Nearly 1,800 heavy-duty aftermarket executives and professionals attended Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week '08 (HDAW) late last month at The Mirage, Las Vegas. In its third year, this annual business conference
is the industry's largest gathering of the independent heavy-duty aftermarket.
Although primarily North American in focus HDAW drew attendees from 17 different countries, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, India, Mexico and Russia.
"HDAW '08 was an action-packed conference that lived up to its theme: 'Face-to-Face, Building Relationships in to the Future' - thousands of face-to-face contacts were made," said Jerry Weis, president of Ott's Friction Supply Inc., and HDAW '08 chairman.
"The opening session and the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Forum session were attended by more than 1,100 registrants; the HDAW Business and Technical Theater sessions and workshops were heavily attended - in some cases standing room only," said Joe Mejaly, vice president and general manager of ArvinMeritor's Commercial Vehicle Aftermarket Business, and HDAW '08 vice chairman. "We had a record 1,400-plus pre-scheduled one-on-one meetings, and 227 exhibitors in the 100,000-square-foot HDAW Product Expo."
"HDAW's intent is to provide a comprehensive business conference that sets the stage to meet the coming year's challenges. These distributor, supplier, and other industry volunteers and staffers from the 12 sponsoring organizations began regular meetings, shortly after HDAW '07 to develop the program for HDAW '08," Mejaly continued.
"The result was a conference that focused on the independent distributor market and the challenges faced in the coming years," added Weis. "The 2008 conference theme was fulfilled for participants in a major way - business relationships were renewed, refreshed and built."
Planned and shaped by a group of more than 100 industry volunteers and association staffers, the elected leadership of Weis, Mejaly, education co-chairs Gene Damron of Vipar HD Parts and Don Reimondo of Affinia guided the group to its successful execution of the program.
Most of the education session material is available to download from the conference web site at A separate DVD has also been produced and is available for purchase. The DVD covers the HDAW opening general session, including the MacKay and Co. "Heavy Duty Aftermarket Forum" and the Heavy Duty Aftermarket Industry Awards program.
HDAW is presented by a joint operating committee comprised of industry leaders from American Council of Frame and Alignment Specialists (ACOFAS), Commercial Vehicle Solutions Network (CVSN), Heavy Duty America (HDA), Heavy Duty Distribution Association (HDDA), Heavy Duty Manufacturers Association (HDMA), Heavy Duty Remanufacturing Group (HDRG), International Truck Parts Association (ITPA), Overseas Automotive Council (OAC), Power Heavy Duty, Service Specialists Association (SSA), Truck Pride and VIPAR HD Parts.
For more information on conference registration or for exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities at HDAW 2008, contact Bill Glasgow Sr., conference manager, at (708) 226-1300 or e-mail