IGA Meets in Orlando

The Independent Glass Association started its Independents' Days National Convention & Spring Glass Show™ today at the Rosen Plaza in Orlando.

Here is an edited version of the opening speech which Marc Anderson executive director of the association, delivered.

Marc Anderson Speech

I'm Marc Anderson, the executive director of IGA, and on behalf of the board of directors, our staff, and all our members, I'd like to welcome you here.

We hope the next few days will both excite and energize you, but more importantly it will give you a new set of tools you can use to compete effectively and fairly against all comers.

I would like to give you a brief overview of all there is for you to do and learn over the next few days.

First, IGA's attorney, Tom Goodman, and myself will brief you on the lawsuit concerning illegal steering that IGA recently filed against Safelite and on your behalf.

Then we will be back to brief you on some of the best ways we know to combat illegal steering. If you were here last year, you know that IGA has made the practice of illegal steering its main focus this entire year, and we've learned a lot. In addition to the lawsuit, few have many strategies we can use to combat illegal steering, and other tricks the networks play, including short pays.

For example, Jerry Mattison of Star Windshield will talk to you about short pays. He has been using arbitration in a very innovative and effective way to get the payments he is owed. It takes a bit of time, but arbitration is very effective and very inexpensive. If you deal with short pays-and I doubt there are many of us who don't-you'll want to hear Jerry.

Following his talk, you'll hear the first of our three presentations about the pricing situation.

Pricing, and the changes NAGS has made, will be some of the biggest challenges auto glass businesses face this year. Ed Fennell of Bartelstone will discuss addendum parts and how the distributors are handling pricing in the face of the NAGS revaluation. He will be followed by Dave Leach of the Chicago Auto Glass Group, who will brief you on the progress his group has made in changing the pricing equation.

After our break for lunch, our keynote speaker, Carl Tompkins-one of the best speakers in the auto glass industry-will debut a presentation titled: Utilizing Your Resources for Business Success.

It is followed by an update on windshield repair, the technology and the business. Matt Larson of Delta Kits will brief us on the latest changes in repair.

Then it's time for the centerpiece of our whole event-the Spring Glass Show. It's important that you spend time at this show for lots of reasons. In addition to seeing all the new products and services that our exhibitors are displaying, you'll also show your support for our exhibitors, who help support this event and our association.

It may be hard to, but you'll want to get up early tomorrow because Jesse Herrera and Bud Oliver of NAGS begin their presentation at 8 a.m. sharp. We've got two hours to hear from NAGS and both gentlemen will answer your questions. Nothing has been more central to our industry these last few months then the changes at NAGS and you'll want to hear what they have to say about these controversial changes.

After NAGS, representatives from AGRSS will brief you on their newest programs and advances. They've done some exciting things this year.

Those of you interested in auto glass technology will want to hear Blair Imbody of AP Technoglass talk about the changes in OE glass we can expect to see in cars in the next few years. It's an interesting presentation that will start you thinking about the future and how you will have to adapt your business and your labor force to the changes.

Then the show starts up again. On both days of the show, you'll find an extraordinary number of demonstrations and presentations right on the show floor. You'll see a full installation both days, by one of the best in the business-Steve Coyle of PAG.

In addition, we have a series of workshops taking place on the show floor, called What Works for Me. There are five such sessions and during each one an actual owner of a shop, just like you, talks about things that have they have learned that work for them.

Come here Scott Harkey talk about how he kept from sending insurance companies his costs, even when they demanded he do so. And Donna Braden of Jack's Glass, who has one of the most innovative and effective marketing programs in the country. Mark Rizzi, Scott Owen and Jason Polzin will all give you some unique views and effective strategies they use in their hometowns.

Many of our IGA members have told us they are also involved in flat glass and want to be able to learn about that part of our industry during the convention as well. To that end, we have expanded this event to open up and include flat glass. So if you are in flat glass or thinking of expanding into it, you'll want to participate in the intro session called Auto and Flat, Do They Mix? this afternoon.
Tomorrow, we offer a full day of courses including a two-hour presentation on knowing your true costs, figuring your overhe4ad correctly and more with Lyle Hill of MTH Industries. He offers a unique perspective, having run both large auto and contract glazing operations and in his seminar will deal with both.

You are going to hear a lot about problems in the glass industry over the next few days. Well, tomorrow afternoon, IGA would like to talk about solutions. During our Real Time Solutions for the Auto Glass Industry session, you'll learn about some of the solutions and innovative programs we've developed to help your business in the coming year.

Lynette Hartman of Neon Billing Service will speak during this session and you'll learn more about the new short pay collection program her company is involved in.

This session will be followed by our Town Hall Meeting with the board of directors.

And, if you're around Sunday, your badge will also get you into the International Window Film Tint-Off being held here.

To potential members who are here, I say look around. Look at the IGA. We work for the future. We don't just talk about problems, we aim to solve them. We don't just discuss change. We make change.

I challenge everyone here over the next few days to organize, organize, organize. We can go beyond making waves if we are organized. We can overcome our competitors if we are organized. We can save ourselves if we are organized and we can thrive and prosper. Thank you.

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