Now try pronouncing Muh-WAH-kah, the way you remember hearing “Mufasa” in the Disney movie The Lion King. Muh-WAH-kah. Muh-WAH-kah. Muh-WAH-kah.

At least that’s the way Jerry Holcom, MWACA president explained it during his general session speech at the Midwest Auto Care Alliance (formerly ASA-Midwest) VISION HiTech Training & Expo in Kansas City, Mo.

The March 2019 VISION Expo hosted over 3,500 attendees from 43 U.S. states, seven Canadian provinces, Australia, Brazil, Guatemala, and Zimbabwe. Along with cutting-edge management, technical, educator and heavy-duty training courses, VISION also featured a 60,000 square-foot exhibit hall showcasing the latest in tools, equipment, and technology. All in attendance benefitted not only from the training courses, but also from the opportunity to build connections, friendships and networks across the industry. It was interesting to watch and listen as groups of shop owners, technicians and instructors continued training session discussions throughout meals, breaks and while on the trade show floor.

Undercar Digest was also in attendance at the event. One observation begged the question, “With so many of the best and brightest automotive diagnosticians from across the country in one place, who was left in the shops this week and weekend to work on all the difficult-to-diagnose repair scenarios sitting back in the bays?” Perhaps because of those left behind struggling with that repair work during VISION last year, is why there were more than 520, first-time attendees at this year’s training sessions.

Although the theme of the 2019 VISION Expo was “Out of This World Training,” down-to-earth health topics, such as Stroke Awareness and Heat Exhaustion were also emphasized.

As a nice surprise and in extremely good tenor, Mark Mills, Director of Strategic Accounts at Advance Auto Parts, led the crowd at the opening general session in a rousing rendition of our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

Keynote speaker Steve Farber inspired Saturday morning’s crowd with his humor and thoughts about Extreme Leadership and Cultivating Love to Grow a Successful Business.

In Steve’s words, “Leadership has nothing to do with position or rank. Leadership is the dynamic interplay of fear and love — two of the most powerful forces in the human experience.” And, that “Love is damn good business; we want our customers to be far more than satisfied – we want our customers to love us.”

Farber chose his words carefully and put it bluntly: “If you’re not experiencing that visceral churning in your gut, and you’re not scaring yourself every day, and you’re not feeling that OhShit! Moment as regularly as clockwork, then you are not doing anything significant — let alone changing the world — and you are certainly not leading anyone else.”

The best-of-the-best attended VISION in 2019, creating intensity, learning and leading – and are bringing that intensity back to our shops and industry. More than a few exemplified Extreme Leadership, and more than likely, experienced that scared churning within their gut – by belting out in patriotic song amongst hundreds of their peers and/or by learning out loud to how to pronounce Muh-WAH-kah.