ASA Chairman’s Message: New chairman, same mission
By Bob Wills / ASA Chairman
The ASA Annual convention represents a changing of the guard every two years as we install a new Chairman to lead the organization.
Although we do change the guard, we never change our mission of advancing professionalism and excellence in automotive service and collision repair through education, representation and member services.
I am honored to follow our Past Chairman, Roy Schnepper, and want to thank him personally for his friendship and guidance while we both served on the ASA board. I’m looking forward to continuing that relationship.
Along with your new Chairman, ASA has a new executive Director in Ray Fisher. I have also had the pleasure of working with Ray in Michigan when on the Board of Directors for our ASA Michigan Affiliate. I’m looking forward to continuing the work with Roy, Ray and the outstanding ASA-National staff.
At our strategic planning meeting in April, the ASA board reviewed past, current and future avenues we need to explore. As we all struggle to understand the changes that are taking place within our industry, I believe your association has an important role to play to help our members cope with a variety of generational change, advancements in automotive technology and evolving new business models which will shape the future of automotive service.
From helping to find the talent we need in our businesses to the growing importance of ongoing technical and management training, ASA is working with the Automotive Management Institute (AMi) to strengthen and expand the learning opportunities ASA offers for both mechanical and collision membership to help develop their entire shop team. I also have a personal commitment to help build cooperation between all industry partners as we work toward a common goal of finding answers to challenges large and small.
I’m also looking forward to continuing the work already begun in taking your association to the next level. We will be talking with our Affiliates to identify ways we can work more closely together on event promotions, educational opportunities and member recruitment and retention programs.
We’ll also be working to develop new ways for the National office to reach out to our non-Affiliates areas and continue the work in improving our communication process across the board. I believe our Affiliates are one of ASA’s strongest assets in providing a local “face” for ASA in their immediate areas, and their input is both valued and important to helping us identify the best ways to grow ASA.
Those of you who know me are aware of my involvement and interest in the legislative side of our business.
It’s been my pleasure to work with Bob Redding, our Washington, D.C. representative and his team on many industry related issues over the years. The ongoing debate over cybersecurity and data access legislation has the potential to impact our members and the entire service and repair industry in ways that can go beyond mere disruption. When it comes to just how important access to information and data is to our daily operations, the stakes couldn’t be higher.
Here again, ASA has your back in Washington and at the state level to make sure your interests are represented at the table.
For now, I look forward to walking the path placed in front of me and making decisions with the rest of the board to move us forward. I want to thank our membership for allowing me this opportunity.
Bob Wills, AMAM, is the owner of Wills Auto Service in Battle Creek, Mich. He is currently serving a two-year term as ASA Chairman.