Houston, TX – After an amazing week in sunny Newport Beach, the 42nd Annual ABPA Convention is complete! With great attendance and participation in our first post major post Covid meeting, this was the best ABPA event in years. Here are some of the highlights:
Early attendees took advantage of the sunny weather in southern California. That evening, the convention festivities unofficially began with the kickoff of the early bird Welcoming reception. Situated at the Pacific Room outside at the Hyatt Regency, the Welcoming Reception provided attendees a relaxing atmosphere while enjoying food and drink with their fellow ABPA members. More attendees seemed to arrive early as the Welcoming Reception had a higher than usual attendance.
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 Strawberry Farm Golf Course in nearby Irvine, CA. After meeting in the lobby at 7:00AM, the golfers were treated to a spacious coach which transported them to the course in comfort. The weather was perfect for golf that day with many golfers complimenting the layout of the course.
KSI Auto Parts was once again generous enough to offer ABPA attendees a pre-dinner cocktail event complete with hors d’oeuvres outside in the beautiful Oasis Court. After attendees enjoyed some cocktails and snacks, everyone made their way to the front of the hotel for the NABC Recycled Rides giveaway. This year, the ABPA collaborated with the National Auto Body Council (NABC) in giving away two vehicles to a pair of local families in need of reliable transportation. Sponsoring the vehicles were Nationwide and Farmers insurance, Enterprise, Family Promise, Mission Viejo Auto Collision and Auto Art Auto Collision. Always a popular event with attendees, this year did not disappoint. Special recognition to both Bill Garroutte and Dale Ross of the NABC for arranging such a special event.
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 business session were:
- Chris Northup & Tim O’Day – Gerber Collision (Industry Update)
- Justin Rzpeka – CAR Coalition (CAR Coalition Update)
- Greg Horn – Parts Trader (Industry and Parts Trends)
- Brandon Eckenrode – Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF)
- CAPA/Intertek – “CAPArdy Game Show”!
- Jimmy Spears – Tractable AI
- Gerry Poirier – Farmers Insurance
Finally, it was time for the evening’s cocktail and dinner event held on the 140-foot luxury yacht, “Endless Dreams”. ABPA attendees were transported in luxury coaches to the dock and were soon on-board enjoying cocktails, live music, and dinner. Attendees were treated to beautiful sunset views and smooth sailing throughout Newport Harbor. As a special treat, there was a surprise photo booth setup that many took advantage of and had some good laughs throughout the evening.
During the dinner portion of the boat event, the annual ABPA awards were given out. Congratulations to this year’s winners which include:
- Industry Award – Clark Plucinski, CAPA
- Industry Award – Gerry Poirier, Farmers Insurance
- Industry Award – Chuck Garner, Haye’s Collision Parts
- Rodman Award (formerly Cicioni) – Sean Kennedy, Go-Parts.com
- President’s Award – Chris Patti, KSI Auto Parts
- Chairman’s Award – Charlie Hogarty, Keystone
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:
- Elon Pollack – US Port issues and Detentions
- Kevin Wolford – AMECA
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 Executive Director Ed Salamy called an end to the meeting which closed out the first full convention post Covid.
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 Newport Beach, we announced that the 2023 ABPA Convention will be held in Nashville, TN at the Hilton DoubleTree Downtown from 4/23/23 – 4/27/23. Mark your calendars and I hope to see you all there!
Executive Director, ABPA
See the gallery below for some photos from the convention!