Big Times in the Big Easy
The 2014 International Fast Lube Expo, presented by the Automotive Oil Change Association, was held in New Orleans, Louisiana, March 9-12.
There were several big highlights of the convention in the big easy!
• By the Numbers: The all-new Managing Your Business By the Numbers boasted record attendance and great instructors, Rick Price and Howie Loewen.
• By the River: The President’s Welcome reception was held in a great room with a magnificent view of the river. Food and friends were plentiful, and lucky guests even caught a glimpse of a riverboat passing by the windows.
• Moving off-line: AOCA Talk is always a hit in the form of an online Q&A forum, and, as expected, it is also a hit in the form of an in-person, Q&A session. Attendees shared questions and concerns. Two of the big topics of discussion were the 2013 Chevy Cruze oil pan and selling impulse items.
• Plenty of education: The convention featured several great educational seminars. Some of the most popular ones were “Adding Brake Repair & Service to Your Business Plan,” “Tire Service: Increasing Sales and Profitability” and “The Driving Forces in Oil Today.”
• Show and tell: Like usual, the exhibit hall included several great products and services available to operators to incorporate into their businesses. With a large number of new vendors, attendees had plenty to take in — including the new demo theater.
• Keynote: This year’s keynote speaker was Mike Rayburn, who challenged the audience to ask the question, “What if…”
Rayburn, a musician who grew up in Virginia and South Carolina, said one day he realized he was a southern boy who found himself in Nashville. In Nashville and as many musicians do, he played gigs at bars and, of course, took requests. The problem was he didn’t know many country songs. So what did he do? He made fun of the problem. Rayburn asked himself, “What if I took the songs I know and just make them country?” He had the audience rolling with his renditions of Nelly, Flo-Rida and Tom Petty — all turned country.
The message Rayburn left was, if you ask “What if” in a positive way, you open up a world of possibilities.
• Annual meeting: The annual meeting was well attended and led by president Jimmy Grant. Grant recognized Pat Wirth, former AOCA president, and Scott Jameson, former AOCA associate director, for their service to the AOCA board of directors.
There were two board positions, those of Bob Falter and Amber Kossak, up for re-election. Both directors ran unopposed and were approved as board members for another term. The current AOCA board of directors includes Falter, owner of Baltimore-based Multi Management, Inc.; Dave Jensen, owner of Pennzoil 10 Minute Oil Change in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Adam Sturdivant, director of Operators for Avis Lube in Midland, Texas; Harold Smith, owner of Express Lube in San Antonio, Texas; Scotti Lee, principal in California-based Oil Changers; Len Minco, owner of Texas-based Kwik Kar of Aledo and Hudson Oaks; Jimmy Grant, owner of East Ridge Fast Lube in Chattanooga, Tennessee; Jeff Malicote, director and general manager of Valvoline Express Care; and Amber Kossak, president and COO of Solid Start.