2024 CONFERENCE PROGRAM
Speakers and sessions continue to be added.  Please check back often. 

Thursday, September 12, 2024
1:15 PM - 2:30 PM
Crystal Ballroom DE
Mike Jones
 

The same mind that got you to the successes you have experienced will not get you to greater success. This presentation shows you the benefits of setting outcomes for your business and then how to hold you and your team accountable for what you said you would do. You’ll discover how to shift your thinking from negative to positive, learn why confrontation is the fuel to enthusiasm, power your shop to greater success, create a culture where your team wants to work, and reach a new level for yourself.

 
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Crystal Ballroom DE
Chris Jones Jennifer Maher Alexander Hurtado
 

Join TechForce Foundation CEO, Jennifer Maher, UTI Orlando instructor, Alexander Hurtado, and a UTI automotive student as we take a deep dive into recent IMR Automotive Research, Inc. data to discuss the perception of the trades and how auto repair shop owners can help elevate the profile of the industry for generations to come. Moderated by Ratchet+Wrench Editor-in-Chief Chris Jones.

 

 
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM
Coral Ballroom BC
Michelle Tansey
 

Have you ever had a new idea or a goal but not enough time to execute it? Do you feel like the only way things are going to get done is if you do them? But what if it wasn't that way? What if you had a team of people around you who helped you accomplish your goals (while you helped them accomplish theirs)? In this session, you’ll learn to define your goals and then identify the right person to help you attain it.

 
Coral Ballroom A
Greg Bunch
 

Many shop owners aspire to expand by opening additional locations but often hesitate, unsure of the right steps to avoid costly mistakes. While the process isn’t simple, the potential rewards—like greater opportunities, increased profits, and enhanced enterprise value—make it a worthwhile endeavor.

In this session, Greg Bunch, the owner of six successful shops in Colorado and the founder of the Transformers Institute, will share foundational strategies for beginning your journey as a successful multi-shop owner. This presentation is designed to give you a realistic overview of the path to expansion, helping you assess whether this is the right move for your business and how our team can support your growth ambitions.

 

 
Friday, September 13, 2024
8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
Crystal Ballroom B
Heather Williams
 

Some shops just don't fit the normal molds of the auto repair industry. Often coaching and classes are geared towards more "textbook" business models for auto repair shops. But what if your shop doesn't fit the traditional model? You have two options: Conform your business to a standard model or become the trail blazer to do what is right for you, your business, your community and keep your sanity. This class will offer some tips on how to move forward and thrive as the odd duck shop in your community. Tips are from another shop owner who has had to learn, often the hard way, of how to do things differently.

 
Coral Ballroom A
Joseph Lemelin
 

The free market is still relevant. 1. Know your costs. 2. Know your client market. 3. Know your capacity to produce. 4. Know your employee market. 4. Create a formula for value and profit. 5. Be honest to yourself. 6. Stand your ground.

 
Coral Ballroom BC
Justin Rae
 

Artificial intelligence is a term used by countless software companies and is dropped in conversations across many channels. But is there a difference between the concept of AI and understanding how and where to implement AI in your business?  In this session, Cinch CEO Justin Rae and the Cinch AI team will teach you how to adopt and leverage AI for your auto repair shop, implementation strategies to avoid pitfalls, and three metric-based areas where AI can immediately benefit your shop.

 

 Presented by: 

9:45 AM - 10:45 AM
Crystal Ballroom B
Dutch Silverstein Matthew Skundrich
 

A primer for shop owners interested in adding auto keys and programming services. This session will explain the investment required in equipment and inventory, what qualifications/certifications are required, the return on investment (and how it’s calculated), and OEM vs aftermarket keys.

 

 
Coral Ballroom BC
Jon Palazzo
 

It’s no secret shops want more and better information–meaning they need more data to do their job. These conversations inevitably turn to shops also wanting data further downstream. This requires a critical discussion around shops, data, and how to create a path for repairers to leverage data to support efficient operations, both now and in the future. This session will highlight how shops historically turn to parts and repair data to enhance repair practices as well as how future applications must streamline data access to enact positive change within the repair ecosystem. 

 

Presented by: 

Coral Ballroom A
Brandon Jones
 

In this session we will dive into a proven sales process that will help you increase your close ratios and maximize profits by educating the clients to make the best decisions for their vehicle.

 
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Coral Ballroom A
Lauralee Schmidt
 

This class brings us to the heart of all this branding. From this history of it, to the reasons why a company must dig in and evolve with branding you will walk away with ideas, inspiration and the understanding of why a business must brand to be a powerhouse in the industry. From the look down to the culture, I am encompassing all things branded.

