Auto Service World
Feature   April 1, 2004   by Auto Service World

AIA Update: Executive Conference Scales Heights

Top-level conference attracts compelling presenters - Executive Conference, May 4-6, Mont-Tremblant, Que.

Senior automotive aftermarket executives will have a unique opportunity to connect at the Automotive Industries Association of Canada’s Executive Conference.

In addition to networking events, the association will present a slate of speakers that is sure to inform and inspire.

More than 150 aftermarketers are expected to attend the event, which will feature keynote speakers U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Celluci, Major General Lewis McKenzie (Retired), Allan Gregg of the Strategic Council, and Ron Buist, inventor of the Tim Horton’s “Roll Up the Rim to Win” marketing campaign.

The theme for the conference is “Make the Connection.” ACE is designed for senior executives. “It is an excellent opportunity for senior management to meet and network with other senior management in the aftermarket,” says AIA president Ray Datt. “It is also a unique Canadian development opportunity for corporate automotive aftermarket executives.”

U.S. Ambassador to Canada Paul Cellucci will open the conference with an overview of U.S.-Canada relations. Ambassador Cellucci has been active in his concern to maintain and strengthen the largest trading relationship in the world. The aftermarket conference for executives will ignite with his opening keynote address.

Continuing on the Canada-U.S. theme, Michael Adams, president of Environics, will explain how Canadians have evolved from a shy and unassuming populace to a modern/postmodern population. He’ll show what Canadians have in common with Americans, what continues to differentiate them from their cousins in the United States, and why the differences between the cultures of these two countries will remain significant for decades to come.

Aftermarketers will have the opportunity to find out what it is like to provide leadership in a war zone from retired General Lewis MacKenzie. Participants will find out what skills can be transferred to the hectic, fast-paced business world of the automotive aftermarket.

James McDonnell of Matthew.Scott Data Marketing will take a look at Marketing Best Practices, not only in the automotive industry, but in key consumer industries as well.

One of the biggest items in any business budget is employee compensation. Employees are the key to any successful business. Allan Gregg, chairman of The Strategic Counsel, is one of Canada’s most respected and influential pollsters and social commentators. He will share what he believes are the current trends to increasing loyalty and productivity with aftermarket executives.

Ron Buist is the marketing executive who led a once unknown donut shop to phenomenal success as a Canadian institution. During his 24-career in marketing with Tim Hortons, Buist’s many credits include inventing the ever-popular “Roll Up the Rim to Win” contest, and producing the “True Stories” advertising TV commercials. There are a number of similarities between the jobber distribution system in communities large and small across the country, and the donut distribution system. He’ll share his insights with aftermarketers on how to do marketing on a “Timbit” budget.

An interactive session led by Andrew King of DesRosiers Automotive Consultants will discuss future aftermarket trends based on the exterior factors that impact the industry, the business climate, and trends the aftermarket has little or no control over. It’s a comprehensive look at the business climate for the Canadian aftermarket in 2004 and beyond.

ACE will conclude with a look at the success of the Be Car Aware Program in the United States. U.S. Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association president Kathleen Schmatz will share how the U.S. industry has begun to tap into an estimated $60 billion of unperformed maintenance. AIA is launching the Be Car Care Aware program in Canada this year, so it is an opportunity for aftermarketers to find out what to expect.

The executive conference is sponsored by ArvinMeritor, Blue Streak-Hygrade Motor Products, Castrol Canada, Dana Canada Inc., Dayco/Mark IV Automotive Canada, Federal-Mogul Canada Ltd., Gates Canada Inc., IBM Canada, NGK Spark Plugs of Canada, Pennzoil-Quaker State Canada, Robert Bosch, Tenneco Automotive, and Valvoline Canada.

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