2018 Pro Service Leadership Conference
The Leader in You
Jan 31 - Feb 2, 2018
Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina – San Diego, CA

Our Pro Service Leadership Conferences are designed to help you continue growing your business to new levels of success by further developing your staffing, marketing and leadership skills. We are pleased to say our 2018 conference will be held in beautiful San Diego, California, and if you extend your stay, you’ll find that you’ll be just minutes away from the world-famous San Diego Zoo, beautiful beaches, Sea World and many charming seaside communities as well. You’ll also be a quick 30 minutes from Mexico, just a two-hour drive to Los Angeles, with all the incredible site-seeing the city provides. If you haven’t already done so, mark your calendar for January 31 – February 2, 2018 and enroll today by calling our San Diego office at 858-756-3102, or sending us an email at m.cooper@eliteworldwide.com. (Note: Only members of the Elite Pro Service peer group are eligible to attend this conference)

Tuesday Evening, January 30, 2018 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Reception – No-host bar at the hotel. Join us and our other Pro Service Colleagues as we get together for a casual pre-conference evening. This is a great opportunity to connect with your fellow business owners, and to make new friends as well.

Day 1 - Wednesday, January 31, 2018 8:30am - 5:00pm

Creating Your Future by Better Understanding our Industry 

We realize one of the prerequisites for success in any business is having clearly defined long-term goals, and the appropriate plans in place for reaching those goals. This is why we felt compelled to deliver presenters that can provide you with insight into what the future may hold when it comes to the vehicles we will see, and the equipment and technology you will need to properly repair and service those vehicles. Accordingly, during our morning session you will be hearing from two of the industry’s leading authorities.

“Industry Trends and Emerging Technologies” by Ben Johnson, Dir. Product Management, Mitchell 1 – Have you ever wondered what technologies vehicle manufacturers are investing in, and what the key drivers for those technologies are? What about the “connected car” term that keeps popping up? And where is the elusive autonomous vehicle that has been making so many headlines? Just when you think you have some of those answers, you start to wonder which of the technologies are gaining traction, and when are they likely to start showing up in your shop. These are the questions that are being asked by all the forward-thinking shop owners, and although we are unable to provide you with all the answers, what we can do is provide you with a good hard look into the future of personal transportation, and enable you to better plan for the future of your business. 

Beyond being an industry-leading company that provides us with business solutions, Mitchell1 is a company that has access to information worldwide, and they know that in order to succeed in the coming years they’ll need to have a good understanding of the type of vehicles that will be coming into your shop, and they’ll need to keep you abreast of the changes in repair technology. This is why they’ve invested a tremendous amount of time and resources into better understanding what the future will hold for you. 
During this powerful session Ben Johnson will provide you with a number of his company’s discoveries, he’ll be answering many of those perplexing questions you more than likely have, and he’ll help you be better prepared for the trends and technologies that your future holds. Once armed with this information you will be able to better plan for your future, and make decisions that will lead to a more profitable, successful business.

“Preparing your Shop for the Coming Years” by Greg Potter, Executive Mgr. of The Equipment & Tool Institute -With all the vehicle design changes that will be coming at the speed of light, you will certainly need to have a good understanding of the type of vehicles that will be rolling into your shop, and you’ll need to have a good understanding of the type of technicians you’ll need to service those vehicles. Yet it won’t stop there, because you’ll also need to ensure you have the right tools, the right equipment, and the right mindset in order to get the job done. Accordingly, we feel the way we can best help you is by bringing in one of the industry’s leading experts on equipment and technology: Greg Potter of The Equipment & Tool Institute. Greg has been actively involved in ETI since 1985, holding many positions within the organization, including Technical Manager from 1994 -1997, 3 terms on the Board of Directors, President of the ETI from 2004 - 2006, and Scan Tool Group Chairman from 2010 to 2014.  

Knowing that Ben Johnson will be helping you better understand the vehicles that you will be seeing in your future, we felt it would be perfect to have Greg follow Ben, and share his vision for the types of equipment, tools and technology you will need to meet the pressing demands the future will hold. Additionally, Greg will be providing us with his insights on how the evolution of vehicles, and the changes in technology, will dramatically change the business models that are currently being used by many shops. Our intent at Elite is to keep you at the leading edge of the industry, and there is no question: Greg Potter will be helping us do just that.
“How to Create a Winning Social Media Strategy” by Marissa O’Connor, Social Media Strategy Manager – If you want to gain market share in the coming years, and maintain a base of ideal customers at the same time, you’ll need to create an outstanding brand by delivering extraordinary service, and you’ll need to utilize social media unlike ever before. 

