As I write this, I’m still in recovery mode from a week at The SEMA Show and AAPEX in Las Vegas. If you’ve ever experienced these events, you know that even a full work week isn’t enough to take it all in. It’s a mass convergence of a broad spectrum of people, parts, tools, equipment, cars—and more cars. It’s a place where the automotive aftermarket is king, and its impact on American culture is emphasized. Where else can you chat with Neil Young (it was actually our associate editor, Bryce Evans, who got to do that after Young’s speech about his electric Lincoln at SEMA) and get a sneak peek at some of the newest cloud-based shop management systems in the same day?
We exhibited R+W at AAPEX for the first time this year, and I have to say, among all of the experiences last week, my biggest takeaway was the praise we received for the magazine from shop operators and fellow exhibitors. There are folks who have really taken what we write to heart, and used it for the betterment of their businesses. That has always been our goal, and it felt great to get some in-person validation that we’re accomplishing what we set out to do.
While part of the R+W team was at SEMA and AAPEX, we received word of further validation from the Minnesota Magazine and Publishing Association, which recognized us with their coveted Innovator Award. The award, which isn’t given every year (we are the third company to earn it in the last six years), recognizes companies that have “successfully established and executed a new concept in the magazine publishing business.” Our people-oriented, shop-management-focused approach to serving the auto service industry has helped fill a void in an otherwise crowded niche. The recognition, after 17 months of publishing R+W, is extremely gratifying.
I hope the publication has proven valuable to you, as well. If it hasn’t, please let us know what we can do better. We are always trying to improve and we will continue to evolve based on the industry’s needs. Our readers, just like your customers, are really in the driver’s seat when it comes to our future.