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Chris Wright, Capital Auto Parts, Inc., Georgia

PHOTO: GORDY'S PHOTOGRAPHY

Have you heard of Chris Wright? If you haven't yet, you soon will. Wright is president of Capital Auto Parts, Inc. in Thomasville, Ga. and the newest member of the ARA executive committee. He joined the group as secretary at the 2009 ARA convention in Lexington, Ky. No stranger to the national association, Wright previously served as an ARA regional director before taking a break to focus on his family and the business.

"He's ready to get back in it," said Sandy Blalock, former owner of Capo's Truck & Auto Parts, Inc. in Albuquerque, N.M., ARA past president and chair of the nomination committee. Blalock and 10 other ARA past presidents chose Wright for the appointment last summer. "As secretary of the executive committee you are the record keeper and take minutes of the meetings. It is a wonderful opportunity to get a feel for where you would like to see the association go when you're president."

Wright has had plenty of association experience in his home state of Georgia. He comes from a family steeped in association participation. His father Ken was both a Georgia Automotive Recyclers Association (GARA) president and ARA president. Wright got involved in associations almost as early as he got involved with the family business. He became a GARA director in 1999 and president in 2003. He and a small group of Georgia auto recyclers helped steer the association through a rough patch of mismanagement and financial issues.

Sue McKinney, formerly of East Conyers Auto Parts, Conyers, Ga. and now retired, served as GARA president during that time with Wright as the first vice president. "He and I really worked hard," she said. "If I hadn't had Chris' help, I wouldn't have been able to succeed as president."

Bob Griggers, president of Bob's Auto Salvage, Byron, Ga. and an ARA past president, said Wright's strong background from his father will help propel him forward in the industry. "Chris is very energetic, dedicated and knowledgeable," he said. "He's a new generation kid. He's not stuck in the past."

"If anyone needs to know anything, I refer them to Chris," added McKinney. "He's so knowledgeable and gives 100 percent. I always told him 'One day you'll be something with ARA.'"

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