imply put, “the business was my greatest challenge and my greatest accomplishment,” says KENNIE ANDERSEN.
Starting in 1959, Andersen Sales and Salvage in Greeley, CO ultimately grew to three locations and 45 employees. However, while Andersen said his greatest accomplishment was the business, others would say his service to ARA was an accomplishment, too.
“I suppose the highlight of my automotive recycling career is accepting and going up to work as president of ARA (1986). That is quite an honor. I am thankful for the chance I got and hope that we, as peers, have done our duty serving the industry,” he says rather sheepishly.
Looking back, Andersen says that attempting to accomplish today what he already has done would be extremely difficult. “Today is very hard coming into any business because of government regulations, competition and the high cost of doing business,” he says. “But if you are going to get in the business you have to have integrity.”
Integrity and great customer satisfaction are number one with him when it comes to running the business. But he cautions not to let the customer take advantage of you, either. And once you’re in business, be wary of banks willing to give you money. “I see more businesses go down the tubes because they over-borrowed. I didn’t even draw a paycheck for the first eight years of the busi- ness,” he says modestly.
Among his other tips for new- comers are to have an excellent accountant “that will give you good advice. And, I hate to say this, but if you need a lawyer, hire a good one, not an ambulance chaser.”
One thing that stands out with Andersen is that his company was unique. They didn’t hire directly but went through an employment agency. He didn’t want to worry about paperwork, etc.
Andersen admits that he eschews modern technology (he says his granddaughter is doing a great job of that). “I still do busi- ness the old fashion way – with a handshake,” he says, proudly.
fter ED ANSPACH decided to close the Anspach Used Auto Parts recycling facility in 2000, after 50 years of the recy- cling business, started by his father John, one would imagine Anspach relax- ing, fishing, maybe a little travel. But no, he would have none of that. In- stead, he opened up Anspach Autos, a small business specializing in selling cars and used parts – and not just any cars, vintage Porsches and their parts! It was the education gained as a member of ARA, and as a past president and member of the Executive Committee, that helped him in that transition from recycling of mainstream autos to a custom business with vintage Porsches.
“Going through the ranks of the executive commit- tee to become President is like a college experience – it was amazing what you learn and who you meet. You talk with and learn from the other officers and mem- bers, and people from other industries, which was a great education,” says Anspach.
While Anspach was a member of the Pennsylvania Automotive Recycling Trade Society, he did not take an active role, simply because his father was a board member and later president of the state association. He was mind- ful of the shadows his father would have left in the state association. So he concentrated on ARA as a regional director, committee chair and ARA Educational Foundation board member. “A trade associa- tion offers a wealth of information, and the contacts that you make through the association are great,” says Anspach. “The time you spend in the hallway at the Convention was just often as valuable as the time spent in seminars. You were learning from other people fight- ing the same fights.”
September-October 2016 | Automotive Recycling 35