 
Coral Ballroom BC
Cavan Robinson
 

DVI is no longer an afterthought in the aftermarket. From features built into the most popular SMS systems to premium stand-alone tools, there’s no shortage of ways to inspect customer vehicles and report on those findings. But DVI today is about more than just inspecting vehicles – it’s about creating a Digital Vehicle Experience that enhances customer relationships and drives shop revenue. Learn how to create the premier Digital Vehicle Experience at your shop.


Presented by: 

Crystal Ballroom B
Travis Leavitt
 

It’s hard owning a business. Owners assume all the risk, liability, and stress, and spend countless hours away from their families. With everything business owners deal with, it needs to be worth it or why do it? Do you know what you want from your business? Do you want to be a one-man band or have the time and freedom to do what you want while making money? Do you know the lifestyle you want your business to provide you and your family? There are no wrong answers but, your business should work for you. Depending on your big picture, you’re going to set different goals and run your business differently to achieve your big picture. With your big picture in hand, it’s time to work backwards to make it possible. 

In this session, we encourage big dreaming by setting short- and long-term goals, and then taking action! Having a clear vision and a deep burning desire for what you truly want will help you overcome when life's obstacles get thrown at you. The sky is the limit. If you believe it, you can achieve it.

 

 
1:15 PM - 2:15 PM
Coral Ballroom A
Brittany Schindler
 

This transformative class for shop owners will show you ways to cultivate a workplace environment that creates team camaraderie, productivity, and passion for what you do! You’ll learn to love where you work and as we talk about essential elements of building a thriving automotive shop culture—communication, loyalty, and dedication—in today's world. You'll leave with actionable techniques to cultivate a workplace where every team member feels valued and empowered. 

 

 
Crystal Ballroom B
Al Oramas
 

It is crucial to recognize the significance of preparing for the future and ensuring that the work we do now benefits those who will come after us. In this session, we will explore the steps that each of us can take to ensure that our company thrives for future generations. Understand the power of legacy, foster a culture of knowledge, document processes and best practices, develop succession plans, embrace innovation, and lead by example.

 
Coral Ballroom BC
Lucas Underwood
 

In this ‘ask me anything’ formatted session, Lucas Underwood, owner of L&N Performance Auto Repair, will take live questions from the audience as they pertain to pressing issues facing auto repair shop owners and their businesses.

 

 
2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Crystal Ballroom B
Kathleen Callahan
 

Designed for those who lead or manage repair shops, this session is your ticket to mastering the art of steering your team and your business operations toward success. You’ll take an exciting journey that kicks off with setting ambitious goals, rallying your team behind these goals, figuring out how to track your progress, brainstorming strategies, putting those strategies into action, and communicating effectively to keep everyone on track. The magic formula for a thriving business lies in education, communication, and implementation. You’ll leave with energetic insights and strategies to build these critical pillars of your business, leading to long-lasting success.

 

 
Coral Ballroom A
Mike Bennett
 

Dive into the dynamic world of business expansion in this exclusive presentation designed for ambitious entrepreneurs and business leaders. Discover the secrets of scaling up your business sustainably and efficiently. Learn how to expand your company's size, reach, and revenues while maintaining or enhancing profitability. You’ll achieve this through a better understanding of how to lead people, set strategies, drive execution, and manage cash. Join us to unlock the strategies for managing growth without overwhelming your company's capabilities, ensuring a successful and scalable future.

 

 
Coral Ballroom BC
Brian Moak
 

In this session, Brian Moak, CEO and owner of Heart Certified Auto Care, will show you how he doubled revenue in seven years while growing profitability from 3% to 22% using systematizing management and operations. You'll learn to connect and bring value to your customers, understand and define their needs, build rapport, and deliver on service.

 

 
Saturday, September 14, 2024
10:15 AM - 11:15 AM
Coral Ballroom BC
 
 

As R-1234yf refrigerant continues to replace R-134a in new vehicles, shop owners and technicians must stay up-to-date on the specifics of R-1234yf to gain a competitive edge. Boasting significant environmental benefits, R-1234yf stands apart for its zero ODP and lower GWP. Participants will leave this session with strategies to help grow their businesses by capitalizing on the regulatory-driven shift to a more climate-friendly refrigerant.

 

Presented by: 

 

 

 

Crystal Ballroom B
Bill Nalu
 

Using effective parenting techniques inside our work homes. Effective parents don't reprimand/shame their kids in front of their peers. Effective parents teach their kids to honor their namesake. Effective parents use encouragement over praise. Effective parents promote shared control. Effective parents don't get involved unless it's a health or safety issue. Effective parents learn how to say "no" without using the word "no". Effective parents allow the consequence to be the teacher rather than the parent. Effective parents walk their talk. Effective parents are 100% united over the above.

