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Thursday, 17 April 2014 17:21

Three Shot Near North Hollywood Shop

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Two men were arrested late Aptil 16 after a shootout at a North Hollywood auto body shop left three men hospitalized, with one in critical condition.

Around 2 p.m., police received a call reporting the shooting at the shop in the 12700 block of Sherman Way, according to Capt. Stephen Carmona of the Los Angeles Police Department’s North Hollywood division.

Two victims were found at the auto body shop, one in critical condition, Carmona said, and taken to a local hospital.

A second shooting was reported shortly afterwards, involving the same suspects.

For more plus photos go HERE

Last modified on Thursday, 17 April 2014 17:25
Thursday, 17 April 2014 17:17

Frozen Body Found in Abandoned Ceres, CA, Body Shop

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Police in Ceres, CA, have arrested the former owner of a now defunct body shop after the frozen remains of a man were found in a freezer on the property.

Jacob Cervantes, 26, was arrested on homicide charges. Cervantes was the owner of Shop Customs, and had voluntarily come to the police department for questioning. Cervantes was booked into the Stanislaus County Jail.

for more plus photo go HERE

Last modified on Thursday, 17 April 2014 18:08
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On March 8, 2014, the Utah Auto Body Association (UABA) hosted the “Maximizing Employee Potential: Leadership and Coaching Employees Performance Workshop,” presented by Norman Rose of Excel Sales Consulting at the Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus in Sandy, UT.

Developed for UABA and sponsored by PPG Industries Inc., the workshop emphasized the importance of developing strong, exceptional employees and aimed to equip participants with the skills and tools necessary to grow and develop their customer relationships and achieve immediate positive business results.

Attendees learned to help employees maximize their potential and communicate their expectations effectively, and acquired empowering coaching techniques. The workshop also covered enhancing a positive work environment by establishing collaborative team action items, as well as how to improve customer service skills and selling.

Rose covered five topics: Developing the Coach Within You, Techniques to Create a Positive Work Environment, Coaching Staff, Managing a Professional Staff Meeting, and Defining the Goal-Setting Process.

UABA held an Industry Issues Roundtable Discussion during lunch.

With over 25 years’ experience in the automotive aftermarket industry, Rose has been involved in all levels of distribution, from manufacturing and warehouse distribution, to jobbers and collision centers. Since establishing Excel Sales Consulting in 2001, he has launched a full series of customized training programs and has trained hundreds of industry professionals. As an industry veteran, Rose is familiar with the challenges shop owners face daily.

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On March 19, 2014, Auto Collision Center (ACC) in Thousand Oaks, CA, hosted an aluminum launch open house to commemorate the shop’s aluminum program and its recent accreditation from Mercedes-Benz.

Hosted by ACC owner Greg Lampert, the reception was attended by general manager Scott Stanley from Silver Star Mercedes-Benz and service manager Swen Schraml. Also in attendance was Bill Carroll, general manager of Thousand Oaks Jaguar/Range Rover in Westlake, CA, and the ACC certification sponsor for both Jaguar and Land Rover.

Together they congratulated Lampert and his staff for achieving the coveted Mercedes-Benz Tier I and Elite Tier II aluminum certifications along with an A & B Range Rover/Jaguar certification.This Mercedes-Benz Certified Collision Center has been recognized by Mercedes-Benz USA as an “Elite Aluminum Certified” repair facility, a designation less than 600 collision centers possess. 

Being associated with a major elite brand like Mercedes-Benz means that Lampert and his shop are in a select group, he said. “We’re proud and honored to be working on these cars because they’re some of the finest in the world,” Lampert explained. “By working with Mercedes-Benz it says—hey we’ve got the training, knowledge, and capabilities to make these repairs at a high level. That’s how we’re able to differentiate ourselves from the competition because we always tell our customers that not all body shops are created equal.”

