Harold Bunn Tipton was born on January 7, 1917, in Runningwater,TX, the second oldest of four to DeWitt Tipton and Essie King Tipton. He attended college for one year in Texas before serving as a private first class in the Army for one year. He moved to the east county of San Diego, CA in the mid-1950s and began selling cars—all makes and models—including Kaisers, Fords, Chevrolets, and Lincolns. His method for selling was old-school by today’s tactics. “When he started in the car business, he would go out with brochures and make appointments for people to come into the dealership,” said Peterson. “That is probably as tough as it gets. But he was a salesman.” In 1956, Mr. Tipton opened Tipton Oldsmobile in La Mesa, CA. Over the years, he held other franchises, including Fiat, Saab, Peugot, Chrysler, Plymouth, Volvo, and Jeep before opening San Diego county’s first Honda dealership in 1974, in El Cajon, CA. A Texan through and through, he loved John Wayne and westerns. The walls of his office at the El Cajon dealership were covered with the horns of real Texas longhorns, spurs, branding irons, and lariats.
Del Rey Blaine Harrison passed away peacefully at home February 7, 2014. Del Rey was born July 20, 1948, in Castle Dale, UT, to Quentin Harrison and Grace Ilean Williams.
Del Rey was an auto body technician for many years. He worked at LW Auto Body for 20 years, Young Chevrolet for three years., and Willie & Son Ford for seven years. He was a great painter and body technician. He restored a 1957 Chevy convertible to a beautiful original condition.
His hobbies included camping, nature, and classic automobiles. Del Rey is survived by his wife of 37 years, DeanNa Dee Harrison; his children,Tiffany Downs and Dannille Wilcock; four grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Del leaves behind a much-loved sister, Dixie Branca (Jerry); brother, Bruce Harrison (Joyce); and many close friends, nieces, nephews, and loved ones. Funeral services were held on Thursday, February 13, 2014, at Russon Brothers Bountiful Mortuary. Interment is at Bountiful City Cemetery. View the online guest book.
The California and Nevada Automotive Wholesalers Association (CAWA) chair of the board of directors, Ron Aparicio of Motul USA, Inc., has appointed the committee chairs and vice chairs for 2014. “These appointments are made in confidence that these individuals will add tremendous value in guiding our association policies and programs this upcoming year,” Aparicio said during the appointment process. The association looks forward to their leadership and I know that they will be a significant asset to the overall future of CAWA.”
2014 public affairs committee:
- Chair - Scott Nassif, NAPA Auto Parts, Apple Valley, CA
- Vice chair - Jack Gosnell, Next Level Parts, Inc., Turlock, CA
2014 membership and education committee:
- Chair - Traci Quick, Star Distributing Company, Phoenix , AZ
- Vice chair - Dan Hansen, Jr., Hanson Distributing Company, Azusa, CA
AASP-MA has been busy working to improve the association for their members’ benefit. In January, they held their first Board of Directors meeting of the year as well as their first Statewide member meeting of 2014. Executive Director Jillian Zywien willingly shared the highlights of both meetings. The main focus of the meeting, held on January 9th, was the need for a functioning ADALB, one of the most important objectives defined in their most recent strategic plan.
Much of the agenda at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) held in Palm Springs, Calif., in January was devoted to CIC’s biennial planning session, where participants discuss what topics CIC committees will take on in the coming year or two. But the quarterly meeting also included a number of informational sessions for attendees.
I-CAR CEO John VanAlstyne, for example, offered an update on not only his organization’s training activities, but also its efforts to improve the availability and accessibility of OEM technical information for collision repairers. He said that I-CAR had budgeted over $1 million on that ongoing project over two years, and that the website portal I-CAR is developing to improve access to OEM technical information is being beta-tested and will launch soon.
He said I-CAR also has worked to make its training more affordable. For the fourth year in a row, he said, there would be no price increase for training for Gold Class businesses, and pricing has been reduced for I-CAR newly-renamed “Welding Testing and Certification.” The welding program discounts increase based on the number of students a company is registering, part of I-CAR’s effort to get training to more technicians, VanAlstyne said.
He said I-CAR soon will be rolling out aluminum welding and other training courses specific to Ford’s 2015 F-150 pick-up, which hits showrooms late this year.
