As the ATRA board president, I’d like to welcome you to Expo 2017, at the Paris Hotel and Casino here in Las Vegas. This week will be your best opportunity to discover the many new and exciting things going on in our industry.
While you’re here, take the time to visit with other shop owners. You’ll discover that we all have one common interest: rebuilding automatic transmissions.
How many of us have had a customer come into our shop with a transmission issue and tell you “Everyone says you can’t rebuild these transmissions”? I once had a customer with a Getrag 5-speed in a Chevy pickup who claimed that the dealer told him his transmission couldn’t be rebuilt; it had to be replaced.
I took him into my tool room and showed him the GM tool set necessary for rebuilding his transmission. And I asked him, “Why would GM sell the tools and parts for this transmission if you couldn’t rebuild it?” The point is, this is why we’re all here: We rebuild transmissions.
That’s what’s so great about Expo: Nearly everyone you meet shares your interests… your challenges… and your experiences. This is your opportunity to talk shop with the best in the business: professionals who consider the industry important enough to make the trip to Expo. Folks just like you.
There’s no excuse for running out of things to do while you’re in Las Vegas. Make plans now to attend the ATRA/Raybestos Luncheon on Friday. In addition to a sumptuous feast, you’ll be treated to the magical performance of Murray Sawchuck. Murray is an internationally known magician, a magic advisor on the TV show Pawn Stars, and a headliner at the Las Vegas Planet Hollywood.
Friday evening is always the annual Transtar reception. Transtar has continued to improve and enlarge their reception: each year’s event is better than the one the year before it. Stop by, have a drink, and enjoy the company of the brightest and best this industry has to offer. There’s no charge and everyone is invited to attend.
No Expo could be complete without a golf tournament. Our group just seems to attract golfers. Some of our members are very good golfers; others think they are. It doesn’t make any difference because this is why you play golf. This year, the golf tournament will be sponsored by JDS Worldwide.
Of course, Expo wouldn’t be Expo without training. And there’s no doubt this is Expo, with 30 hours of technical training from some of the leading experts in the automatic transmission repair industry. Add to that another 15 hours of management training, and you have a program that’ll be sure to have an impact on your business, beginning your first day back at work.
Back by popular demand is Transmissions 101. This program consists of back-to-basics training by veteran speakers. We launched this program last year to introduce new and younger students to our industry. Transmissions 101 is just one more reason that Expo is recognized as the largest event in the world designed exclusively for the transmission repair industry.
Then there’s the trade show: Suppliers from all over the world, presenting their best and newest products for you to examine, often with special deals you won’t find anywhere else but at Expo. Wander around and meet face to face with the folks that, until now, you only knew as a voice on the other end of the phone.
Whew! That’s a lot going on over just a few days. But don’t forget, you’re in Vegas, and we’re at the Paris Hotel and Casino, right in the heart of the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The celebrated Bellagio fountains are right across the street, and The Shops at Caesar’s Palace is right on the corner.
Make the time to wander down the Strip and have a look about. Treat yourself to a meal at one of the celebrity restaurants and enjoy a world-class show at one of the venues nearby.
No doubt about it: Expo 2017 is going to be an exciting ride: I’m looking forward to seeing all of you while you’re here.
Jim Rodd, President ATRA Board of Directors