Professional Automotive Recycler R.D. Hopper, owner of Sonny’s Auto Salvage, Jacksonville, Arkansas, was welcomed as the new president of the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA) tonight at the organization’s 73rd Annual Convention and Exposition in Baltimore, MD. Prior to his installment, Hopper had served as Secretary, Second Vice President and First Vice President of ARA and will now play a leading role to help guide and shape the Association’s initiatives and direction.
“I am honored to take the reins as ARA’s next president, but more importantly, I am honored to work for ARA members and all professional automotive recyclers, to help sustain and grow this wonderful industry,” said Hopper, after accepting the president’s gavel from outgoing President Mike Swift, of Des Moines, Iowa. During the evening ceremony in Baltimore, Hopper thanked his wife of 30 years, Jennifer, and his three children, sons Blake, 28, and Alex, 15, and daughter Anna, 12.
Like most automotive recyclers, Hopper learned the business from the ground up. His father owned an auto parts store in Mountain View, Arkansas, and his grandfather was a mechanic and District Shop Manager for the Arkansas State Highway Department. Sonny’s Auto Salvage has been located in the Central Arkansas area for over 37 years as a family owned and operated business. In 1976, the business was purchased by Sonny Taylor and the Taylor family operated the company for 22 years before selling the business to RD and Jennifer Hopper in 1998. Since the early 1960s, there has been a salvage yard at Sonny’s current location operating under various ownerships.
Hopper has years of experience in the industry and in serving others. He has been an active member of ARA and the Arkansas Automotive Dismantlers and Recyclers Association (AADRA) for many years. He has served as president of AADRA and has worked on the ARA’s Government Affairs Committee.
The full-service Sonny’s Auto Salvage specializes in providing Green Recycled Parts for reuse in the service and repair of vehicles in both their local market and nationwide. Along with other ARA members, Sonny’s Auto Salvage stands behind their product by offering various warranties to back their parts. “Top quality OEM auto parts offer an excellent alternative to new, expensive and often hard-to-find replacement parts for your vehicle,” says Hopper. Hopper said he will continue ARA’s strong work to push legislation, HR 5967, to require auto manufacturers to provide consumers all part names, part numbers and build sheet data specific to individual vehicle identification numbers (VINs).