15 MINUTES WITH DOUG REINERT
PHOTO: D'MONT REESE
Doug Reinert officially becomes ARA president on October 23, 2010. He is already well prepared. Described as "well-spoken" and "considerate of others' input," he is a practiced member of the ARA executive committee and involved in his state association, the Pennsylvania Automotive Recycling Trade Society (PARTS).
Growing up in the automotive recycling industry, Reinert acquired an early enthusiasm for ARA while accompanying his parents, Chuck and Lois Reinert, to conventions. President of Chuck's Auto Salvage, Inc. (ChucksAS.com) in Douglassville, Pa., Reinert is poised to start his term as the 2010 - 2011 ARA president. Locator UpFront sat down with him for 15 minutes to find out what to expect in the new term.
How long have you been active in ARA? Chuck's Auto Salvage officially became an ARA member in 1976. I have been active professionally since 1989.
How has serving on the ARA executive committee prepared you for the presidency? Being involved in the committee slowly warms you up to the issues. You continue to build your knowledge. I have gotten used to the influx of internal communications from the executive committee.
What is your first goal as ARA president? How do you plan to achieve it? One of the biggest issues facing the industry is acquisition. Salvage is the lifeblood of our industry. Since we can't go out and create inventory, we need to create opportunities to acquire it. I want as much input as possible from our membership including challenges they face and ideas they have. This will allow us to look into ways to break down barriers.
Thousands of automotive recyclers are not ARA members. Why should they join? The efforts of ARA in government pay dividends for our membership. We work to provide programs that will more than "pay back" the cost of membership.
When you first were elected to the executive committee, you said you would like to focus on the needs of the members. What are the most pressing needs? Being able to acquire inventory is one of the most important needs. Other member benefits include anything that can help reduce operating costs, like insurance.
Are there ARA presidents that you consider to be a mentor? I don't have one or two people to single out. I am fortunate to have met so many presidents over the years. Each one was so open with advice and knowledge. Their willingness to share is what makes ARA so valuable.
Which project of current ARA president Bill Tolpa do you want to continue? One is the Salvage Task Force, which started in the spring of this year. Of course, Bill's video clips are legendary. Those may or may not be continued!
Which committee do you see as crucial to the industry's success? I don't see any one committee as crucial; it's more like a combination that are critical to our success. I've found that each ARA committee is active and engaged.
Any last thoughts? I want to encourage our members to get involved in government affairs on the state or national levels. We can have such an impact if we just take the time to write a letter. We need to promote auto recycling as the original green industry - to legislators, the media and the public. We need your help to spread the word.