AAPEX 2022 kicked off Nov. 1 with a keynote discussion between political icon, James Carville, and political strategist, Karl Rove, who provided their points and counterpoints on this year’s midterm elections. The discussion was moderated by Ann Wilson, senior vice president of government affairs, Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association (MEMA), and Lisa Foshee, senior vice president, of government affairs and general counsel for the Auto Care Association.
Carville and Rove touched on what will drive election results, the races to watch and what it will mean to businesses. The two discussed the direction of the country, the continued need for bipartisan support to get things done, as well as the impact of the economy and social issues on the election.
When asked what AAPEX attendees should do to work with elected officials, both Rove and Carville encouraged them to show up, get involved and contribute to their respective association PACs. Both speakers reiterated the need for attendees to contact their representatives and suggested inviting elected officials to their businesses to better understand the scope of the industry.
The keynote discussion was preceded by a State of the Aftermarket presentation by Paul McCarthy, president and CEO, Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association, and Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association.
“We are back and better than ever,” said Hanvey. “Last year was our first venture back in person and we’re happy to report this year, we are at 94% of attendance of a normal year. Thank you to our friends at the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance for bringing 2,000 of their best and brightest service providers, and Advance CARQUEST professionals for bringing over 900. Wow. Unbelievable.”
McCarthy added, “Because of what you do – all of you – our industry was declared essential in 2020. And because of our resilience, we were still growing strong even coming out of the pandemic. And because of our industry’s dedication for keeping drivers on the road safe, and for longer, we are looking forward to a bright future.”