Volume 8, Issue 5 - September/October 2006

It’s Auto Glass Week in Las Vegas
Here’s your preview of the four events in one place at one time.

Auto Glass Technician Olympics Moves
Event now being held in Las Vegas as part of Auto Glass Week

How to Register
There are two types of registration: Contestant registration, which must be submitted no later than September 26, and Spectator registration. Spectators may register on-site. You can also register online at www.glassexpos.com/agto.php

The second annual Auto Glass Technician Olympics, co-sponsored by AGRR magazine and the Independent Glass Association, has been moved to Las Vegas and will be held in conjunction with the International Auto Body Congress & Exposition (NACE).
The industry’s only technician skills event will be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center November 1-3.

It is part of an increased presence for auto glass at the NACE show, which annually draws 30,000 people from the auto industry. This year’s event will feature the Auto Glass Pavilion, which will include industry exhibitors as well as the AGTO competition arena.

Admission to the NACE trade show is included in the registration fee for contestants.

The AGTO competition begins Wednesday, November 1, at 4 p.m. at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. It will continue all day Thursday, November 2 and the morning of Friday, November 3. There will be an awards presentation following the finals on Friday.

AGTO is a national competition designed to honor the auto glass technician who completes the best auto glass installation. Ten major areas, including customer interaction and technician comportment, as well as safe and proper installation practices, are all judged. All installations are judged in accordance with the AGRSS Standard.

Each contestant will participate in a two-part competition. The first part takes place Thursday morning, November 2. At that time, contestants will be judged on the first two categories (Customer Greeting and Technician Comportment). The remaining sections will be judged over the next two days.

Each contestant will take part in a heat that involves the solo removal of a windshield and the installation of a new one. The technicians with the four highest scores (cumulative across all heats) will become finalists and will remove and install a backlite.
A complete set of rules, as well as sample score sheets, are available online at www.glassexpos.com/agto.php.

The Gold Medalist in the competition receives the grand prize of $5,000. The second place Silver Medalist receives $1,000 and third place Bronze Medalist receives $500.

All three judges from last year’s AGTO competition are returning for this year’s event. They are Bob Beranek, owner of Automotive Glass Consultants, Steve Coyle, Auto Glass Specialists, Inc., and Gilbert Gutierrez, Equalizer Industries Inc.

Jeff Olive, the Gold Medalist from last year’s competition, and director of quality control and master technician for Glasspro in Summerville, S.C., is an alternate judge for this year’s AGTO.

Companies which have multiple individuals who could qualify for the competition have been holding an Auto Glass Technician Olympics qualifier “feeder” competition. Included in this group are Cindy Rowe and Diamond Glass Companies.

Information on feeder events is available at 540/720-5584.

Attendees of the AGRSS Conference get into the Auto Glass Technician Olympics and the NACE show for free.

AGRSS Conference Part of the Education Parade
Second annual event is co-locating with Auto Glass Technician Olympics, NACE

The second annual Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) Conference is being held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center November 1 and 2, the same location as the NACE show and the Auto Glass Technician Olympics.

The event follows up on the success of its initial outing in Las Vegas, where consumer advocate Ralph Nader galvanized attendees with his presentation about safety. And he was similarly galvanized by what he learned at the AGRSS Conference, moving auto glass replacement safety to the forefront of his consumer advocacy campaign.

This year’s keynote speaker auto safety expert Byron Bloch who has served as an auto safety consultant to many television news programs and has appeared as an interviewed expert in many TV news reports, including ABC News’ 20/20, Primetime Live and Nightline, CBS News’ 60 Minutes and Public Eye and NBC News’ Dateline. 

Throughout his career, Bloch has fought for safer fuel tanks, stronger seats, the need for airbags and better truck underride guards, and has testified on these safety issues at

Congressional hearings and before the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency (NHTSA).

The conference is designed for auto glass installers, managers and company owners, insurance company managers, fleet operators who are committed to and concerned about automotive glass safety. Those who are interested in the AGRSS Standard, but aren’t currently part of an AGRSS-registered company and the insurance industry are also welcome and encouraged to attend.

Also on the agenda are a series of seminars on various aspects of safety and the AGRSS Standard, and a cocktail reception.

Attendees of the AGRSS Conference also have admission to the Auto Glass Technician Olympics and the NACE show.

What is AGRSS?
The AGRSS Council is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the safe replacement of auto glass. AGRSS was founded and is supported by companies in the auto glass replacement industry that keep safe installation as their primary goal. The Council is also accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)—a standards development organization—and has developed North America’s only auto glass replacement standard, the AGRSS Standard (ANSI/AGRSS 002- 2002 Automotive Glass Replacement Safety Standard). The AGRSS Standard addresses procedures, education and product performance.

NWRA Conference
NWRA in Las Vegas for Auto Glass Week, Too

The National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) will be holding its conference in Las Vegas November 3-4 in conjunction with Auto Glass Week.

The meeting is scheduled for Friday afternoon from 3 to 6 pm and Saturday morning from 9 am until noon. The education program will focus on several important topics that are central to running a successful business.