We realize many of you have chosen to manage your own social media presence, and that many of you have chosen to have third-party professionals manage your campaigns. The good news is that regardless of which group you’re in, you will love what you’ll learn during Marissa’s session. 

Marissa O’Connor has worked with the United States Olympic Committee by representing the team through many of their media channels, she’s worked for both NBC Universal and NBC Sports, and she is currently the Social Media Strategy Manager for the Arizona Coyotes, a professional hockey team based in Phoenix, AZ. We’ve asked her to help us accomplish three objectives with her considerable expertise: One, we’ve asked that she provide those of you that manage your own social media with some tips you can use to help you build your brand and customer base. Two, we realize finding the right service provider can be a challenge, so for those of you that prefer to have others manage your social media, we’ve asked Marissa to provide you with recommendations on how to find the ideal company. Lastly, since marketing is all about results, we’ve asked Marissa to help you better understand how you can more effectively monitor and measure the results of your social media campaigns. 

Marissa O’Connor has the credentials, she has the passion, and that’s why we are confident you will be thrilled with what you learn from her. 

“Lunch & Networking Session” Hosted by Elite – During our 90-minute hosted lunch break you’ll have time to process what you have learned from the morning sessions, and network with the top shop owners in North America. During this luncheon we strongly encourage you to meet as many people as you can, because one of the greatest benefits of Pro Service is having the opportunity to build lifelong relationships with industry superstars.

“The Perpetual Business – Succession by Design” by Bob Ward, WARDDEN, LLC – We realize that as a Pro Service colleague your business is an entity of its own, and that as the leader of your company you’ll need to ensure it will be successful for many years to come. In order to accomplish this goal you’ll need to have a well-designed succession plan in place. Although there are many experts in this field, we have found that none have credentials that are better suited for shop owners than those of Bob Ward. 

Bob says that every business owner, regardless of their age or how long they’ve been in business, is advised to have an exit strategy, because the value at risk is enormous: Business sale proceeds, lease income, property sale proceeds, the financial security of employees’ families, the effects on the community, and an owner’s legacy, to name a few.  Astonishingly, 70% of small business owners will be leaving their companies in the next 20 years, so the question is, how will you leave your business? 

A perpetual business is always ready for the future, supports owner confidence to seize acquisition or expansion opportunities, and commands a premium sale price when it’s time to exit.  The good news is that reaching this status isn’t a mystery, but it does require knowledge, a plan, and a commitment.  Accordingly, we have asked Bob to help each of you better understand the paths that are available, as well as the process. Since many of you are considerably younger than our other colleagues, we spoke with Bob about the age range of our group, and he assured us that everyone at the conference, regardless of their age, will be quite pleased with what they learn. As a heads up, you’ll be rolling up your sleeves and will be put to work, because during Bob’s sessions you’ll be doing some succession planning exercises we are confident you will enjoy. 

In summary, day 1 is all about the future of the industry, the future of your shop, the media you will be using to keep your service bays full, and the planning needed to better ensure that your dreams come true.   

Pro Service Dinner – Now it’s time to relax, enjoy the company of your colleagues, and join us at our Pro Service Dinner. Not only will you have the chance to enjoy a really great meal, but most importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to further your friendships with many of our industry leaders. We will provide you with more information on our group dinner as we get closer to the conference.

Day 2 - Thursday, February 1, 2018 8:30am - 5:00pm 


One of the biggest keys to your success moving forward will be the continued development of your leadership and management skills, and your ability to invest time working on yourself as the leader of your business. This is why we’ll be devoting the entire day to Quadrant 2 of the time management matrix, which is working on things that are not urgent, but truly important.