About half of the I-CAR training that students choose to take is now online, up from just 3 percent three years ago, VanAlstyne said. That and the expanded focus on being a source of technical information beyond training is part of I-CAR’s shift in scope.
“We’re working to make information on-demand and accessible, so people get the training and information they need when they need it,” he said.
Also during the meeting, CIC committees offered a preview of some of what they hope to address at upcoming meetings. Steve Regan, chairman of the Governmental Committee, said his committee will have a presentation on the topic of “most-favored nation” clauses at the next CIC, being held April 9–10 in Portland, OR. The clauses are often found in insurer direct repair program agreements, requiring participating shops to give the insurer the best pricing offered to any other. Several states have now banned the clauses in health insurance contracts, and the Automotive Service Association has urged the U.S. Department of Justice to review most-favored nation clauses in DRP contracts.
Regan said his committee is also planning a presentation for later this year on legal and liability issues related to autonomous (or “self-driving”) cars.
Gene Lopez, chairman of CIC’s Education and Training Committee, said his committee is working on presentations related to coaching and developing mentoring and peer-to-peer training relationships within an organization.
CIC Chairman George Avery led a discussion about the future of CIC’s Data Privacy issue, which may be renamed to incorporate a broader scope of “information technology” issues. There appeared to be general consensus the committee is still needed. Several attendees noted the recent controversy when a Ford marketing executive said the automaker tracks customers through vehicle GPS and other technology—only to later retract the statement. A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report found that automakers and navigation system providers gather a lot of data on where drivers have been, and there are no standards for how long the data is retained nor a way for drivers to ask that their data be destroyed. Avery said he would be seeking a new chairman for the CIC committee that works on data privacy issues.
Chris Northup of the CIC Parts and Materials Committee cited a laundry list of topics still to be addressed by subcommittees, including: aftermarket parts certification standards, parts inventory/availability issues, recycled parts clean-up times, multiple recycled parts standards, impact of OEM price-matching policies, etc.
Randy Hanson of Allstate this year becomes chairman of the CIC Insurer-Repairer Relations Committee. Outgoing chairman Rick Tuuri said the committee will continue to “identify areas for insurers and repairers to work together for efficiencies.” CIC attendee Rick Sherwood suggested that the committee go back to some of the recommendations the committee developed – such as best practices related to digital images, which was finalized in 2010 – to find out if insurers are aware of them and whether or not they’ve adopted them.
“So rather than just bring a recommendation, which I understand is CIC’s mission, get some feedback that might assist in refining these things as we go forward so they are more actionable at the end of the day,” Sherwood suggested.
As March 2014 rolls towards us, AASP/NJ is busy gearing up for their annual NORTHEASTTM Conference and Tradeshow which will be held March 21–23 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus, NJ. Planned with all aspects of the industry in mind, this year’s schedule is packed with industry events, celebrity appearances and exciting activities for the entire family, including annual favorites and brand new seminars and activities.
Executive Director Charles Bryant is excited for all of the new offerings this year. “As usual, the AASP/NJ has worked tirelessly to put together a show that offers a little of everything for everyone that attends, and I mean everything! Each event has the potential to be invaluable to the attendees. My expectations would be for everyone that attends to strive to take advantage of the hard work that went into making the show the very best possible by attending as many of the scheduled events as possible.”
On Friday morning, NORTHEASTTM 2014 will kick off with AASP’s National Spring Board Meeting to discuss ongoing business operations, to consider new membership benefit offerings, and to share updates on the programs, activities and initiatives taking place at the affiliate level.
In the afternoon, AASP/NJ and SCRS will co-host the 2014 East Coast Resolution Forum and Leadership Meeting where representatives from state associations are invited to update one another on their organizations’ activities and to share and discuss industry news. This annual meeting has proven to be an excellent outlet for networking and collaboration on issues impacting the industry nationally.
A special panel discussion entitled PartsTrader Comes to the Northeast: Now WHAT? will be held Friday evening from 6-8pm to present an overview of the system and how it is affecting collision repair facilities across the country in anticipation of plans for PartsTrader to roll out to the Northeasttm this spring. Included in this panel will be industry veterans who have dealt with PartsTrader as well as association representatives who are finding ways to combat this program, and the panel discussion will be followed by an open forum where attendees will have a chance to express their views on PartsTrader and ask questions to glean new information.
