by Brian Cruickshank, AAP
NEW ORLEANS —
Parts Plus President Mike Lambert addresses the record-setting crowd in New Orleans.
Barely two weeks after the pre-Lenten Mardi Gras festivities had quieted here in the Crescent City, Memphis-based program group Parts Plus brought its own Fat Tuesday atmosphere to its national convention, held last week in New Orleans.
This year’s convention, held February 24-27, marked a number of milestones for the group, including the addition of seven new WD members and record convention attendance among both members and vendors.
The most noteworthy announcement of the convention, however, was the group’s first live acknowledgement of its recent merger with fellow program group Independent Auto Parts of America (IAPA), formerly based in Cartersville, Ga. With the impending IAPA headquarters move to Memphis, the combined group is now known as Automotive Distribution Network (ADN), although each group will retain separate branding strategies.
Much has happened to the distribution landscape since Parts Plus last held its convention three years ago in Las Vegas. At Friday morning’s general session, Parts Plus President and ADN Co-president Mike Lambert underscored this as he listed many of the positive advances Parts Plus has made over the last few years.
The fact that “ADN co-president” – a title shared with IAPA President Mike Kamal – has been added to Lambert’s r