A collaborative approach

Peer-to-peer strategy sessions top 2009 National Auto Glass Conference agenda
February 1, 2009

Specifically designed to address the needs of multi-branch retail auto glass repair and replacement companies, the 2009 National Auto Glass Conference: A Forum for Auto Glass Executives, will take place Feb. 18-20 at Florida’s Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate. The conference will take a collaborative approach to the business challenges facing today’s auto glass industry, encouraging attendees through interactive sessions to share ideas and strategies for success.

“The multi-branch theme will play out throughout the event, from our expert speakers, to the panel discussions, to the interactive breakout sessions," said David Walker, vice president of association services for the National Glass Association, McLean, Va. "Attendees will get even more take-home value than ever, even as they engage in collaborative discussions with their industry peers from around the nation.”

The agenda
Presented by the NGA Retail Auto Glass Committee, the conference kicks off Feb. 18 with a keynote address by business performance expert Randy Pennington. Author of “Results Rule!,” Pennington will address how auto glass business owners can avoid playing the “me too” game and turn their companies’ uniqueness into a competitive advantage. He will return the following day to head up a leadership workshop for managers.

On Feb. 19, Richard Voreis, owner of Glass Doctor of Dallas, will host a strategic planning mini-workshop. The session will provide attendees with a proven approach to strategic planning using a step-by-step process based on a series of questions.

Over lunch the same day, NGA Vice President of Auto Glass Leo Cyr will give his annual industry update, followed by Jeff Dietrich, senior analyst for the Institute for Trend Research, Concord, N.H. Dietrich will examine economic trends and related factors likely to impact auto glass businesses in 2009.

Attendees will then have the opportunity to break into smaller groups for several interactive sessions centering on how to improve return on investment and technology options for improving fleet management.

The day will wrap up with the best practices panel discussion: "Managing Your Sales Force,” moderated by John Brandt, CEO of The MPI Group, Shaker Heights, Ohio. Industry leaders Rich Harrison, COO, Belron US, Columbus, Ohio; John Morris, president, Jack Morris Auto Glass, Nashville; Tim Jimerson, vice president marketing and sales, Lee & Cates Glass, Jacksonville, Fla.; and Baris Esici, senior account executive, Salesforce.com, will discuss the best ways to motivate and guide salespeople, along with best practices in incentive compensation and management techniques.

More best practices sessions will take place Feb. 20. During the “Technical Excellence From the Eyes of the Technician” panel discussion moderated by David Rohlfing, president of Glass America, Chicago, panelists Jeff Olive, technician, Glasspro, Mount Pleasant, S.C., and Mike Dunlich, regional manager, Glass America, will share practical wisdom on best practices in installation, repair and safety.

A panel discussion on branding and marketing will follow, after which attendees will be able to participate in a live Web site clinic, where Internet expert Andy Beal will analyze the Web sites of some audience members, helping participants better understand how to effectively position their site and manage their online reputation.

The conference will close that afternoon with the industry awards luncheon, where NGA officials will present the Len Stolk Special Achievement Award. Tom Feeney, president and CEO of Belron US, will end the conference with a talk on “High Performance Through Best Practices.”

“The NGA Retail Auto Glass Committee has designed an educational experience that reflects their practical informational needs as decision-makers for their companies,” said Cyr. “They have also built enough breakout sessions into the conference so everyone has an opportunity to contribute and to learn from their peers. These are difficult times and every new thought or idea that stimulates sales or controls costs is of incalculable value.”

For more information on the event, visit www.glass.org.