ARA Home > Automotive Recycling Magazine > July-August 2013 >Committee Round Up Powered by YOU
Committee Round Up Powered by YOU
The hard work of ARA is often accomplished by the committees, powered by a team of dedicated volunteers. Here is a round-up of the various working groups.
ARA members who volunteer their time to serve on committees, find the work a rewarding way to contribute to the industry, and give back to the Association that works hard for the advancement of their interests. The first day of the ARA Convention offers opportunities to sit in on meetings of these working groups. Here is a round-up of all the available opportunities to serve the industry that you may wish to consider.

ARA’s committees and special task forces work hard all year long to continue to raise the bar of excellence for our industry. Not only are their efforts vital to the automotive recycling industry, committee members will tell you it’s exciting and rewarding work. They give much to the industry they love, and also build lifetime friendships in the process. Serving on ARA committees is a win-win experience. ARA invites you to consider getting involved. All ARA committees meet as a group at the ARA Annual Convention, the ARA Mid-Year Business Meeting, and such other times as the committee chair might determine, usually via conference call.


Certified Automotive Recyclers (CAR)
Committee Chair: Shannon Nordstrom
Staff Liaison: Chrissi Moyer

Established in 1994, the CAR program was created to produce a set of standards for general business practices, as well as environmental and safety issues and to provide guidance for member facilities in adhering to these standards. This program is one of the cornerstones of our Association as participating facilities strive to put forward quality service and parts for the professional automotive recycling industry.

Members of this committee guide the program so it remains current with trends. They work to streamline certification processes, and review and recommend changes to ensure that CAR members continue to be known as elite, efficient auto recycling facilities.

This active committee is currently pursuing a modification of the CAR application and audits, changing to a points-based protocol. The current system has been in place for many years and will remain so until the new protocol is reviewed and approved by the CAR Committee and Affiliate Chapter programs linked to the CAR program.

“Our goal is to continue to maintain the strong standards, but make the process of application more streamlined, providing access to the program while they mature in business,” said Shannon Nordstrom, CAR Committee Chair.

At the request of the e-Commerce Committee, the CAR committee is also in the process of drafting a Quick Look webpage to reference the value of CAR (and Gold Seal). This page will also link to additional information as appropriate.

In addition, the CAR Committee is helping to combine the URG, CAR and Gold Seal programs.

For some auto recyclers, the idea of CAR membership may seem elusive. The committee wants to implement a new program to offer help and encouragement to show recyclers how they can easily work their way up to the standards of CAR membership. Committee members plan to roll out this program at the 2013 Convention, so auto recyclers should definitely plan to attend the convention to pick up the new application.


ARA Gold Seal
Committee Chair: Eric Schulz
Staff Liaison: Ginny Whelan

The Gold Seal Committee was designed to oversee and promote the ARA Gold Seal Certification program. Available only to ARA members who have completed CAR certification, it ensures excellence in customer satisfaction through improved customer service, selling quality parts with accurate descriptions, providing reliable on-time deliveries, and written product warranties.

Established by ARA with an endorsement from the Automotive Service Association, the program allows recyclers to join forces to take a proactive stance to improve quality and increase customer satisfaction.

The Committee helps ensure the Gold Seal program’s success by setting the pace and overseeing the audit system for members to provide the highest professional and ethical business practices and standards possible. It uses Gold Seal Customer Assurance Audit standards to demonstrate that Gold Seal members meet the highest expectations of their customers.

The Gold Seal quality assurance standards provide brand recognition as the elite of the industry and the committee is working to increase the number of Gold Seal participants to strengthen that position.

Recently, the Gold Seal Committee approved a CSI Survey Modification to include key changes in the modifications, as follows:
1) A more condensed survey opening script to streamline response time and increase chances of getting survey responses.
2) A reduction in the number of questions, and a shift to more general questions, in order to capture more detail. These changes will result in a shorter call, with all the same information uncovered and reported as before. Sample reporting for each question might look like this:
Satisfaction with delivery: 4.83 Average Rating
• Not On Time    55%
• Driver Issue(s)    40%
• Other          5%
3) The “Recommend” rating was changed from 1-5 to 0-10. This allows ARA Gold Seal to have a Net Promoter Score (NPS), a common metric comparable across industries. The 0-10 scale also is consistent with the CIECA “Recommend” answer scales. Adding this to the program would provide auto recyclers with a new value from the CSI program.
4) Elimination of information gathering on competitive recyclers – a significant change to the program. This reduces the length of CSI calls, which carries more benefits than the information gathered.


