Leaders of ASA-Midwest (its board and house of delegates) — the second largest affiliate of the Automotive Service Association — on June 14 voted unanimously to disaffiliate with ASA National and become an independent regional association known as the Midwest Auto Care Alliance (MWACA). Think of the move like dissolving a “franchise agreement” — one that has allowed what will become MWACA to operate as ASA-Midwest.
According to an ASA Midwest/MWACA announcement dated June 15, the decision “was part of a long and strategic process to address member concerns regarding value for their membership dollar,” as well as the requirement to belong to both ASA-Midwest and ASA National.
“ASA-Midwest attempted to resolve these concerns through letters and meetings with ASA National,” the statement reads. “Those efforts did not result in a solid plan that details solutions and progress toward a more member-focused national organization, leaving the affiliate with no other alternative.”
“By changing the name of our organization to Midwest Auto Care Alliance, we have empowered our members, as well as future members, to select their membership participation based on their personal needs and experience,” Jerry Holcom — president of ASA-Midwest/MWACA and owner of S&S Service Center in Kansas City — said in a separate announcement dated June 26. “This is a business decision which should be available to all members, and holds each member-based organization accountable for the programs and services that they offer in return for their dues.”
Holcom also stated that there would be no impact on the organization’s Vision HiTech Training & Expo in March 2019. MWACA also promises exclusive new programs and services.
Current members of ASA-Midwest will have the option to be a member of MWACA or ASA/ASA Midwest. Those interested in MWACA membership can begin applying beginning Sept. 14. For more information, visit mwaca.org.
Meanwhile, ASA National will go forward with a restructured ASA Midwest affiliate following the previous group’s move to disaffiliate and form MWACA. However, Arkansas and Oklahoma will no longer be a part of ASA Midwest; and only Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska will remain. New management for the restructured ASA Midwest will be announced in the coming weeks, according to ASA National.
Additionally, shop owners in Oklahoma or Arkansas who are interested in participating and assisting with the formation of a state association can contact Tony Molla, ASA vice president, at email@example.com.
“We recognize the need for a strong state association in these areas, and we are committed to making that a reality,” said Roy Schnepper, chairman of ASA National. “State associations are the building blocks and foundation of ASA.”
According to ASA National, ASA Midwest’s members will see a reduction in their annual dues, attributable to a reduction in administrative expenses as well as a shift to a more “virtual environment” for meetings and member services.
“The changes will allow us to better serve a broader base of members in these states, and hopefully garner an increase in participation as we move to a more virtual means to communicate regularly amongst the board of directors, staff and membership,” said Dan Risley, outgoing president of ASA National.