by Michael Freeze
Managing Editor, Counterman
NEW ORLEANS —
APA President Dan Freeman addresses the APA membership at last weekend’s national convention in New Orleans.
The Lenexa, Kan.-based Automotive Parts Associates (APA) held its Shareholders/Manufacturers Annual Conference in New Orleans last weekend.
During the conference (March 10-12), which was held at the historic Hotel Monteleone, the shareholders were recognized and appreciated for continuing to strengthen the program group. After a Thursday morning of recreational golf at TPC of Louisiana, the group members, as well as the manufacturers in attendance, were treated to a welcome reception dinner.
A day later, the first full day of APA business was underway with a shareholders-only meeting. During the Friday session, the program group announced its 2005 board of directors candidates.
The board announcement was followed by a key note speech from Donald Cooper, MBA, from the Donald Cooper Corp., titled “The 90-minute MBA…10 things you absolutely must know about your customers…and your life!”
Later that afternoon, shareholders met for one-on-one meetings with attending manufacturers. When the business was done for the day, conference members and guests were treated with a parade through the French Quarter to the world famous Pat O’Briens restaurant for a private engagement.
Saturday began with a general session between manufacturers and shareholders followed by the first of two “Breakout” sessions. Counterman publisher Jon Owens and Vice President of Marketing for Motormite/Dorman Bill Hanvey led a presentation titled “Analysis of the OE Dealer,” which discussed the state of the aftermarket industry as well as the threat, strengths and weaknesses of the OE dealer.
After the shareholders/manufacturers luncheon, the second session featured Gary Garberg, coordinator of S.I.P.S (Survival of Import Parts Specialists) from Las Vegas, Jos