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    Diving Into the Automotive Recyclers Association Show

    The ARA Convention and Expo is the premier event of the auto recycling industry. Running for 72 years, this year’s show featured a whopping 109 exhibitors and 1,000 attendees who traveled from as far away as the UK and Australia.

    Cordella-Brown and Dianna-Jaynes-ARA
    Cordella Brown of Copart with our own Dianna Jaynes

    The show included:

    • 35 Educational Sessions with Recognized Experts
    • 12 Hours of Exposition Featuring Nearly 100 Exhibitors
    • Updates from ARA
    • Yard Tour and BBQ at Matlock's Used Cars & Parts
    • LARA (Ladies of Automotive Recyclers Association) Breakfast
    • Annual Awards Dinner and Presidential Gavel Passing
    • NASCAR Sprint Cup Bank of America 500

    Women in Auto Salvage

    While the auto salvage industry has historically and overwhelmingly been dominated by men, ARA is working tirelessly to welcome, empower and encourage women to participate in the industry. The Ladies of the Auto Recyclers Association (LARA) breakfast was the first such event, and a positive and invigorating one. Women from across the country stood up and said what their passions are and for what they are thankful: being motivated by their love of children/grandchildren, appreciation for a rising number of women in the industry, and thankfulness that the industry feels like “one big family.”

    The second women empowerment event was the Industry Women Making a Big Difference session, where discussion ranged from best practices for hiring to seamlessly incorporating new family members into the family business. Ideas were shared and warmly received, and discussion thrived on combatting high turnover. With so much of the industry consisting of family businesses, getting the right fit can prove challenging. One member suggested using humor in job listings as a first litmus test of a candidate's personality.

    Electric Guard Dog Makes a Splash

    We did mention “Diving In” and our own CEO Jack DeMao did just that, taking a turn in the dunking booth hosted by our friends and customers at Copart to raise funds for the ARA Scholarship Fund.

    Watch our CEO Jack DeMao take the plunge for a good cause.

    Jack admits he didn’t know quite how cold the water would be; he also didn’t realize just how committed Electric Guard Dog employees apparently are when it comes to fostering the education of this country’s youth. Who knew they’d collectively stampede the nearest ATM? Needless to say, a good amount of trash talking occurred and Jack spent about an hour being repeatedly dropped.

    When the hour was over, a dripping and shivering Jack graciously offered to match all of the contributions made that day, knowing it’s for a great cause. ARA donates approximately $50,000 per year in scholarship money to the children of ARA members for post-high school educational pursuits.

    Pass the Gavel Dinner

    The grand finale was the passing of the gavel from last year’s ARA President Ricky Young of Young’s Auto Center and Salvage to the new President Mike Swift of Swift’s Trails End Auto Recycling.

    ARA President Mike Swift extends a warm welcome.

    We congratulate Ricky on a terrific year and join in welcoming Mike Swift to the post and wishing him well.

    The subject then turned to some well-deserved awards:

    Congratulations to all winners.

    Happy Customers

    With vast yards in areas that are usually sparsely populated at night and valuable inventory is left outdoors, theft is an ongoing challenge for ARA members. It was fantastic to have so many customers stop by to tell their stories about how Electric Guard Dog has stopped crime on their site.

    William Huntley-Dianna-Jaynes-Joseph_Huntley-ARA
    IAA's William and Joseph Huntley with Dianna Jaynes

    William Huntley of Insurance Auto Auctions went so far as to say that every year when it is time for budget, he asks for a new Electric Guard Dog electric security fence at another location.

    Brad Horton of U.S. Auto Supply even put his thoughts about installation of his new electric security fence on video.

    Brad Horton of U.S. Auto Supply endorses Electric Guard Dog for an "A1 job".

    Many thanks for the shoutouts — we love them — and to everyone at ARA for a great show. We look forward to another great year.

    Oh, and one last thing: we’ve had (more than a few) requests from Electric Guard Dog employees asking to borrow that dunking booth for a day?

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