Board prepares for strategic planning session. Your opinion about our priorities?

May 2017

May was a busy month for the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, and we don’t expect June to be much slower.

I want to thank you for the strong turnout at two important events this month: The legislative hearing on the Dealer Franchise bill, SB17-298 and the recent CADA-UMB Economic Forecast Dinner.

The May 4th hearing in the Colorado House Business Affairs and Labor Committee on the Dealer Franchise bill (SB17-298) was unanimously approved by the legislature. The bill included important franchise protections that will go a long way toward leveling the playing field between manufacturers and dealers. Significantly, we received unanimous “Aye” votes on the third and final reading in both the Colorado House and Senate, which given the polarized Colorado General Assembly, is rare.

Our Sunset Review (SB17-240) passed in the legislature, as well, including the provision we wanted to continue mandating Sunday closure. CADA successfully argued that opening on Sunday would result in higher costs to consumers.

CADA-UMB Economic Forecast dinner a success

The CADA-UMB Economic Forecast dinner on May 4th at the William D. Barrow Building was well attended. We had presentations from two interesting and knowledgeable speakers, KC Mathews, chief investment officer for UMB Bank, and Ryan Kerrigan of Kerrigan Advisors, who works with dealer clients nationwide on business valuation and buy/sell market trends. I know that everyone who attended came away with useful information.

Board survey shows there’s still ‘work to be done’

June will be significant because the CADA Board of Directors is beginning a three-year strategic planning process. To prepare, CADA commissioned a survey through Harrison Coever & Associations of our 24 officers and directors to get their opinions on where we should focus our attention.

It was gratifying (and a little amazing) that we got a 100 percent response. On the question about CADA’s overall performance in the last three years, 100 percent said the association has been either “Effective” or “Very Effective.” Some responses included descriptions like “strong advocates,” “very proactive,” “informative,” and “represents dealers well in both government affairs arena and consumer relations.”

Among other highlights:

  • 92 percent responded that the range of programs, services and activities currently offered by CADA was “about right.”
  • 92 percent responded that CADA’s implementation of the last strategic plan’s priority objectives was either “effective” or “very effective.”
  • 96 percent rated CADA’s member communication was either “effective” or “very effective.”

Several board members responded that their biggest challenge was dealer-manufacturer relations. Although the playing field has been leveled somewhat by our recent legislative accomplishments, it’s clear that CADA will need to stay on top of this issue.

It helps that we have an excellent legislative team: Our attorney Michael Dommermuth; lobbyists Melissa Kuipers and Mike Feeley; the Legislative Policy Committee led by Don Hicks (Shortline Subaru-Mazda-Hyundai-Mitsubishi and Porsche of Colorado Springs) and Tim Jackson.

The board survey made clear that there’s still work to be done. By far the most frequently mentioned area members think demands more focus is dealer engagement and participation.

We will be talking about that during the upcoming strategic planning sessions. Ironically, getting more members actively engaged with CADA requires some membership involvement! By that I mean that gathering input from our members is critical to strategic planning.

Share your thoughts on CADA priorities

What do you think ought to be the priorities for the association over the next three years? Please share your thoughts with me at eddobbs@colorado.auto. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

Ed Dobbs, Chair
Colorado Automobile Dealers Association