The 2022 NAPA AUTOPRO Convention held at Blue Mountain on June 10 and 11 was an outstanding and well attended event.
It was the first in three years and everyone was glad to be able to be present at an industry event once again. Seventy AUTOPRO shops were represented and about 200 interested participants were in attendance for the meetings.
The event started Friday evening with a General Assembly. Kary Sartori, Director, NAPA AUTOPRO, Ontario Region welcomed everyone and reminded the AUTOPROs that the future was going to get very exciting for them… of the changes that were coming and how to meet these changes head on. He also reminded the members that “We are Stronger together”—the AUTOPRO theme for 2022!
Up next was Martyn Johns, National Director, NAPA AUTOPRO and Emerging Technologies, who gave a very dynamic presentation about the technologies NAPA will be involved with to keep AUTOPRO members at the forefront in the world of technology and providing clients the best service available all over the globe. This is a service that will be best in class for next gen vehicles!
Corey Deitz from Wakefield Canada, a platinum sponsor, gave attendees a rundown on Castrol’s new products and greases—something every shop needs!
On the motivational side of things, Norm Rose of Excel Sales fame bounced up on stage to speak about motivation. He told the audience that as AUTOPRO owners it was their job to motivate; to spend time working on their goals; to work in their business, not on their business; to lead their team to a positive mindset and compliment coworkers on a job well done; teach people to help others… amongst many more suggestions on running a business that successfully leads into the future.
Then it was time for the Trade Show with their many suppliers showing their goods and services. And it was an active time… the aisles were full and the folks in the booths were very busy. Lots of questions were asked and answered and new products and services were thoroughly discussed.
Saturday’s General Assembly started with Jeff Van de Sande, Vice President NAPA Ontario & Altrom Group. He showed a history of AUTOPRO and that the banner was launched in 1983! He stated they were always coming up with new programs, new inventory. They focused on people, their supply chains. Jeff said visions lead the way towards an outstanding customer experience and that as shop owners you should get this into the minds of all your employees. He reminded everyone that NAPA cares about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion!
John O’Dowd, NAPA Vice President Sales and Marketing talked about EVs… that they were currently one out of four registrations in Quebec, one out of eight in Ontario and one out of four in Vancouver. O’Dowd emphasized the importance of training, stating how important it is to be trained now!!!
The Owner’s Panel was next on the agenda and included Ron Tite as moderator with Panelists Bill Marr, Garrison Auto Service, Fort Erie; Cindy Biss, Shawn’s Auto Service, Smithville; Gerry Lecuyer, RockTown Automotive, Sudbury and Dave Halls, Amaranth Auto Service, Amaranth. They all agreed it was extremely important to follow the NAPA system and also declared they were excited to get into all that is involved with EVS… with a lot of different training coming and then being able to service EVs confidently! One panel member—Marr—had just built a new shop, one that was custom designed because of their customers but also for the comfort of their employees—in-floor heating, heated sidewalks to prevent snow shovelling; controlled footsteps from job to job thus automatic doors were installed in each bay which saves time. All panel members had a very interesting outlook.
Then it was on to the various breakout sessions from which everyone was presented with thought-provoking and educational content. Attendees were able to hear about ‘Business Development’, ‘Support Ontario Youth’ and ‘RPM Training’… areas which all could relate to.
Show the real you!
A general session capped the day and was headlined by Ron Tite of Church+State, an agency that helps brands navigate the unified worlds of advertising and content by creating stuff people want to see, not stuff they don’t want to see. He said to take information and take action; that leaders drive growth—personal growth, EV growth, business growth. And that organizations don’t change, people do! So, you need to be empowered, informed and inspired. You can all be stronger together, so as an owner to your staff, say it simply, say it authentically and be comfortable with your imperfections… show the real you!
The NAPA AUTOPRO Convention ended Saturday evening with a gala dinner and recognition of award winners for years in business. And those 2022 awards went to:
- Five years—Carline Automotive; Fairview Tire & Auto Clinics.
- 20 years—Stouffville NAPA AUTOPRO.
- 25 years—Car Medics Inc.; Gord Garner Automotive Services Ltd.; Red’s Garage & Jim’s Division Auto Ltd.
- 35 years—Lambeth Car & Truck Ltd.
Then came some great music…with a guest appearance by Billy Joel (aka Gerry Lecuyer)!
All in all, two days of important information, educating and much interaction amongst the peers of the NAPA AUTOPRO family!