Also on Friday night, John Niechwiadowicz of Performance Consulting Services will present “Unleashing Your Secret Power,” a seminar focused on increasing profitability, improving productivity, reducing cycle times, and increasing customer satisfaction through use of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This seminar will be repeated Saturday night to give those attending the PartsTrader discussion an opportunity to learn this useful information.
Another new seminar that will be held on Friday night and again on Saturday is “Ford’s National Body Shop Program and Related Information.” Melissa Lester, Collision Marketing Manager of Ford’s Customer Service Division, will host a presentation and Q&A session on Ford’s body shop parts certification program.
On Saturday, Peter Fryzel of I-CAR will teach two four-hour, tuition-based courses: “I-CAR: Vehicle Technology and Trends 2014” in the morning and “I-CAR: Aluminum-Intensive Vehicles Repairs (ALI01)” in the afternoon. The morning seminar will focus on advancements in vehicle technology that will soon be commonplace as well as what technicians will need to know to keep up with these changes.
Fryzel’s interactive afternoon course combines discussion, education and exercises in decision-making to expose attendees to considerations that should be made when repairing an aluminum structure.
Early Saturday afternoon, Lee V. Rush, Manager of Business Consulting Services (Sherwin-Williams), will present “Tactically Lean: Connecting the Dots Between High-Minded Lean Concepts and Real-World Results.” Discussing tactically lean business development, Rush will offer realistic implementation of this approach which is intended to help shops “formulate a sustainable program to drive process improvements.” (See his white paper In--Process Quality Assurance on p. 4 this issue.)
Additional seminar topics include Business Continuation Planning, The ‘Gauges’ of Your Business, The Traditional Buying Process Turns Digital, Best Practices for Welding and Estimating, and Painting with Nitrogen.
NORTHEASTTM 2014 will also feature two exciting demos on the exposition floor. On Friday evening, Saturday morning and Sunday morning, Ford engineers will present “2015 F-150 Repair Information” which will highlight how this new model has been designed to be easily repairable. On Saturday morning, Larry Montanez III of P&L Consultants will demonstrate “Calculating Frame/Uni-body Set Up Measurement and Realignment.”
AASP/NJ has plenty of other exciting things happening on the tradeshow floor for NORTHEASTTM 2014 also! On Saturday morning, Chip Foose from television’s Overhaulin’ will be on-site at the BASF booth to sign autographs and pose for photos with fans. From 2-4PM Saturday, Ron Ananian, AKA the Car Doctor, will broadcast his show live from the event.
VRSim will be holding a Virtual Spray Tournament all weekend, allowing painters to display their spray painting skills as they compete for an HDTV. At booth 729, Javier Soto, painter extraordinaire, will display his skills with Custom Paint Demos all weekend as he creates a custom design.
In conjunction with NORTHEASTTM 2014, AASP/NJ is also hosting the first annual NORTHEASTTM/Natural Glass Corvette Association (NGCA) Car Show with 15–20 class cars competing. The winner will be chosen on Sunday.
AASP/NJ also has two events on their agenda that are purely for fun. Their annual Exhibitor Appreciation After-Party will be held on Friday night to give exhibitors a chance to unwind and socialize, and attendees will also enjoy a special performance by comedian Gary DeLena.
On Sunday afternoon, the 6th Annual NORTHEASTTM Family Day offers a chance for the kiddies to enjoy indoor carnival games and free popcorn and ice cream.
Bryant admits “every year, I seem to get even more excited than the year before about the NORTHEASTTM Tradeshow. This year, with the show being basically sold out for the first time at [the Meadowlands], the excitement level is at an all-time high. I always enjoy hearing from shop owners from other parts of the country at the Leaders’ Meeting, and I am sure the PartsTrader panel will have many on the edge of their chair this year. To try and point to any one thing or event that I am most excited about is quite a difficult task; however, like many others, I must say that I can’t wait to shake the hand of Chip Foose!”
All in all, NORTHEASTTM 2014 is shaping up to be an educational good time filled with plenty of networking opportunities and a plethora of activities from which to choose. If you haven’t already done so, register today at www.aaspnjnortheasttm.com.
