Vision’s Hi-Tech Tool Expo returns to focus on diagnostic tools and equipment

Back by popular demand, the pre-show event allows for more time with vendors and manufacturers

Liberty, Mo.—Registration for ASA-Midwest’s Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo is now open for the March 3-6 event, at the Overland Park Convention Center in Kansas City.

Last year’s event featured, for the first time, a Thursday Hi-Tech Tool Expo, which was introduced due to attendee feedback expressing a desire for more time on the show floor (the Vision Hi-Tech Expo opens Friday and continues to Saturday). “They wanted more time to focus on diagnostic tools, so that’s what we targeted,” said ASA-Midwest Executive Director Sheri Hamilton, and as a result of its success, it will return in 2016.

“It provides shop owners, managers, technicians and educators an additional four hours to see the latest and greatest in diagnostic tools and discuss them with vendors,” she said, adding that training will be offered that focuses on drivability diagnostics and programming. “Training will be featured throughout the four-day program, but there will be a heavier focus on it Thursday, opening up to the Hi-Tech Tool Expo.”

Thursday training sessions will be from 8 a.m.–5 p.m., which will include all-day and half-day classes. The Hi-Tech Tool Expo, from 4-7 p.m., is open to the day’s session participants, as well as the public. “If there are surrounding shops and businesses in the area that want to see the diagnostic tools and equipment, or event attendees arriving a day early for Friday, they are all welcome,” said Hamilton.

During the Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo, there will be an increased focus from last year on management and technical training, also due to demand. “We have a lot of new sessions, as well as an expanded Educator Think Tank program on Friday, which will partner with the Power Summit, Vision’s management series for shop owners and service advisors.”

Those groups will come together, Friday, 12-2 p.m., for lunch and a panel discussion, which will consist of educators and shop owners and managers who will focus on how to support the future of the industry.

ASA-Midwest also recently announced availability of Vision Awards and Scholarship applications. Awards include Service Facility of the Year, Humanitarian, Best Website, and Green Star Service Facility. Scholarships are the Robert L. O’Connor Memorial Scholarship, Vision Technical Scholarship, and the ASA-Midwest Technicians of Tomorrow. For applications for all categories and for Vision 2016 registration, visit


AMI to launch new initiative

In addition to being ASA-Midwest’s executive director, Hamilton is also chair of the Automotive Management Institute (AMI). She said recently named AMI President Jeff Peevy is spearheading a transition and renovation of the organization.

“The AMI board and staff are working on programs that will provide a defined career path for anyone within the industry, both mechanical and collision, that can be completed with a series of online classes hosted within AMI’s new Learning Management System, as well as training offered at industry events,” said Hamilton.

While details are still being developed, she said the career paths will include a series of criteria, sessions and competencies that will be clearly laid out in different knowledge areas, with a target launch of Spring 2016. “AMI will also enhance the recognition program, including the AAM designation.”

In process is also a new Leadership Foundation Program, which will partner with the industry to support a foundation that will provide management training in mechanical and collision disciplines, said Hamilton, adding, “It will also provide a many opportunities for those industry businesses that decide to participate.”


ASA-Midwest moving forward

Hamilton said ASA-Midwest has many opportunities for expansion in its six states, potential for growth within its existing chapters, as well as formation of additional chapters.

“We’re building the Shop Owner Support Network — SOS — in more chapters,” she said. “ASA-Midwest is also beginning to create a ‘virtual chapter’ for those members who are a substantial distance from existing chapters, so they can have easy access to training and resources.”

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