Strength in Unity
Thursday, September 8, 2022 | September 2022
AASP-Missouri to merge with MWACA
BY RON REILING, AAM–EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AASP-MISSOURI
ONE OF THE MOST PROMINENT THINGS IN OUR INDUSTRY IS ALL THE associations splintering it instead of uniting it and working together for the common good of the automotive service and repair industry. For many years. Missouri has been guilty of this practice. Over the past few years, AASP-Missouri and MWACA have joined together on legislative items that affect all the repair businesses. For example, the Missouri State Safety Inspection Program. It seems that every legislative session a legislator thinks it would be a good idea to terminate the program. So every year, we would spend our time educating the legislators so they could make informed decisions. We would also attend the hearings in Jefferson City and testify to inform the legislators of what vehicles are actually like that are seen in the repair facilities on a daily basis. The two associations uniting showed a strong alliance, and the legislators took notice.
As the current AASP-Missouri Executive Director, it was logical as I am moving towards semi-retirement for AASP-MO to merge with MWACA. There really wasn’t a downside and some members already belonged to both associations, including AASP-MO State President Mike Moehlenkamp of Gary’s Auto Service. Both associations are on the same page and our members are priority one. MWACA offers a large amount of member benefits and continuing education opportunities. By having the two associations merged, we can more efficiently set the agenda for industry issues we want to tackle on behalf of our members. No more time will be spent bringing the point-of-view of two separate associations together. We will form our point-of-view priorities and agenda as one united group working on behalf of our members. Both associations have chapters in the same areas and there are new chapters being added where needed.
I’ll be joining MWACA in a part-time position as MWACA Legislative Lobbyist and the St. Louis Area Liaison where I’ll monitor the legislative activities and keep membership advised. I’ll also work closely with the Gateway Collision Chapter and the St. Louis Mechanical Chapter. For many years I’ve served on many secondary and post-secondary school advisory boards and industry committees for both mechanical and collision in the St. Louis area and will continue to do so in this new role.
In my and Mike’s opinion, MWACA is just a great fit for AASP-MO members, and that is why we had no problem presenting the idea of the merger to our members for a vote, and they did just that. It’s like the old story of having one stick and how strong it is, but how much stronger it becomes when you add another stick. I’ve said for years, “No one shop knows as much as all of us working together.”
Mike and I look forward to this new season and the opportunities it will bring. I look forward to serving MWACA members and sharing the experience and knowledge I’ve gained after 23 years as the Executive Director of AASP-MO and more than 50 years in the industry.