Government Affairs
Committee Chair: Norm Wright
Staff Liaison: Delanne Bernier, ARA Director of Policy & Political Affairs and Betsy Beckwith, ARA Director of Policy & External Affairs

The Government Affairs Committee (GAC) develops and maintains relationships with local, state and national legislators, and builds relationships with the federal government and agencies that have an impact on professional automotive recyclers. The GAC plays an important role in educating and presenting the true image of auto recycling to legislators. The committee:
• Assists Affiliate Chapter associations in making positive contributions to the development and maintenance of current salvage laws.
• Aids ARA and Affiliate Chapters in developing uniform titling systems and salvage laws.
• Develops a current “library or clearing house” of laws pertaining to automotive recyclers.
• Identifies those jurisdictions in which the laws create a hardship for automotive recyclers.
• Develops relationships with regulatory, law enforcement and other agencies and/or their associations.
• Establishes a panel to assist, advise and be able to testify for state/provincial/country associations.
• Recommends policy and position statements to the officers and directors on key regulatory and legislative issues affecting the professional automotive recycling industry.

The GAC has been busy in its efforts to strengthen the industry. Here are a few of the recent highlights:
• Commented on Automotive Shredder Residue (ASR) notice from EPA; EPA agreed with ARA and noted its support of allowing plastics in ASR to be recycled.
• Monitoring and assessing impact on the following legislation: Internet Sales Tax, Automotive Design Patent, Metal Theft and Health Insurance tax; and tracking many others pieces of legislations.
• Dialoging with Members of Congress about ARA issues with EPA’s “Sue and Settle” approach to environmental policymaking.
• Submitted comments to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on counterfeit airbags and vehicle recall database and to Federal Trade Commission on used parts guide.
• Worked to remove the 5 car exemption from the NMVTIS implementing regulations.

This active committee welcomes new members. Overall, the committee objectives are to:
• Identifying and evaluating legislative and regulatory issues on targeted state/provincial, regional, national and international concerns pertaining to automotive recycling, and to make recommendations regarding such activities as required.


Safety Committee
Committee Chair: Doug Reinert
Staff Liaison: Betsy Beckwith, ARA Director of Policy & External Affairs

The Safety Committee (SC), established a year ago, helps members understand and comply with industry safety requirements as defined and mandated by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The SC’s main objective is to provide ARA members with valuable guidance materials and safety tips that promote safe practices at automotive recycling facilities. These tips also work to keep facilities in compliance, should OSHA inspect the premises.

The committee has partnered with ARA University ( and encourages members to utilize ARAU as a premier source of safety-related training courses, and other necessary industry courses.

The Committee aims to provide tools and education to help you in your goal of maintaining the safest work environment possible. Here are some of the tools they have developed to assist you:
• Safety Tips – On an ongoing basis, the committee provides tips to ARA members on compliance with things such as fire extinguishers, hazard communications, electrical panels, forklifts, gas cans, extension cords, and hazardous energy, and others.
• Laminated Safety Cards – The Safety Tips will be provided on durable cards to all convention attendees at no cost.
• Shop Posters – A free bilingual poster of all the tips will soon be available to ARA members.


Electronic Commerce
Committee Co-Chairs: Neil Nissenbaum and Charlie Bauer
Staff Liaison: Ginny Whelan

The e-Commerce Committee aims to further advance and develop standards, codes and e-commerce. It creates e-programs that are designed to increase the usage of recycled parts on the Internet.

The Committee’s main objectives include:
• Increase participation of the automotive repair industry, insurance collision repair and third party information providers in all recycled parts and inventory databases.
• Providing an efficient means of electronic recycled parts and inventory data transfer.

The e-Commerce Committee continues to resolve the definitions and standards for most parts types. The ARA Recycled Parts Guide website was developed in 2012 so that all parties, including the customer, could commonly communicate about recycled parts and their condition, make known the standards for parts, and provide important updates that reflect the changes in vehicle types and technologies, such as hybrids.

The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA), in conjunction with the committee, requested the addition of over 300 parts codes in the Recycled Parts Guide site, which was approved. This important work encourages and educates all parties to communicate about parts using the same language to build brand identity, avoid confusion, and to aid in the ease of sale of recycled parts.


Technical Advisory
Committee Chair: Andrew MacDonald
Staff Liaison: Betsy Beckwith, ARA Director of Policy & External Affairs

The Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) aims to enhance the capacity of all ARA members to learn about innovation in automotive technology, and provide research and training. Its main objective is to focus on automotive technology and research development. The TAC is making great efforts to stay abreast of technical issues to help you plan your business. Some of the projects and special opportunities the TAC is working on include: 
• Fluid Study: The purpose of the Fluid Study is to understand why there are remaining fluids left over after fluid recovery is completed.
• ARA and Toyota:  In January, Toyota Motor Sales and Toyota Tsusho visited a member yard to observe end-of-life management and hybrid handling.
• Hybrid Battery Resource Library: Compile all information on first response, depowering, dismantling, storage and shipment of NiMH and Li-ion batteries to publish, along with ARAU, into an accessible and effective document to be used by the membership.
• High Strength Steel (HSS): Develop a better understanding of the effects HSS will have on the way in which automotive recyclers cut and dismantle vehicles, and what training will need to occur specific to auto recycling, all in coordination with the ARA University.


