Together We Succeed — Navigating Change

As automotive recyclers come together to reconnect, retool and recharge at the 78th Annual ARA Convention & Expo, they’ll evaluate the impact of industry changes and work together for success.

Automotive recyclers are good at many things auto related, but one thing the industry excels at has nothing to do with vehicles. It has to do with industry collaboration.

Few industries can say that competitors come together and share processes and best practices, even secrets to success, to benefit others, on an annual basis. The “Together We Succeed” credo comes from a rich history (78+ years) of uniting to discuss and debate the future, where recyclers have gathered with the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) to challenge the status quo.

This year, auto recyclers are appreciating the opportunity to gather more than ever. In the history of ARA, only 9/11 completely cancelled an ARA convention. That year, there was no virtual option, yet life and business continued despite the national tragedy – and auto recyclers could still assemble for state shows, etc. On this 20th anniversary year of 9/11 (this September), it is apropos that after a year-long mandated global shutdown that prevented ANY assembling of ANYONE, that we all come back together for the 78th Annual ARA Convention & Expo, November 11-14, in Dallas, Texas.

Last year with all industry events canceled, ARA made a historic decision to facilitate “ARA EDGE 2020,” the first-ever virtual convention and expo for the industry. The stellar training and exposition experience offered a much-needed lifeline to many recyclers and industry vendor businesses. (Find EDGE 2020 sessions on, under Industry Training.)

Yet, as beneficial as it was to hold the event online, everyone knows that nothing replaces an in-person gathering for this giant industry family.

“ARA is very excited to get the community back together in Dallas,” says Scott Robertson, ARA President. “So much is happening simultaneously to impact the way we do business, it is vital we get back together to discuss what is coming. I am looking forward to co-facilitating another Recycler’s Roundtable to put these issues on the table and discuss strategies that will help us all thrive amid rapid change.”

Tackling Change Head-On
The time is now to embrace improved processes and new business models. It is best to be “in the room” to discuss and learn from the industry’s brightest minds.

Keynote speaker Tony Graham, Solera’s Executive Vice President of Sales, Customer Success and Growth COE, will bring insight into industry changes from the bird’s-eye perspective.

Andy Latham tackles advanced training in two different sessions: first, the impact of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and then, High Voltage Vehicles. Andy is one of the educated experts on these topics, for one thing, as the author of the recently revised ARA Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Guide (available as a free download from

In another session, Andy is joined by Shannon Nordstrom and others to discuss E-Certification. Electric vehicle certification and its importance in the greater automotive repair industry (collision and mechanical) is rising. In the future, could it even be a necessity? We will see.

Pat Huesers and Mike Meyer (Pam’s Auto, Certified Auto Recycler of the Year recipient) discuss How Consistent Customer Service & Business Policy will Grow your Profits. This explores policies for credit cards, returns and warranties, body cuts, customer resolution, brokers and more!

In The Future of Mobility: Recycling Converters, Batteries, Sensors, ECUs & More, an esteemed panel from Umicore, Spiers New Technologies, Cox Automotive, and UCC explore this revolutionary vehicle technology. What does autonomous driving, connectivity, electrification of vehicles, and shared mobility will mean for automotive recycling? These companies are actively working on solutions that auto recyclers can learn from and leverage.

Speaker Ryan Mandell has worked in an automotive recycling environment prior to joining Mitchell International, and therefore understands how change impacts the recycler’s workflow. At Mitchell, he explores the data and brings real understanding, and profit center ideas, to auto recyclers. His session, The Coming World of Estimate Automation and Making Sure your Business Is Prepared, is guaranteed to help you navigate macro trends taking place in the auto insurance industry, namely AI, and how recyclers can put this data to use and best position their businesses to capitalize on the wave of automation that is on the horizon.

Other sessions explore mentoring, yard valuation, batteries, best business practices, leadership, self-service best practices, and more (see tentative agenda). On the Exposition floor, you can meet with over 100 quality businesses that are ready to share their innovations with attendees at one of the largest industry expos around!

“This year, we really want auto recyclers to see farther into the future than the day-to-day, or even the year ahead,” says Sandy Blalock, ARA Executive Director. “Our industry needs to embrace what is coming and change accordingly. There are really no excuses for not knowing what is ahead, when opportunities like ARA’s annual convention exist to share this information. ARA is there every step of the way to help auto recyclers who want to advance their business. We hope recyclers take advantage them.”

It Is Not All Work
If you have been to an ARA convention, you know working together includes FUN. From the Past President’s reception at the opening night of the Exposition, to the final event – the Facility Tour, with the Annual ARA Awards Dinner in between, there is plenty of time for networking, conversations, and meeting new people. There us so much for everyone, so bring your team too!

Register now! Registration and hotel accommodations links are available at

HIGHLIGHTS of 78th Annual ARA Convention & Expo Agenda

Thursday, November 11, 2021 

  • ARA Committees Meetings
  • Tech Talks from Crush, Pinnacle, Buddy AI, and Hollander
  • Opening Keynote – Tony Graham, Solera’s Executive Vice President of Sales, Customer Success and Growth COE
  • Ribbon Cutting and Past President’s Reception & Exposition Opening

Friday, November 12, 2021 

  • Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
  • The Future of Mobility: Recycling Converters, Batteries, Sensors, ECUs & More
  • Using Your Data to Cultivate Leaders
  • Gain More Through Mentoring
  • How Consistent Customer Service & Business Policy will Grow Your Profits
  • Environmental Ethos
  • Human Resources
  • The Coming World of Estimate Automation and Making Sure Your Business Is Prepared
  • Succession, Sales and Yard Valuation
  • Lunch with the Exhibitors
  • TARA Member Meeting
  • Networking & Awards Night Dinner              

  Saturday, November 13, 2021 

  • LARA Breakfast Meeting
  • Exposition Open and Breakfast
  • Simple Safety Steps
  • The Future is Here: High Voltage Vehicles
  • QC Counts: Quality Controls for Core Products
  • Recyclers Roundtable with Lunch
  • E-Certification
  • Self Service – Seeing the Big Picture
  • Digitizing Parts Sourcing: Strategies for Optimizing Your Business to Capitalize on the Growth of Estimate Automation
  • How to Succeed Together on eBay
  • Closing Keynote – From Ideas to Execution: Creating an Action Plan for Growth
  • Facility Tour

For more information and updates, visit

Caryn Smith is the editor of Automotive Recycling™ magazine and Recycler’s ToolBox® magazine, both published by the Automotive Recyclers Association. Caryn has been covering the automotive recycling industry for over 20 years.