by Brian Cruickshank
Editor, Counterman magazine
SAN ANTONIO, TX — The group in San Antonio was small — limited to just 25. But considering the speaker, many times more would have jumped at the chance to hear his sage words.
The speaker for the inaugural University of the Aftermarket “Fireside Chat,” held April 21, was O. Temple Sloan, III, president of General Parts, Inc., the largest member of the CARQUEST distribution group. During the 45-minute session, Sloan spoke frankly about his vision of leadership to a small group of aftermarket executives.
Sloan was a natural choice for this first event. His company, GPI, is one of the largest parts distributors in the country and a huge influence on manufacturers and the rest of the aftermarket industry. His own view on leadership was just one part of a special two-day University of the Aftermarket “Exploring Visionary Leadership” event that began the day prior to Sloan’s presentation. The event also included talks from Southwest Airlines Vice President of Purchasing Ray Sears; Julie Diehl, director with the business consulting group of Alvarez & Marsal; Bob Roberts from On the Surface Technologies and well-known industry educator and speaker Tom Easton, AAP.
Said one attendee, “This was the best use of my time spent in any seminar I’ve attended in a long time.” “I came here looking for three to four ideas to implement,” commented another. “I’ve found many more ideas for our company.”
According to University of the Aftermarket President Chuck Udell, this first Fireside Chat and Exploring Visionary Leadership session were a success. Udell said plans are underway to offer more of these special leadership-focused events in the future.
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