AOCA Leadership Profile: Jimmy Grant
We recently had the pleasure of speaking with James “Jimmy” Grant about his new title as president of the Automotive Oil Change Association and his plans for the future of the organization.
Q: Can you please tell me about your new role at AOCA?
A: For the new role, I talked to all of the board members and I told them what I’m going to tell you — I’m the least qualified because I never went to college, and I’ve never conducted meetings. I’ve never been in a role like this before. Their response was, “We’ve got your college covered. Don’t worry about that. We’re not going to let you mess up. We’ll correct you if you’re doing something wrong. We’ve got you covered on that, but what we need is somebody with experience.” And I do. I have 25 years of experience, with a lot of it being hands-on. So, I feel like I have a lot to bring to the table, just because I’ve done this for so long. I’m in my stores every day. I’m on the floor every day where the cars are being worked on. I’m not in an office or someplace else.
Q: What goals do you have as president of AOCA?
A: My No. 1 goal is to expand the board and make it a little larger. I’d like to have about nine operators and five associate members on the board. No. 2 is I’d like to get the distributors involved. We need to increase our membership, and I really feel like we need to start with distributors. We want to get them involved because we have something those distributors need — contacts. We have so much to offer that it would be crazy for us not to take advantage of that. What I would like to see is, if distributors are involved, that AOCA members will get fleet pricing. I would love to speak with someone at any big oil company to try to get them to recommend AOCA to the distributors when they’re making their sales calls. So, the distributors would hopefully get a break from their association dues if they can get people to sign up. I think if they can get people to sign up, then I want to waive their fees completely, in order to get people on board.
Q: What are some of the exciting things happening at AOCA?
A: The exciting thing is the growth that’s ready to take place. Excited about our conventions being hosted annually again, and we’re going to have some good cities that we’re going to go to. I go to all of the Manager Training Courses. I love to travel to cities that I’ve never been to, but what I enjoy the most is the networking and the people that you make friends with. I highly recommend people who don’t go to the AOCA events to go to them.
Q: What are some of the upcoming AOCA events people should be looking forward to?
A: The biggest is going to be updating the Manager Training Course and updating the Technician’s Academy. We’re working on them now, and they’re really going to be good. People need to start booking their trips to New Orleans for the 2014 iFLEX, March 10-12, 2014. There will also be some very good topics at the Owners’ Summit on October 15-16 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Q: If people are not involved with AOCA, what can they expect now that you’re the new leader, and why should they get involved?