Keynotes, Speakers, Schedule Announced for Ratchet+Wrench Management Conference

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ST. PAUL, Minn., March 26, 2018—In an announcement Monday, Ratchet+Wrench revealed a revamped schedule and more than 20 speakers for the 2018 Ratchet+Wrench Management Conference, Sept. 20–22 at The Westin Lombard near Chicago.

Renowned speaker and millennial expert Jeff Butler will deliver the Day 2 keynote, leading a list of presenters that includes the industry’s top shop operators. Butler’s TEDx appearances have positioned him as a new, authoritative voice on hiring, retaining and leading the younger generation of workers. He has spoken for Fortune 500 companies, and helped businesses across the country with hiring.

Utilizing his own experience as a millennial working for some of the world’s fastest-charging startups and tech companies, Butler will speak to the auto service industry’s talent crisis and what attendees can do to attract millennials into their shops.

“Hiring and retaining talent will be one of the main focal points at our event this year, and Jeff offers an energetic, original and very tangible solution to the issue,” Ratchet+Wrench editor Bryce Evans said. “Our goal this year is to provide unique perspectives to the common issues our attendees face, and not only does Jeff fit that approach, but our revamped schedule and entire lineup this year are also geared to offer as many learning opportunities as possible.”

The three-day 2018 Ratchet+Wrench Management Conference will include 33 total strategy sessions, two keynotes and an in-depth interactive workshop.

The event kicks off Sept. 20 with a keynote from Ratchet+Wrench columnist and shop owner Joe Marconi, who will deliver the first segment in the 10-part series Ratchet+Wrench Talks: How I Did It. The series will highlight successful shop operators in a smaller, informal setting that allows for expanded engagement from the audience.

Each Ratchet+Wrench Talk will be held simultaneously with two large-room strategy sessions, so that there will always be three breakout sessions from which to choose. The entire schedule is available on the conference website.

In addition to Marconi, as well as the conference’s previously announced workshop presenters—Aaron Stokes, Brian Sump and Rissy Sutherland—the following shop operators will be featured at this year’s event:

  • Jimmy Alauria, owner, 3A Automotive & Diesel Repair
  • Leigh Anne Best, co-owner, Mighty Auto Pro
  • Andy Bizub, owner, Midwest Performance Cars
  • Scott Brown, owner, Cardinal Plaza Shell
  • Greg Buckley, owner, Buckley’s Auto Care
  • Greg Bunch, owner, Aspen Auto Clinic
  • Ryan Clo, owner, Dubwerx/Avid Autowerx/Just Saab
  • Chris Cloutier, co-owner, Golden Rule Auto Care
  • Mike Davidson, owner, Parkway Automotive
  • Ron Haugen, owner, Westside Auto Pros
  • Bill Hill, co-owner, Mighty Auto Pro
  • Frank Leutz, owner, Desert Car Care of Chandler
  • Sunil Patel, owner, Motorwerks of Houston
  • Donny Seyfer, owner, Seyfer Automotive
  • Mitch Schneider, former shop owner
  • Seth Thorson, owner, Eurotech Auto
  • David Toole, president and CEO, Toole’s Garage

Additional speakers, as well as details on each session, will be announced in the coming months. For more information, or to register, visit Current early-bird prices end March 31.

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