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Lithia Motors Acquires Top Buick GMC Dealerships in Memphis
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Regional News

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National Association News

  • 2022 MSO Symposium Conference Agenda Released

    2022 MSO Symposium Conference Agenda Released

    PublishedSept. 7, 2022

    The MSO Symposium, an exclusive one-day conference created by and for multi-shop owners and operators, will be held Oct. 31, the Monday before SEMA/AAPEX, in Las Vegas.

    Developed by the Automotive Service Association (ASA) and the MSO Symposium advisory board, the conference includes unique programming with insight on a diverse set of topics top-of-mind to the leadership of the industry’s most influential collision repair operators in North America and beyond.

    The event begins at 9:30 a.m. PDT with a light breakfast, networking and vendor displays. Three additional networking opportunities for attendees during this event include a formal luncheon sponsored by Berkeley Capital Advisors, a refreshment break sponsored by Axalta Coating Systems and an exclusive industry reception sponsored by Repairify, from 5:15-6:30 pm.

    Below is an overview of the MSO Symposium’s 2022 conference timeline and agenda:

    Monday, Oct. 31

    9:30–10:30 a.m.: Networking Breakfast, Sponsor Showcase
    10:30–10:45 a.m.: Welcome and Introductions
    10:45–11:45 a.m.: Industry Macro & Micro Trends with Vincent Romans & CCC Intelligent Solutions
    11:45–12:30 p.m.: Panel discussion: Inclusion and Diversity
    12:30–1:30 p.m.: Formal Luncheon
    1:30–2:15 p.m.: Panel discussion: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) & Why it Matters
    2:15–3 p.m.: Economic Trends
    3–3:30 p.m.: Labor Trends, Challenges and Opportunities
    3:30–4 p.m.: Networking Break
    4–4:30 p.m.: Electric Vehicles
    4:30–5:15 p.m.: Artificial Intelligence and New Technology
    5:15–6:30 p.m.: Industry Reception

    Those interested in registering for the 2022 event are advised attendance is limited and one must qualify to attend. Those invited to attend include multi-shop operators of all sizes, insurers, OEMs and single-location repair facilities with revenue exceeding $3 million in annual sales.

    To begin the registration application process, go to the MSO Symposium’s website.

    Attendance by media personnel and equipment or service providers is available, but also limited. For additional information visit or send your questions or requests for sponsorship information to Jennie Lenk or Brian Nessen.

    Source: MSO Symposium

  • 69 Collision Schools Receive $436,000 in 2022 CREF Benchmark Grants

    69 Collision Schools Receive $436,000 in 2022 CREF Benchmark Grants

    PublishedNov. 4, 2022

    Small steps lead to big progress, and that’s the obvious lesson behind the industry’s support of the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s (CREF) Benchmark Grant program.

    Thanks to the generosity of a multitude of industry partners---both small and large---the foundation is proud to announce 69 collision schools will receive $436,000 in Benchmark Grant funding to financially support their efforts to educate the collision industry’s future workforce and making a difference in the lives of the students training in those programs.

    “Congratulations to the CREF Benchmark grant recipient schools and thank you to our industry partners for their continued support,” said CREF Managing Director Brandon Eckenrode. “I would also like to specifically recognize the instructors who applied for the grants as it shows their commitment to bettering their collision programs, which in turn allows them to provide a quality technical education for their students and prepare them for industry entry-level employment. These grants will help instructors with their limited program budgets and CREF is in a unique role of directing industry support to collision programs in need.”

    As part of its ongoing efforts to build a better tomorrow for the collision repair industry by supporting collision schools and students, CREF is proud to announce four programs will receive substantial financial assistance in the form of the foundation’s 2022 Benchmark Grants. Each school was selected for its efforts in a unique category respective to the program.

    In the Employment category, a $25,000 grant was awarded to Warren Tech, in Lakewood, CO, to support the school’s efforts to bridge the gap between education and employment. The Wildcard grant for $25,000 was bestowed upon Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, WI, for its innovative approach to collision education. A $10,000 grant was awarded to Lockhart High School in Lockhart, TX, to fund the tools and equipment needed to help the school reach the next tier, and a $2,000 grant given to Kootenai Technical Education Campus in Rathdrum, ID, to aid with maintaining the program.

