iFLEX Recap

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The 2016 International Fast Lube Expo (iFLEX), presented by the Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA), was combined with the Car Wash Show this year in Nashville, Tennessee, May 9-11.

The combination more than quadrupled the number of vendors in attendance last year with well over 400 vendors filling the exhibit hall in the Music City Center this year. Each vendor put their best foot forward and showed off the best technology in the industry. The vibrant lighting and giant banners really helped some stand out, while others had some fantastic giveaways, games and mascots to attract attendees. Operators were in a buying mood, and many vendors stated this was the best show in years with over 7,500 in attendance.

True Brand attracted many with their own “Deal or No Deal” game. This was a huge hit with attendees taking home a couple thousand dollars in cold, hard cash.

You can’t go to Nashville without hearing some great country music. “American Idol’s” Kellie Pickler was the highlight of the Welcome to Nashville party, where the plaza was packed with attendees mingling, networking and enjoying some phenomenal food and drink.

The education sessions were a big hit as well and introduced some great topics. The “Auto Warranty Act Showdown” gave some great tips on how to protect your business from unfounded allegations and the “TPMS” session helped attendees learn more about how to properly assess these sensors and mitigate customer issues. Two of the most popular and highly attended classes included the “Oil Change Tech Tips,” led by Eric Frankenberger of Oil Changer Inc. and “Motor Oil 101,” presented by Josh Frederick of Valvoline.

The AOCA member meeting was well attended, and Amber Kossak, president and CEO of Solid Start/True Brand; Len Minco, owner of Texas-based Kwik Kar Lube and Auto Care of Aledo and Hudson Oaks; Harold Smith, owner of Express Lube in San Antonio, Texas; and Adam Sturdivant, director of operations for Avis Lube stepped down from the board. These special people were recognized and awarded for their dedication and service to the organization. We thank you for your service.

The board currently consists of Dave Haney, of Oil & Lube Express in Magnolia, Arkansas, as president; Dave Jensen, of Pennzoil 10 Minute Oil Change Centre in Ontario, Canada, as vice president; Jim Grant, of Fast Lube in Chattanooga, Tennessee, as secretary; Bob Falter, of Multi Management Inc. DBA Jiffy Lube in Forest Hill, Maryland, as treasurer; Bill Floyd, of Lucas Oil Center in Evansville, Indiana, as director; John Lindsay, of Power Lube Express Auto Care in Blackfoot, Idaho, as director; and Greg Strawhun, of Lube Specialists, Valvoline Express Care in Troy, Missouri, as director. Vendor directors include Steve Barram, CEO of Integrated Services, Inc.; Jeff Malicote, director and general manager of Express Care, for the Valvoline Division of Ashland, Inc.; and Sean Malmstrom vice president of Sales at S&E Quick Lube Distributors, Inc.

The state of the industry breakfast and keynote presentation attracted thousands as retired Rear Admiral and Navy SEAL leader Scott Moore shared his leadership experience and in-depth knowledge of what it takes to create and lead a powerful team. It truly was an audience favorite.

At the annual AOCA meeting on fast lube regulatory and legislative issues, the Government Affairs Committee discussed major pending issues affecting the fast lube industry, like automatic transmission fluid (ATF) regulations and enforcement.

The combined show proved to be a great success, as they’ve already determined the associations will join together again for next year’s show in Las Vegas, April 4-6. We look forward to making more memories and seeing you there!

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