The week of Jan 13, 2014, Ford Motor Co. announced the completely re-engineered Ford F-150 pickup truck featuring aluminum from the hood to the tailgate, 700 pounds lighter than the previous model. Mercedes Benz introduced the next C-Class sports sedan with a body built mostly of aluminum, and Audi’s A8 luxury sedan had an aluminum chassis almost 20 years ago. At the time an Audi executive said, “there are only a handful of shops capable of repairing it. It has to be shipped to one of those centers to be fixed.” For them the next step is the doors and the body. And aluminum isn’t the only challenge for collision repair centers. The BMW Electric 13 is mostly made from plastic-like carbon fiber.
If this wasn’t enough of a challenge, Ford has teamed with MIT and Stanford University to make self-driving cars more intuitive. Radar-like LiDAR infrared sensors bounce infrared light off objects as far as 200 feet away to generate data to make a 3-D map to plan a path to safely avoid pedestrians, bicycles and other vehicles. Recently a blind “driver” at the Santa Clara Blind Center” made a completely safe shopping trip in a self-driving car, preprogrammed by a Google engineer. The repair facility of the future will also be faced with vehicle programming systems, radar-like systems, mapping devices and more. These technical advances will strain collision shop finances as more tools, equipment and highly trained technicians are required. But how will this affect a shop’s marketing strategies?
The most forward looking shop owners may well realize the great marketing potential that these technical advances offer. The new generation of young adults is already more tech-savvy than most shop owners. The Internet and cell-phone advances have made this generation well aware of the need to keep on top of new technology. The shop that positions itself as a leader in new automotive repair technology can capture the “hearts and minds” of this generation if handled correctly. What should a shop do?
Because more and more people are turning to the web when shopping for a repair facility, a shop should turn the home page into bold advertisement for the shop’s technical know-how. While young people may be keenly aware of applications for their tablet, cell phone and computer, they are not likely to know much about repair challenges a shop faces when repairing their late model vehicle. Images of damaged aluminum and carbon fiber parts with captions explaining a little about these challenges may capture their attention. A little research should let you know how many shops in your area are equipped to deal with these repair challenges. If you are one of the few that can do it, this is a prime time to shout out your superiority over the competition, not just in general but with specific numbers.
Photos and information about equipment may not impress a vehicle owner looking for a repair, but insurance executives who check out your website will definitely be concerned with the makes and qualities of your frame machine, welding equipment, electric and hybrid handling processes and more. It’s important to provide educational information for these different publics on your site and in your printed literature. Most of what you put on the web can also be inexpensively reproduced in some simple printed handouts for less web-savvy customers who come to the shop.
The next step in demonstrating a future-orientation can be accomplished with employee uniforms, data-entry pads and display screens that can show a repair prospect shop areas where his or her vehicle will be processed in a way that is different from the competition. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to put technicians into star-trek-like uniforms with labels that say “hybrid specialist”, “autonomous vehicle specialist” and more. Customers should feel confident that this shop can handle the vehicle that has become a sort of robot, sensing the driver/passenger’s preferences in temperature, seat position, music, lighting and destination.
As a shop moves more into servicing late model vehicles with these futuristic advances, it would be wise to re-imagine the shop in a futuristic way. Even the furniture in the waiting area could be fashioned after airport seating and modernistic showroom designs. Large blown-up photos on the wall of late-model vehicles with captions can complete the image of a forward-looking shop of the future. Website and social media sites are great places to capture images of a space-age shop, service areas and personnel. Shops that grabbed the position of first to have water-borne paint, aluminum welding and frame machines, and high-tech sensors to handle on-board computer systems, could now be the first in the area to be recognized as the Sci-Fi shop of the future.
Outdoor advertising used to primarily consist of billboards, but now with new technologies and other emerging types of media, the signage industry includes bus boards, taxi advertising, car wraps, trade show booth advertising, bus stop and train stop mini-billboards, video kiosk advertising, sport events advertising and even grocery cart advertising. It’s gotten to the point where almost everywhere we look we see an outdoor advertising message for some brand.
Body shops and collision centers all over the country utilize billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising to get their message out there while engaging their existing and potential customer base right where they want them to be—in their cars or on busses and in cabs, etc.
But, not everyone appreciates outdoor advertising and many call it “visual pollution.” Last year, São Paulo in Brazil was the first city to enact a ban on virtually all outdoor advertising. Billboards, neon signs, and even buses and taxis have been wiped clean of advertisements in the municipality, the world’s fourth largest. According to Mayor Gilberto Kassab, the city’s so-called “Clean City Law” meant attacking pollution in every form, including air, water, noise and annoying signage.
