I got the call just over four years ago, and I almost said no. ARA Past President Chris Wright called and asked me to be the Northeast Regional Director for ARA. Chris was a pro at keeping me on the line until I said yes. He must have been ARA’s designated closer.
After three years, ARA came calling again…this time for the Executive Committee (EC), a five-year commitment followed by another 10 on the Board of Directors. ARA already had me hooked and now they were boating me, I was all in. If you’ve ever had children, my first year of the ARA EC was just like having your first child, the most challenging but rewarding job you’ll ever take on.
Jonathan Morrow, ARA’s current President, has made it his goal this year to improve education within our industry. He is determined that ARA will be the source where automotive recyclers log into for assistance and answers in running their company, all free of charge as a member benefit. ARA will be making announcements in the upcoming months with more information about expanded educational opportunities for all Association members.
At last year’s Convention in November 2018, ARA launched a Mentoring Program for all members, recyclers helping recyclers. I have found that some of the best ways to improve operations are “gleaned” from other recyclers. This program will not only aid recyclers in need but will create friendships and foster collaboration that will last a lifetime.
In just a few weeks, ARA will debut the FLARES (Future Leaders of Automotive Recycling Educational Summit),
a one-day seminar designed for young industry leaders to learn about ARA, share ideas and collaborate with other second and third-generation auto recyclers. This event is being held on April 2 in Washington, D.C. in conjunction with the annual ARA State Legislative Summit and Hill Day on April 3 and 4. We look forward to welcoming ARA members from across the country for these events.
ARA leadership and staff are taking steps to foster more interaction with the ARA membership at-large, making changes to the regular monthly electronic newsletters, keeping up with email blasts on important topics and industry events, and instituting monthly virtual Town Hall meetings. ARA represents all automotive recyclers and industry vendors, whether members of ARA or not. Decisions are based on what is the best choice for the entire industry, all recyclers, big or small. Simply put…if your paycheck depends on the automotive recycling industry, ARA represents you and works hard to preserving your ability to sell recycled OEM parts and promote recycled parts utilization.
If you ever get a phone call, or email in most cases now, please open and read it. Most likely it contains something relevant to your livelihood. Remember, ARA is the eyes, ears and mouth of the industry. Together as a unified industry we can survive and thrive. Please consider becoming a member, it will be the best choice you ever made.
Scott Robertson — 2nd Vice President, member of the ARA Executive Committee and is a man on the move for the benefit of the industry.
As a recycler growing up in the family business and now as President of Robertson’s Auto Salvage, Wareham, Mass., Scott has a clear vision of how things should be in the industry. Robertson’s, a family-owned and operated 24-acre salvage yard started in 1970, has survived and prospered through multiple recessions, oil and gas crisis, the Clean Water Act and other legislation, depressed scrap prices, and more. Founded by Scott’s father, uncle — both whom still are involved in the business — and grandfather, who passed away in the late 1980s, Robertson’s is a lesson in sustainability.