging from telematics to education and training issues. The evening concluded with a hospitality suite for all attendees.
The Saturday morning AMI-approved seminar was presented by Maylan Newton, CEO of Educational Seminars Institute (ESI), to a capacity crowd. Titled “Attitude is Everything,” Newton provided lively dialogue during the three-hour presentation.
During Saturday’s luncheon, Dan Risley, president and executive officer for ASA National, discussed legislative efforts by the three-member ASA staff in Washington D.C., telematics, an overview of the new management system at the national headquarters that affiliates can access, merging with other service/repair groups, benefits for members, the co-production of NACE with Automechanika set for Chicago, July 24-29, an upcoming Connected Cars event, and attracting quality technicians into the industry. “Membership and growth are the most important part of ASA National, including growth within our affiliates,” Risley said. “We had positive net growth in 2016 for the first time in 13 years, and ASA Northwest is doing well.”
The highlight of the retreat was the Saturday evening banquet, which featured awards to current officers, the Ascettes group, and ASA-NW staff, plus the presentation of the Outstanding Member of the Year Award, the group’s highest honor.
ASA-NW Chairman of the Board Brian Smith, AAM, co-owner of Gig Harbor Automotive Service, presented the 2016 award to Bill Filley, AAM, co-owner of Prairie Road Automotive in Eugene, Ore. Smith acknowledged Filley’s longtime affiliation with ASA (both the former ASA Oregon, positions with ASA national, and for many years with ASA-NW), his dedication to his community, and his service as president of the Eugene Unit of ASA-NW for several years. “Last summer, Bill participated in a 14-day, 2,500-mile motorcycle ride to escort the ‘Fallen Soldiers Memorial Flame’ from Eugene to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C.,” Smith said. “As they traveled, the procession made numerous stops along the way to pay tribute to fallen soldiers in what’s called ‘Fallen Soldiers Home Visits,’ providing families with a ‘Memorial Plaque of Distinguished Service’ to remind loved ones that their fallen hero will never be forgotten.”
Elected officers of ASA-NW, having completed their first year of a two-year term, were presented to the group at the banquet. They include Smith; Conrad “Butch” Jobst, AMAM, B&B Automotive in Aberdeen, Wash., chairman-elect; Todd Black, Unlimited Service in Bellingham, Wash., immediate past chairman; Bryan Kelly, AMAM, Valley Auto Electric, Maple Valley, Wash., treasurer; Mark Simons, AAM, Rolf’s Import Auto Service, Lakewood, Wash., secretary; and Joel Baxter, AMAM, B&B Auto Repair, Bremerton, Wash., affiliate delegate.
Other members of the board include Greg Linafelter, European Autohaus in Spokane, regional mechanical chairman; Kevin Marks, All Battery Sales & Service, Everett, regional allied chairman; longtime parliamentarian and historian Luther Taylor, a retired automotive instructor; Jeff Lovell, AMAM, president and executive director of ASA-NW; and Dave Burnett, AAM, vice president of membership for ASA-NW.
The retreat concluded Sunday morning with a business roundtable that offered shop owners and managers an opportunity to discuss issues relating to facility management and other pertinent matters.
The next event for ASA-NW is the Automotive Training Expo (ATE), March 24-26, at the DoubleTree Hotel in SeaTac, Wash. In late June, the group will stage its Summer Retreat and Management Conference at the Suquamish Clearwater Resort & Casino in Suquamish, Wash.