ARA Educational Foundation: ARA University
Foundation President: Fran Reitman
Staff Liaison: Ginny Whelan 

ARA Educational Foundation (ARAEF) is a non-profit organization recognizing that high quality training and education are essential to ongoing professional achievement. ARA University ( provides web-based training with interactive coursework ranging from management to sales, to specialized training in automotive recycling, allowing for onsite training assistance to facilities through this premier online training resource of the industry.

ARAU courses are the choice of hundreds of U.S. and international automotive recycling businesses.

Members of ARAEF make course recommendations, give feedback on website usability, or provide input on special projects, such as fundraisers, all to shape the growth and effectiveness of the platform. Benefits of ARAU include:
• Compliance: e-Learning allows businesses to track training plans and automate the management of the employee-training program.
• Convenience: The online campus is available 24/7 from any Internet connection, so employees can train at their own pace, location, and schedule. Improved access means better reach, retention, and results.
• Cost-Effectiveness: Eliminate cost for offsite travel, instructor fees, classroom rentals, development of new coursework, and other educational resources.
• Established Value: ARAU instruction integrates both sound and video interaction, proven to increase learning retention over conventional classroom methods.

As a new addition to the University, ARAU has signed a licensing agreement with UL Pure Safety’s 650+ interactive courses that cover a broad range of topics including Environmental, Health and Safety, Human Resources, and Risk Management. UL Pure Safety, a leading provider of workforce health and safety software solutions, was recently selected by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration as one of only 10 training providers authorized to deliver online training. UL Pure Safety content experts invest more than 400 hours in each course to ensure a highly effective learning experience that can help satisfy compliance requirements, change behaviors, improve business performance, prevent injuries and save lives. Enroll at


Regional and At-Large Directors
Committee Chair: Rick Lemke
Staff Liaison: Jessica Thomas, ARA Director of State Government and Grassroots Affairs

The Regional and At-Large Directors, appointed by the ARA President, have the following objectives:
• To ensure the membership in each ARA region is represented.
• To serve as a liaison between the membership, Board of Directors and ARA staff.
• To actively work to maintain and increase membership in each region.

This committee convenes on a monthly basis via conference calls to share information, industry news, and recent activity from each respective region.


ARA Scholarship Foundation
Foundation President: Mark Buessing
Staff Liaison: Kelly Badillo

The Scholarship Foundation is a non-profit organization, whose purpose is to promote education through the awarding of scholarships to eligible students on the basis of academic achievement for post-high school educational pursuits. Members of the Scholarship Foundation committee administer the program and provide input on special projects, including fundraisers.

Eligible applicants must be children of an employee of a licensed direct/branch ARA recycler member company. The deadline to submit scholarship applications is March 15 of each year. All requests for applications should be forwarded to ARA Headquarters in Manassas, VA.

In 2012, over $55,000 was awarded to ARA members’ employees’ children. The Foundation is supported by donations and money raised through fundraising activities. The Foundation is awarding 50 scholarships this year and as such they are busy with their fundraising efforts.

Uniting Together

Affiliate Chapters
Committee Co-chairs   Martha Cowell, State of California Auto Dismantlers Association
Steve Fletcher, Automotive Recyclers of Canada
Staff Liaison: Jessica Thomas, ARA Director of State Government and Grassroots Affairs

The goal of the Affiliate Chapters committee is to enhance the positive working relationship between the individual Affiliate Chapters of ARA, and between the Affiliate Chapters and ARA, as well as to foster grassroots governmental activities within the members of Affiliate Chapters using the power of collaboration.

The committee convenes bi-monthly via conference calls to share information initiating from ARA with the Affiliates, and to share ideas on topics such as recruitment and retention of membership; running a profitable association; successful convention and trade show best practices; building coalitions with industry stakeholders; and the importance of education.

The Affiliate Chapters will be meeting for an additional hour during the ARA Annual Convention in Phoenix to allow more time for discussion and the exchange of trends, issues, and opportunities at the local level. There will also be an Affiliate-focused educational session for associations and their leaders during the ARA Annual Meeting.

Through the Affiliates, ARA can better coordinate national and grassroots efforts. ARA has committed increased resources to strengthen the Affiliate Chapters and is now providing association website design, development, and support services to all interested Affiliates. Through outreach to local automotive recyclers, three new Affiliate Chapters have been established so far this year in Kansas, Missouri and North Dakota. This brings the total number of domestic and international Affiliate Chapters to 58.

Michelle Keadle-Taylor is a freelance writer in Northern Virginia and a regular contributor to Automotive Recycling magazine.

Click to download the full July/August issue in PDF format

Membership Software By: