AERA President John Goodman Announces Retirement - Engine Builder Magazine
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AERA President John Goodman Announces Retirement

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After 9
years at the helm, Engine Builders Association (AERA) President John Goodman
has announced his retirement, effective July 1, 2012.

 “John became president of AERA in October of
2003 rejoining an industry that he had briefly left to finish his Ph.D. in
Engineering Management,” explained Jim Rickoff, associate editor of Engine
Professional and AERA’s marketing consultant. “At AERA, John led the
association through many changes of efficiency and professionalism. Having a
professional technical guy at the helm for the last 9 years has been very
beneficial for our association. The entire staff, members and associates of
AERA thank him for his years of service and wish him and his family a great
retirement.”

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Goodman’s
career in engine rebuilding began in 1980, in Salt Lake City, UT where, for four
years, he ran an automotive machine shop specializing in foreign cars. He then
moved to the machine tool industry, gaining skill in field engineering and
sales, product development and the study and evaluation of manufacturing tools,
abrasives, coolants, fixtures and honing processes

Goodman tells
Engine Builder that he is confident in the strength of the association moving
forward. “The Board of Directors
reflects the hopes, the wants and the dreams of the association members. Over
the last nine years we’ve been building the core value of the association – the
technical side – and I think it’s definitely the kind of stuff it should be
doing.”

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He admits that
loss of membership has been somewhat
distressing, but believes it is a reflection of a long-term industry trend
that, actually, isn’t entirely negative. “When you look at a consolidation of
an industry like we’ve been going through, it can either be looked at as a
negative or a positive. I’ve always felt the industry has been good. It’s been
profitable for those who want to make it that way,” Goodman says. “Certainly,
it’s cost-intensive but the rewards are there if you want to run it as a
business.

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He says shops around the
country have a positive outlook. “Many have told us that they’re no longer just
taking in work at low profits – they’re busy with high profit stuff again. It’s
a normal business cycle – maybe it’s been expanded to a point where we’re not
comfortable but frankly, it thins out the herd. What’s left are shops that have
been set up from the beginning to be successful under these conditions and
they’re busy and profitable. I can’t be unhappy about that either,” he says.

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“AERA
continues to work at reconstituting some of the things we lost when we had to
set aside our trade show,” Goodman says. “We’re using what resources are out
there to help rebuild that, specifically the networking aspect of it, which we
all desperately miss. The regionals have been very, very good, and I think
continuing partnerships with other trade shows and venues might help us get
back a lot of those things we had going at the trade show.”

Could these partnerships
include other industry associations as well? “There always seems to be a sweet
spot for the timeliness of such relationships,” Goodman says. “We wouldn’t mind
at all doing things on a partnership arrangement with any industry association
like us. Maybe in the future we’ll be able to find common ground where neither
side feels they’re being taken advantage of.”

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Goodman says he believes the
executive committee of AERA plans to take a more aggressive marketing approach
to address memberships and that the search for his successor will reflect that.
“My background is in tech, but the new president will likely come in with more
emphasis on the marketing. I know the search has been going well. The search
committee has found some viable candidates but the process continues. The
industry will be in the hands of younger people and that’s a good thing. I just
hope I’ve managed to lead AERA correctly, efficiently and effectively over these
nine years,” he says.

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 “At some point, I knew this day would come,”
says Goodman. “It happens to everyone and now, retirement is happening to me.
As with any event you don’t want to think about, you just bury it away and go
about your business. But I am told with age comes wisdom and I thought it wise
to move my concentration away from career and focus on Shirley (my wife) and
grandchildren. Life doesn’t often give one a second bite of the apple but
retirement can do just that. So, without looking back, Shirley and I decided
that I should retire from a beloved industry that has given us so many good
friends and memories. Given past history, I will stay active and still have a
few things to contribute, but family gets the lion’s share."

The AERA
Board of Directors continues its search for qualified candidates to succeed
Goodman. For more information, visit www.aera.org.

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