Join us at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol in Austin, TX – April 25 – 27, 2023.

Welcome to the ACC Annual Conference, the premier event for marketing and communication professionals in the automotive aftermarket. We are thrilled to bring the conference to the Live Music Capital of the World – Austin, TX, this year. With its vibrant music scene and status as the hometown of some of the biggest names in digital marketing, Austin is the perfect location for this year’s ACC Mix Tape ’23 theme.

At the conference, attendees can network with top professionals in their field and enhance their skills through training sessions and workshops. This is the go-to event for those looking to take their careers in the automotive aftermarket to the next level.

The ACC event begins with an informal “Welcome” reception Tuesday, April 25. The start time is 7:00 a.m. each day, with the conference concluding at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 27, 2023.

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ACC Mix Tape '23 Annual Conference - Register for the Conference

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Early bird registration is available through March 31, 2023. The earlier you register, the more you save!

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March 13 – March 31, 2023



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ACC Mix Tape '23 Annual Conference Line-up & Headliners

Meet Our World-Class Speakers at ACC Mixed Tape '23!

Playlist for Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Time Title Location The Hook
3:00 P.M. Hotel Check-in Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol Off I-35 in Downtown’s east, this classic business hotel is a 9-minute walk from the University of Texas campus and an 11-minute walk from the Texas State Capitol.
6:00 P.M. ACC Mix Tape ’23 Launch Party YETI Flagship Store In early 2017, we opened the doors to the first-ever YETI Flagship store located in the heart of Austin, Texas. We couldn’t wait to connect with the YETI Nation in a new way and for our customers to immerse themselves in an atmosphere that encompasses who we are. So, we threw traditional design out the window, starting with a historic 1930s warehouse reimagined through a part-shrine, part-backwater, part-bait shop lens. A shark suspends from the ceiling, the first fishing skiff to ever cross the Everglades rests right in the middle of the store, and a live music stage is propped up by coolers — and that’s not even half it. Stop by to see every wild-inspired detail for yourself.

Playlist for Wednesday, April 26, 2023

Time Speaker Organization The Hook
8:00 A.M. Breakfast
9:00 A.M. John McGrane, Marketing Communications Manager, and Current ACC President Acme Manufacturing Welcome to ACC Mix Tape ’23, Side A
9:10 A.M. Georgianne Dickey, Director of Marketing NTN Bearing Corporation

How’s Business: State of the Industry (Remix)

A mainstay of the ACC Annual Conference for many years, the How’s Business session will be the opening act of the 2023 conference. And while the How’s Business format may be familiar to return attendees, this year’s session will feature ACC fixture Georgianne Dickey’s remix of the session. Attendees can expect a lively group discussion on the state of the industry to help set the stage for the rest of the ACC Mix Tape!

10:00 A.M. Break  


10:10 A.M. Darrah Rachman, Client Solutions Manager, Automotive Meta

Enhancing visibility and consumer connection with video, messaging, and AI

Leaning into consumer behavior trends and Artificial Intelligence enhancements, businesses can establish meaningful customer relationships and achieve sustainable growth in an ever-evolving landscape of customer expectations.

10:50 A.M. Break
11:00 A.M. Laurel Caes, Organization – Austin Site Lead, Intelligent Solutions Group | Jacqueline Kiple, Tech Culture and Communications Leader, Intelligent Solutions Group John Deere

Seeding the Future: Our Tech Transformation

We embrace an innovative mindset making global transformation possible. And we’ve been doing it since 1837. We’re changing the world by developing technology for our customers responsible for sustainably feeding and building future generations.

NOON Out to Lunch
1:00 P.M. Jeff Roach, Partner, Chief Strategy Officer SCS

Omnichannel Overdrive: Activating the New Aftermarket Shopper

With softening consumer spending hitting some categories and whispers of recession becoming a louder roar, most marketers are expecting a tougher market ahead through 2023. Meanwhile, the global pandemic has brought consumers to a merged e-commerce and retail shopping state, where omnichannel shopping (across DTC e-com, Amazon, and brick-and-mortar stores) has blurred the lines in how and where they shop, creating a new automotive aftermarket consumer journey. What should automotive aftermarket marketers do now to prepare for softening spending? And how can automotive marketing teams invest in the right areas and conquest the competition in this new omnichannel shopping environment? Jeff Roach, the Chief Strategy Officer of automotive aftermarket agency SCS, will reveal the results of their recent national shopping study, and discuss specific tactics that aftermarket marketers can consider now to drive retail performance.