    Continuing its support of collision repair schools and students, Caliber Collision donated $15,000 in grant funds to CREF, divided between three schools to help enhance their students’ educational experience and elevate the caliber of their graduates. Caliber Collision’s $5,000 grants were awarded to:

    • Rosedale Technical College, Pittsburgh, PA
    • Tidewater Community College, Chesapeake, VA
    • Freedom High School, Freedom, WI

    CCC Intelligent Solutions Inc.and CREF proudly announced three collision repair school programs will receive Classroom Enhancement Grants, totaling $15,000. The educational facilities will use these funds to purchase resources that will enhance their collision repair training programs and equip students with the tools they need for a successful career in collision repair.

    The recipient of CCC’s $8,000 Classroom Enhancement Grant is RCTC Ypsilanti Community Schools in Ypsilanti, MI. Coastal Carolina Community College in Jacksonville, NC, will receive a $3,000 Classroom Enhancement Grant, and a $4,000 grant will be bestowed upon West Sound Technical Skills Center in Bremerton, WA.

    Driven Brands Collision again partnered with CREF to support four collision repair education programs in secondary and post-secondary schools by funding $5,000 Benchmark Grants to help enhance students’ experience and elevate the caliber of graduates entering the field. These grants will benefit educational facilities located in CARSTAR, ABRAand Fix Auto USA markets.

    Driven Brands Collision Group awarded $5,000 Driven Collision Grants to:

    • North Idaho College, Coeur d’Alene, ID
    • Lex La-Ray Technical Center, Lexington, MO
    • Greenville Technical Center, Greenville, SC
    • Pulaski High School, Milwaukee, WI

    Thanks to funding from General Motors, CREF’s Support and Connect Project hopes to further support collision students and schools by building on its Benchmark Grant program, and in 2022, this initiative benefitted four schools by providing $5,000 grants from GM to:

    • Aims Community College, Windsor, CO
    • Wilkes Community College, Wilkesboro, NC
    • Hamilton Fulton Montgomery Career and Technical Center, Johnstown, NY
    • Judson High School, Converse, TX

    Erie Insurance supported CREF and the collision industry’s future by awarding a $5,000 grant to GST BOCES Coopers Education Center in Painted Post, NY.

    Continuing its collaboration with CREF, Farmers Insurance sponsored a $5,000 Benchmark Grant in support of collision repair education at Kingwood Park High School in Kingwood, TX, to enhance its educational offerings and help ensure the students graduating from the programs are prepared to enter a career in the collision repair industry.

    Continuing its support of the collision industry in 2022, GEICOsponsored three Benchmark Grants through CREF, awarding $5,000 to each school in an effort to help underfunded collision education programs elevate the caliber of training offered to ensure graduates are prepared to
    successfully begin their careers in the industry. The schools that will benefit from GEICO’s generosity include:

    • Career Center of Southern Illinois, Red Bud, IL
    • Area30 Career Center, Greencastle, IN
    • SUNY Morrisville, Morrisville, NY

    In addition to supporting CREF and collision schools and students in myriad other ways, Hertzfunded seven 2022 Benchmark Grants, supporting schools around the country. Four schools will each receive $5,000 grants:

    • Northeast Arkansas Career & Technical Center, Jonesboro, AR
    • Forbes Road Career & Technology Center, Monroeville, PA
    • Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, IA
    • Dennis Technical Education Center, Boise, ID

    Three additional schools will receive $10,000 each in grants from Hertz:

    • Etowah County Career Technical Center, Attalla, AL
    • Stanly Community College, Albemarle, NC
    • Contra Costa College, San Pablo, CA

    Thanks to the generosity of non-industry entity JW Bagley Foundation, the following two schools will each receive a $5,000 Benchmark Grant to assist with maintaining their programs:

    • Thornton Fractional High School Center for Academics and Technology, Calumet City, IL
    • Minnesota State College Southeast, Winona, MN

    LKQ Corporation continued its support of CREF by donating $30,000 to fund Benchmark Grants for five schools, which will be used to enhance their collision repair education programs and provide the resources necessary to ensure students are receiving the education they---and the industry---deserve.

    Rolla Technical Institute in Rolla, MO, will benefit from a $10,000 Benchmark Grant. Additionally, four schools will receive $5,000 each, funded by LKQ:

    • Baton Rouge Community College, Baton Rouge, LA
    • Southeast Community College, Milford, NE
    • South Plains College, Levelland, TX
    • Dowell J Howard Center, Winchester, VA

    Once again, Nationwide Insurancepartnered with CREF to support collision schools and students by funding $5,000 Benchmark Grants for two Ohio schools in an effort to help collision education programs elevate the caliber of training offered to ensure graduates are prepared to successfully begin their careers in the industry.

