Auto Service World
Feature   March 1, 2009   by David Halpert

Executive Conference A Sure Bet

Aftermarket Conference for Executives Set to Take Place at Niagara Fallsview Casino

With the need to be on top of business issues more pressing than ever, attending this year’s Aftermarket Conference for Executives (ACE) promises to be even more important than ever.

The ACE event, being held at Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ont., April 21 and 22, features some of the leading experts working in the aftermarket today, as well as long-time presenters speaking on industry topics including sales, leadership skills, communication strategies, technology, marketing, and media integration.

“We consistently hear from our members that ACE is by far the best conference of any they attend during the year,” says Deborah Moynes- Keshen, vice-president of the Automotive Industries Association of Canada, which hosts the event. “The quality of speakers and content sets this conference apart. For any senior manager in the industry this is a must-attend.”

This year’s annual keynote speakers include William (Bill) Pochiluk, president of Automotive Compass LLC, speaking on “What’s Next? The Outlook for the Canadian Automotive Aftermarket”; Dr. Robert Buckman with “Secrets for Sales Professionals”; Doug Keeley, CEO and chief storyteller with his lecture “The Mark of a Leader”; Odis Lloyd, the managing director of automotive licensing for NASCAR, speaking on “The NASCAR Experience”; and Tom Wujec, fellow and principal consultant for Autodesk speaking on “Return on Imagination, Visualizing Business.”

The two-day event will also feature a reception dinner, breakfast, and lunch, as well as the presentation of this year’s Distinguished Service Award, the association’s highest honour.

In his unique presentation, Wujec delivers a primer on the burgeoning practice of making strategy visible. Teams see the real dynamics of their business, understand the larger priorities, discover patterns, build new relationships, and see their impact on the company’s overall direction. Speaking with wit and accessibility, he helps reframe models of interaction (a process which has led to concepts such as the Long-Tail, Blue Ocean, and the Experience Economy), and leads through exactly how to formulate, clarify, implement, and measure the effectiveness of this new strategy.

Doug Keeley is one of North America’s leading communicators, a serial entrepreneur, and a self-professed “leadership junkie.” In his program, “The Mark of a Leader,” he reviews great leaders and looks at why they are considered great as well as the qualities that made them successful. Some examples include Lance Armstrong, Winston Churchill, the Beatles, and father/son tri-athletes, Team Hoyt.

William Pochiluk is a senior government and industry advisor who recently worked for the Canadian government to present an overview on the current car manufacturers’ situation. He will be talking about what he thinks will happen with the OEs, what the issues are facing the aftermarket, and the challenges and the opportunities that may arise from these historic times.

Of special interest is Dr. Robert Buckman’s highly practical (and outrageously funny) approach to communication. He provides concrete tools for managing difficult conversations, for closing reluctant customers, and for swaying uncooperative colleagues. Blending deadpan humour with his unerring sensitivity, he ensures that you will truly understand the “how” of effective communication with his lecture, “How To Be An Effective Communicator and Still Stay Stupid.”

Also on the list of presenters is Odis Lloyd, who spent the last 19 years in the automotive aftermarket industry, first at Tenneco Automotive, and for the past nine years at NASCAR as managing director of its Automotive Group. Lloyd will present a high-energy viewpoint on NASCAR’s Canadian operations and plans. He will also talk about where the opportunities are for the sector as they pertain to the aftermarket.

“ACE consistently delivers quality, insight, and value,” says Moynes- Keshen. “Our members leave feeling that their attendance was time and money well spent. We are often told this is by far the best conference they attend in North America.”


The 2009 Automotive Conference for Executives is set to take place April 21 and 22 at the Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort in Niagara Falls, Ont. More information on registration and special hotel rates can be found at www.aiacanada.comor by calling the association in Ottawa, Ont., at 613-728-5821.

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