Succession planning scheduled topic for discussion at GAAS 2012

May 4, 2012
The U of A leadership 2.0 Team plans to discuss succession planning for service dealers at this year's Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium.

"Underpressure," the best team project from the University of the Aftermarket Leadership 2.0 professional development program, will present on the topic of succession planning for service dealers at the 2012 Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS). The winning team is made up of: Courtney Carbone, director, member services, AAIA; Steve Chetwood, major accounts manager – NAPA West, NGK Spark Plugs; Rudy Epp, owner, Rudy's Auto Service; Adam Lee, vice president, operations, Lang Distributing, Inc.; and Sean Tucker, national account manager, Accessories Marketing, Inc.

"If a service dealer survived the unpredictable fluctuations in the economy during the past two years, then they should take the next step and plan to survive the predictable parts of their business that occur through aging and mortality," explained Epp. "We need to think bigger. We're not just doing a job, we're building our own personal financial portfolios. We can only maximize our potential if we leave behind a 'turn-key' business."

The session will look at the sustainability of service dealers. It will challenge program groups and WD's to help protect their relationships with customers by mentoring service dealers in how to prepare their business for sale or transition their business to the next generation through proper family succession planning.

GAAS 2012, “One Industry, Endless Opportunities,” will be held Wednesday, May 16 and Thursday, May 17 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Illinois (near Chicago). The presentation by the Under Pressure team will be held from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on May 16.

Leadership 2.0 consists of two intellectually stimulating five-day sessions conducted on Northwood University's Midland, Mich. and West Palm Beach, Fla. campuses, as well as off-site team research team projects. The best project was determined by the class last week in West Palm Beach during the final session for the 2011-2012 program. 

GAAS recently announced that this year's event will feature a special registration rate for companies to bring their leadership team. After a company pays full price for three individuals from their company to attend GAAS 2012, the fourth member and any other subsequent employees can register at the rate of $250.

Each year the net proceeds of GAAS are invested in the organization’s scholarship fund to help students get their automotive aftermarket career started. Additional scholarship funding comes from industry contributions from individuals, companies and foundations.

For more information on GAAS 2012, visit

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