ASA Colorado Summit training event doubles number of classes
Englewood, Colo.— The ASA Colorado Summit, “Training to New Heights,” is building on last year’s success and will be offering twice as many training classes and more networking opportunities for all attendees.
“We’re bringing back a true ‘expo-type’ show and learning environment,” said Brad Pellman, ASA-CO chairman and owner of Pellman’s Automotive Service in Boulder. “Last year was our first time holding the event at Lincoln Tech and it was an unbelievable success.”
Building on that, ASA-CO is doubling its class offerings and holding them twice, in the morning and afternoon, so attendees have the opportunity to attend training they might otherwise have been unable to.
“Lincoln Tech is very impressive as a large, well-maintained facility, which provides us with a shop environment and encourages our vendors to offer hands-on training and demonstrations in their bays,” he said.
In addition to increased training, ASA-CO expects attendance to be up from 260 last year to more than 350 in 2018. “We had 100-percent positive responses from 2017 and we’re on the right track from minor tweaking of the event after some feedback and we’re excited about this year’s offerings,” Pellman said. “Registration at this time has already surpassed last year’s at this time. Attendees will be able to walk away from our training that can be immediately implemented in their shops the following Monday to improve their businesses.”
The Summit will begin one hour earlier than in the past, so attendees can have more time to visit with associate members’ and sponsors’ booths, rather than just during a break and lunch. “We’ve also added a ‘Thank You’ reception for shop owners, managers and sponsors on Saturday night for some fun and networking,” said Judi Haglin, chairman of the Summit committee and owner of Haglin Automotive in Boulder. “And for the first time, ASA-CO will also present two lifetime achievement awards.”
The keynote speaker is Jonnie Wright, president and CEO of The Buyosphere, who will offer a motivational speech.
“Our platinum sponsors have been instrumental in helping our event be success, from funding to our various activities, such as the pre-party at Unser Racing on Friday night, sponsored by Advance,” Pellman said, “which sold out early last year and we expect it will again.”
NAPA is sponsoring the Summit’s scholarship giveaway, which is a rolling toolbox with $2,000 of tools. Money generated through the giveaway tickets sold will go toward a Lincoln Tech student in appreciation of its sponsorship. Sponsor Bolt On Technology is presenting a class on Thursday and Friday prior to the event.
Lincoln Tech students will have the opportunity to attend the training and network with shop owners, Pellman said. “Considering the state of the industry right now, we need to be bringing up these young technicians from the entry level and into our businesses. Too many people are dropping out of our field.”
Last year, many students were unable to attend because they were working on the Saturday, he added, but he hopes the word gets out and it changes this year. “It’s a great event to get together with shop owners and also discover the breadth of the industry, all the way from an entry-level position to ownership. There’s a lot of opportunity and it offers more than becoming a tech — they can work in parts, become a business owner, work in corporate — there are many paths available.”
The Summit is also open to high school teachers in automotive departments at the cost to cover lunch, while the training is free.
“We want to bring the entire industry together under one roof and present a unified front,” Haglin said.
ASA-CO is being “reinvigorated” for 2018 with new initiatives and goals, Pellman said.
“Our pathway to building membership is to re-educate people about what ASA is doing nationally and how important it is. Our ability to repair cars with access to the necessary information hangs in the balance in Washington D.C. on a regular basis. If we don’t have a representative there, then we’re in trouble. We need that support.
“There are a lot of shops in Colorado that aren’t affiliated with a program, such as CARQUEST or NAPA, and they’re unsure about where to get training, so they turn to us. We’re always asking ourselves, ‘How we can best get training to them?’”
Of note on the local level, ASA-CO has improved the board structure by creating committees to be better organized for its events; partnered with a business development group to develop continual training throughout the year, which will be broadened with TECHNET for one-night classes; plans to revamp its website to make it more interactive and user-friendly with assistance from Kukui; hired a new executive director (Julie Massaro); and building an extensive and accessible training calendar.
“We’re really excited about the new direction ASA Colorado is taking,” Haglin said. “We conducted a strategic planning meeting to determine how to grow financially and how to grow with our members and partners. Now we can place our energy and focus on being a training base for all of Colorado. We’re focused on the big picture now and taking a lot on and every step we take is building off the last one — the Summit is a really good example of that.”
ASA Colorado Summit
Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 7 a.m.–5 p.m.
Lincoln College of Technology, 11194 E. 45th Avenue, Denver
• Pre-party at Unser Karting & Events- Friday, Jan. 26, 5-10 p.m.. 7300 Broadway, Denver
• More info: 303-202-5231