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  Chairman's Message

Our Past Shapes Our Future

Posted 12/13/2003
By Kevin Caldwell, Chairman

Kevin Caldwell You can't create a flourishing future unless you really examine the past. Your association has been around for 52 years. And during that long history, the accomplishments of ASA have been incomparable. Each changing year only strengthens our future. So as we approach the end of 2003, it's fitting to highlight several accomplishments of your association over the past year. It's impossible to cover every achievement of the past 12 months, but I thought I'd emphasize a few that set the stage for an effective 2004.

First, let me discuss information availability. This time last year, my predecessor, Dan Frohlich, mentioned that the biggest accomplishment of 2002 was the agreement made between ASA and vehicle manufacturers. The agreement made it possible for independent repair facilities to obtain the same service information, diagnostic tools and training as dealer shops. But 2003 was the year the agreement was implemented. Every vehicle manufacturer met the August 31 deadline, and as a result, independents like you and me have full access to the diagnostic information we need right at our fingertips to repair today's complex vehicles. This is something ASA has been fighting for since the late-1980s, and in 2003, it finally came to fruition.

Also this year, ASA worked hard in Texas to finalize legislation that would prohibit insurer-owned repair facilities in the state. Our goal was to not only protect independent repair shops in Texas, but also protect the rights of consumers. The Texas Legislature agreed, and the bill was signed into law this past June. The positive implications are innumerable and ASA has created a blueprint for other states to pursue prohibition of insurer-owned repair facilities. Although this law is being challenged, we remain confident the protection it offers consumers will ensure its implementation.

This year has also seen a rapid progression of ASA's Strategic Plan, specifically in strengthening the ASA brand and overall consumer awareness of the association. Our goal is to make ASA better known among the motoring public and I believe we are on the right track to do so. Considerable time and effort has been spent working with ASA's affiliates so we can all be working toward the same goal of making ASA more recognizable to motorists. And beginning in April of next year, we are returning to a "one dues pay all" format, further strengthening our local affiliate and chapter organizations and offering the ASA member more benefits in being a part of this association. It's taken a lot of work, but the overall implications are well worth the investment.

Next month, we'll look at some of ASA's 2004 objectives. As an ASA member, I am anticipating ASA's move forward. Our past has truly set the stage for a prosperous future. And as we look to the future, we will continue to work with other organizations to help improve the overall image and prosperity of the industry.

In closing, I'd like to wish you and your families a blessed holiday season.

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