At the 68th Annual ARA Convention & Exposition in Charlotte, NC, coming in October, Randy Reitman, Reitman Auto Parts, is set to take over the reins from current Automotive Recyclers Association President Doug Reinert as the new 2011-2012 President. Reitman is well-qualified to represent the automotive recycling industry.
Reitman has over 40 years of industry experience, getting his start while still in high school, working with his Dad at the family-owned business. He had to grow up quickly, though, and began to fully manage the business at age 17 when his father died from cancer.
He soon recognized the importance of getting involved with his state association, Kentucky Auto and Truck Recycling Association (KATRA), and has been on its board for about 20 years. Reitman Auto Parts became an ARA member in 1985 and attended their first ARA convention in 1988, held in Nashville, TN that year.
Reitman was appointed as one of ARA’s Regional Directors in 2004. After two years serving as a Regional Director for Region 2, Reitman joined the Scholarship Foundation, where he continues to serve. He has been serving on the Executive Committee for the last four years, serving as Secretary, and now rising to President.
During the last four years, Reitman has had the opportunity to study many other auto recyclers, both here and abroad. He has also been actively involved in conducting seminars for both the state and national recyclers conventions.
As his turn at the Presidency nears, Reitman looks forward to his new responsibilities which will include speaking on behalf on the ARA and the industry as a whole and interacting with other recyclers nationwide and internationally.
“I am looking forward to meeting with other recyclers and bringing more understanding on what others deal with on a day-to-day basis,” said Reitman. “I’m anxious to help other recyclers by asking them how the ARA can help them and sharing the opportunities that the Association has to offer.
“I remember what it’s like to attend your first convention. You think to yourself how you’re not up to par and are impressed by the bigger and more sophisticated recyclers. But, it’s not hard to follow their lead if you are doing the right thing and can keep doing the right thing. It’s not that much harder to take the next step to get Certified Automotive Recycler and Gold Seal Certified. It means a lot to improve how you are seen by the public. I want to encourage recyclers to do the best they can to stand up for our industry, which is often misunderstood by the public.”
Every President coming to the office has goals they would like to achieve and issues that are dear to their heart, and Reitman is no different. Salvage acquisition is the issue that is most dear to his heart and he plans to do what he can to help the industry to combat tougher times in acquiring salvage that is reasonably priced.
“Salvage acquisition is an ongoing problem, and I want to help keep the auto recycler ahead of the game,” said Reitman. “If the sky was the limit, I would like to see things go back like they used to be when you had to be professionally trained and certified as an auto recycler to be able to buy from the insurance salvage pools. That way we could make sure the inventory is in the hands of the recycler where it can and will be used in a safe and environmentally-friendly way.”
In order to attack the salvage acquisition challenge, Reitman says it is vital to raise public awareness of what auto recycling really is.
“One of my main goals will be to continue to change the image the public has of auto recycling,” said Reitman. “I want to show how viable this industry really is and the difference of dealing with an ‘auto recycler’ not a junk yard. The customer should feel comfortable with their choices.
“I also want to let other recyclers know what ARA has to offer them because there are great program incentives and quality programs that could help their business. I feel that my predecessors have laid the ground work with these programs and I plan to keep on improving them.”
Michelle Keadle-Taylor is a freelance writer in Northern Virginia.
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