What’s in Store: iFLEX at The Car Wash Show 2019

May 1, 2019

The Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) is once again co-locating its annual iFLEX convention and tradeshow with the International Carwash Association’s (ICA) annual The Car Wash Show.

The Automotive Oil Change Association (AOCA) is once again co-locating its annual iFLEX convention and tradeshow with the International Carwash Association’s (ICA) annual The Car Wash Show. The show will be held May 13-15 at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee. There will be a pre-show kickoff party for iFLEX on May 12.

The Car Wash Show brings together the leaders, innovators and decision makers of the professional carwash and fast lube industries. This year’s The Car Wash Show is expected to attract 8,000 attendees and over 350 vendors.

At the show, you can connect with hundreds of vendors on the trade show floor, network with other operators and discover new products and innovations.

Kick It Off With the AOCA Welcome Reception May 12

Kick off this year’s iFLEX at The Car Wash Show with your fellow AOCA members during the 2019 Welcome Reception and Annual Membership Meeting. It will be held at Hard Rock Café Nashville (100 Broadway).

This event is free of charge and exclusive to AOCA members. For more information, contact Jenna Bailey at [email protected] or 800.230.0702. You can RSVP for the event at: www.aoca.org


The Car Wash Show and iFLEX 2019 will feature a number of industry educational sessions geared toward providing practical advice and real-life solutions for business growth and success.

Take a look at the AOCA-focused sessions that will be offered:


8-9 a.m.: State of the Fast Lube Industry, presented by Ragan Holt, Independent Industry Consultant

Utilizing data from NOLN’s Fast Lube Operator survey and other auto service industry studies, Holt will paint a picture of the state of the industry. What do data trends say about the future of our industry? This informative session will broach several often-asked questions and aim to form an accurate snapshot of the fast lube industry.

Bio: Ragan Holt is an independent industry consultant and has over 20 years of experience as general manager for a multiple shop quick maintenance operation averaging over 1,000 cars per day serviced. Holt is a senior trainer in operational training in the quick maintenance sector, consulting in both single shop operations as well as multiple shops operations. Additionally, Holt serves as a consultant to multiple vendors within the quick maintenance sector.

9:15-10:15 a.m.: Technology Innovations Affecting Our World of Fast Lubes: Road to Survival or Perdition? Presented by Steve Barram, CEO, Integrated Services Inc.

Technology has had an exciting impact and taken an immense toll on countless industries. It has changed the way we think about and do business. New industries have been created. Some have been wiped off the map. So how has technology impacted our industry, and more importantly, how will it impact our industry in the future? This session will take a look at various segments of the fast lube industry and how advances in technology have and will affect them. It is designed to provide a framework for the owner to see and embrace the coming changes in a very practical way. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be alerted to and acquainted with an ever-changing technology world and its potential impact on your business.

Bio: Steve Barram joined ISI as the company’s Chief Executive Officer in 1989, shortly after his brother Peter founded the company. His responsibilities include overseeing strategic direction, development of major customer relations, structuring major business transactions and the sales and marketing of the company. Barram is also involved in ISI’s emerging international business. Prior to 1989 Barram had an active law practice in Portland, Oregon. His practice focused primarily on business and corporate law, specializing in tax and securities law.

In 1981, Barram graduated with a J.D. from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College. In 1978 he graduated from Gordon College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. Barram remains an active member of the Oregon State Bar Association.

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Talent Management — Customer Service Within Your Organization, A Forgotten Art — WACTEO. Presented by Nancy Friedman, president, Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training

This is a special program for internal customer service. We call it the forgotten art. You’ll notice a word in the title you might not recognize — WACTEO. Yet, it says it all. If you’re looking for the meaning, you’ll uncover it at this session. You’ll also learn ideas, tips, skills and techniques that will bring you a more harmonious atmosphere within your company; things that you can use immediately, and forever.

Think about it, most of us are with our coworkers more hours per day than our spouses, and in truth, sometimes we forget that. It’s too important of a topic to not know more about. Join us, and increase the compatibility and harmony within your organization.

Bio: Nancy Friedman, the Telephone Doctor, is a keynote speaker for large and small automotive companies around the country. From dealerships to repair and collision to oil change, Friedman takes businesses of all sizes that might be dropping the ball when it comes to basic customer service and turns them into thoroughbreds by following her simple directives.

Her passion to help small business is second only to the tips, ideas, skills and techniques Friedman brings in her topics. She helps companies communicate better with their customers.

