The Town Hall meeting on Health Care in the Service Industry was held on-site in Orlando at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8. Sponsored by the Automotive Service Association (ASA), this event was a platform to discuss healthcare reform and its effects on small-business owners.
The discussion, titled "How Will Healthcare Reform Affect My Business?" examined the impact of healthcare reform in the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and provided an outlook for changes in healthcare laws in the future.
Industry experts Kaitlyn Dwyer, legislative analyst for ASA; and Bob Redding, ASA's Washington, D.C., representative, reviewed the new law's impact on independent automotive repair businesses and possible changes in healthcare laws. Attendees also had the opportunity to ask questions in this interactive presentation.
Panelists for the program included Donna Malvey, Ph.D., University of Central Florida; Terri L. Seefeldt, RHU, Rogers Benefit Group; Jim Houser, Hawthorne Auto Clinic Inc.; and Don Seyfer, Seyfer Automotive.
"At our Town Hall meeting, automotive repairers expressed concern about healthcare costs and the new healthcare law," stated Redding. "Congress is still discussing possible changes in the new healthcare law but it's important to note the administration continues the regulatory process and recently announced the long-term care insurance program known as CLASS, passed as part of last year's healthcare reform law, will not be implemented at this time. The administration indicated that the proposed new program is actuarially unsound."
AUTOBODY NEWS will be running a three part series on Health Care and Small Business starting in our December issue.
GARMAT USA announced the winners of their 2011 Sharp Shooter Contest on October 21. The contest which started in early September, was designed to recognize quality paint techs and shop owners that use Garmat equipment. Judging was based on the shop owner and paint tech's dedication to providing quality paint jobs, superior customer service, attention to safety and overall equipment knowledge. Additional questions included an inquiry on how Garmat could improve their Garmat experience with product improvements.
The Grand Prize Winner, Art Smith won a trip for two to SEMA 2011, he said this will be the first time he has ever been to SEMA, and he is excited to attend. His story can be found on the Garmat Facebook page. In addition to the grand prize 7 finalists received leather jackets for both the tech and body shop owner and every entrant was awarded a Garmat Sharp Shooter cap.
The Inland Empire chapter of the California Autobody Association (CAA) will hold a parts symposium meeting on November 9 at 5 p.m. The meeting will take place at LKQ/Keystone in Ontario, CA (2530 Lindsey Privado #C). A tour of the facilities will kick off the meeting at 5 p.m. followed by dinner, then speakers will start at 6:30 p.m.
The meeting will answer questions like 'are all aftermarket parts created equal?' and other aftermarket parts certification questions. The night's featured speakers will be Jack Gillis, executive director of the Certified Aftermarket Parts Association (CAPA), Bob Frayer with NSF Corporation, Charlie Hogarty of the Auto Body Parts Association (ABPA), and Eileen Sottile with LKQ Corp.
The price of admission is one new pair of athletic shoes for boys and girls (K-12th grade, sizes child's 10 to adult 10) or a $40 check to Shoes That Fit.
This event is already filling up so an RSVP is strongly recommended, please contact Cindy Shillito at 714-944-4028 or at to make reservations.
Global Finishing Solutions announced on October 20 a ground-breaking new development in paint booth filters with the introduction of the new WAVE Aqua filters. The first filter designed specifically for maximum performance with waterborne paints in automotive and industrial applications, GFS WAVE Aqua filters provide exceptional removal efficiency (99.73%), extremely low initial resistance (0.03" wg) and better depth-loading that traditional paint booth filters, which results in much more consistent airflow balance in the paint booth throughout the usable life of the filters.
WAVE Aqua filters are available exclusively from GFS, and come in standard pad sizes, as well as in multiple roll sizes. Custom sizes are also available.
GFS is a leader in providing paint finishing equipment and integration services to the Automotive Refinish, Industrial, Aerospace, and Military markets. For more information visit the WAVE Aqua website at http://www.waveaquafilters.com or contact GFS at or at 800-848-8738.
See more information HERE.
If there is one thing I find hard to deal with in this topsy turvy world of the auto repair business is the way some people will react when they are at the repair shop. It’s the way they conduct themselves at the shop when it comes time to get their car repaired.
Over the years I’ve been praised and degraded. I’ve been called a saint and I’ve been called the devil (or worse). I’ve heard the shouting and the stuff I probably wasn’t suppose to hear (walls don’t always block sound you know). After a while you’ve heard it all before, and the attitudes that you see at the front desk become a part of the daily grind. Coping with all this is what I call; “growing alligator skin.” I try not to take things so personally, I’ll let the alligator skin handle it, and then take off my protective coat before I get back home to the wife and kids.
What gives with the need for such a thing as “alligator skin”? I believe there a several factors inherent to the automotive industry that brings on this crocodilian coat of protection.
Mistrust of the automotive repair world in general is what I believe is the number one factor; but what brings on that mistrust? Is it the incompetent mechanic? I doubt that is always the case. Is it the money out of their pockets which they were not expecting when they drove down the road to the repair shop? I believe it’s more in the hands of the unknowing consumer who reads and watches too many evening news reports on the unscrupulous business practices of the few out there that really are rip offs and not the normal operations of countless decent shops in this country.
GW&SON Auto Body in Oklahoma City, OK, was established in 1985 by Gary Wano and his son Gary Wano, Jr. Gary Senior had 17 years experience managing a local dealership post his tenure as an automotive painter. With plenty of practical knowledge Gary felt it was time for him to open his own shop with his son.
To view a PDF of this article with photos please click HERE.
Since the shop’s inception they have grown to 6 times the size of their original facility, with a 27,000 square-foot production floor. The shop now has 26 employees, including two of Gary Jr’s siblings, and a nephew. Gary Wano Jr, has also been afforded the opportunity to become nationally involved. He is currently holding and has held industry leadership positions such as a past chair of SCRS the nation’s largest association solely focused on collision repairer needs, the CEICA Repair Advisory Panel, I-Car ISAC, Co-Chaired CIC’s Anti-fraud Committee and is currently a voice for the repairer in CIC’s Insurer/Repairer Relations Committee and the Repair Standards Committee. Oddly enough, it was through this national involvement that spawned the business model that by choice limits GW&SON’s DRP relationship’s with only one insurer. The industry is constantly changing, repairers of today need the access to industry trends and all over data, says Gary Jr, GW&SON’s VP and operation manager. Gary Senior still works within the production of the shop, offering valuable insight to the production floor manager; with a business model centered on community involvement and technical training more than relying on a lot of DRP relationships to bring in customers.
“Our OEM Certifications have become a great niche for us,” said Wano Jr. GW&SON is the only Jaguar, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Corvette ZO6 certified repair facility in the state.