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FATA second annual convention a success

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Hall of Fame inductions, a trade show with more than 41 exhibiting companies, seminars and the election of officers were all highlights of the second annual convention of the Florida Automotive Trades Association (FATA).

The convention drew more than 400 attendees July 18-19 to the Wyndham Palace Resort and Spa in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

"We offered a program to meet our members' needs," said FATA President John Deegan. "Members could choose between the FATA trade show, the seminars and networking opportunities."

Jim Bounds of American Tire Distributors in Orlando and Sherry Marcoe of Kissimmeee, Fla., were inducted into the association’s Hall of Fame and the Paragon Award went to John Barr of Pioneer Tire and Auto In Riverview, Fla.

Newly elected FATA officers include: John Deegan, president, Monroe Shocks in Oviedo; Shawn Long, president-elect, Long Tire & Auto Centers, Valrico; vice presidents Maurice Batista, Pasco Motors, Dade City, and Dick Erickson, Sun Tire, Jacksonville; John Tidwell, secretary, Mike Gatto Inc., Melbourne; Helen Hofmann, treasurer, The Car Spa, Orlando, and David Zwalina of Automotive One in Longwood is immediate past president.

The newly elected FATA board of directors include Doug Bolt, Florida Tire, Orlando; Karl Davis, Karl’s Advanced Automotive Repair, Ormond Beach; Eddie DiMelio, Eddie’s Collision Experts, Davie; Vic Knoblock, Post Office Tire, Ocala; Joe Kovac, Kovac Automotive, Davie; Bob Lanpher, McGee Tire Stores, Lakeland; David Morgan, A-1 Auto Care, Hobe Sound; Rudy Napier, Archer Road Auto Repair, Gainesville; Rick Smith, Smitty’s Garage, Seminole; Mark Stalder, Central Auto Parts, Longwood; Don Stone, AAA Quality Transmissions, Stuart; and Lou Webber Jr., Lou Webber Tire, Inc., Jacksonville.

A "Future of the Industry" panel was held with Bill Haas of the Automotive Service Association, Larry Morgan of Morgan Tires/Tires Plus and the Tire Industry Association, Michael Redig of the Florida DEP and FATA's lobbyist, Patrick Bell of Lamonica and Trammell.

Delphi presented a three-part mechanical seminar on "The Road to the Future -– Electronics," "Servicing Tomorrow's Vehicles –- Today," and "Rediscover the Hidden Profit Maker -– Batteries." Collision expert Bruce Burrow offered a seminar on "Those Darn Estimating Systems."

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