OPEAA President Jeff Andrews of Desert Extrusion Corporation, left, and OPEAA Immediate Past President Jim Paugh of NGK Spark Plugs
OPEAA Vice President Barry Stiles of Stens and his wife PaulaWith the historic city of Charleston, S.C., serving as the backdrop, more than 100 participating members of the Outdoor Power Equipment Aftermarket Association (OPEAA) attended OPEAA’s 28th annual meeting Feb. 8-10 at Charleston Place Hotel.
Daily meetings included speakers and sessions focused on issues as diverse as Health Care Reform and the Future of Battery and Electric Outdoor Power Equipment, as well as Economic and Industry Trends, and Regulatory and Industry Issues. Also presented were the results of a formal U.S. Study of the Lawn and Garden Aftermarket, which was conducted by OPEAA and based on responses from hundreds of outdoor power equipment dealers throughout the United States.
Amidst cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, OPEAA’s annual fundraiser was also held one evening that benefits the Bill Nelson Scholarship Endowment. A great time was had by all, while raising money for a most worthy cause through a silent auction. Both a networking luncheon and the annual banquet the final evening of the event also seemed to be a smashing success.
And then of course, time was taken out to enjoy Charleston and all that it has to offer, including tours of the historical city, a golf tournament and even a fishing tournament.
“It is truly fantastic that such a diverse group of manufacturers, distributors, sales organizations and competitors can annually gather together in such a rich learning environment,” said OPEAA President Jeff Andrews of Desert Extrusion Corporation. “Every year, I come away from our meeting with a better understanding of the challenges, successes and direction of the outdoor power equipment aftermarket industry — and all while having great fun and interacting with many of the leaders in our industry.”
Andrews was named president of OPEAA when the 2014-15 board was announced at the meeting. Joining him as officers will be Vice President Barry Stiles, Stens Corporation; Secretary/Treasurer Mark Errick, D.E. Errick, Inc.; and Immediate Past President Jim Paugh, NGK Spark Plugs. Jerry Alexander, HBD/Thermoid, and Scott Harris, Blount International, were also elected to the board. Continuing their service on the board will be Walter Rieck, Sierra/Prime Line Power Equipment Products; Chris Roessler, Rotary Corporation; and Franck Sogaard, Jarden Applied Products.
OPEAA continues to grow and prosper as a force in the outdoor power equipment industry. For more photos and information from the meeting and to learn more about OPEAA, visit its new website at www.opeaa.org.
OPEAA’s 29th annual meeting will be held Feb. 7-10, 2015, at The Omni La Mansion del Rio on the River Walk in San Antonio, Texas.