“Goal Review Workshop” – As a seasoned Pro Service colleague you know that there are 5 responsibilities of every business owner, and each item on that list is critical to the success of your company. We’re going to put first things first by addressing job #1 of every business owner, which is setting (or calibrating) the goals of your company. As we have done at our past conferences, we will break into small groups where you will be sharing your goals with other colleagues in order to obtain their valuable feedback. You have been provided with the Elite Goal Setting Guide, and Jim Murphy will have an expectation that each of you will come to the conference with three copies of your long-term goals. One for you, and two copies for the colleagues that will be in your assigned group. We are confident that not only will this exercise help make 2018 a really great year for you, but it will enable you to put fine-tuned goals in place that will help you build a business that will thrive for generations to come.

“Learning from the Industry Superstars"- Messages from your peers – One of the greatest values of being in Pro Service is you are not only provided with the opportunity to network with many industry leaders, but if you listen closely to what they have to say, what you will learn is priceless. Accordingly, after we conclude our Goal Review Workshop, as a special treat you’ll be able to hear from some of your Pro Service colleagues. 

“Lunch & Networking Session” Hosted by Elite -  We will again have a 90-minute break for our hosted lunch so you can spend quality time with your colleagues, and make as many new friends as you can. We also encourage you to reach out (preconference) to those you have not yet met. By doing so you can schedule some time together, and this hosted lunch will provide the perfect opportunity to meet.

“Leadership; the Keystone to your Company’s Prosperity” - by Mark Paskowitz, The Ken Blanchard Companies -  When it comes to leadership training, no company is more recognizable, or comes with a better reputation (worldwide), than the company founded by Ken Blanchard. Beyond authoring countless best sellers (The One Minute Manager, Who Moved my Cheese, Gung Ho!, etc.) Ken’s company provides training to many of the largest and most successful companies on earth.  

In researching presenters and content that can be found nowhere else in the industry, we came across two noteworthy discoveries. One, The Ken Blanchard Companies recently made a discovery about leadership that can have an enormous impact on every kind of business, regardless of its size. The second noteworthy discovery was that one of their premier trainers was available at the time of our conference, so this was an opportunity we didn’t want to miss.  

For those of you that may not be familiar with Mark Paskowitz, we can tell you that he is not only one of the leading trainers for The Ken Blanchard Companies, but he has been with the company for over twenty years. During his tenure he has worked closely with Ken and other senior executives in the organization on research, and on creating training programs that are respected worldwide. Mark’s client list includes companies like Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Toyota and American Express, to name just a few of the five page listing.

We are excited to report that during Mark’s session he will be sharing their breakthrough discoveries on leadership, and he’ll be examining the key drivers (and connections) between leadership effectiveness, employee passion, customer devotion and their impact on your organization’s long-term success. In addition, Mark will reveal some truths and myths as we look at leadership and the impact it can have on your business’s bottom line. At Elite we couldn’t be more proud to be able to bring The Ken Blanchard Companies to you.  

“Show your Ink: Using Authenticity to Ignite the Team” - by Todd Dewett, Ph.D. -  Todd’s journey towards authenticity began with process improvement and his team-building experience with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) and Ernst & Young. He then earned a Ph.D. in Management from the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, as well as a prestigious Post Doctoral Fellowship, and eventually a position on the graduate faculty at Wright State University. After ten years in the classroom, early tenure, many awards, and many scholarly publications, the entrepreneurial spirit took over.

Todd left the ivory tower and now wears many hats: speaker, author, trainer, advisor, and go-to leadership and life expert for millions of people through LinkedIn Learning. His library of work with LinkedIn Learning has made him a two-time global best-seller, earning praise from millions of professionals in over 170 countries.

As a speaker, Todd possesses a rare combination of traits: world-class expertise, a rugged, authentic style, and an ability to use words to light a fire inside people. At every event the audience laughs, thinks, and cries. The results speak for themselves: Todd has delivered a TEDx talk, is widely quoted (New York Times, TIME, Forbes, BusinessWeek, US News & World Report), and has a long list of recognizable clients (Exxon Mobil, GE, State Farm, JM Smucker, Ernst & Young and many more).

This energetic keynote inspires while making success at work practical and accessible. Building on organizational science and years of practical experience, Dr. Dewett delivers insight to relationships through personal, funny, and emotionally moving stories.  Show Your Ink is a phrase that reminds us to be open and authentic.  Managing impressions professionally is useful and understandable, but we overindulge to the point that people share an incomplete version of themselves – say hello to mediocre relationships and lackluster productivity. 

