WAWA Changes its Name

A small, but important, change to our name.

WAWA was founded in 1960 as Washington State Automotive Wholesalers Association. In 1972 “State” was dropped from the name of the organization and it has been known as WAWA ever since.  On several occasions over the years a name change had been discussed by the various boards of directors, but there was never a compelling reason to make a change.

Now we have an opportunity to position the association to increase membership and at the same time offer the member firms a greatly expanded selection of benefits.  Under health care reform, in Washington State, insurance carriers have determined that association plans could probably continue to operate along with the Washington State Exchange being implemented.

One of the requirements of an association health plan is that it be sponsored by a bona fide trade association.  Over the years the various associations sponsoring benefit plans have moved away from a focus on businesses in their own specific industry and have added businesses from a variety of industries.

Carriers are now in the process of examining their current association plans, such as Northwest Employers Trust, Evergreen Trust, Washington Business Association/Chamber of Commerce Trust, Washington Farm Bureau, etc.   Though many of these may be bona fide associations, the businesses participating in their sponsored benefit plans are not necessarily industry specific.

WAWA has the opportunity to be the automotive industry association and to serve all businesses in the automotive industry.  A huge benefit to us is that in their review, they will likely be moving all automotive industry businesses in their current trusts into the automotive industry trust.  This will give us the opportunity to increase our membership.

One requirement to become the association to sponsor the automotive industry trust would be a name change that is more encompassing of the various segments of the industry.  WAWA’s board of directors has approved changing the name to Washington Automotive Industry Association.  There would be very little impact in the name change and would not require any substantial changes to the web site, web address, emails, etc.