Burson managers conference “a major success”

Burson Auto Parts conducted the company’s largest ever Store Managers Conference recently in Melbourne.

According to Burson, the conference marked a “triumphant return” to major team building events for the company, proving to be an outstanding success across its activity packed five-day schedule. Conducted throughout under the inspiring theme of Today’s Actions are Tomorrow’s Legacy, the conference enabled the 180 managers taking part to learn from guest keynote speakers, senior Bapcor management, and each other in an open and friendly environment.

More than 600 people attended the conference, which included a trade show held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. Seventy Burson suppliers took part in the expo, providing product and service information, along with a number of prizes.

The conference’s key note speaker, Australian former tennis player, Jelena Dokic, told attendees strength can be found against repeated adversity, going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and emerging stronger.

Dokic said her father started her tennis journey at six years of age, surviving war-torn Yugoslavia and becoming a refugee twice, firstly in Serbia and then in Australia. She continued to craft her tennis skills, reaching world number 4 ranking, despite constant mental and physical abuse from her father, who was also her coach. Dokic also spoke of her fall from the top ranks in tennis, with her key message to the managers being about kindness, paying attention to people and helping others. She also spoke of speaking up and raising awareness of these kinds of situations.

The importance of the Today’s Actions are Tomorrow’s Legacy, theme was also outlined by Bapcor Trade Executive General Manager, Steve Drummy, who challenged managers to consider their legacy and to share it before the conference ended.

“All were highly impressed with the responses received, with all of them being a true reflection of the four key Bapcor company values; We give a damn, We are in it together, We get things done and we do the right thing,” said Burson.

Managers were also taken on a guided tour of the new Bapcor Distribution Centre, followed by a visit to bowling and entertainment venue, Kingpin, for a series of team building challenges, including bowling, karaoke, and arcade games.

With an official event to celebrate the Burson Auto Parts 50th Anniversary delayed by two years due to the pandemic, the milestone was celebrated at the Crown Palladium Ballroom, which was also attended by suppliers and their guests. The event included the Burson Auto Parts Store of the Year awards and the introduction of the Burson Auto Parts Hall of Fame award. The inaugural inductees included the company’s longest serving store manager, Rhonda Kelly, and staff mentor and manager, David Lawrence. After an almost four-decade Burson Auto Parts career, David Jeffrey was also honoured, completing the maiden Hall of Fame award recipients.

The final day of the conference featured inspiration from AFL guest speakers whose discussion related to the conference’s legacy theme: Max Gawn (Melbourne ruckman and Captain), Alex Neal-Bullen (Melbourne midfielder), Josh Mahoney (Essendon Football Club General Manager, former player at Collingwood, Western Bulldogs, and Port Adelaide). The speakers used examples of mateship, teamwork and the importance of communicating at all levels to make teams function at their best.

According to Drummy, the success of the conference exceeded everyone’s expectations. “The sheer enthusiasm, team spirit, camaraderie and eagerness to building their careers with Burson Auto Parts was truly remarkable throughout this managers conference. It had been such a long time since we could all be together in person, sharing ideas and building rapport amongst all during the packed five-day conference schedule.

“Everyone really embraced the conference theme of today’s actions leading to tomorrow’s legacy, which was very pleasing to see during each of the presentations and keynote addresses of the event.

“I am also delighted to have had so many of our valued supply partners assist with this conference. They are key contributors to the success of Burson Auto Parts and our customers’ businesses,” said Drummy.

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