 
Coral Ballroom A
Matt Oldenburg
 

Attracting, retaining and growing employees is critical to the success and stability of the automotive industry. Matt Oldenburg of Silver Lake Auto & Tire Centers will give insight on how his growth and progression with the company has evolved into a deliberate career progression pathway for its employees’ growth. He reflects on the pivotal stages of his career—from entry-level service advisor to COO—and how these pivotal moments link to an intentional development pathway for current Silver Lake Auto employees.

 
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Coral Ballroom BC
Chris Whited
 

We are in an industry that openly promotes job hopping and the constant chasing of more money from both the employees and the employer. What if it was different? What if you could keep your employees and find both great profit and great fulfillment. I have instituted an employee forward approach that is based on keeping promises, keeping pace, and keeping ahead of pay. To be an industry lead you first must lead and that does not include just doing what the industry has done for the last 50 years and what most keep doing today. Stop focusing on ownership and managerial benefits and start caring for the people, both customers and employees. I have demonstrated that if you take care of your employees they will take care of your customers and your customers in turn take care of the shop and the shop then takes better care of the employees. This includes greater benefits, better work schedules, more generous pay, and inventive pay plans and bonus structures. This is not a step by step but a change in philosophy of how business is done. We have made strides changing how the general public views auto shops in our area and would love to teach others to do the same. Stop earning the reputation of untrustworthiness and start earning the trust of your people and customers.

 
Coral Ballroom A
Matthew Wagg
 

In this session/course, a shop owner will guide you through a set of strategies while walking you along an inspirational story of starting from nothing to becoming a million-dollar operation in only two years. Utilizing an attack plan and a non-common approach will be discussed to allow for growth and sustainability. These strategies will benefit businesses of any age, size, or demographical location. This training is designed to enable repair shop owners along with managers in both new and tenured operations with identifying key pieces of business operation success. This session will help to evaluate processes and identify strategies to help your operation grow and maintain pace in today's complex and changing market

 
Crystal Ballroom B
Todd Hayes
 

Are traditional ways of doing business in the auto repair industry to blame for a lot of the challenges shop owners face? In this session, you’ll learn to see auto repair not just as a business, but as a lifestyle. Attendees will learn 10 key principles proven to improve customer service and retention processes. By embracing these strategies, you'll not only boost your business but also cultivate enduring customer relationships.

 

 
1:45 PM - 2:45 PM
Coral Ballroom BC
Donovan Ringo
 

This session equips automotive technicians with the necessary skills to service cutting-edge vehicles.

 

Presented by: 

Crystal Ballroom B
David Askwith
 

This session is about creating a winning mentality and a positive example as a leader. It is intended to challenge thought process and excuse making and to provide perspective and establish new expectations for the audience member. It will give real life examples of what can be accomplished in life and in business. It will challenge the audience member to get out of their comfort zones and make an immediate impact. We will dive into the difference between a global perspective versus a snow globe perspective.

 
Coral Ballroom A
Jim Saeli
 

In this presentation, you will learn not just what Shop Culture is, but why it’s key for any owner to run a profitable repair shop. Shop Culture drives every aspect of your shop – from hiring to marketing to training. This is a fundamental component of your business. You will walk away with a clear understanding of what and why Shop Culture is crucial for your business.

 
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Crystal Ballroom DE
Chris Jones
 

In this panel, five auto repair industry professionals will share insights and strategies for how auto repair shop owners can improve and optimize their shop operations. Moderated by Ratchet+Wrench Editor-in-Chief Chris Jones, the panel will explore key aspects of successful shop management and growth, including increasing car count, team leadership, customer service and retention, and effective marketing strategies.

 
4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Crystal Ballroom DE
 
 
 
 
4:15 PM - 5:15 PM
Crystal Ballroom DE
Bill Snow
 

In this presentation, Bill Snow will explain how developing the right shop culture starts at the top and results with engaged employees that help promote and grow the business. This culture also plays a role in attracting new employees. From getting creative with community involvement to a structured and career-long communication plan, Bill will share the steps to become a high performing shop through focusing on your people. Bill's witty, but sometimes dry, sense of humor keeps the audience engaged while helping attendees retain the highlights of the presentation. As a shop owner for ten years and now overseeing ten service centers, Bill has coached business owners and store managers on team dynamics which has resulted in higher retention rates and year over year sales growth.