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During its “State of the City Dinner,” San Rafael, CA, and the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce honored three businesses and two individuals. Bertolli’s Auto Body Shop won the small business of the year award, Redwood Credit Union won the large business of the year award, and Strategic Energy Innovations won the Joe Garbarino green business of the year award. Police lieutenant Ralph Pata received the employee of the year award, and Hugo Landecker received the citizen of the year award.

Thursday, 03 April 2014 21:26

RDA Board Tours East Valley Institute of Technology

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The Refinish Distributors Alliance (RDA) held its February 2014 board meeting in Mesa, AZ. While in Mesa, Dr. Sally Downey, superintendent of East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT), gave them a tour of the campus. RDA member Leading Edge has a partnership with EVIT that provides state-of-the-art training to collision industry technicians and to those preparing to enter the industry.

The EVIT is a state-of-the-art training facility for collision industry technicians, preparing them to enter the industry. It is considered one of the top collision repair educational programs in the country, RDA said in a release.

RDA/IMPACT is the largest national group of refinish jobbers dedicated to providing quality services and products to their collision shops. RDA has 16 members, representing 185 locations. Members service over 3,600 collision centers throughout the United States. RDA represents a cross-section of all major refinish brands and do over $455 million in sales as a group, comprising around 17 percent of the refinish business nationwide.

Last modified on Thursday, 03 April 2014 21:33
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The Montana Collision Repair Specialists (MCRS) 2014 Spring Meeting was held March 21–22, 2014, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Billings, MT. The day-and-a-half event included a cocktail reception party, training provided by Steve Trapp of Axalta Coating Systems, and an election of new MCRS officers. The 2014 event was deemed a success with over 90 industry professionals in attendance, an impressive turnout considering the harsh Montana winter and the dismal weather forecast that weekend.

The event began with a cocktail party on March 21, 2014, allowing attendees time to socialize and network. This first MCRS Meet and Greet, sponsored by Denny Menholt Chevrolet, was lauded as so useful that the MCRS plans to incorporate the concept into their future bi-annual meetings.

On March 22, 2014, MCRS held a Business Breakfast Meeting before two of Trapp’s courses, “Selling Customer Pay” and “Consumer Based Marketing.” During lunch, MCRS provided an overview on the Montana industry and engaged in a discussion on PartsTraders coming to the state. This included a satellite conference call with Dan Hunsacker, who runs one of the first shops to be put on PartsTrader in Tucson, AZ.

In the afternoon, Trapp presented “Improving Scoreboard Results.” Outgoing MCRS president Bruce Halcro praised Trapp’s informative courses. “Trapp did a phenomenal job. He’s a great trainer who really encourages participation.”

Halcro believes the meeting went over really well. MCRS tried a new approach, inviting local non-member shops to the meeting, and their efforts were rewarded with the presence of six non-member shops both days, helping MCRS reach their goal to expand their reach outside their current member base and to recruit new members so that the association can grow. Considering the weather, Halcro was “really encouraged and quite pleasantly surprised” by the number of attendees.

During the 2014 Spring Meeting, MCRS also held elections, appointing a new president, vice president, and two new directors, in addition to adding two more director positions. Mike Mitchell of Mitchell’s Crash Repair in Great Falls, MT, was elected president, and Brad Meuli of A&D Collision in Bozeman, MT, was named vice president. New directors appointed are as follows: Matthew McDonnell of Big Sky Collision in Billings, MT; Paul Flores of Rick’s Auto Body in Missoula, MT; Jeremy Myers of Flawless Auto Body in Great Falls, MT; and Todd Litton of American Auto Body in Billings, MT.

MCRS members expressed gratitude to outgoing president Bruce Halcro and director Gene Dzidza. Halcro was awarded with a plaque in recognition of his outstanding service and dedication to the Montana collision industry. MCRS is also grateful to their sponsors for helping to make their 2014 Spring Meeting such a success. Sponsors included Axalta Coating Systems, Denny Menholt Chevrolet, NCS, Auto Nation, Montana Radiator, Parts Channel, Archie Cochran Ford, Car Quest, and Mountain PBE.