For one session, Bob Beranek, Automotive Glass Consultants, will discuss customer service. He will provide information on how a company can improve its performance in this important area.

Appearance: in a companion session, appearance will be the topic. A fashion show will demonstrate how to make a good impression through appearance. Matt Larson, Delta Kits Inc., will lead a discussion of the dos and don’ts of looking professional and the effect it has on consumers.

Electronic invoicing for independent shops is the subject of a presentation by Rob Rust, Quest Software. He will explain how a business can do its own electronic billing event if it only does a few repairs each month.

The Cool Tools & Ideas session, which was a big hit at the last NWRA conference, returns with Dave Casey, NWRA vice president and conference chair, updating attendees on what’s available and tips for improved performance.

Roundtable, a session explaining the technical aspects of a windshield repair with Tom Inman, Glass Doctor, is also on the agenda, as well as roundtable discussions where attendees can share and learn from their peers.

“The interchange of ideas for our members and conference attendees if very popular and central to the success of the conference,” explained Dave Casey, NWRA conference chair.

Information on the conference is available at www.nwrassn.org.

The NWRA badge also gets attendees into the Auto Glass Technician Olympics and the NACE show.

NACE Nuggets

NACE 2006 will be held November 1-4, at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. The educational Conference will run from November 1-4 (Wednesday-Saturday), and the Exposition will take place November 2-4 (Thursday-Saturday). 

The event is being held during Automotive Aftermarket Industry Week (AAIW), taking place that same week in Las Vegas. 

The NACE collision repair event annually draws an attendance of approximately 30,000 people from around the globe. It features a variety of educational sessions addressing the needs of all industry segments, as well as the exposition with approximately 500 exhibiting companies. 

Auto Glass Pavilion at NACE Co-sponsored by AGRR Magazine
This year for the first time an Auto Glass Pavilion will be part of the NACE show in Las Vegas.

The International Autobody Congress & Exposition (NACE) has announced the creation of the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE (AGX), a new national auto glass event within the NACE Exposition. Auto Glass Repair & Replacement Magazine (AGRR) is an endorser of the AGX and will serve as the official magazine for the event. In an effort to broaden their outreach to the body shop community, the Independent Glass Association (IGA) and the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) are also endorsing this event.

“Some of the leading auto glass suppliers have exhibited at NACE for a number of years where they encountered many of their regular customers in addition to many who use auto glass replacement services. Those suppliers have taken it upon themselves to inquire about having an auto glass pavilion at NACE where they can invite the whole auto glass industry to attend. We have responded favorably. As a result we are creating a special area and related activities for auto glass repair and replacement,” stated Ron Pyle, ASA president and chief staff executive.

Ray Asbery, president of Equalizer Industries, Inc., who was instrumental in the development of AGX, said, “We have been given an exciting means of helping the auto glass industry have a genuine, well-attended, and focused national show again. At NACE, attendees from our industry can talk to all the vendors, attend sessions on the latest trends in auto glass, watch demos where the most up-to-date technologies are demonstrated, and hear how to solve problems they will encounter in their daily work. Contained within the NACE show, they can network with other automotive industries that share common ground with the auto glass industry.”

AGX has been enthusiastically received, has sold-out quickly and required expanding in order to accommodate the demand for space. To-date, the AGX exhibitors include: ADCO, Aegis Tools International, AGRR Magazine, AGRSS, A.N. Designs, Inc., AutoGlasSolutions, Auto Glass Journal, BTB Auto Glass & Body Shop Tools, Burco, CPI, C.R. Laurence, Dow Automotive, eDirectGlass, EFTEC Aftermarket, Equalizer Industries, EXTRACTOR – Crystal Glass Canada, GlasWeld, Gold Glass Group, Independent Glass Association, Mitchell/NAGS, National Windshield Repair Association, PPG, Quest Software, Shat-R-Proof, and Sommer & Maca. 

Joseph Gold, who represents the fourth generation in a family rich in auto glass tradition and innovation and is one of the owners of Gold Glass Group Corp. states, “I think in recent years, a lot of us have asked ourselves exactly what business we are in. Many of us think of ourselves as being in the glass business—this is true. As the glass business has expanded to include the automobile repair business, an alignment with NACE makes sense.”

An important component to AGX, and a very high-energy element, will be the Auto Glass Technician Competition (the “Olympics” of auto glass replacement). This competition will include daily heats where glass installation technicians compete against each other for the title of Best Glass Technician in the World. The three-day competition brings together the best glass technicians from all over the country to compete. The competition is judged by known industry experts in accordance with the AGRSS Standard. With a customer interaction, as well as a practical competition, this will be a very exciting addition to the AGX and the NACE 2006 Exposition.

“We are very excited to be part of this effort to help all those who perform or purchase AGRR services understand how important safety is,” says Deb Levy, publisher of AGRR magazine, the largest magazine for the auto glass industry in the world.

In conjunction, the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council (AGRSS) will be holding its annual meeting during NACE 2006 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. 

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