As I write this, it has been one week since the membership of ASA-Midwest unanimously voted to disaffiliate from ASA National. Since then we have gotten text messages, emails, messages on social media, and plenty of phone calls from people all around the country, wishing us well and asking what they can do to help. So many adjectives and adverbs have been used by well-wishers to describe our members’ decision to make the change: bold, hooray, big, excited, congratulations, well thought out, well done, liberating, growth, woohoo, and more. Many people from outside our geographical area have asked if they can be members-at-large or if they can support us in some other way. Believe me, I am excited to be part of the leadership team that has worked for months to bring about this opportunity for membership growth and improvements in benefit programs.
I want to make one thing very clear. There is absolutely no vitriol involved in the decision to disaffiliate. I have a tremendous number of colleagues in this industry, and a majority of them are ASA members. I see no reason that each and every one of those friends won’t remain my friends, and I theirs. The decision to disaffiliate was a decision based on providing our members with value for their membership dollars. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more great news concerning our new Midwest Auto Care Alliance.
I have to tell you a story about one of the “good guys” in our industry. A short time ago the refrigerant recovery machine belonging to one of our members broke down, and it was going to be a while before it could be fixed OR before he could get a new one. He asked if anyone had a spare machine he could borrow. Low and behold, one of my longtime friends and ASA-Midwest member, Rick Hughlett, told Lee to go by his shop and see one of his managers to pick up his spare machine. In all of my years in this industry I have seen similar acts over and over, but it makes me feel good every time I do. Atta boy Rick Hughlett – you’re what’s good about this industry.
One final note: When I was elected President of ASA-Midwest, I thought it would mostly be conducting conference calls and meetings, and whatever was needed to meet my two goals as President. My number one goal was to get a foundation started to fund scholarships and various other avenues to bring people into our industry. We now have TTEF, the Technicians of Tomorrow Educational Foundation, set up for that purpose. We can always use donations, so if you are so inclined, feel free to make a donation. My number two goal was to increase membership, and the change to MWACA was made primarily to draw new members and to retain current members. The amount of work needed to achieve those two goals has been unbelievable. But it was our Executive Board, our Chapter Leaders, and most of all, Sheri and Heather that made sure that work got done. I applaud each one of you, and thank you for all you do. Your hard work helped me achieve my goals. Thank You!