RR 321: Association Membership More Important Than Ever – Round Table Vision 2018

Pictured Above, Tony Molla, Dave Kusa and Dana Cozby.

Recorded at Vision KC 2018, the panel makes a great case for the value of association membership. They say that working together, networking, training and solving the industries challenges are all the right reasons to become a member of your regional or national aftermarket association.

The panel:

Industry veteran Tony Molla, Vice President of ASA (Automotive Service Association) has over 35 years’ experience in the automotive service industry. He has held positions at all levels, including technician, service manager, parts store manager, new car sales and automotive technical editor, writing service manuals for the Chilton Book Company. He has authored more than a dozen technical and car care manuals for both professional technicians and consumers.

Prior to joining ASA in May 2015, Tony spent fifteen years as the Vice President, Communications for the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE). He also spent nine years as the Editorial Director of Motor Age magazine and Automotive Body Repair News (ABRN).

He is an ASE certified automotive technician, past president of the Automotive Communications Council, and a regular presenter and moderator at many industry events annually. Listen to Tony’s previous episodes HERE.


Dave Kusa, President of Autotrend Diagnostics in San Francisco, CA has been an area resident for more than 30 years. Dave became the owner in 2001.

Dave has been in the auto repair industry for more than 20 years, and he holds two degrees in automotive technology from De Anza College in Cupertino. Today, he runs Autotrend Diagnostics alongside his wife, Judy, and daughters, Katie and Kristi. Listen to Dave’s previous episodes HERE.

Dana Cozby, ASA Membership Director at the Automotive Service Association.

Talking Points:

  • Cell phone providers signed up more vehicles than smartphone into their ranks this past year.
  • Association dues structure would be much higher if they did not have support from vendors that bring services for the members. Which is the reason to support association vendors.
  • Current association members are the best recruiters. Tell a friend and share the value from your association.
  • Associations are finding new ways to reach out and communicate with their members.
  • Associations have partners that can help with:
    • Uniforms.
    • Parts programs.
    • Warranties.
    • Insurance.
    • Website.
    • Wage and hour issues.
    • All aspects to help run a great repair business.
  • Legislative support.
    • If your interests are not at the table, they are probably on the table.
    • Legislative support is one of the most important roles of associations.
    • Legislators are not expert in everything and unless industry chimes in, special interest groups will push through their issue(s).
  • Networking at meetings is one of the most important business-changing opportunities you can ever receive.
  • The government will get involved.
  • Association membership helps improve your ‘future think’ so you can align your business for tomorrow.
  • Associations make it easier to run your business because you will have resources to help you.
  • For the majority of members, their dues come back to them completely based on participation in endorsed programs. Many time the dues ROI is more than doubled and sometimes even triple payback.
  • PMVI discussion (Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspection). Only 15 states have them and legislatures keep eliminating them.
  • Automotive repair would look very different today if associations weren’t fighting legislative battles in the last 15+ years.

Automotive Service Association (ASA) website (asashop.org)

Automotive Service Councils of California (ASCCA) website (ascca.com)

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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast and the pioneer of automotive aftermarket podcasts. Carm calls on his years of experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices, and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host of over 1,000 episodes, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ paths to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.

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