AIA Canada Hosts Holiday Networking Reception

AIA Canada Hosts Holiday Networking Reception
YPA Committee Chairman Brad Cochrane (R) poses with Hitesh Patel and Curtis Elliott from NAPA at the holiday networking reception hosted by AIA Canada. (Photos: Sukanya Ray Ghosh)

On the evening of November 27, the Automotive Industries Association (AIA) of Canada’s Young Professionals in the Aftermarket (YPA) Committee hosted a holiday networking reception.

The event took place from 6 pm to 10 pm in The Rec Room Roundhouse located at 255 Bremner Blvd., Toronto, Ontario. In the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, a group of around 20 guests gathered at the venue to share an evening of relaxed conversations.

The warm and cozy setting of the venue was perfect for everyone to comfortably share personal experiences from the aftermarket industry and learn more about each other. Guests included a mix of young and experienced professionals. Present at the event was YPA Committee Chairman Brad Cochrane who welcomed all attendees.

“This the second year that I’m attending this event. Such networking opportunities are very helpful and necessary for everyone in this industry,” said Jack Struiksma, a young aftermarket professional working for CARQUEST. Jack was attending the event with his brother Adam, who is also an aftermarket professional. Voicing similar sentiments, attendees welcomed the intimate setting as they broke into small groups to talk to one another.

“Networking events are very important for young leaders to have the opportunity to share best practises and to talk to other young aspiring leaders in the industry. It helps them grow,” noted Linda Donnini, Vice President, Member Relations at AIA Canada.

She further added, “AIA Canada hosts events like this to help establish membership engagement. It helps our members, not just AIA executives and other leaders, but also individuals from different companies to network amongst themselves. The biggest value from AIA’s perspective is we are able to bring these executives from different companies and different supply chains together to share, get to know each other and learn more about the automotive aftermarket and learn about their businesses.”

Amidst networking, everyone enjoyed the delicious meat and cheese platter, a scrumptious dinner spread and several rounds of beer, wine and cocktails. Entertainment was a big part of the evening as attendees had the opportunity to play arcade games with the bracelets (pre-loaded with points) provided to them at the beginning of the event. As the evening wore one, several guests shifted their aftermarket stories to the two pool tables in the room. Many guests also had an interesting time participating in an exciting ‘Jumanji’ Virtual Reality experience, playing the roles of different characters from the movie franchise.

Donnini handed out complimentary Christmas ornaments as everyone took their leave at the end of a wonderful evening.

Here are some moments from the reception that the CarCare Business camera captured.

Linda Donnini (C) Vice President, Member Relations at AIA Canada, takes a break from the ongoing conversation with Isabelle Courteau (L) and Luc Champagne (R) from Autosphere.ca to smile for the camera.
(L-R) Patrick Verriet, Brad Cochrane, Curtis Elliott, Hitesh Patel, Adam Struiksma and Jack Struiksma had an interesting time sharing their aftermarket experiences.
Guests had a gala time playing arcade games using The Rec Room bracelets that were pre-loaded with points.
Attendees broke into small groups to chit-chat with one-another, while enjoying a round of drinks.
James Griffiths and Jennifer Morson from Canadian Tire attended the holiday networking reception.
Norman Cheng, Derek Suen, Brad Cochrane and Andrew Connor enjoy the cheese platter along with their conversation.
Guests continued networking while shooting a round of pool.
Attendees welcomed the cozy setting as it was perfect to network within small groups of people.
The delicious dinner and dessert spread added fuel to the party!
Women professionals from the aftermarket, Lisa Marchese, Jennifer Morson and Dawn Taylor, came together to pose for the CarCare Business camera.

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