    Nationwide awarded $5,000 Benchmark Grants to:

    • EHOVE Career Center, Milan, OH
    • Waite High School, Toledo, OH

    The OEM Collision Repair Roundtable’s donation created two grants, awarded to:

    • Southeastern Community College, West Burlington, IA
    • New York Automotive & Diesel Institute, Jamaica, NY

    Stellantisalso continued its support of CREF and collision schools by sponsoring a $5,000 Benchmark Grant for new program additions that will benefit W. D. Ormsby Educational Center in East Aurora, NY.

    CREF is also excited to announce 27 secondary and post-secondary schools in the U.S. will benefit from Benchmark Grants funded through the efforts of 10 devoted I-CARCommittees. Various fundraising methods were employed, generating $163,000 in funds that will aid the industry’s future generation in becoming prepared for a career in collision repair. The 10 I-CAR Committees and the grants they bestowed include:

    Atlanta I-CAR Committee

    • Athens Technical College, Athens, GA: $10,000
    • Etowah High School, Woodstock, GA: $15,000
    • Maxwell High School of Technology, Lawrenceville, GA: $5,000
    • North Georgia Technical College, Clarkesville, GA: $10,000
    • Paulding County High School, Dallas, GA: $15,000

    Broward County I-CAR Committee

    • Atlantic Technical College, Coconut Creek, FL: $5,000
    • McFatter Technical College, Davie, FL: $5,000
    • Sheridan Technical College, Hollywood, FL: $5,000

    Columbus Collision Education Group

    • Miami Valley Career and Technology Center, Englewood, OH: $2,500

    Greater Philadelphia I-CAR Committee

    • Berks Career & Technology Center, Oley, PA: $3,000
    • Central Montco Technical High School, Plymouth Meeting, PA: $4,000
    • Lebanon County Career & Technology Center, Lebanon, PA: $1,500
    • Pennsylvania College of Technology, Williamsport, PA: $4,000

    Indianapolis I-CAR Committee

    • Central Nine Career Center, Greenwood, IN: $5,000
    • Walker Career Center, Indianapolis, IN: $5,000

    Knoxville I-CAR Committee

    • TCAT, Knoxville, TN: $5,000
    • TCAT, Morristown, TN: $5,000
    • Greene Technical Center, Greeneville, TN: $2,500

    Nashville I-CAR Committee

    • Lincoln College of Technology, Nashville, TN: $5,000
    • Northwest High School, Clarksville, TN: $13,000

    Palm Beach I-CAR Committee

    • South Tech Academy, Boynton Beach, FL: $5,000

    Phoenix I-CAR Committee

    • East Valley Institute of Technology, Mesa, AZ: $10,000
    • Gateway Community College Central City Campus, Phoenix, AZ: $10,000
    • West-MEC, Phoenix, AZ: $5,000

    St. Louis I-CAR Committee

    • Lewis and Clark Career Center, St. Charles, MO: $2,500
    • North Technical High School, Florissant, MO: $2,500
    • South Technical High School, Sunset Hills, MO: $2,500

    Eligibility for these awards was achieved by applying for CREF’s 2022 Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark Grant. The Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark Grants recognize schools that excel at educating students in collision repair, but due to strained school budgets, the programs require additional financial assistance.

    Recipient schools use these funds to provide the tools, equipment and supplies necessary to enhance their students’ learning experience and elevate the caliber of their graduates, ensuring graduates are prepared to successfully enter the workforce upon graduation.

    Applications for the 2023 Collision School Career Readiness Benchmark Grants will be available online in Spring 2023.

    Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting CREF’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs can Contact Us to learn about the many ways to get involved. Monetary donations can be made online.

    Source: CREF

  • A Continuing Legacy: The Jeff Silver Memorial Scholarship


    A Continuing Legacy: The Jeff Silver Memorial Scholarship

    PublishedDec. 14, 2022

    As the collision industry mourned the passing of Jeff Silver, who was instrumental in creating both I-CAR and the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), his family immediately recognized the best way to honor his memory and continue his long-lasting legacy on the industry he loved: by creating the Jeff Silver Memorial Scholarship.

    “Jeff was passionate about helping collision school programs and their students, which is why he had an active role in establishing the Collision Repair Education Foundation back in 1991,” said Jeanne Silver, his wife and soulmate of 36 years. “This memorial scholarship will allow his vision to carry on in supporting these students. Thank you in advance for considering helping honor Jeff’s legacy by supporting this scholarship!”

