***Many of the images mentioned in this blog post are in the gallery below the story.***

Day Three of the VISION HiTech Training and Expo started at 6:30am. By being an attendee here you absolutely get a value. They truly pack it all in! Breakfast in the ballroom with thousands of other attendees felt like a party at 6:30am. They woke us up with energetic music, lighting and an engaging atmosphere. It was truly a sweet moment hearing from people like Ron Haugen and Jerry Holcomb. Seeing a room full of industry professionals all coming together to help elevate the industry, get training and network with others was empowering. I loved hearing the stats of how many countries were represented and  how many first time attendees there were shows just how far along this great event has come. We had a super proud moment when VISION recognized our team for the work we did on the MWACA rebranding, the website and the social media management we’ve been doing for VISION. We are so thankful for that moment! As breakfast broke up, I was happy to catch up with Jimmy Lea of Kukui and also Chris Messer with Ratchet + Wrench.

Slide showing the rebranding of ASA Midwest to MWACA thanking 5 Stones and Shop Marketing Pros

I finally got a moment to grab a photo of my girl Larshell Green! Larshell has been away from her family and up here with us in Kansas City handling all of the social media for VISION. She couldn’t complete her job without the help of our Vice President J.R. Portman who has been getting in a shoulder workout every day carrying that video equipment around!

On my way to the expo, I was reacquainted with Howard Pitkow. I love catching up to so many people I was once connected to years ago when we were shop owners.  He made me so happy to give me some wonderful feedback about my StoryBrand class I taught a few days ago. He told me he popped in and enjoyed a few minutes. Howard, great seeing you again today! He’s a wonderful photographer and has been in the industry for years! In addition to seeing Howard again, I always love when I get to run into my sweet friend Diane Larson with Larson’s Service. I met Diane through the Car Care Council Women’s Board many years ago and she has always been so sweet and kind to me! Diane, I love ya! Thank you for the warm reception!

Kim takes a picture with Howard Pitkow at VisionKC 2019


Kim visits with Howard Pitkow at VisionKC 2019

For the next several hours, we spent time hanging out in our expo booth. We saw so many people, met new friends, talked to folks who took our classes and had a great time. Jordan Wicklund stopped in to say hi from  Ratchet + Wrench and I asked him to take a photo for me. Well, I found this funny selfie he took on my camera 🙂 haha! We had a fun visit from our friends at Autoshop Solutions. It was so great to see them today and we love that other marketing folks in the industry have been very warm and welcoming to us! There’s room for all of us  in this great industry 🙂 To wrap up our day – we loved seeing all the MWACA members walking around with this sign. It’s a beautiful sign they can hang up at their shop to show off their membership credentials. I grabbed a photo of them with their sign well, because we love seeing our design work on display like that!

Jordan took a selfie with Kim's camera at VisionKC

Jordan from Ratchet and Wrench snuck a selfie on Kim’s phone 🙂


The guys from J&S Automotive in Springfield, MO pose with their MWACA membership sign

I skipped out early on our booth to rush over to the famous Rock Star Marketing’s Jennifer Filzen’s class  “Fishing for Millennials”. Jenn’s  reputation preceded her and I am so glad I was able to take her class. She’s fun, engaging and offers powerful truths about SEO that every shop owner needs to know! If you have a chance to take her classes, do it! She’ll keep you entertained while learning.

As I’ve been saying our friends at VISION really know how to put on an event and tonight’s Awards Dinner and Comedy Show was  the perfect night. Students won scholarships, shops were honored, and there were lots of laughs thanks to the comedian. Tomorrow is the final day and will start again promptly at 6:30am! I do sincerely hope that everyone had an equally great time learning, networking and growing at VISION.

Table setup at the 2019 VisionKC Awards Banquet

About The Author

Kim Walker

In addition to being co-owner of Shop Marketing Pros, Kim is a Master Certified Solution Provider with Constant Contact and a StoryBrand Certified Guide. Kim is a past shop owner and has served as President of ASA North Carolina.