MCRS will be scheduling a board meeting to discuss the 2014 Spring Meeting and preparing for the 2014 Autumn Meeting.

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The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) Spring 2014 General Meeting was held in co-operation with the Automotive Service Association (ASE) Northwest Automotive Training Expo (ATE) at the Doubletree SeaTac in Seattle, WA, on March 20, 2014.

Allen Pennebaker, NASTF 2014 chair and owner of Orinda Motors in Orinda, CA, welcomed attendees, both those in-person in Seattle and those viewing the meeting in a webcast over the NASTF YouTube Channel. The meeting included two featured panel discussions and a wrap-up of important NASTF committee activities.

Watch the full meeting.

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Airmen who enjoy working on their own car, or who don’t want to drive into town to have their car repaired, have a place to go. The Malmstrom Auto Hobby Shop on the Malmstrom, MT, base has many services to offer for military members of any rank, dependents, and retirees.

Some of the services the shop offers are engine diagnostic checks, brake checks, welding and paint booths, and classes on each. There are also three mechanics available at the shop to help airmen with any projects they may have.

“The single airmen program makes it so people can take the welding and auto body paint classes for a low charge,” said Clint Mallory, the auto hobby shop chief.

The welding class is the first Wednesday of the month, and the painting class is the second Wednesday of the month.

“The classes normally start at 5:30 p.m. and end around 8:30 p.m.,” Mallory said. “It all depends on how many questions the class members have. Participants must go to the class for one session before they receive a certification to use the paint and welding booths.”

For those who are interested in a more thorough learning experience on painting, the shop also offers a sixp- to eight-week auto body paint class.

“We have a lot of airmen who come here,” Mallory said. “Once they come in once, they keep coming back. Even though we have a lot of people coming in, I have heard a lot of people say they have never been here before or that they didn’t even know there was an auto shop on base.”

In the shop, people have completed an array of projects for their car.

“We have airmen who have pulled and rebuilt their motors, installed suspension lifts on their trucks, and removed and replaced their transmissions,” Mallory said. “There have also been quite a few little jobs such as putting in freeze plug heaters for their car because it was winter time. In the warmer months, people come in to put on new tires for their car.”

“They supply you with any tool you need,” said airman 1st class Jeremy McNeal, 341st Logistics Readiness Squadron vehicle maintenance apprentice.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 23:19

Utah Deputy Accused of DUI Crash Resigns, To Be Arraigned

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A Washington County, UT, deputy has resigned after authorities say he rolled his police vehicle while under the influence. Lieutenant Jason Lynn Adams tendered his resignation. Adams had been on leave since February 9, 2014, when he crashed his unmarked Ford F-150 on highway 17 near LaVerkin, UT. He and his four children had only minor injuries. Adams was charged with driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle, possession of a firearm while under the influence, and making an unsafe lane change.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014 23:15

Utah Companies Gift Car to Single Mom with Autistic Son

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Elizabeth Melde walked in to Martins Collision Repair in Orem, UT, with no idea she would leave in a new set of wheels. The body shop, and several other local companies, teamed up to fix a car donated by Bear River Mutual Insurance that was legally totaled, bring it back to tip-top shape and donate it to a family in need. Melde and her two children fit the description perfectly. Her son Jackson, 5, is autistic and suffers from severe hemophilia, and needs to get to the doctor quickly when in need. Her new sedan will help alleviate the pressure, and danger of not having her own vehicle. Melde’s old car was running on a leaking head gasket for six months before it finally gave out.

“I’ve just been being optimistic,” Melde said. “Hoping I’ll get to my next destination.” She had pulled over more and more frequently to let the car cool down after it overheated, making her kids later and later to school. All those worries are gone now. “I’m just in shock,” she said. “This is a miracle right now. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening to anyone.” It happens to be in her favorite color, turquoise.

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