Since its adoption, the law has eliminated some 15,000 billboards as well as other ads citywide and has generated more than $8 million in fines, according to David Evan Harris from Adbusters. While some advertising and business groups complain that the ban limits free expression, costs jobs, and makes streets less safe by reducing lighting from signage, the move has won more than 70 percent approval from São Paulo residents, many of whom appreciate the aesthetics of a city with less advertising.
São Paolo is not the only city to take action against outdoor advertising. This spring, the municipal government of Beijing, China’s capital city, began reducing ads by targeting billboards for luxury housing. “Many [of the ads] use exaggerated terms that encourage luxury and self-indulgence which are beyond the reach of low-income groups and are therefore not conducive to harmony in the capital,” the city’s mayor, Wang Qishan, told The Wall Street Journal.
Well, as long as it’s still legal, outdoor advertising is an ideal way for collision repair companies to continue their ongoing branding efforts. Getting your name in the brain of the consumer in your area is key and if a billboard or an inflatable gorilla standing on your roof will reinforce your shop’s name and lead to people coming through the door, why not do it?
Zara’s Collision Center in Springfield, IL, has been using billboards for the past seven years and its owner, Brad Zara strongly believes they bring him business, he said, although he has no specific numbers.
“Most of the billboards we do here in Springfield are not near our shop, because we want to pull business from other parts of the city,” Zara said. “We do four different themes every year and run each one quarterly, so that there’s some variety. We usually donate one billboard per year to a local charity or cause we believe in. Our logo is there on those charity-based billboards, but in the end we give the organization or cause most of the space.”
Are his billboards worth the cost, we asked Zara. “I have no idea, actually,” he said. “But I can tell you this—our customers mention them literally every day. People say things like ‘I saw this billboard yesterday,’ etc.—but that billboard was from three years ago. But they think it’s still up there, which is good, because it shows that they’re thinking of us and they still have that message in their brains.”
Zara’s gets their billboard designs and coordinates the placement of the billboards through HIP Advertising is a full-service central Illinois advertising agency offering creative, marketing, Web and media services. Mark Butler, a corporate communications executive at HIP Advertising has been working with Brad Zara on his billboard campaigns since day one. “Our relationship with Zara’s came from a cold call back in 2005, as I recall,” Butler explained. “The campaign has grown from there and by now, we have the process down. At the end of each year, we sit down with Brad and his people and go over the creative concepts for each billboard for the following year. Then we do the final designs and start scheduling the billboards for the coming year.”
When it comes to billboards in general, the key is obviously visibility, but the message is also a big part, Butler said. “It has to be simple and direct with a large graphic supporting the message. A common mistake is when companies try to convey too much information on a billboard. Drivers aren’t going to sit there and read it, so you have to convey your message quickly. If you’re going get 10-15 seconds of their time, that’s pretty much the max. So brevity is crucial if you want your billboard to get response. With Zara’s, we like to use a fun, whimsical and humorous approach and it really seems to work.”
Jon McKnight is the business development manager at Fife’s Auto Body, with two locations in Ohio. Rife’s has been buying billboards and other forms of outdoor advertising for the past five years and the results are positive, he explained.
“People around here know who we are, and by asking each customer through the door how they heard about us, we know that the billboards are being seen,” McKnight explained. “That’s pretty much what you want from any form of advertising or marketing. We partner with charities and give us our billboards, at least one every year and we also do promotions via our billboards. We gave away a round of golf one time, by asking people to like us on Facebook and we always try to do timely things. For instance, right now we’re running a Winter Olympics theme. We’ve used every technique to get consumers to look at our billboards. We put our dogs on there and we even ran one billboard upside down, just to create a buzz and entice the public—and it seemed to work!”
The California Autobody Association (CAA) is a non-profit trade organization made up of roughly 1,000 individual and independent businesses within the automobile collision repair industry. The main focus of CAA is to enable the auto body industry to survive and succeed by helping its members produce a quality repair for the consumer at a fair price for a fair profit. By being involved in CAA, body shop owners show they care about the future of this industry and will always strive to make it better for all involved. CAA approaches its 50th anniversary in 2016.
We sat down recently with David McClune, the executive director who has served the organization for the past 14 years, to discuss the state of the organization and its role in the California collision industry.
Q: Tell us a little bit about the origins and history of CAA.
