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Auto recyclers are good at a lot of auto related things, but one thing the industry is good at has nothing to do with vehicles. It has to do with industry collaboration.

Few industries can say that competitors come together and share processes and best practices, even secrets of success, for the benefit of others on an annual basis. The credo “together we succeed” comes from a rich history (over 78 years) of joining together to discuss and debate the future, where recyclers have come together with the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) to challenge the status quo.

This year, auto recyclers appreciate the opportunity to come together more than ever. In the history of the ARA, only September 11 completely nullified an ARA convention. That year there was no virtual option, but life and business continued despite the national tragedy – and auto recyclers could still gather for state shows. On this 20th anniversary of September 11, it is fitting that after a year-long mandated global shutdown that prevented in-person events, we all come together for the 78th Annual ARA Convention and Exhibition November 11-14. in Dallas.

Last year, with the cancellation of many industry events, ARA made the historic decision to facilitate “ARA EDGE 2020”, a virtual convention and exhibition for the industry. The training and exhibition experience has provided a much needed lifeline for many recyclers and supplier companies in the industry. These sessions are available on under Industry Training.

Yet, as beneficial as hosting the event online is, there is no substitute for an in-person gathering for this industry giant family.

“ARA is very excited to bring the community together in Dallas,” said Scott Robertson, ARA President. “There is so much going on simultaneously to have an impact on the way we do business, it is essential that we come together to discuss what is to come. I look forward to co-hosting another Recyclers Roundtable to bring these issues to the table and discuss strategies that will help us all thrive in rapid change.

Approaching the change front

Now is the time to embrace improved processes and new business models. It’s best to be “in the room” to chat and learn from the brightest minds in the industry.

Keynote speaker Tony Graham, Executive Vice President of Sales, Customer Success and Growth at Solera, will provide insight into industry changes from a global perspective.

Andy Latham, Founder and CEO of Salvage Wire, will discuss advanced training in two different sessions: first, the impact of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), then high voltage vehicles. Latham is one of the educated experts on these topics as the author of the recently revised “ARA Electric and Hybrid Vehicle Technology Guide” which is available for free download at

In another session, Latham is joined by Shannon Nordstrom and others to discuss electronic certification. The certification of electric vehicles and its importance in the auto repair industry (collision and mechanical) is increasing. It might become a necessity in the future.

Pam’s Auto’s Pat Huesers and Mike Meyer, recipient of Certified Auto Recycler of the Year, will discuss how consistent customer service and sales policy will increase profits. The session will explore policies for credit cards, returns and guarantees, body cuts, customer resolution and more.

In a session titled The Future of Mobility: Recycling Converters, Batteries, Sensors, ECUs & More, an esteemed panel from Umicore, Spiers New Technologies, Cox Automotive and United Catalyst Corp. will explore this vehicle technology. What do autonomous driving, connectivity, vehicle electrification and shared mobility mean for car recycling? These companies are actively working on solutions that auto recyclers can learn and use.

Speaker Ryan Mandell worked in an automotive recycling environment before joining software provider Mitchell International and as a result understands the impact of change on the recycler’s workflow. At Mitchell, he explores data and brings real understanding and profit center ideas to auto recyclers. His session, The Coming World of Estimate Automation and Making Sure Your Business Is Prepared, will help attendees navigate macroeconomic trends in the auto insurance industry, namely artificial intelligence (AI) and how recyclers can use this data and position yourself in the best possible way. their businesses to capitalize on the looming wave of automation.

Other sessions explore mentoring, job site assessment, batteries, best business practices, leadership, self-service best practices and more. On the exhibition floor, participants can also meet more than 100 companies.

“This year, we really want auto recyclers to see beyond the day-to-day, even the year ahead,” says Sandy Blalock, ARA Executive Director. “Our industry needs to embrace what’s coming and change accordingly. There really is no excuse for not knowing what lies ahead, when opportunities like the ARA Annual Convention exist to share this information. ARA is there every step of the way to help auto recyclers who want to move their business forward. We hope recyclers will benefit from it.

It’s not just work

In addition to educational sessions, ARA conventions always include networking elements for participants. The convention will include the opening night of the Past President’s Reception, the annual ARA Awards Dinner and a concluding facility tour, providing plenty of networking opportunities.

Registration and accommodation links are available now on

Caryn Smith is the editor of Automotive recycling review and Recycler Toolbox magazine, both published by the Automotive Recyclers Association. It has covered the auto recycling industry for over 20 years. For more information and updates, visit

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