1:50 P.M. Break
2:00 P.M.

John C. Washbish, Vice President of Sales and Marketing

Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc.

JC’s Mix Tape

Put on the headphones and crank up the volume as you experience the soundtrack of a unique industry personality. JC will share intimate stories of being the child of an industry icon and share an insider’s perspective on how creative leadership can take a team to the next level in this amazing industry we call the aftermarket.

3:00 P.M. Break before activities  


3:30 P.M theChive Tour

theChive Tour

theCHIVE is home to the best funny, viral, and interesting photos from around the world. With over 10,000 unique photo galleries and over 500,000 photos, is The World’s Largest Photo Entertainment Website.

5:00 P.M. Austin Duck Adventures

Austin Duck Adventures

Austin Duck Adventures offers an amphibious tour that includes tours of downtown Austin and beautiful Lake Austin in UNSINKABLE, US coast guard inspected, Hydra Terra vehicles. Austin Duck Adventures is Austin’s best tour with 75 minutes of sightseeing that includes Historic Sixth Street, the State Capitol Building, the Governor’s Mansion, and Lake Austin.

6:30 P.M. Coopers Old Time Pit BBQ

Cooper’s Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que is honored to be the ‘Best Of The Best’ in the barbecue business and home of the original World Famous “Big Chop.” The Wootan & Cooper Family has provided its World Famous Pit Barbecue to hundreds of thousands of hungry diners over the years at its family-owned and operated restaurant.

Playlist for Thursday, April 27, 2023

Time Speaker Organization The Hook
7:00 A.M. Networking Breakfast
8:00 A.M. John McGrane, Marketing Communications Manager, and Current ACC President Acme Manufacturing Welcome to the B Side
8:10 A.M.

Lance Boldt, Co-founder and VP of Production Development

AutoNet TV

Can We Shoot Here?

In a surprisingly short time, we’ve gone from “use video to help your (fill in the blank) stand out” to “how to make your video stand out in a sea of videos.”

In this session, we’ll discuss the video landscape, pertinent results from AutoNetTV’s 2020 motorist survey, the critical role of pre-production, and how to leverage your budget significantly.

9:00 A.M. Break    
9:10 A.M. Donna Wagner, VP ASE Education Foundation

Eating an Elephant: How the ASE Education is taking a bite out of the technician shortage one school at a time.

The technician shortage is nothing new. But in recent years, it has skyrocketed to one of our industry’s biggest issues. Learn how ASE Education Foundation works with schools and industry to recruit, train, retain, and support the development of entry-level technicians and how you and your company can get involved.

10:00 A.M. Break    
10:10 A.M. Lauren Driver, Head of Industry – Dining | Auto | Travel Tik Tok

Auto Marketing on TikTok: Driving in the fun lane.

Learn how TikTok is enabling automotive brands to connect with users and decision-makers in an era of unparalleled disruption.

11:00 A.M. Break    
11:10 A.M. Preston Lewis, CEO Off-Road Motorsports Youth Foundation (OMYF)  
NOON Out to Lunch    
1:00 P.M. Shawn Collins, Founder, and GiANT Worldwide Consultant EXTEND GROUP

5 Voices Unplugged

Every type of person has the ability to be an effective leader; however, they might not know how to use their natural strengths to lead others. We all have a leadership voice, and although it’s the key to being an effective leader, unlocking it and understanding it can be difficult. The 5 Voices Bootcamp is designed to assist each individual in discovering what their natural voice is and how to use it properly.

1:50 P.M. Break    
2:00 P.M. Jim Merle, Vice President Babcox Media

Know Your Audience: One Year Later

At the 2022 ACC Conference, Jim Merle presented “Know Your Audience,” which discussed the shifting media landscape among a target audience of shop owners, technicians, and service advisors. For 2023, “Know Your Audience: One Year Later” will focus on the continued shift in media consumption habits and include audience research nuggets uncovered by Babcox Media’s 2023 ShopOwner Market Survey.

