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Winning Character
ARA's Annual Awards ceremony showcases the character of its members.
This year’s awards dinner and gavel passing, sponsored by Brock Supply Co., was held on Thursday night to accommodate the NASCAR races on Friday and Saturday nights. The dinner is a time where the success of ARA members is recognized and the effort of individuals is celebrated. This year was no exception as DJ Harrington hosted the evening with his usual liveliness.

In his opening remarks, Michael Wilson, ARA’s CEO, said, “ARA couldn’t succeed without the contribution and hard work on the parts of its members. Tonight we would like to recognize some of those who have given of their time and expertise.”

Two Committee Chairs completed their term and received Outgoing Committee Chair plaques: F. John Azevedo, outgoing regional director committee chairman, and Chuck Ossenkop, outgoing technical advisory committee chairman. Ossenkop is held in high esteem by his ARA colleagues for many years of service on several ARA committees. He is taking a break to focus on other things.

“The profession at large and many of us individually have been privileged to work with Chuck in so many different roles over the past several years,” said Doug Reinert, outgoing ARA President. “Most recently, Chuck has led the Technical Advisory Committee in so many great projects, the latest one being the ‘hot off the press’ 400-page Hybrid Vehicle Dismantling Guide. Unfortunately for us, Chuck has decided to give up his chairmanship to spend more time with his business, family, and, of course, on his infamous sheep and moose hunting and solo backpacking trips in the mountains and backwoods of Alaska. We appreciate your service.”

The ARA is made up of many such hard-working members who contribute to the industry. Each year the Star Awards are given to four members who have gone “above and beyond” in their dedication to the association and the industry. ARA members vote to decide who receives each award. Here they are:

ARA Affiliate Chapter of the Year – Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association
C.A.R. Member of the Year – LeCavalier  Auto Parts, Inc., Ste-Sophie, QC, Canada
Regional Director of the Year – Mike Swift, Trails End Auto and Truck Salvage, Inc. – Des Moines, IA
Member of the Year – F. John Azevedo, Pacific Auto Salvage, American Canyon, CA
Lifetime Honorary Member Awards – Ron Vincent and Howard Nusbaum
President’s Award – F. John Azevedo

Outgoing ARA President, Doug Reinert said it had been an incredible year and he had enjoyed working closely with other recyclers and the ARA. He then passed the gavel to the incoming ARA President for 2011-2012, Randy Reitman. Randy expressed his excitement at his new task for the year and said he would do his best to continue to advance the excellent work his predecessors had done.

An equally important part of the evening, the auction for ARA’s Educational Foundation created quite a vibe as attendees were treated as one dinner guest, who was a professional automotive recycling auctioneer, volunteered to help with the auction calling. Suddenly the room came alive as it was transformed into a real auction atmosphere. The bidders were in fierce and fast competition to secure their prize. 

Remarkably, here is where some of the genuine virtues of ARA members shined. The bidding started with items ranging from a gigantic Hershey Bar to the front bumper of a race car to an African hunting trip. There were lots of travel packages for grabs: Albuquerque Balloon Package, Daytona Ticket Package, and Charlotte Race Package. But the room turned electric with energy as Gary Bevell donated his ADRA ring, which meant a lot to him. (The ring was an award Gary had earned in the 1980s for recruiting the most ADRA members. It is one of a few that exist.) A head-to-head bidding war ensued with Tom Klauer, of Schnitzer, securing the prize with a bid of $7,700, which was $100 over the bid of Tammy Arroyo, who was sitting close to him. Then, in a surprise move, Tom handed Tammy the ring, with a caveat. She gladly accepted it on the basis that they both pledge the money they had bid to the ARAEF.

In another generous act, Ricky Young of Young’s Auto Center donated $5,000. This was the result of a reconciliation between himself and an estranged friend and business partner. Ricky  had not had contact with him in eight years since a deal they had struck with a third party in South America went sour. Each one blamed the other for being cheated out of money. At the trade show, Ricky turned the corner to see his former friend. They started talking and realized that neither one was at fault, but, in fact, it had been the third party who was in error. The friend, to make amends, wrote Ricky a check for $5,000 to which Ricky said, “to show you it’s not about the money but about the principle, I’m going to donate the money,” specifically to the Educational Foundation. And he did!

Click to download the full January/February issue in PDF format

 
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