April AERA EXPO Generated Engine Building Excitement
By Jim Rickoff
It’s hard to describe the overall quality of AERA’s International EXPO 2003 in Las Vegas. But the first thing I want to do is thank everyone for their participation. Everyone who participated in any way needs to be thanked in a big way. Because I have received so many compliments on the overall value the show offers to both attendees and exhibitors, all of us involved need to be complimented on making EXPO 2003 a huge success.
I’ll start by thanking The Valvoline Company for sponsoring Earl Gaerte and Ray Evernham – our keynote speakers. What a refreshing, honest story Earl brought to our members. Earl stuck around for most of the show helping members by answering questions on an array of questions pertaining to everything from building race engines to running a business in today’s tough business climate. His direct, no nonsense approach was a big hit with the attendees. Ray Evernham was excellent too with his highly focused and determined approach to success. His "20 points for Success" presentation was outstanding and just what my doctor ordered.
The Honda Race Rocket project went well. I would like to thank our suppliers for their generous donations. Read more about the project on page 43 of this issue.
What else can I say about Roger Klump of the Martin Wells Valve Seat Company? Here is a true gem of a man. His generosity with his donations to Vanguard’s Shop Kinks promotion is unbelievable. The winner gets a free trip to the EXPO including accommodations and $750 in spending money. In addition, Roger donates cash prizes for second and third place finalists. Thanks Roger for making this promotion possible and giving our young machinists something to work toward. And thank you Vanguard for making your programs bigger and better every year.
Thank you also to our Associate Member Council for your great input. Our technical presentations were a big hit with the attendees, too
We presented Engine Builder Magazine’s Machine Shop of the Year award to Taylor Engine, Whittier, CA, and Dana’s Machinist of the Year award to Mitchell Gardner, Ed’s Automotive and Machinist Supply, Abilene, TX. These two coveted awards have set the standard by which all machinists and shops view success.
The exhibitors who brought millions of dollars worth of equipment, tools, supplies, parts and services to the Las Vegas Convention Center. deserve a hand. Your exhibits truly were the best part of the show. Also, thanks for the great opening night reception at the Hilton. Your generous donations to the Engine Rebuilders Educational Foundation (EREF) Auction helped this year’s auction raise more than $23,000, all of which goes toward grants and scholarships for those interested in furthering their education in the field of engine rebuilding.
Once again, Ron Sledge and our friends at Clevite brought the Clevite Engine Build Challenge to our show floor. This year they allowed AERA members to team up with engine builders from Chip Ganasi and Robert Yates Racing to field a Pro-Am competition that was a big hit with everyone.
No, I won’t forget to thank all of the active attendees who made this year’s show a huge success for the exhibitors. Many exhibitors have commented to me on how well sales were on the show floor. In fact, several have told me that this show was their best ever. Wow! That’s nice to hear and report on.
Last but not least, I would like to thank the entire AERA staff and the EXPO planning committee for working so hard to help make EXPO 2003 a success. EXPO 2003 truly was a big success and one to build on. We are committed to Las Vegas for a least the next two years and sincerely look forward to producing successful shows for all parties. After all, we are one big team.
Good profitable selling!