2008 GAAS participants encouraged to 'shift forward'

Jan. 1, 2020
Participants in this year's Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) will be offered the chance to "Shift Forward" within the industry after discussing a wide range of topics with panelists Tuesday, May 20 and Wednesday, May 21. GAAS is schedul

Participants in this year's Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS) will be offered the chance to "Shift Forward" within the industry after discussing a wide range of topics with panelists Tuesday, May 20 and Wednesday, May 21. GAAS is scheduled to take place at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago, Ill.

"Let's Know Them Before We Need Them," will be moderated by Ray Pohlman, vice president government relations, AutoZone, and will feature panelists Leslie Waters, former legislator, Florida House of Representatives, and Randel K. Johnson, vice president, Labor, Immigration and Employee Benefits, U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The panel will examine the importance of government affairs and political action as a part of a company's annual business planning.

"Decision Makers — What Drives Today's Independent Repair Shop Owner to Choose One Parts Source Over Another?," will be moderated by Gary Molinaro, editor/publisher, The Greensheet/Automotive Week, and will focus on how the shop owner of today has changed from the shop owner of the past, especially in regard to sourcing parts.

Panelists include:

- Jim Bastone, owner, Bastone Auto Service; - Scott Bennett, director of operations, Bennett Auto Supply; and - Fred Myers, president, One Stop Undercar.

The "Family Affair" panel, moderated by John Washbish, president, CRM and Under Vehicle Group, Affinia Group, will look at how family owned/operated businesses have retained the legacy of their family business, while bringing new ideas to help accelerate their company forward and overcoming the challenges associated with rapid growth in a global economy.

Panelists include:

- Craig Bond, senior vice president, Bond Auto Parts (3rd generation, WD/jobber); - Dominic Grote, vice president, sales and marketing, Grote Industries (4th generation, manufacturer); and - Doug Reevey, president, Autotec (2nd generation, technician).

"Private Equity and The Aftermarket Panel," will be moderated by Dan Smith, founder and president of the Capstone Financial Group, and will discuss the possibility of merger and acquisition activity continuing in the near and long term, and the role margin pressure will play in driving transactions.

Panelists include:

- Bodil Arlander, senior managing director, Bear Stearns Merchant Banking; - Kristin Newhall, partner, The Riverside Company; and
- Jeremy Thompson, partner, ONCAP.

R. L. Polk & Co. is the corporate sponsor of the Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium.