The 2015 International Fast Lube Expo (iFLEX), presented by the Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA), was held in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, March 8-11.
More than 600 owners, operators and vendors joined AOCA for the annual event. The exhibit hall was a main attraction, with 89 vendors showcasing the latest and greatest products and services.
Attendees at the “Managing Your Business by the Numbers” workshop learned invaluable tips and considerations for improving their bottom lines and their balance sheets. One attendee said, “Great content that paid for itself.”
The presentations this year included more than 20 education sessions about every aspect of the industry, including the latest trends, management tips and ways to grow your business. AOCA recorded 17 educational sessions that are available for purchase through the AOCA store. With purchase, you can receive access to audio and presentation materials.
Two of the most highly reviewed educational sessions were “Making Your Customers Love You by Giving Stellar Service,” presented by Roselyn Connor of Brandon & Connor Assoc., and “Increase Profit 30 Percent in 30 Days,” presented by AJ Rassamni from the Great American Car Wash & Money Maker Academy. Here’s what one attendee said about the customer service presentation, “The speaker was very motivational speaker and reinforced why we need to provide excellent service and how to do it.” Another attendee gave this review of the increasing profit presentation, “Best class ever offered at an iFLEX/AOCA convention — incredible.” However, the educational sessional that received the best reviews was “Canister Oil Filters, Common Issues and Solutions,” presented by Eric Frankenberger, president and COO of Oil Changers. (See page 40 in this issue for more information about Frankenberger’s oil filters presentation.)
The President’s Welcome reception was very well attended. Attendees enjoyed great food and even better networking.
AOCA Talk is always a hit in the form of an online Q&A forum, and, as expected, it was 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 marketing and oil filters.
Keynote speaker and former Disney executive Dennis Snow closed the event with clear and impactful takeaways on the keys to customer service excellence.
2014 AOCA president Jimmy Grant, owner of East Ridge Fast Lube in Chattanooga, Tennessee, led the annual membership meeting, which was one for the books.
Grant recognized Dr. Scotti Lee for his many years of service to the AOCA board of directors. Lee is officially retiring from the board.
Eric Frankenberger received the AOCA Operator Member of the Year award, and Solid Start received the AOCA Vendor Member of the Year award.
There were four open board positions to be filled under the current bylaws — three operator directors and one vendor director. Jeff Malicote, director and general manager of Valvoline Express Care, was re-elected to fill the vendor director position. Jimmy Grant, David Haney, operator of Oil & Lube Express in Magnolia, Arkansas, and Dave Jensen, owner of Pennzoil 10 Minute Oil Change in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, were elected to fill the three operator positions.
The membership also voted to pass a set of bylaw revisions. Here are some highlights of those revisions:
• Removed old and outdated language.
• Increased purpose statement to include other automotive services.
• Changed the names of members. “Regular” and “associate” members were changed to “operator” and “vendor” members.
• Made it easier to become a member and not become a member. With the new bylaws, you will become a member when you submit your application and payment. However, if you are late getting your membership payment in, you lose membership privileges.
• Removed proxy voting.
• Added a quorum requirement.
• Added one additional operator director and one additional vendor director to the board of directors, making it an 11-member board.
• All board members will adhere to two-year terms, with a three-term limit.
• Under the new bylaws, the vice president of the association will stair-step up into presidency, ensuring that presidents are well-trained and ready to hit the ground running. The past president will remain on as an officer for one year.
• Created an executive committee, which is comprised of all the officers, that has the authority to act on behalf of the board, only by unanimous consent, if the board cannot meet.
• Unified the vendor and operator nominating committees and nominations.
• Revised the due process procedure to remove members.
After the revisions passed, another election was held to elect directors to the two newly created board member positions.
David Prange, assistant to the chairman at Next Generation Manufacturing, was nominated for the vendor director position. However, after Steve Barram, CEO of Integrated Services, Inc., was also nominated for the vendor director position, Prange revoked his nomination, stating, “We need Steve and his ideas on the board.” Barram ran unopposed and was elected to the board.
Frankenberger was nominated for the operator position on the board. However, Frankenberger declined the nomination because he wanted to focus his attention on the education committee. Mike Prince, director of Lube Operations at Nevada-based Terrible Herbst, was nominated for the board, ran unopposed and was elected.
The current AOCA board of directors includes president, Len Minco, owner of Texas-based Kwik Kar Lube and Auto Care of Aledo and Hudson Oaks; vice president, David Haney; treasurer, Bob Falter, owner of Baltimore-based Multi Management Inc.; secretary, Dave Jensen; past president, Jimmy Grant,; Steve Barram; Amber Kossak, president and CEO of Solid Start/True Brand; Jeff Malicote; Mike Prince; Harold Smith, owner of Express Lube in San Antonio, Texas; and Adam Sturdivant, director of Operations for Avis Lube in Midland, Texas.
The location of iFLEX 2016 has not been finalized. When it is, we’ll let you know and hope to see you there!