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  Chairman's Message

ASA's New Year's Resolutions

Posted 1/16/2004
By Kevin Caldwell, Chairman

Kevin Caldwell The beginning of a new year provides a sound opportunity for you to make resolutions - resolutions to improve your well-being and to benefit your future. The same is true for your association. As an ASA member, I'm proud of the accomplishments of this association over the past year. But I'm even more excited about what the new year holds for ASA, and more importantly, its members.

On the legislative front, ASA will continue to be the voice of the independent repair industry. One of our top priorities for 2004 will be the passing of Association Health Plans (AHPs) legislation. Bob Redding, ASA's Washington, D.C., representative, has put forth significant efforts in passing this legislation, which would allow small business owners to purchase group health insurance. More cosponsors are needed, however, and ASA encourages you to contact your U.S. representatives and senators to ask them to support AHPs.

In addition, ASA continues to recognize the need for qualified, well-trained technicians in repair facilities. Last year's Hispanic Automotive Technician Summit in Washington, D.C., provided a forum to heighten awareness of the lingering problem of technician shortages. This year, ASA will follow up on the concerns presented during the summit and explore the different options available to provide for a better future.

This year promises significant headway in ASA's coalition against insurer-owned shops initiative. As many as 12 states are expected to introduce legislation that would prohibit insurer-owned shops. ASA promises to actively work with our members in those states to help the legislation get enacted.

Keeping up with ASA's legislative initiatives can be difficult. But being informed is paramount to the success of any legislative endeavor. So in 2004, Redding and ASA's Communications Department will launch a new legislative Web site, complete with legislative alerts, an electronic venue to contact members of your state's congress, and comprehensive legislative reports. This venture further expands ASA's communication efforts on important issues that directly affect its members.

Each core division of the association will be establishing resolutions as well. ASA's Collision Division will continue to look at diminished value and its impact on members. The ASA Mechanical Division's efforts in providing OEM service information to independent shops was a milestone in 2003. But this year, the division plans to strengthen the current relationship between the OEMs and the independent repairers, and plans to put forth the message that there is currently nothing preventing a shop from performing service, diagnosis and repairs on any vehicle.

We're in for a busy year at ASA. This issue of AutoInc. provides an in-depth look at the coming year from every front of your organization. But the biggest resolution ASA is making for 2004 involves you, the member. As we continue to implement our long-range strategic plan, we are committed stronger than ever to being a member-first organization.

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