2004: A Year of ChangePosted 2/6/2004
By Kevin Caldwell, Chairman
There's an old American proverb that states, "It doesn't work to leap a 20-foot chasm in two 10-foot jumps." As I think about what lies ahead of your association in the next year, I can't help but think of that proverb. You see, ASA will be taking one giant leap into the future this year; a year filled with unparalleled change. Over the past year, ASA has prepared for this symbolic leap, making sure it doesn't take two unproductive jumps as it successfully implements foreseeable changes and ultimately bridges the gap between our past and our future.
Traditionally, ASA hosts three major conventions a year. This year, each event will undergo significant changes, making them more valuable to both members and the industry at large. This year's annual business meeting, formerly ASA's Annual Convention, will be held April 15-17 in San Antonio. The yearly gathering of ASA members will return to a more traditional business meeting, making a change from our previous convention format. The additional events that normally take place during the convention, such as the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) graduation and the opportunity to recognize members for their above-and-beyond contributions to the industry, will be moved to a more prominent venue. We still invite you to attend the annual business meeting as we conduct open meetings of the ASA affiliate assembly and board of directors.
As you may already know, the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS) and the International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) will both take place during Industry Week in Las Vegas this year. I'm very excited about the change, as is your association. CARS, to be held Nov. 4-6 at the Flamingo Las Vegas, will continue to be the event that offers the best technical and management courses for the mechanical sector during Industry Week. But NACE, which will be held Nov. 3-6 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, brings to Las Vegas a strong history of outstanding technical and management courses for the collision industry. Planning for both shows to be held concurrently in Las Vegas is an enormous endeavor, but this change marks an exciting benefit to ASA members and the industry. Be sure to watch for details about ASA's special evening function, to be held during the two events at the Flamingo Las Vegas, Friday, Nov. 5. It will be dedicated to honoring ASA members from both divisions.
Another change you will notice this year is the electronic distribution of ASA's Membership Directory. This year ASA will incorporate the same technology that powers the "Find Nearest ASA Shop" section of its Web site (www.asashop.org) into an online Membership Directory that will be found in ASA's Members Only area. The networking opportunities will continue to be there, but the overall format has changed. The new format will ensure the fastest access to the most-up-to-date membership information available.
In April, ASA will be returning to an all-inclusive dues structure, which I'll discuss in more detail next month.
It may sound cliche, but change is inevitable; and it's usually for the best. I'm ready for change. Are you?
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