The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) held its 2015 Annual Meeting and Convention, April 15-17, at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis West, Plymouth, Minn. With seminars covering topics from streamlining administrative processes, management strategies and marketing techniques, to technical presentations on HVAC repair and aluminum – as well as numerous opportunities for networking and socializing with industry peers – there truly was something for everyone.
The event opened on Wednesday night with ‘Diagnosing the Top Automotive HVAC Problems,’ led by Peter McArdle of Standard Motor Products. This four-hour session covered new HVAC technologies, how to identify common problems and how to fix them.
Thursday morning’s seminar line-up included Template Estimating’ by Ron Kuehn, ‘Collision Business Solutions, Tracking Internet Marketing’ by Danny Sanchez of Autoshop Solutions and ‘Chemistry Lessons for a Multi-Generational Workforce’ by Bill Haas, Haas Performance Consulting.
Haas broke down generational differences and how to manage different groups of people in Chemistry Lessons for a Multi-Generational Workforce. One attendee commented, “This class was very interesting and very eye-opening. I can definitely apply these concepts immediately.” Haas later shared how to market to different generations in his afternoon session, ‘Marketing Automotive Service to Generations X & Y.’
During the break for lunch, members were given a legislative update from Executive Director Judell Anderson, and were introduced to the new Board of Directors and President Tom Gleason. After a report on the Association’s initiatives, guests were treated to an entertaining keynote by comic and storyteller Bob Stromberg. Stromberg’s presentation related the work of the automotive industry to that of his grandfather’s paint-by-number set. The message reminded those in attendance that though you may just be painting your one color, you are part of a bigger picture.
After lunch, Josh Dye of Convene LLC presented ‘Failing Fearlessly: How Failure Propels Us Forward,’ Shawn Collins of 3M covered ‘Dispelling the Common Myths about Aluminum Repair’ and Dennis Begley of CBIZ AIA led ‘Developing a Business Continuity Plan.’
When the seminars were over, attendees enjoyed a happy hour with vendor exhibits displaying everything from business insurance to rental cars. Pro Paint’s bloody mary bar was a big hit. The relaxed environment provided attendees opportunities to network with others and learn about the latest products and services available to the automotive repair industry.
Following happy hour, the fun moved over to the industry dinner and casino party where attendees were treated to a variety of classic card games including Texas Hold ’Em and Blackjack. The casino party, sponsored by Dent Impressions, was a great way to unwind from the day.
Friday closed out with seminars from Ron Kuehn, Danny Sanchez and Bill Haas, as well as ‘Employment Practices: Do’s and Don’ts’ by Megan Beckman of CBIZ Payroll. After three days of education and opportunities to improve their business, another attendee commented, “I’m going to take all this information back and shake up the shop. I need to improve on a few things!”
“Year after year, without fail, members who take the time to attend this event rave about the quality of educational programming available,” beamed Anderson. “We thank our sponsors, who are so instrumental in making that happen. And, of course, there’s always a lot of conversation and good times to be had. We’re already looking forward to next year!”