By Sheryll Poe, NADA Contributor

The automotive industry event of the year revved into high gear on its third day as the 22,000 attendees explored sessions, workshops and events carefully designed to help them learn, motivate, dive deep, and perhaps more than anything, engage. As NADA 2019 Chairman Charlie Gilchrest noted in his first speech as chairman, “You are NADA.”  “My challenge to each of you today is to get involved,” he said. “You are not ‘part’ of NADA. You are not just ‘a member’ of NADA. You are NADA.”

Making sure dealers’ stores have the employees and the intellectual capital to build collaborative dealerships is a major challenge that NADA is tackling head-on. During his chairman’s address, Gilchrest touted the new NADA Foundation website – nadafoundation.org. “Our future depends on our ability to recruit, train, and retain the best people,” Gilchrist said. “We want the whole industry to back one initiative that is critical for all of us. This is an initiative for our future.”

Here are some other highlights from the day.

Learning Through Collaboration

Each year at the NADA Show, members and attendees choose the topics they would like to see discussed in the popular peer-to-peer learning sessions collectively known as The Exchange. These roundtable discussions feature brainstorming and problem-solving among auto industry peers on a wide range of topics — from aligning your digital image with your dealership image to steps to reduce dealership expenses.

The learning continued at the Social Connection Zone on the Expo floor. These intimate, 30-minute education sessions give attendees the chance to get one-on-one advice from our social connectors. Saturday sessions included staying the course on social media, navigating block chain, and creating the modern dealership.

In his Distinguished Speakers session, Adidas Executive Emeritus Mark King shared his tips for fostering an environment that allows creativity and allows employees to become part of the solution. “The biggest thing you can do as a leader is create an environment that takes advantage of the intellectual capital you have at your stores,” he said.

Charity Auction Brings the Dogs

The annual (and crowd-pleasing) ADESA charity auction brought more than 20 assistance dogs to the Expo floor at the NADA Show and auctioned off a fully tricked out Yamaha golf cart to raise more than $74,000 for the NADA Foundation and Canine Companions for Independence, which provides highly trained assistance dogs for children, adults and veterans with disabilities.

Speaking of charity, John Alfirevich of Apple Chevrolet of Tinley Park, Illinois was named 2019 Time Dealer of the Year in recognition for his work supporting local communities and charities—contributing to 100 charities in 2018 alone! Hear what he had to say on his philanthropy and winning the prestigious award in this video.

Meanwhile, the ATD Show closed out its final day by honoring Trey Mytty, president and CEO of Truck Center Companies in Omaha, Neb., as the 2019 Truck Dealer of the Year. The national award, sponsored by ATD, Heavy Duty Trucking magazine and Procede Software, recognizes commercial-truck dealers who demonstrate a track record of success in dealership management, service to the industry and community impact.

Capping the Day Off With Comedy

Finally, Emmy-Award winning actor and comedian Dana Carvey closed out the day—“we’re not worthy!”—with a raucous session on the General Session Stage. He had the jam-packed auditorium roaring with laughter with his uncanny comedic impersonations of American political and cultural figures, including President Donald Trump, both George Bushs, Al Gore, Paul McCartney and his iconic television and movie characters SNL’s Church Lady and Garth from “Wayne’s World.”

Look ahead to Sunday

Don’t miss the last day of the show! We’ve saved the best for last. Hear from fighter pilot, philanthropist and author, Major Dan Rooney (USAF) during his inspirational session and learn how entrepreneur Bill Rancic turned his exposure as the first winner of NBC’s The Apprentice into a million-dollar company and restaurant empire. Plus, we’ll announce the winner of this year’s #WomeninAutomotive video contest.

Catch up on all the action. Read a recap of day one and day two.

Stay up to date on sessions, recaps, photos and videos with our official daily show recaps and be sure to follow all things NADA Show on social media using the hashtag #NADASHOW on FacebookTwitterInstagram and LinkedIn.

Posted by NADA

National Automobile Dealers Association