Volume 10, Issue 3 - May/June 2008

It’s Independent
A Look Ahead at This Year’s IGA Conference and Spring Auto Glass Show™ May 1-3, 2008

It may not be July 4, but this year’s Independent Glass Association’s (IGA) annual Independents’ Days and Spring Auto Glass Show is sure to raise some fireworks. The three-day event, to be held at Cashman Center and the Golden Nugget Hotel in Las Vegas May 1-3, will include a lengthy list of seminars and an array of new products designed specifically for independent glass shops from across the United States.

What’s Going to Happen
The event will kick off on Thursday, May 1, with a discussion of the “IGA in 2008.” Dave Zoldowski, president of the IGA, who also serves as president of Auto One in Brighton, Mich., accompanied by Chuck Lloyd of Livgard and Rabuse in Minneapolis, a long-time advocate for the auto glass industry, will update attendees on the latest services available from the IGA and how these services can be used to combat the competition.

IGA board member Bryan Yarborough of Glass Doctor will take the stage next, discussing a subject that is always a hot topic: NAGS. Yarborough will lead the group in a question-and-answer session designed to clarify concerns industry members have over this important subject.

Bob Smith of Storm Appraisal & Management Service Inc., a Midwestern lobbyist for the collision and automotive industries, along with IGA board member Mike Russo of Thru-Way Auto Glass Distributors Inc. in Syracuse, N.Y., will update members on all of the legislation on which the IGA has worked throughout the United States that is under review right now.

Keynote speaker Erica Eversman of Vehicle Information Services will follow Smith’s lead with a discussion of how she inspired the Connecticut attorney general to introduce anti-steering legislation in the state. Eversman, an attorney, has worked with numerous auto repair companies dealing with steering issues.

Smith then will lead a discussion about how to create consumer choice legislation in states across the United States and get it introduced. At press time, two anti-steering bills on which Smith worked were under review in the states of Kansas and Missouri, respectively. Smith also will discuss an important issue—how to work against the powerful insurance lobby (see related story on page 15).The IGA’s board of directors will end the day’s education portion with an update on the popular program, “Don’t Get Steered,” and will unveil the long-awaited comic book designed to educate consumers and legislators about what steering is and why it needs to be prevented. Speakers will include Corey Hemperly of Windshield Doctor in Pocatello, Idaho, Yarborough, Rick Rosar of Rapid Glass in Minneapolis, and Shawn Newport of Star Auto Glass in Erie, Pa.

That evening, attendees will gather at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino for a cocktail party.

Day Two
On Friday, May 2, one of the industry’s most talked-about sectors will come face-to-face with the group: the insurance industry. Representatives from several insurance companies will discuss issues of importance to independents with the group.

Another complicated sector will take center-stage next: Tom Feeney of Safelite/Belron US. Last year, Belron US’s chief operating officer, Rich Harrison, led the group in a lively discussion, and Dan Wilson, chief executive officer, provided insight into the national chain, and this dialogue is expected to continue with Feeney.

Safety’s next on the schedule—with a talk by Cindy Ketcherside, chair of the Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards (AGRSS) Council Inc., and Carl Tompkins, chair of the AGRSS validation committee. Ketcherside and Tompkins will explain the value of AGRSS registration—and upcoming changes to the process—with attendees. As an added bonus, the IGA has offered to pay the AGRSS registration fee for attendees who have never registered with AGRSS, but who do so within 30 days of the seminar—a $225 value.

The day also will get a little techno—technological, that is—when Scott Orth of GTS Services in Portland, Ore., provides an advanced course in Internet marketing. Orth will talk about how to maximize profits using a website—and incorporating Internet sales tactics to keep business moving.

Keith Beveridge, senior vice president of NOVUS Inc. in Savage, Minn., will be on hand next, to explain how to make money with repair, and, for those not already repairing, how to incorporate this additional service into a business.

The day will wrap up with an interactive discussion on closing sales calls, led by Dan Molloy of the Molloy Sales Institute. Molloy, who spoke about training customer service representatives the IGA’s fall conference (see the November/December 2007 issue of AGRR, page 42), will teach attendees how to maximize their efforts and close a sale once the customer has made first contact, whether by phone or in person.

Day Three
Saturday morning, May 3, will kick off with an interactive roundtable called “What Worked for Me.” The open forum will give attendees a chance to share ideas and brainstorm new options for facing the challenges the industry often presents.

Next, the newest cars and the most difficult glass out there will be the focal point, as Dale Malcolm of Dow Automotive in Dayton, Ohio, will lead a discussion on how to address the issues with installing the glass on the new breed of vehicles now available. Malcolm will discuss how to tackle the issue of more glass and new technology and the complications that can arise from these factors.

The day will end with an intense, two-hour session given by Bob Beranek of Automotive Glass Consultants Inc. in Sun Prairie, Wis., designed to prepare you for the newly developed IGA certification (see related story in March/April 2008 AGRR, page 16). After the course, conducted by Beranek, ends, the hour-long exam will be provided in written form for attendees to take on-site. 

Trade Show Time
From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on May 2, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 3, attendees will have a chance to see the latest tools, mouldings and more available to technicians during the Spring Auto Glass Show. The Spring Auto Glass Show will be co-located with the Americas Glass Showcase™ and International Window Film Expo, also offering attendees a chance to check out some possible areas of diversification, including flat glass work and window film applications.

Where to Stay
Las Vegas is the city designed for tourists, so there’s certainly not a shortage of hotels. But one hotel has been set aside for you—the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino in downtown Vegas. The hotel, located right on the famous Fremont Street, will offer a shuttle daily to the event at Cashman Center. In addition, the cocktail party on May 1 will be held at the hotel.

Golfing Glass Techs
Are your golf clubs getting dusty? Or, better yet, have you been practicing and are anxious to show your stuff to your industry cohorts? Either way, there’s no better time to hit the greens than at this year’s Independents’ Days Conference and Spring Auto Glass Show™. The golf outing will be held on Thursday, May 1, from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Rhodes Ranch Golf Club. Registration for four-person teams in this “Best Ball” tournament will begin promptly at 6:30 a.m., with tee-off at 7:30 a.m.

Need More Information?
If you need more information than what’s provided here on the annual Independents’ Days Conference and Spring Auto Glass Show™, visit the Independent Glass Association’s (IGA) website at www.iga.org.

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