2:50 P.M. John McGrane, Marketing Communications Manager, and Current ACC President Acme Manufacturing ACC Mix Tape ’23 Rap 



Wednesday, April 26, 2023, Speaker Line-up

Darrah Rachman

Darrah Rachman

Client Solutions Manager, Automotive, Meta

As an Automotive Retail Partner at Meta, Darrah enables Automotive retail sites to activate Meta’s full suite of Apps and Solutions to drive customer acquisition, sales, and brand awareness. Darrah has nine years of experience in Automotive marketing and previously led OEM business at The Trade Desk & Yahoo. Darrah currently lives in Austin, Texas.

Jeff Roach

Jeff Roach

Partner, Chief Strategy Officer, SCS

As Chief Strategy Officer at SCS, Roach is tasked with connecting consumer and pop culture insights to creative and strategic planning for SCS’s clients. Jeff focuses on the intersection of digital technology, content, and media to build brands while developing campaigns that work to add value to consumers’ lives. Jeff has worked at the highest level of brand design and communication for clients, including Coors Light, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Microsoft, P&G, Vans, and Warner Bros., with an emphasis on creative strategy and technology innovation. Roach has presented at Adobe MAX, SXSW, MediaPost Brand Summit, Digital Hollywood, and Digital Kids Summit and has been featured in MarketingProfs, MediaPost, iMedia Connection, and Adweek, and was the Editor-in-Chief of Fuel’s digital insights magazine, Generation Play.

Georgianne Dickey

Georgianne Dickey

Director of Marketing, NTN Bearing Corporation

Georgianne Dickey has over 20 years of marketing experience in the automotive aftermarket. Georgianne is currently the Director of Marketing at NTN Bearing Corporation, where she oversees the marketing, product management, and catalog teams for NTN’s automotive aftermarket business unit. Georgianne was the President of the Automotive Communications Council in 2019/2020 and has been an ACC member since 2005. Georgianne is well respected in the automotive industry and was recognized in the inaugural 2020 ‘Woman at the Wheel’ class of influential women in the automotive aftermarket by Aftermarket News; and was featured in the first episode of the Women at the Wheel podcast in July 2022.

John C. Washbish

John C. Washbish

Vice President Sales and Marketing, Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc.

JC Washbish is fourth generation aftermarket. The son of John R. Washbish, who was on the supplier side when JC was a kid, and the nephew of Doug Washbish, owner of Moog Louisville warehouse, JC was literally reared by industry leaders. JC cut his teeth while on payroll at NGK Spark Plugs, slinging product to Farm and Fleets in the Midwest, retailers in the States, and throughout the Caribbean.

JC is currently Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance, Inc. The industry’s premier, independent distribution group. He resides in San Antonio, Texas, with his smoking-hot wife, Mallary, and their six kids.

Laurel Caes and Jacqueline Kiple

Laurel Caes and Jacqueline Kiple

Austin Site Lead, Intelligent Solutions Group | Tech Culture and Communications Leader, Intelligent Solutions Group | John Deere

Laurel Caes is the strategic site lead for John Deere’s newest Innovation Hub in Austin, Texas. In this role, Laurel is responsible for enabling the company to further build out its growing technology team interested in solving some of the world’s most rewarding challenges. Her enthusiasm and passion for the business support the focus to pave the way for John Deere as a leader in the tech industry.

As a lifelong learner, Laurel has focused her career at John Deere around experiencing different perspectives, both internal to the company as well as external, with customers and the general public. Prior to her current role, Laurel was the public relations manager at Deere, focused on technology and innovation, where she focused on differentiating Deere as a tech leader, executed on the company’s presence at leading tech events, and developed narratives to advocate, educate and entertain.

Jacqueline Kiple is the global leader of tech culture and communications in the Intelligent Solutions Group (ISG) at John Deere. Her team champions the tech culture and precision technology strategy by advising and creating on-message, audience-centered communications, inspiring people to tell our story.

As a seasoned communicator, she’s mastered connecting employees to leaders, strategy, and customers while nurturing a culture that motivates and ignites each persons’ passion for their work.

She earned her bachelor’s of business administration in marketing at the University of Iowa.  She’s a graduate of WomenUnlimitedLEAD, Leadership Iowa, and most recently, Shaping Innovation Leaders Executive Management Program at Northwestern | Kellogg.

Thursday, April 27, 2023, Speaker Line-up

Lance Boldt

Lance Boldt

Co-founder and VP Production Development, AutoNet TV

In 2004, Lance co-founded AutoNetTV (and attended his first ACC Conference the following year). He now focuses on technical and script support for the Production Department and consulting with automotive marketing and sales teams to help build their video strategies.

