Great Meeting in Michigan

Here’s how it started. At the end of January, I spoke for the Colorado Automotive Recyclers Association. We sent out a small, “DJ video” to every past and present member of this great association. Results? We DOUBLED the attendance! In the room was Ryan Hochmiller and his dad from Active Truck Part. During a break, Ryan asked if I was available to speak in Detroit, April 28th and 29th. Within 48 hours, Scott Tetz, the Executive Director of International Truck Parts Association (ITPA) called and booked me to speak. Thank you, Active Truck Parts! Let me share with you a smidgeon of the ITPA’s background.

The ITPA was organized with 46 charter member companies in September 1974 as a “not-for profit” association to promote, foster, and improve relationships among sellers and buyers of trucks and truck surplus products. The ultimate purpose of ITPA is to exchange information among its members which ignites improvement for all and advancement of the truck parts aftermarket. My time spent with the ITPA folks was really a reunion with old friends. We talked, laughed, shared and ate some great meals together with folks, such as John VanderHaags. John has added some other locations since the last time I spoke for ITPA.

It was also great to visit with many other ITPA members, such as Kyle Bruno of River Valley Truck Parts. He’s located in Kankakee, Illinois. Attending from Phoenix, Arizona was Joel Zaft. We met years ago when we both had hair and it was brown…not white! Joel and his wonderful family own Southwest Drivetrain Specialists.

The speakers were Mike Campion who spoke on Leadership. Corey George from DT Components, gave the industry update and did a spectacular job for not being a professional speaker like yours truly. Well, folks….THAT IS HOW IT STARTED. However, there’s more!





The tours were more than great because they were informative and enlightening. First, there was a planned tour at Axle Tech Plant in Troy, Michigan. Thanks goes to Raji El-Kawssouf and Robin Stow who shared all the inside information on Axles. Valuable information! The fun didn’t stop after touring the Axle Tech Plant either. If you’ve never had the privilege of visiting the Ford Rouge Plant, then you need to do that soon. Take your family too. It covers the whole history of Henry Ford, including a beautiful museum of cars. It was “AWESOME!” as my 3-year-old grandson would say.




Second stop was the LKQ, Goody’s location with a tour that concentrated on how the Liber brothers, Scott and Corey, transformed an old truck depot from concrete. They created a stellar tour of which I’m sure their Dad was smiling with pride and satisfaction from Heaven at the job they did.




The last tour was held at Michigan Truck. It is a family-owned business with true family values and dependable service since 1966. Jake Rea, the son and his dad, Jack Rea who owns the place, wanted to weigh everyone getting off the two large buses filled with fellow truck recyclers. And then weighed everyone getting back onto them. So, he knew nothing was missing. Great Trick!

As you can see we had a wonderfully, informative and learning experience at the recent ITPA meeting. If you want more information about ITPA, call 1.866.346.5692 or apply online. ITPA is a premier group that can help you grow your business. To join this premier group, you must first qualify. How to qualify? You must present 3 written endorsements from different, current members of ITPA. The ITPA office and I will help you obtain these endorsements. The ITPA people work together not against each other. They work this way so they can improve their bottom line.

See you next time.

Correspondence regarding this article should go to:

D.J. Says, 2820 Andover Way, Woodstock, GA 30189

D. J. Harrington is an author, journalist, seminar leader, international trainer, and marketing consultant. He works primarily with customer service personnel, and his clients include such world-class companies as General Motors, DuPont, Caterpillar, and Damon Corporation. He may be reached at 800-352-5252. E-mail: 52 weeks a year, we are as close as your telephone.