Convention Recap: Blazing New Places

Dec 29, 2015

Atlas heats up attendance, education, and charitable efforts in the desert

opening general session Atlas Convention

The 68th annual Atlas World Group Convention visited Tucson, AZ this past November and we reckon it drew quite a crowd. Over 650 attendees consisting of Atlas Agents, Atlas subsidiaries, and preferred suppliers gathered at the annual event, making it one of the most highly attended Conventions of the past decade.

“Tucson has great climate in November, plus it’s fairly easy to get to, which makes it a great destination for the Atlas Convention,” said Daniel Ozbun, Founder of Daniel’s Moving & Storage (0875), which has two locations in Arizona. “We liked the location because as a host agent, our staff was able to get involved and have some fun with the Big Blue Jean Roundup.”

It’s likely that this year’s emphasis on learning also enticed more members of the Atlas family to attend.  There were close to 20 breakout learning sessions on tap that focused on topics such as comprehensive logistics solutions, sales strategies for corporate and private clients, connecting Professional Van Operators with new technology standards, and more.

learning session Atlas Convention

“The learning sessions were very informative and helpful this year,” said Ron Grove, President of Merchants Moving & Storage (1401) in Boise. “We brought back a lot of great information and action items to implement at our agency.  The Idaho-based ​company also took home the prestigious Milt Hill Award at Convention for the 11th time.

“The learning opportunities were very diverse this year, especially the hands-on technology zones that really focused on training the user,” added Daniel, who also picked-up Milt Hill wins for two of his branches.

However, it wasn’t all business, all the time. The Big Blue Jean Roundup featured fun western-themed activity stations like electronic bull roping, electronic quick draw, and even line dancing instructions. The preferred suppliers also hosted drinks and hors d’oeuvres in the exhibit hall, giving attendees the chance to learn about their services, listen to live music, and mingle with other guests.

Atlas World Group President and COO Jack Griffin had the most fun serving dinner to members of Paxton Van Lines at the Final Banquet. Earlier in the evening, a live auction benefiting the American Heart Association was held and the highest donor won Jack’s superior table service skills for the evening. Atlas adopted the American Heart Association as its charity of choice to support throughout Convention, an effort that resulted in nearly $36,000 donated to the organization.

Jack Griffin serving at Final Banquet

“The fundraising success for the American Heart Association at Convention was overwhelming to me. I thought we would raise approximately $5,000. Receiving six times that amount absolutely blew away my expectations,” said Jack. “The generosity of our domestic, Canadian, and International Agents made it apparent that the majority of people in our society and around the globe have been touched by heart disease. A special thanks goes out to Dan Lammers for generating momentum among the attendees and also to Esme and Thomas Zonneveld for their entrepreneurial creativity for fundraising.”

As always, the final evening was set aside to recognize those Agents who provided excellent service to our customers over the past year. Eleven Agents were recognized with the Specialized Transportation Group Quality Award and 30 received the World-Class Commitment Award. The most highly-esteemed accolade at Atlas, The Milton M. Hill Quality award, was earned by 56 agencies this year.

In 2016, Convention visits the Jacksonville, FL area at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, November 16 – 19.