DM: CAA was formed back in late 1966, when several body shop owners in southern California formed chapters the state organization and it just grew from there. Before I became the executive director in 2000, the organization was run by a management company. CAA has evolved with the industry, basically. I think we’ve done a very admirable job on staying abreast of all the changes in collision industry and continually strive to provide the best services and advocacy we can offer.
Q: How has the industry changed since you took over leadership of CAA?
DM: The way some insurers have changed their way of doing business with many of the shops and the emergence of more and more multiple shop operations (MSOs) are probably the most significant changes in the industry since I started this job. Direct repair programs (DRPs) are much more prevalent now, and that’s changed the business in many ways as well. The MSO system is going to increase and we’re going to see larger MSOs gobbling up smaller MSOs as they try to strengthen themselves in different regions of the state. But, I don’t think that will cause the demise of the independent shops because they will always have a role and, if they do a good job, they will continue to flourish. In the end, if you do good work, you will still get customers and insurance companies will want to work with the leading operators every time, regardless of whether they’re an MSO or an independent with one location. The shops that run efficient businesses and continue to market themselves in their area while taking good care of their customers—those shops will stay strong.
Q: Do you think MSOs have an advantage over the smaller independent shops?
DM: The insurance companies are more and more discerning nowadays when they’re looking for shops to work with, and they are always searching for the best business practices out there when making their decisions, and that will never change. So, it does not mean that they will always opt for an MSO. If an independent is doing good repairs and has a strong track record, they will get DRPs, because it’s all about the quality in any business and the insurers want to work with shops that can perform, regardless of their size.
Q: Many shops couldn’t make it through the economic collapse of 2008 and I imagine you lost a few members as a result?
DM: It has been a tough time and all kinds of businesses have had to make changes after 2008. Competition gets more intense when there is less of the pie out there, so body shops have had to step up in some areas, like marketing and efficiency, for example. It’s adapt or survive, but, in the end, the consumer benefits because things such as customer service and professionalism have improved significantly within the last seven years in the collision industry. The main thing I heard more from body shops during that rocky period was that they had to increase their efficiencies and do more work with less people. But, that made them better businesses in the end. Many of them told me that if they had run their businesses this same way 10 years ago, they could have retired by now.
Q: What are some of the bigger things CAA has achieved since you took over in 2000?
DM: Back when I started, we played a major role in devising the body shop complaint form because, until then, body shops had no real way to complain to the Department of Insurance. Now both consumers and body shops can file complaints, so that was a big deal. A few years after that, we introduced a bill that said insurers could not own body shops. Even though that bill was defeated, it was significant for us because it brought the issue up to the surface. It helped to bring some attention to it and eventually it became a non-issue because, in the end, we believe that insurance companies don’t really want to be in the collision repair business.
Q: Some CAA chapters seem to thrive while others struggle to exist. What do you think are the reasons for this?
DM: In any trade organization, you’re going to have some chapters that are more active than others. We sit down with the chapters that are struggling and look for different ways to strengthen them. At our board meetings, all of the chapters submit reports showing what’s worked and what hasn’t, and that helps all of the chapters. If you look back at our history, you’ll see that certain chapters have spiked in membership and participation and then they go back down, for a wide range of reasons. It’s usually based on leadership and also sometimes attached to what’s going on in that part of the state. Leading members drop out because they retire, for example, and if those people aren’t replaced, the chapter is impacted. If this happens, we do everything we can to bring the chapter back and, in some cases, it’s worked well.
A Sonora business owner and police department volunteer died after being shot inside his auto body shop, officers said. Rick Roberts, 49, was found dead inside Ricky Roberts U2 on the morning of February 17, 2014, according to the Sonora Police Department.
“I don’t know why anybody would do this to him, but he’s missed and we love him,” said Michael Roberts, the victim’s younger brother. “And he gave so much to people, and he really cared.” Rick Roberts’ body was discovered when a friend stopped by the business, police said. No arrests and no suspect information is available at this time. Roberts had a wife and young son. “I can almost tell you that if that guy walked in right now, I could tell him I forgive him,” said Donna Burkey, Roberts’ mother. “Because it has nothing to do with me, it has to do with God and I can say, ‘I forgive you for taking my son.’” The Sonora Police Department has enlisted the help of the Tuolomne district attorney in this homicide investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact Sonoma Police.