In the 20 years before AutoNetTV, Lance put his BS in Family Financial Planning and Counseling to use working in, and running companies focused on the financial needs of wealthy families. He and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 40 years and have seven kids and eight grandkids.

Jim Merle

Jim Merle

VP and Group Publisher, Babcox Media

Jim Merle has been with Babcox Media since 1993 and currently serves as VP and Group Publisher of ShopOwner, AftermarketNews, and several other Babcox brands serving the automotive aftermarket. Jim served as President of the Automotive Communications Council (2020-2021) and as a board member of the Automotive Communications Council (2014-2020). Jim participated as a member of Auto Care Association’s Marketing & Advertising Committee for several years.

To acknowledge his efforts on the industry educational front, Jim was recognized by Northwood University in Nov. 2018, as a recipient of the Automotive Aftermarket Management Education Award. He also stays up-to-date on industry issues and trends, and actively solicits feedback from industry participants to help tailor the content of the brands he oversees to better inform and educate the constituents they serve.

Donna Wagner

Donna Wagner

VP, ASE Education Foundation

Donna Wagner’s automotive career spans 30+ years. She has a talent for analyzing data, identifying solutions, communicating, and connecting people and organizations for better results. Her experience includes marketing, sales, category management, and leadership positions for various aftermarket companies. Donna’s role before joining ASE was Department Chair and Professor of the Automotive Aftermarket Management program at Northwood University. This and her current role with ASE align with Donna’s passion for bringing young people into the automotive industry. In her current position, she oversees a team of field managers and works nationally with state educators and association executives to assist high schools and colleges in achieving and maintaining ASE accreditation.

Lauren Driver and Ryan Copacia

Lauren Driver and Ryan Copacia

Head of Industry - Auto and Team Lead- Auto, TikTok

Learn how TikTok enables automotive brands to connect with users and decision-makers in an era of unparalleled disruption.

Shawn Collins

Shawn Collins

Founder and Chief Experience Officer, EXTEND GROUP

Shawn Collins is a champion of innovation, future ideas, and organizational integrity. He is a seasoned professional with over 25 years in marketing, communications, training, and technology. As the founder of EXTEND GROUP, a full-service agency dedicated to cultivating thriving consumer experiences, Shawn has established himself as a thought leader in the Automotive Aftermarket industry, which has been in his blood since birth. He is a craftsman with a proven track record of delivering innovative solutions resulting in numerous industry accolades and awards. He is also a passionate community member and a certified employee workforce development and culture-building consultant via GiANT Worldwide.

ACC Mix Tape '23 Annual Conference - Conference Accommodations

Book Your Stay at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol Now.

Discover your sense of belonging at one of the top hotels near the Capitol in Austin’s vibrant downtown. The Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol offers 367 beautifully appointed guest rooms and suites, some with downtown and Austin Capitol views, and all with our signature amenities and the Sheraton Signature Sleep Experience, our most comfortable bed ever. Rejuvenate in our indoor/outdoor pools and take a break in the Backyard. As one of the most convenient downtown Austin, TX hotels, we put you at 11th & 6th Streets, within walking distance of downtown, UT campus & Stadium, the Moody Center, concert venues (Mohawk, Waterloo, Stubbs), and everywhere you want to be. You’ll also find on-site self-parking with over 300 covered parking spaces and valet.

You will find the information for our online reservation link below. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have questions or need help with the link.

Event Lodging Summary:

  • Automotive Communication Council Annual Conference 2023
  • Tuesday, April 25, 2023, through Friday, April 28, 2023
  • Last Day to Book: Wednesday, April 5, 2023
  • Address: 701 East 11th Street, Austin, Texas, USA, 78701

The Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol is offering a special ACC Annual Conference rate of $199 USD per night.

ACC Mix Tape '23 Annual Conference Sponsors

Thank you to our ACC Mix Tape '23 Sponsors!

ACC Mix Tape '23 Annual Conference - Event Highlights

April 25-27, 2023, Sheraton at the Capitol in Austin, TX.

Join ACC

Join ACC

Welcome to the Automotive Communications Council (ACC), a forum for learning and professional development focused on current and emerging marketing practices, and the longest-running organization in the auto care industry.   Along with the opportunities and benefits that membership provides, we believe you will find the programs and activities innovative and a reflection of the shared interests and ideas of the membership.

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