Houston, TX – After an amazing week in sunny Fort Lauderdale, the 39th Annual ABPA Convention is complete! With the highest attendance and participation in recent memory, this was the best ABPA event in years. Here are some of the highlights:
Early attendees took advantage of the sunny weather in Fort Lauderdale (as compared to the rains in the northeast). That evening, the convention festivities unofficially began with the kick off of the early bird Welcoming reception. Situated on the Ocean Terrace at the Westin, the Welcoming Reception provided attendees breathtaking ocean views while enjoying food and drink with their fellow ABPA members. A bit windy on the deck, but no one seemed to mind!
Wednesday is typically an open day for ABPA attendees to enjoy themselves with personal time and this year was no different. Those who did opt for the ABPA golf tournament were well rewarded with an amazing experience at Jacaranda Golf Course in nearby Plantation, FL. After meeting in the lobby at 7:30AM, the golfers were treated to a spacious coach which transported them to the course in comfort. The weather was perfect for golf that day and the only complaint received was that the coach driver kept getting lost on the way to the course!
Other ABPA attendees opted for the Water Taxi “Marina and Mansions” tour through the intercoastal. After a brief six-minute walk from the hotel, participants enjoyed a leisurely cruise through Fort Lauderdale.
Prior to the evening’s dinner, the ABPA once again collaborated with the NABC for their “Recycled Rides”. Once again, a military vet in need was able to receive a donated repaired vehicle. Sponsoring the event was Caliber Collision, Geico & Enterprise. The lucky vet and his family were given a beautiful 2017 VW Passat Sport! As always, this was an emotional event that was attended by the majority of the ABPA members.
Following the vehicle giveaway, attendees enjoyed their cocktail hour followed by the Tradeshow Dinner. As the first major dinner of the convention, the Tradeshow Dinner is always a packed event. Attendees had an exciting time socializing, meeting with the vendors, and of course eating.
Thursday was the “big” day for the attendees. Starting with breakfast at 7:30AM, the events lasted all day straight into the night!
The speaker schedule was kicked off with updates of the ABPA from Ed Salamy (Executive Director). The speakers for the first business session were:
- Ray Colas – LKQ (State Issues)
- Peter Quinter – Gray Robinson (US Customs Seizures)
- Greg Horn – Hartford Insurance (Insurance Trends)
- Bill Langley – CCC (new CCC portal, general update)
During the lunch hour, the annual ABPA “Awards Lunch” was held with the winners announced. Congratulations to the award winners!
- Industry Award – Intertek
- Industry Award – Clark Plucinski, CREF
- Industry Award – Mike Chiu – National Auto Body Parts
- President’s Award – Jeff Chen, TYG
- Chairman’s Award – Joseph Tsai, New World
Immediately following the Awards Lunch, Intertek/CAPA hosted their break-out session in the main ballroom. Next up were the remaining afternoon educational breakout sessions which were presented by NSF, PartsTrader, and CCC.
Finally, it was time for the evening’s cocktail and dinner event. Originally scheduled to be held outside, the ABPA Convention Committee made the executive decision to bring the event inside the ballroom due to the threat of rain. Despite the change in venue, the Thursday evening dinner was a popular event and many attendees stayed until the bars were closed in the ballroom.
The last day of the ABPA convention was only a half day, but we packed in some tremendous speakers so that we would go out on a high note! For the second business session, the speakers were:
- Jason Bartanen – ICAR (ADAS Technology)
- Jeff Schroder – car-part.com
- Danny Morris – Dentons (Tariffs)
Those who left early on Friday morning truly missed out! Next year, please try to adjust your schedules to stay for the seconds business session.
After the last speaker, ABPA Chairman Chris Northup called an end to the meeting which closed out the most successful ABPA convention in years. We would like to thank all our sponsors, the attendees and the ABPA Board members who work so hard on behalf of the membership. During my presentation in Fort Lauderdale, we announced that the 2020 ABPA Convention will be held in Newport Beach, CA at the Hyatt from 4/29/2020 – 5/1/2020. Mark your calendars and I hope to see you all there!
Executive Director, ABPA
See the gallery below for some photos from the convention!