Successful APA Conference Continues Group's Momentum And 'Looking Ahead' Spirit

Successful APA Conference Continues Group’s Momentum And ‘Looking Ahead’ Spirit

With 311 people in attendance, APA shareholder member networking, and interaction between those members and APA manufacturers, was in full force throughout the conference, demonstrating the power of the APA group in achieving great things for their respective businesses.

By Mary DellaValle

PHOENIX, Ariz. – Automotive Parts Associates’ (APA) 31st annual Shareholders’ & Manufacturers’ Conference, held in Phoenix, Ariz., boasted 66 members and 69 vendors and their guests in attendance, nearly mirroring the turnout of last year’s very successful event.

And while APA management recapped a year’s worth of accomplishments, this ambitious member/vendor group is pumped about building upon that success as it discussed new goals, objectives and programs for the year ahead, as a means to help fuel profitability and business success for the APA family of companies.
With 311 people in attendance, APA shareholder member networking — and interaction between those members and APA manufacturers — was in full force throughout the conference, demonstrating the power of the APA group in achieving great things for their respective businesses. (Scroll down to view a slideshow of images from the event.)
Several recognitions were made during the Manufacturer One-on-Ones on Friday, where APA vendors and APA members met during a six-hour time frame to discuss business-related issues, learn about new products, programs and expanded application coverage and conduct business. Thousands of dollars worth of gift cards and prizes were awarded to members during drawings throughout the day.
The following vendors were also recognized with awards during the One-on-One Meeting:
• Professionals’ Choice Vendor of the Year: PTC – Power Train Components Inc. Hal Hultgren;
• Branded Manufacturer of the Year (for the fourth consecutive year): Centric Parts, Mike Musso;
• Marketing Partner: Federal-Mogul, Cheri Reith;
• Headquarters Manufacturer of Choice: KYB, Paul Kratzer;
• Outstanding APA Member by Headquarters: LaCava & Sowersby, Bill Sowersby;
• Largest Total Manufacturers Orders at the 2011 One-on–Ones: Raybestos, Charlie Kirkland; and
• Exemplary Service Award for a New Vendor: Smitty’s Supply, Mitch Smith.
General Session, Saturday Morning
Following a fun and entertaining dinner party and tour at the Arizona Cardinal’s Stadium, the group reconvened on Saturday morning for a general session that kicked off with opening comments by Dan Freeman, APA president and CEO. Recognitions abounded with Rob Jacobs, Automotive Warehouse, Wichita, Kan., receiving the Board of Directors Member Selection award and past board member Mike Faley, IWI Motor Parts, Dubuque, Iowa, also being recognized for service to the group.
Jacobs then made a presentation on APA Data Solutions, reviewing key uses of the group’s Data Warehouse offering with a focus on new features and benefits of the product.
The group also heard from keynote speaker and reinvention strategist Jim Mathis, international professional speaker and bestselling author, who provoked them to re-evaluate, re-purpose and re-invent their businesses. Mathis’ interactive, engaging style showcased how attendees could enhance the value they provide customers and the ways in which they deliver it, as he encouraged them to use new and unconventional methods to engage customers for life. He challenged them with thought-provoking questions like: What makes working with your company different? Why do customers buy from you? What can you deliver better than your competition can?
Caprice Caster, APA director of events and promotions, provided program updates, recapped upcoming promotions and reminded attendees to save the date for next year’s conference, slated for March 14-16, 2013, at the Renaissance Resort in St. Augustine, Fla.

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