A letter from outgoing VAA President, Brenda Carpenter
 
As I write this, my last column as your President, we are almost ready for "VAA 2014 - Connecting Virginia's Automotive Professionals." Despite one of the worst winters I can remember, there is great excitement about returning to the Homestead for our big show. We have surpassed last year's attendance, which was our best in 10 years. We have gained a reputation for hosting a quality even each year, and a great deal of effort goes into this event. I want to thank our Convention Committee: Steve Crawford, Chairman, Bobby Cutchins, Chuck Shifflett, Clint Farrar, Tom Jones, Travis Leath, Scott Brown and Eric Hughes. And our Executive Director Steve Akridge for the many hours he puts in for this event. Please join me in thanking our Convention Sponsors. Without this support, we could not do all we do for our members and our industry. Please support them every change you get.
 
VAA president Brenda Carpenter.PNGYour board of Directors is constantly looking to bring value to your membership. We now have 9 endorsed program partners who will all be introduced at the annual meeting on Saturday, April 12 during the convention. Be on the lookout for these partner vendors as they communicate their services to our members. Many VAA members are using these programs and are saving money. When they call, I urge you to give them a few minutes to hear about their programs.
 
VAA was again represented at the General Assembly, and we were directly involved with several bills of interest. I know Steve Akridge and our Legislative Chair John Kline spent time working with several legislators and both testified before a committee. We can never underestimate the importance of this valuable service, both for our dealer and supplier members. Everyone is impacted by this process.
 
I have been involved with the VAA for most of my life it seems. My dad joined many years ago when he first started his business, and when my husband Don and I opened Carpenter Tire, we joined as well. Don became involved on the Board and was President in 1994. As more females have become involved in our industry the Board invited me to join their leadership ranks. It never crossed my mind that I would be asked to move up the chairs and be President. But that is where my journey has taken me, and I would not trade it for anything. So now I say goodbye as your President, but not goodbye. I'll be around this wonderful organization forever. Thanks for the opportunity to serve as your president these past two years. All my best for the continued success to each of you and for BAA as we welcome our new President, Bobby Cutchins.
 
Sincerely,
Brenda
Letter from VAA Executive Director, Steve Akridge
 
Brenda,
 
What a great way to conclude your two years as Madam President - with a standing ovation by 300 people - just awesome! You should be very proud of what VAA has accomplished during your Presidency. Nine endorsed program partners, a stronger advocacy voice at the General Assembly, and the best convention attendance in over ten years!
 
You were a real pleasure to work with and I sincerely thank you for th support you gave me. I look forward to our future work on the Board.

Take care,
Steve
Letter from TIA Executive Vice President, Roy Littlefield