Auto Service World
Feature   May 1, 2009   by David Halpert

2009 Aftermarket Conference For Executives: The Toolkit For Aftermarket Executives


This year’s Aftermarket Conference for Executives (ACE), entitled “The Executive Toolkit for Today’s Leaders,” was a rousing success attended by more than 100 industry manufacturers, warehouse distributors, jobbers, associated media press, and, of course, top executives of AIA Canada.

The event was held at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ont. on April 21-22, and exemplified the sense of spirit and camaraderie that make up the Canadian aftermarket.

“These volatile times can still represent a tremendous opportunity,” said AIA Canada chair John Watt in his welcoming announcements. “As successful business people we know that there is always something new to be learned, and that is the promise of ACE that has been a trusted way to add to the executives’ toolkit for today’s leaders.”

The one-day event, preceded by an evening reception, comprised four back-to-back hour-long lectures on leadership, innovation, branding, and communication, as well as a general overview of the state of the aftermarket as it stands in Canada today.

In addition to the seminars was the presentation of the 2009 Distinguished Service Award to Jacques Landreville. Landreville was president and chief executive officer of automotive parts distributor Uni-Select Inc. from 1991 to 2007. Currently, he is a member of the Uni-Select board of directors.

With his solid combination of knowledge and experience, he also represented the Automotive Industries Association of Canada on the Canadian Automotive Partnership Council in 2006 and 2007, an industry-led organization formed in September 2002 to address the key competitive issues facing the Canadian automotive industry.

The Distinguished Service Award is the highest honour presented by the association.

Presenters included William R. Pochiluk, president of Automotive Compass LLC, who discussed the outlook for the Canadian aftermarket; Tom Wujec, international author and speaker, who explained how companies can foster innovative practices across all stages of development; Odis Lloyd, managing director in charge of the Automotive Licensing department for NASCAR, who talked about the NASCAR brand and its influence in the automotive industry; and Dr. Robert Buckman, world-class expert on interpersonal communication and medical oncologist at the University of Toronto, who spoke on how to become a better communicator and a more effective champion for your company’s products and ideas. Doug Keeley’s “Mark of a Leader” presentations provided the audience with short inspirational stories peppered throughout the day’s events.

“The Mark of a Leader is about engaging people to be better leaders, under the theory or belief that leadership is the most important thing in business right now and that in a great organization everyone has to be thinking and acting like a leader. We talk about something called ‘Five Level Leadership,’ which is engaging people by their spirit, imagination, heart, intelligence, and hands. And that’s what these sessions are all about.”

Wishloff Honoured As Young Executive

Zara Wishloff of Warehouse Services Inc., based in Edmonton, Alta., was honoured as the Young Executive of the Year at the Young Executive Society (YES) Workshop, which preceded the ACE Conference.

During the workshops, facilitated by Doug Keeley, the 50 attendees worked through exercises designed to build leadership and teamwork skills.

It was also the first meeting chaired by Uni-Select marketing professional Linda Donini, who was warmly applauded for having led an excellent event.

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