East Coast Auto Salvage Attends the Annual ARA Convention in Kansas City
“Women Under the Hood” Seminar – This was an outstanding presentation by three accomplished woman in the industry; Fran Reitman, Krystyn Roberts and Kelly Roepke. They all spoke of how they became involved in automotive recycling and shared their individual experiences learning how to balance work and family. As a woman in the industry I found it a particularly interesting and inspirational seminar. Like many automotive related fields, the auto recycling industry is also heavily male dominated. However several women have come along that have fought their way to be respected and have made a name for themselves. This year the incoming president will be the third woman to hold the position and all three have done exceedingly well in their own auto recycling businesses as well as brought value and progression to the association. I applaud ARA for dedicating a time for these women to share their business experiences and open up discussion about what a good industry it is to work in, whether you are male or female.
Annual Networking Dinner – The dinner was a wonderful way to end the convention and perfect way to present the succession of past ARA President Sandy Blalock to current President Linda Pitman. Not only was it a good meal and commendable awards ceremony, the ARA also took one last opportunity to raise more funds for the Scholarship Foundation. A full sized car-themed quilt made by Linda Pitman that was auctioned off in 1995 to raise money for the association was re-presented by its owner to be auctioned off that evening. Of course its value has drastically increased now that its maker is the incoming President of ARA. The former owner also agreed to match whatever price the quilt brought that evening. The winning bid was for over $12,000, which raised nearly $25,000 for the scholarship fund. I personally feel very proud to be a member of an association that not only hosts such an informative convention for people within the industry but also emphasizes the importance of education by supporting such a worthy cause.