As snow falls, ASA huddles for packed agenda at winter conference retreat
Leavenworth, Wash.—Much was discussed at the recent ASA Northwest (ASA-NW) Semi-annual Retreat & Management Conference, Jan. 24-27, in the Bavarian village of Leavenworth. From its new apprenticeship program to government affairs and various chapter reports, members from Washington and Oregon attended business sessions, a mechanical/collision roundtable, an AMI-approved seminar by Jeremy O’Neal, and awards banquet, among other activities.
At the general business session, ASA-NW Chairman Conrad “Butch” Jobst, AMAM, who provided an overview on the new ASA-NW apprenticeship program (ITAC), said, “The automotive industry is not in the room at schools.”
A coalition is being formed with shop owners and technicians that will be “on the ground at secondary and post-secondary schools to let instructors and students know who we are.”
Guest Sarah Patterson, supervisor for Skilled & Technical Sciences for the Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction, reiterated the value of ITAC and offered support for promoting ITAC and the industry within the state to educators and administrators.
Walt Commans, ASE Western states field consultant and ASE Education Foundation manager, informed the group that ASA National continues to be an ASE Education Foundation alliance partner and that his goals in 2019 will be to get more aftermarket involvement in education and to promote student ASE certifications. He said he would again be a speaker at the Washington Association for Career and Technical Education conference this summer to promote careers in the automotive industry. He also provided data on the April 27 Automotive Industry & Education Roundtable being sponsored by ASE, ASA-NW, and NATA.
In addition to education issues, reports on government affairs (gas tax increase for road improvement is a possibility), insurance and compliance issues, plus reports from chapters in the Northwest were offered to the membership. During the State of the Association presentation, Executive Director and President Jeff Lovell, AMAM, said the upcoming Automotive Training Expo (ATE) was sold out for those desiring to register for classes. He said all booths at the trade show were also sold out.
During a Saturday luncheon, Todd Black, AMAM, co-owner of Unlimited Service in Bellingham, Wash., and an ASA National board member, updated ASA-NW members on issues with the national organization, including that Ray Fisher, the new executive director, is fully involved in all aspects of the association and is a “great financial guy” who will move ASA forward. He also discussed ASA National events that are being reviewed, invited all members to attend the upcoming annual meeting, April 30 to May 2, in Texas, and noted that Kukui has become the newest ASA partner to assist shops across the country with website marketing platforms.
At the Saturday evening awards banquet, members of the Ascettes support group, staff, and officers were honored for their service to ASA-NW. Special awards were given by Jerold Smith of Parts & People magazine to Jobst and Kandie Jennings-Molloy, AMAM, owner of Tom’s Automotive in West Seattle and ASA-NW board secretary, acknowledging their extensive dedication to the creation of the ITAC apprenticeship program over several years.
Jobst bestowed the ASA-NW’s highest honor, the Outstanding Member of the Year, to Jennings-Molloy. He noted her longtime involvement in education, the community, and the industry. She has held automotive technology advisory board positions at South Seattle College, Shoreline Community College, and the Puget Sound Skills Center, has served on the board of directors of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, been active in her local Rotary Club for decades, and worked on the West Seattle Light Rail Project.
Within ASA-NW, Jennings served for more than a decade as the treasurer of the Seattle Chapter (now Sno-King South chapter) and, as president of that unit, is a former president of the ASA-NW Ascettes group, a member of the regional education committee, and currently serves on the regional board of directors.
The next event for ASA-NW is ATE in Seattle, March 22-24, with its summer retreat set for June 27-30, at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort in Suquamish, Wash.