15 Minutes With
When Chris Wright assumes the ARA presidency this fall, he’ll be continuing a longstanding family tradition. Twenty-four years ago, his father Ken Wright stepped into the very same position. Now, armed with some good advice from dad, Chris is ready to get started.
Photo: Gordon Palmer
How has serving on the ARA Executive Committee prepared you for the presidency? It’s given me the opportunity to learn more about this association and the industry. I strongly feel that ARA’s committees are the lifeblood of the association, and they will continue to be a great resource. Being able to serve under, and learn from, past presidents also has been invaluable. Thanks go out to Linda Pitman, Bill Tolpa, Doug Reinert and current President Randy Reitman for the fine examples they have set.
What is your first goal as ARA president? How do you plan to achieve that goal? I want to help advance and improve the member services that ARA offers by increasing communications and building support from the from the Executive Committee, regional directors and staff. We’ve already begun by bringing committee chairs together for quarterly meetings. We’ve introduced a web logbook to record the meeting information. We’re also putting more of the information on the ARA web page. The ARA newsletter will continue to highlight accomplishments and activities for the membership.
What do you want ARA members to gain from their association? Value. I want ARA members not only to need ARA, but to want to be a part of ARA. We deliver value through the services we offer and through continued efforts to protect, promote, and advance our industry. But I want to communicate that members have the most to gain from the association if they get involved.
Has your father, an ARA past president, given you any advice? Dad always said that the leadership of an association should remain responsible to the membership, with decisions based on their best interest. Over the years, I have seen how well received and respected he is at industry events and that speaks volumes to me. It motivates me to lead by example.
What project did current ARA president Randy Reitman champion that you plan to continue? There was a desire in the recycling industry, and also in the collision repair industry, to have a consolidated accreditation program. We had the Certified Automotive Recyclers (CAR) program. URG and the Canadian Automotive Recyclers had their program. We came together and formed a task force to create one globally recognized accreditation program. Randy really took this under his wing as president. Now Ginny Whelan is finalizing it. The revised CAR program will be more userfriendly. Recyclers still have to meet the major requirements, but they’ll be staggered so hopefully people will find it easier to become CAR members.
What can ARA members expect from your presidency? Hopefully, they can expect the same as the presidents before me - hard work and dedication. I am fortunate to be surrounded by well-qualified,hardworking members on the Executive Committee. We will serve the association well.