Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Electrical Rebuilder's Association?
The purpose of the Electrical Rebuilder's Association is to promote the well being and professionalism of the electrical rebuilding industry in North America through education and training. This is accomplished using several programs, including this website, the technical education program and the annual trade show. In addition, the association promotes the public awareness and professional image of the industry.
When and how was the association formed?
Members of the North American auto electric industry had talked about forming an association to specifically serve their needs for many years. On several occasions attempts were even made to get an association started, but the required interest and support was just not present.
In the fall of 2001 the Electrical Rebuilder's Association was founded by Polly Shea, Electrical Rebuilder's Exchange publisher, as a part of her business. This was done under the guidance of the newspaper's Advisory Board. The immediate response from the industry exceeded expectations, and within a year membership was close to 300 members.
In January of 2003, Mike Schroeder, a rebuilder from Union, Missouri, wrote a draft set of bylaws and proposed the association become a non-profit. At the same time, Polly Shea added four more rebuilders to her advisory board, which up to that time had been dominated by supplier representatives. At a meeting in Kansas City in March of 2003, the bylaws were discussed, modified and approved by the newspaper's advisory board, and the primary officers were chosen to get the non-profit association started. On June 1, 2003, Polly Shea passed the organization she founded over to the new officers.
What makes a non-profit association different?
Non-profit associations are tax exempt, which means 100% of the dues are available to run the association and provide services for the members. Non-profits are chartered by the states in which they reside. The Electrical Rebuilder's Association was chartered by the State of Missouri on March 13, 2003.
Download the ERA's Charter in Adobe PDF format
Who runs the association?
The Board of Advisors, made up of both rebuilder and supplier representatives, is the legislative body that oversees the association.
The 12-member Board of Directors, who run the day to day operation of the association, answer to the Board of Advisors. Each of the seven geographical regions has a vice-president who represents the members of their respective area on the Board of Directors.
The 5-member Executive Board, President, First and Second, Vice Presidents, Treasurer and Secretary make up the remainder of the Board of Directors.
Why does the association seem to have so many officers and who is really in charge?
Running the association and all the programs consumes a lot of time. The association is structured so the daily tasks and the volunteer time required to get them done can be divided among many people. Most of these people are association officers or committee members.
Who picks the officers? Who is getting paid?
The Board of Advisors has the power to recommend, approve or reject any officer. The association is always looking for members who are willing to make the commitment to serve as an officer or committee member.
None of the officers are paid for their time. In fact, it is written into the association by-laws that officers are responsible for their own expenses.
A part time office manager has been contracted to maintain membership records, answer the phone, reply to emails and perform day-to-day tasks.
The webmaster was changed from a volunteer position to a contract service in the fall of 2005. As the website has grown, the webmaster job has evolved to that of a website developer.
When the ERA purchased the E+ Trade Show and the Electrical Rebuilder's Exchange monthly newspaper in the spring of 2013, additional staff was required to operate both of them.
Today, in addition to the day-to-day tasks of maintaining the office, its contracted staff makes all arrangements for and manages the trade show in coordination with the Trade Show Committee. They also handle the design, layout, printing and mailing of the ERA Exchange monthly magazine.
In addition, two individuals have been contracted to provide technical material for the ERA Exchange, editing that publication, coordinating seminars for the trade show and answering member's technical questions via the Forums and the Tech Help Line.
All of these services are performed on a contract basis to insure that the office, the trade show, the ERA website, the ERA Exchange and the Tech Help Line continues to operate efficiently.
Where do the dues go and can members see a financial report?
The dues are spent on providing services to the membership. Each member receives a paid subscription to the ERA Exchange, full use of the ERA website, discounted admission to the annual trade show and its seminars, as well as any other events put on by the association.
Any member may request a copy of the current financial statement by emailing or calling the office.