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AOCA Board of Directors Spotlight: Jeff Malicote

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That’s a wrap! iFLEX at The Car Wash Show 2019 was a smashing success, with thousands of industry professionals taking over Music City Center in Nashville to make connections, learn from industry experts and explore the latest innovations on the trade show floor. On behalf of the AOCA Board of Directors, we’d like to thank those who attended. We hope you left Nashville with the tools you need to help take your business to the next level.

The education doesn’t end with iFLEX. AOCA has two opportunities for fast lube operators and managers to become AOCA certified managers through our upcoming Management Certification Courses in Irvine, Calif., (August 6–7) and Dallas, Texas (September 10–11). This two day training course will not only make you a better leader, but will affirm your commitment to excellence in the oil change industry. For more information on our Management Certification Course, visit AOCA.org/Events.

Last month, AOCA announced the launch of our Vendor Cup Contest. Beginning in 2020, the Annual Vendor Cup will be awarded to the vendor member who referred the most new members to AOCA during the prior calendar year. For more information, visit AOCA.org/VendorCup.

This month, we continue our Board of Directors Spotlight Series with Jeff Malicote, director and general manager at Valvoline Express Care.

 

Tell us about your business and your experience in the fast lube industry.

I have been a part of Valvoline for over 30 years. The majority of that time, I have worked in the quick lubes division in varying capacities from our independent Express Care business, to our Valvoline Instant Oil Change Franchising business, as well as seeing our own company operated Valvoline Instant Oil Change business become the industry leader it is today. My additional background is based in the restaurant and dry-cleaning businesses growing up in a very entrepreneurial environment. Being part of those consumer service businesses at a young age have driven my passion for excellence in customer experience and the positive outcomes they generate.

 

What challenges do you see facing the industry today and in years to come?

Our industry, owners, team members and vendors have a unique opportunity to differentiate this business from other automotive service. It seems the more we stick to fundamentals of speed, quality and trust, which the industry was founded on in the mid-seventies, the more growth the business can experience! The more we dilute the experience by adding, in some cases, too many services slowing the actual oil change, the less successful the business is in many cases. Countless outlets perform oil changes, so setting this industry apart is critical and is the most exhilarating part of my work.  

 

Why did you opt to get involved with AOCA?

Five years ago, I saw the association—the only association singularly representing the interests of the quick lube industry—providing limited value to its members. This, in turn, drove fewer new and renewed memberships, reducing association revenue. I saw an outstanding association, which truly was and is a remarkable network of the best and brightest owner/operators in the quick lube industry, struggling to generate interest in the association. I knew that something had to change, for the good of the quick lube industry, our business owners and consumers. Over the past four years, several new members were elected to the AOCA Board. This new team has created the energetic, strategic thinking (and executing), growth oriented and financially minded board we have today. A

 

group that truly cares for and acts on the best interests of owners and other constituents of the quick lube industry. In addition to re-energizing the board, the team has managed to improve the financial status of the association, has developed a strong governance structure to help insure long-term stability of the AOCA, has hired an outstanding association management firm, and has partnered with the International Carwash Association to produce one of the nation’s largest annual automotive trade shows. Experiencing growth is exciting!  

 

How has AOCA benefited you as a fast lube business operator?

AOCA membership has benefitted our quick lubes business in several ways. However, if I were to pick a single item it would be the one many members think of least, unfortunately. The energetic and tenacious Government Affairs / Advocacy team, and its committee have made countless improvements for our industry and individual businesses for over 20 years! Their sheer effectiveness and productivity at the federal, state, and in some cases local level continues to generate results we measure in dollars and cents. For us, it’s an easy selection and the main rationale for our membership. There’s just no way individual businesses, large or small can advance industry priorities or assist in guiding regulatory initiatives which have a material impact on the industry the way this team does. The work, productivity and benefits received from AOCA’s Government Affairs team alone, makes the dues we pay well worth the investment!  

 

What do you do in your spare time, when you’re not running your business?

My favorite things are spending time with and supporting my family, reading, participating in a couple of community initiatives, and yard work. Yard work—really? I’ll explain in a moment. Focusing on a good read (article or book) where issues, strategies, experiences and results are shared, provides me with a feeling of personal and professional growth. I like results! Working with non-profits, or anyone that I can share experiences with can hopefully assist the initiative, but this work is extremely satisfying to me as well! Last is the yard work. Why yard work? It seems my lawn is the only place where I can do what I want, at my pace, with little feedback, be productive, and see nearly immediate results! If only everything I did was like yard work.

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