Automotive clients include: Two-time keynote speaker at CARSTAR, seven-city tour with Big O Tires, annual conference speaker at Christian Brothers Automotive, Goodyear, Tire Pro, Midas, Grease Monkey and many other well-respected automotive firms around the country. An eight-time speaker at SEMA, Friedman was raised in Chicago, Illinois, and now lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her husband, Dick, and two children — all who work with her at Telephone Doctor. And, of course, Friedman is still a solid Cub fan.

12-1:30 p.m.: AOCA Government Affairs Committee Meeting


9:15-10:15 a.m.: Building Enduring Value into Your Business, presented by Joe J. Thissen, vice president of Sales, AutoCenter Sales

After building a thriving business, entrepreneurs often hope their companies will perpetuate into the future. Doing so will enable you to have the personal and financial freedom shared by few of your peers. No matter which path an owner chooses for his or her business, transferable value is the common denominator of a successful transition.

Truly understanding your business and its value goes beyond numbers. Whether you’re a newly launched business or getting ready to plan your exit strategy, now is the perfect time to improve the transferability characteristics of your company. Attendees will gain actionable thoughts and ideas that will enable you to unlock your transferable value and get the most out of your business. This workshop brings real-world experience and examples by business experts to this important topic.

Bio: Joe J. Thissen is the vice president of Sales for AutoCenter Sales. He has been assisting clients’ transitions and establishing succession plans for over 12 years, and in that time, has sold over 800 shops across the country. Thissen’s knowledge and skill go beyond sales and include in-depth knowledge of project management, business operations and financial perspectives of the automotive maintenance and repair industry. He uses that extensive experience to achieve a high success and satisfaction rate. Thissen is regularly sought-after as an expert on the industry and speaks on topics of succession, business and exit planning.

Thissen is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is an avid family man with five children. He enjoys supporting them in their activities: gymnastics, track, swim, karate, mixed martial arts, piano and cello.

10:30-11:30 a.m.: Your Website, Google Changes & Other Trends in Online Marketing, presented by Kevin J. Steeland, founder and CEO, PISTn Digital Marketing

Every day, businesses of all sizes ask themselves: What does Google want now?

You work hard managing the day-to-day operations of your business. Keeping up with the marketing trends and technological developments can feel like just one more thing you don’t have time for. In this session, Steeland will update you on the latest in digital marketing with real-world examples and practical advice for ensuring your customers can find you on the web. His unique perspective, gained from working with hundreds of small businesses, will help you understand what you can do now to boost your business.

Bio: Steeland is a hands-on leader and a visionary who observes the trends and translates new marketing developments into practical plans that keep his clients relevant in the marketplace. He has always had a passion for marketing and has spent the last 20 years assembling a team of professionals that, together, form the heart of PISTn. His experience as an entrepreneur taught him creative problem solving and the importance of creating value for customers. Today, PISTn serves hundreds of quick lube, auto repair and tire shops across the country, with offices in Michigan, South Carolina and the Silicon Valley Bay Area of California.

Steeland graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from Oakland University. He attended University of Detroit R.O.T.C. and was a Commissioned Officer in the Army National Guard.


9:45 a.m.-10:45 a.m.: Weights & Measures Training. Panelists: Tom Staker, international director of Training, FullSpeed Automotive; Eric Frankenberger, previous AOCA Operating Member of the Year, president of Oil Changers; and Justin Cialella, president and CEO, Victory Lane Quick Oil Change.

Protect your fast lube assets by discovering AOCA’s new training module on NIST Handbook 130 engine oil and transmission product labeling and receipt requirements. The rules are required in most jurisdictions, serve as guidance in the rest and can be tricky to decode. This panel of experts participated in the development of AOCA’s program and have experienced the ins and outs firsthand. If you prefer to learn big lessons without citations, fines and litigation, this is a must-attend session!

Bios: Tom Staker is currently the international director of Training for FullSpeed Automotive, which operates, among other brands, Grease Monkey, SpeeDee and Havoline Express Lube automotive centers. His background includes experience both as a franchisee and franchisor in the automotive sector. He has held positions with Big O Tires; first as a franchisee with multiple locations and then as senior vice president of Operations with Big O Tires Corporate. Staker has consulted with ATD and Goodyear, prior to his current position with FullSpeed Automotive during the last five years.

Eric Frankenberger, previous AOCA Operating Member of the Year, is the president of Oil Changers based out of Pleasanton, California, and operates 38 oil change locations. Frankenberger has been very active with the AOCA over the last 25 years, regularly speaks at iFLEX conventions and sits on multiple industry committees, supporting the industry and operators across the country.