Why are we bringing Dr. Dewett in, and what’s the objective of this session? He’ll not only help you improve your leadership skills, but you’ll be reawakened and focused on the fundamental importance of effective relationships. You will engage thoughts long forgotten, conversations that need to happen, and you’ll commit to becoming an even better version of yourself. Join us at our 2018 conference and allow Dr. Dewett to unleash a more interesting and authentic version of you!

Day 3 - Friday, February 2, 2018 8:00am - 11:30am

We'll start off Day 3 with a recap of our first 2 days, and then Jim Murphy will present his annual State of the Industry Report. Jim will provide you with his insights and direction to better ensure that 2018 is the best year ever for both you and your business. Bob and Jim will then team up and take a few minutes to announce our award winners, and outline the updates and enhancements that have been made to Pro Service.

“Developing your Personal Strategic Plan” by Bob Cooper of Elite – We all understand the importance of a business plan. We also understand the value of a strategic marketing plan, a business continuity plan, and a recruiting plan. Additionally, having an acquisition plan and an exit plan will serve important roles. Yet what about you? Do you have a strategic plan in place for your own personal development that also takes your business responsibilities into consideration? If not, we have some really great news. Bob and his team at Elite have developed a template you can easily use that considers you as an individual, your family, the development of your required skills as the CEO of your company, your business, and your community. During this session Bob will walk you through this easy-to-use template, and will provide you with a number of recommendations on how you can get started. We are confident you will love what you discover, and that the plan you ultimately create will guide you to a far more rewarding life.

“Empowering your People"-  Message from a peer –  Last year Mike Davidson provided a report on the results he saw in his business based on one thing; reading a book we recommended, and applying what he learned. As a reminder, Mike read The Toyota Way, and not only did he see some outstanding results in his business, but he had an incredible impact on those of you that joined us last year based on the feedback we received from those of you that attended. We're  pleased to report one of last year’s attendees felt compelled to follow in Mike’s footsteps by reading one of our recommended books, and the results he has seen have been nothing short of amazing. At this conference you are going to be in for a special treat when you hear his story, and we have every reason to believe you are going to follow in his footsteps in the same way that he followed in Mike’s. 

At the conclusion of this session, Bob Cooper will wrap up our conference with an easy-to-follow Action Plan that you can use to implement what you have learned, and build a more profitable, successful and valuable business in the most professional and ethical way.

Food, Fun and Activities!

At the conference we'll be coordinating a Pro Service Dinner on Wednesday evening, and we’ll be hosting lunch on both Wednesday and Thursday. For a complete listing of local restaurants that have been recommended to us, view our Restaurant Listing. We realize that many of you will make this trip a vacation as well, so we’ve done some additional research on local activities for you, and put together an Activities Listing.


In order to participate in this conference you must be enrolled in our Pro Service program.

Enrollment Procedure – (Deadline for enrollments & hotel reservations: December 21, 2017)

Note - Each Pro Service Colleague is entitled to one complimentary seat. There are a limited number of additional seats that can be purchased for spouses, business partners, managers and key staff at only $148.50 each. These will be available on a first come, first served basis, and once all of the additional seats have been purchased, you will only be entitled to your complimentary seat.

To enroll, you must call our San Diego office at (858) 756-3102 or email us at m.cooper@EliteWorldwide.com.

Making your Hotel Reservations at the San Diego Sheraton Hotel & Marina

To make your reservations, please click on the following link: Elite 2018 Pro Service Leadership Conference 2018, or call Sheraton’s central reservations at (877) 734-2726 and provide them with the booking name: “Elite Pro Service Leadership Conference.” Please note that we have a limited number of rooms available for a rate of only $233 (includes resort fee) plus tax. Discounted rates are valid until December 21, 2017, and are subject to availability.

Ground Transportation

The Sheraton is minutes from the San Diego Airport and they do provide complimentary shuttle service. Please click on the following link for further instruction, Shuttle Information Sheraton SD Hotel & Marina

Elite Mission Statement

“Elite’s mission is to use our team of the top experts in America to help automotive professionals reach their goals and live happier lives, while elevating the industry that we love so much. This mission will be accomplished without ever compromising our ethics, or the trust that is placed in us.”