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Politics, Guns, Religion and Other Things You Should Never Talk About in Your Shop: IGONC’s November Tireside Chat

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On November 19th, Carfix owner Mike Allen hosted the Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina’s (IGONC) monthly Tireside Chat, “Politics, Guns, Religion and Other Things You Should Never Talk About in Your Shop.” According to IGONC Executive Director Tricia Sauls, “The open forum discussion went very well, with about 20 individuals participating – both members and nonmembers. We covered many topics including shop talk, loaner cars, cyber security, and credit card processing fees. It was neat seeing how the conversation developed and touched on so many key issues that the participants were passionate about.”

“The response to the November Tireside Chat was positive,” Sauls continued. “With so many hot button topics discussed, I was happy to see constructive discussion and excitement from participants to share their opinions. Those who registered but were unable to attend received a link to the recording of the webinar. I received positive feedback from those secondhand viewers, who are already looking forward to the next chat.

This was IGONC’s second monthly Tireside Chat, and while the first event saw a similar turnout, the association intends to grow the audience by using Facebook Live and Instagram to “invite more people into the conversation,” Sauls explained. “I’m hopeful that we’ll have regular attendees now that we’ve determined the event will be held monthly.”

The events, open to anyone within the automotive community, provide an opportunity for networking, community building, and discussing the issues impacting participants’ shops and other automotive businesses. Sauls stated, “Our goal with the online events, whether they are open to the public or for members only, are meant to have a positive impact via education, discussion, and networking. It’s important to provide a safe platform for participants to openly share their opinions and not be attacked or judged but rather initiate discussion and become better educated.”

In addition to its Tireside Chats, IGONC plans to host one educational event each month, as well as monthly Triangle, Asheville/Western and Southern Piedmont chapter meetings. The association will host Rick White for “Seeing the Unseeable: How to Have a Discovery Conversation” on December 3rd, followed by Hunt Demarest’s “Everything You Need to Know About Your PPP Loan” on December 9th. On the 29th, attendees will learn about “Estimators Toolbox: Utilizing FREE Resources for repair planning from DEG” from Danny Gredinberg.

For more information on IGONC and its upcoming events, visit