Justin Cialella is president, CEO and owner of Victory Lane. Previously, he spent 17 years as an executive for Progressive Insurance. At Progressive, Cialella developed a reputation for recognizing talent, re-energizing under-performing business units and having visionary strategy. In 2009, Cialella had the chance to realize his dream of becoming an entrepreneur and pursue his passion for all things automotive. He started as a franchisee of four Victory Lane locations, learning the Victory Lane system from the ground-up. Within four years, Cialella owned over 40 percent of the company, making it a natural transition to buy the entire chain in 2014. In addition to being a franchisor, Cialella also owns and operates 20 Victory Lane corporate stores within the Victory Lane chain. Currently, there are 33 Victory Lane locations operating in five states, with several more set to open this year. Cialella is also active in the quick lube industry, most recently becoming the interim chair of the Government Affairs committee for AOCA. Cialella Holds a B.A. from Wittenberg University and an MBA from Michigan State University.

Keynote Presentation

Shawn Achor, the chief experience officer for BetterUp, will be delivering the 2019 keynote presentation, titled “The Happiness Advantage,” from 8-9 a.m., Wednesday, May 15.

Most companies and schools follow this formula: If you work harder, you will be more successful and then you will be happy. This formula is scientifically backward. A decade of research shows that training your brain to be positive at work first actually fuels greater success second. In fact, 75-percent of our job success is predicted not by intelligence, but by your optimism, social support network and the ability to manage energy and stress in a positive way. By researching top performers at Harvard, the world’s largest banks and Fortune 500 companies, Achor discovered patterns that create a happiness advantage for positive outliers — the highest performers at the company. Based on his new book, “The Happiness Advantage,” Achor will explain what positive psychology is, how much we can change and practical applications for reaping the happiness advantage in the midst of change and challenge.

Bio: Shawn Achor is the best-selling author of “The Happiness Advantage” and “Big Potential.” He spent 12 years at Harvard, where he won over a dozen distinguished teaching awards and delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard. Achor graduated magna cum laude from Harvard and earned a Masters from Harvard Divinity School in Christian and Buddhist ethics.

Achor has since become one of the world’s leading experts on the connection between happiness and success. Achor has now worked with over a third of the Fortune 100 companies and with places like the NFL, the Pentagon and the U.S. Treasury. To do his work, Achor has traveled to 51 countries, speaking to farmers in Zimbabwe, CEOs in China, doctors in Dubai and school children in South Africa. In 2014, Oprah Winfrey did a two-hour interview with Achor on the science of happiness and meaning. His research on happiness made the cover of Harvard Business Review, his TED talk is one of the most popular of all time with over 16 million views and his lecture airing on PBS has been seen by millions.

The Member Experience

Members of AOCA enjoy an upgraded show experience at iFLEX at The Car Wash Show 2019. New features this year offer in-depth discussion, exclusive events and VIP perks:
  • Exclusive time to connect with key suppliers — members access the trade show floor one hour early on Tuesday.
  • Peer Power Hour sessions — discuss a range of topics generated by your peers in attendee-driven roundtables and panels.
  • Annual membership meeting and keynote address — close your show experience with exclusive content and be inspired by an engaging keynote speaker during a members-only breakfast.
  • Skip the badge pickup line — register by April 24 to receive your badge by mail (residents of U.S. and Canada only).
  • Complimentary luggage storage and shuttle to the airport on the last day.
Make sure your membership is current to take advantage of these member-only features.

Also note, the Renaissance Nashville is the host hotel for AOCA.

Schedule of Events

The following is the schedule of events for The Car Wash Show 2019, as of press time. All events take place at Music City Center, unless otherwise noted.

Sunday, May 12

11 a.m. – 5 p.m.: Registration 1-5 p.m.: New Investor Seminar 1-5 p.m.: Emerging Leaders Program 7-10 p.m.: AOCA Welcome Reception and Annual Membership Meeting (Held at Hard Rock Café Nashville)

Monday, May 13

7 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Registration 8-11:30 a.m.: Premium education sessions 9:15-11:30 a.m.: Partner solution sessions 9:15-10:15 a.m.: Peer Power Hour sessions 10:30-11 a.m.: First time attendee tour 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Peer Power Hour sessions 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Trade show floor open 1-5:30 p.m.: Quick hits 6-7:30 p.m.: Opening night party

Tuesday, May 14

7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Registration 8-11:30 a.m.: Premium education sessions 9:15-11:30 a.m.: Partner solution sessions 10:30-11:30 a.m.: Trade show floor: member experience 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.: Trade show floor open 4:30-5:30 p.m.: Booth crawl 1-5:30 p.m.: Quick hits

Wednesday, May 15

8 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Registration 8-9:30 a.m.: ICA annual membership meeting and keynote address 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Trade show floor open 9:45-10:45 a.m.: Partner solution sessions 9:45-10:45 a.m.: Peer Power Hour sessions 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Quick hits