In November 2021, during the 78th annual conference & Expo, Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) named Marty Hollingshead as its new president. Auto Recycling World wanted to learn more about his role at the organization’s helm.
The road to auto recycling
I started in the business back in 1973 at A-Suburban Auto Wrecking in Evanston, Illinois. I was an alley mechanic/body man, and I was there looking for parts. It was my first time at A-Suburban; I had been to several other “junkyards”, and this place really fascinated me with their process and organization. I had asked if they were looking for any help and left them my name and phone number. They called me one week later, and I began working for them as a parts puller/yardman.
I am the owner/president of Northlake Auto Recyclers in Hammond, Indiana, since 1984. We are a late model auto recycler. Our facility is 18.5 acres with 80,000 sq ft of warehouse space. We have 26 employees, and we process 1200-1500 late-model vehicles per year, and we are a major supplier of OEM Surplus spare parts and aftermarket and reconditioned spares. We primarily service the Chicago market.
Involvement with ARA
I serve on the ARA Executive Committee, and I am currently the President. I have been involved with our state association and ARA for more than a decade. I have written articles about industry issues to help raise awareness for some time now. I was asked to join the Executive Committee back in 2018.
I think that ARA is a great association representing the interests and concerns of all auto recyclers. Our industry is no stranger to adversity. In fact, this association was born out of adversity back in 1943, but now, our industry is in the midst of a transformation with the changes in vehicles, the type of parts we will be able to harvest and sell in the future, not to mention the uncertainty that all this change will bring. I think with challenges come opportunities. The future will be bright for those willing to change and adapt. I think training and certification will be crucial going forward.
What do auto recyclers need to consider in 2022?
Training and certification, and working together as an industry to evolve and improve. If we want more opportunities, we need to do a better job. Remember, “a rising tide lifts all ships.”
The future for auto recyclers
Our fate is in our hands and will come down to what are we prepared to do? For our association to be successful, we not only need membership, we need participation and engagement. We need to speak as a group with one clear, loud voice. We have a great story to tell. We need a forum to tell everyone who we really are and what we really do. As well as the essential role we play in the automotive industry. We need to erase the “junkyard” stigma.
In closing, it doesn’t matter, home or abroad, you need to be involved and participate with the associations that represent this industry.
You can be either at the table or on the plate. The choice is yours!
Find out more about Automotive Recyclers Association at www.a-r-a.org