SCA Australia Pty Ltd
Founding President of VASA
Mark Mitchell’s departure from the Presidency this year, after 10 incredible years, is the most appropriate time VASA will ever have to say THANK YOU to this man who exudes enthusiasm and loyalty to his industry.
VASA began in 1993 as a small, perhaps over-exuberant group of vehicle air conditioning repairers and wholesalers, who thought the industry needed a voice to cope with the challenges of the day. There were a few around who said it wouldnt survive.
VASA got a voice all right it was loud, it was forthright, it found the right ears to hear the message and it reflected a consistency and credibility which other organisations, including government, should emulate.
Mark Mitchell has been accused of being a one-man band, a tyrant, the leader of an elite clique, a stooge of the big companies. But who better to represent you than a man who will willingly get his hands dirty in the workshop, who built a strong retail service centre network over almost a quarter of a century and who was prepared to spend how ever many hours and days it took to fight your fights.
If you’ve ever seen him in action at any Board meeting or at any other platform where his industry is being questioned or challenged, you will know that if there’s a stoush on, you need Mitchell and his Irish blood on your side.
The fact that Mark only resigned his commission as president at the AGM prior to this convention, is not his fault. The reality is that in those ten years, he was doing such a fantasic job that nobody was game to mount a challenge. We werent scared of him, but you know what they say – if it aint broke, dont fix it.
But in recent years, as Marks business interests changed from retail to wholesale and now importer, as he found himself being invited on to some of the most influential boards for this industry in the nation, the old voluntary principle under which VASA operates started to wear a bit thin.
Between VASA, RRA, NRAC, the AFC, SuperCool, SCA Australia, Unicla, and would you believe, his beloved Epoch Violins, Mark was rarely home. His family, luckily, had photographs of him on the mantelpiece but he really isnt the sort of family man who wanted to see his childrens life as a series of photographs.
Mark has been looking for new talent in VASA for some years. He was like the boy who cried wolf, nobody believed he would ever quit. When Mark threw down his written resignation for the first time last November at our board meeting in Melbourne, we knew his time had come.
Mark has left his Mark. He will continue to leave his mark in many ways because he is still on the Board of VASA and is still on the boards of some important organisations.
Mark leaves the Presidency and VASA in a healthy, enthusiastic and ambitious state. We face an exciting, if not a different future as technology changes and the needs of our members change. He leaves VASA as the only organisation which truly represents the vehicle a/c aftermarket, and which is respected by most organisations down from the top levels of Government, not only in this country but on a global level.