October 2, 2013
The Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN) recently completed its annual Aftermarket Distribution Summit in Santa Rosa, Calif., and the event was a total success.
“We had record attendance and some unbelievable accolades from people who were there and that created a feeling of personal pride for me, and a reward for all of the effort we put it into it,” says Marc Karon, president at Total Truck Parts and CVSN president from 2011 to 2013. “We did so much and worked so hard to make it a success.”
The event began Sept. 18 with a relaxing day of golfing and wine tasting and concluded with dinner and reception. It was followed by two days filled with engaging discussions on sales strategies, tactics for working with new/younger employees, navigating the maze of the Affordable Care Act and an update on the organization’s Right to Repair fight in Massachusetts.
John Minor, vice president at Midwest Wheel Companies, also was honored with the organization’s President’s Award for outstanding leadership in the aftermarket. A 40-year veteran of the industry, Minor was joined in Santa Rosa for his award presentation by his wife and two daughters.
The Summit concluded on Sept. 20 with an evening dinner and reception and entertainment by stand-up comedian Mack Dryden.
CVSN’s new board also was presented at the reception.
Dave Willis, president at CRW Parts is the new CVSN president. Edward Neeley, president at Truck Supply Co. of South Carolina is vice president and Andy Robblee, president at Six Robblee’s has taken over Willis’ former position as treasurer.
The organization’s distributor directors are now Kevin Hopton, CBS Parts; Dave Scheer, Inland Truck Parts; Tom Ogburn, Ogburn’s Truck Parts; Dave Olsen, TransAxle; Don Purcell, Stone Truck Parts; Joe Ward, First Call Truck Parts and Karon as ex-officio.
Angelo Volpe remains CVSN’s executive director. Bob Johnson from Bendix and Frank Petroncelli from Alcoa joined the organization as supplier directors.
Looking forward, Karon says the organization’s next goal is to become a premier education provider to the independent aftermarket. He believes the new board gives CVSN an excellent opportunity to succeed.
“The board is committed to providing education to distributors and key employees,” Karon says. “I know Dave Willis will continue to move the association forward and we will become the foremost educator for the industry, and it is vital that we accomplish that.”
Right to Repair Update
Karon says educating the aftermarket on the Massachusetts Right to Repair battle is one of the CVSN’s most important causes.
In late 2012 the Auto Alliance and AAIA reached an agreement on a Right to Repair bill in Massachusetts that excluded commercial vehicles and was signed by Gov. Deval Patrick. But due to its signing date — just weeks before the November election — it was too late to remove an all-inclusive Right to Repair referendum from public ballots.
The result was a referendum that passed with an overwhelming 86 percent approval rating, creating two Massachusetts’ Right to Repairs laws.
Karon says the AAIA, Auto Alliance, AAA and Engine and Truck Manufacturers Association are all now supporting a reconciliation law that would supersede the previous laws and exclude vehicles weighing more than 10,000 lbs.
CVSN is fighting the reconciliation, and has formed a coalition and hired a lobbyist to work on behalf of the independent aftermarket. Seemingly a forgotten entity when Patrick signed Massachusetts’ first law last fall, Karon says the heavy-duty aftermarket is gaining traction.
“We’ve gone from zero to actually having a good chance [to win],” he says. “We hope to know by the end of October.
With a national Right to Repair law a near impossibility, Karon believes success in Massachusetts is vital to the heavy-duty independent aftermarket being included in other state Right to Repair laws. New Jersey and Maine appear to be the next states up.
“We are going to take Massachusetts as far as we can,” he says. “Even if we win there it’s obviously not nationwide, but we need a victory so we have a starting point to work with the OEs.”
For more information or to join CVSN, go to www.cvsn.org.