    Anyone considering a year-end, tax-deductible charitable gift is invited to consider helping to honor Jeff’s memory by contributing to his memorial scholarship fund. Simply visit CREF’s online donation page, and select the “Jeff Silver Memorial Scholarship” designation for your donation. Scholarship applications will open in January, and the inaugural Jeff Silver Memorial Scholarship will be awarded in 2023.

    Source: CREF

  • A Year in Review: CREF Celebrates a Successful 2022

    A Year in Review: CREF Celebrates a Successful 2022

    Published Jan. 13, 2023

    What is success? Success is defined as reaching a goal or accomplishing one’s purpose. For the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), that purpose is to “support collision repair educational programs, schools and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities.” 

    And based on that purpose, it’s fair to say CREF enjoyed a lot of successes in 2022, with more than $12 million in support distributed.

    “CREF is incredibly proud of everything we accomplished last year…and we accomplished a LOT,” said CREF Managing Director Brandon Eckenrode. “From school grants to scholarships to representation at various events around the country to raise awareness of the many wonderful opportunities available in this industry---none of this would have been possible without the continued support of our generous industry partners. By working together, we’re creating stronger school programs and a more qualified future workforce.”

    For more than 30 years, CREF has striven to help underfunded collision education programs by providing them with the resources needed to elevate the caliber of training offered to ensure graduates are prepared to successfully begin their careers in the industry, and this goal is accomplished in several ways.

    In 2022, nearly 70 collision schools received CREF Benchmark Grants, totaling $436,000 and impacting more than 35,000 students. Additionally, CREF distributed more than $10 million worth of in-kind donations, including parts, products, quarter panels, subscriptions, safety equipment and more.

    Demonstrating the industry’s commitment to their future careers, CREF’s efforts also extended directly to the next generation of collision repair professionals with more than 4,000 uniforms given to students. Additionally, 46 students received nearly $150,000 in 2022 scholarships and tool grants funded by CREF and its generous supporters.

    CREF also works hard to raise awareness of the multitude of career opportunities available within the collision repair industry, and last year, it addressed this initiative in a number of productive ways. During the American School Counselor Association Conference, CREF highlighted the collision repair industry as a viable and valuable career to more than 4,000 school counselors, indirectly promoting that message to approximately 100,000 additional students those education professionals will encounter in the 2022-23 school year alone.

    Through its 2022 Transportation Career Fairs, CREF directly connected industry employers with more than 1,800 students interested in a collision or transportation industry career. More than 1,000 posters and hundreds of banners promoting the various opportunities were distributed to collision programs across the country to further promote the viability of a collision career.

    CREF found opportunities to identify, highlight and elevate students actively pursuing an industry career through competitions, including the PiN Master event, held in conjunction with FinishMaster’s Hood Master Challenge. Students were given the opportunity to compete against each other by repairing, designing and painting retired bowling pins in an effort to showcase these students’ skills and to support the future of this industry. More than $13,000 was raised, plus four PiN Master winners were recognized:

    • First place: Eric De La Cruz, Lincoln Tech, Indianapolis, IN
    • Second place: Colton Griggs, Kingwood Park High School, Houston, TX
    • Third place: Erin Shannon, Lincoln Tech, Indianapolis, IN
    • Wild card: Jordan Hoag, Cape Fear Community College, Wilmington, NC

    Art Meets Automotive provided students with a chance to design and create a project using their favorite skillset, with entries being displayed at CREF’s reception during SEMA 2022. Sixty contestants entered the contest, with 30 submissions being chosen to compete on social media. Ultimately, CREF announced the winner as George Thomas of Ulster BOCES Career and Technical Center in Port Ewen, NY.

    As part of its efforts to promote its mission to the industry and to generate support, CREF holds two annual golf fundraisers, and in 2022, both events generated more than $120,000 to be used to further advance collision schools and students.

    CREF’s efforts are led by its Executive Committee and Board of Trustees, which consists of industry professionals who are dedicated to supporting the future of the industry through engagement with collision schools and students. These leaders offer guidance and encouragement, and without their devotion to the organization’s mission, CREF could not have enjoyed such a successful year. 

    A Year in Review: CREF Celebrates a Successful 2022 (article continued)

    CREF expresses its gratitude to its leadership team:

    • Chair Steve Schmidt, State Farm
    • Vice Chair Kevin Burnett, Gerber Collision & Glass
    • Secretary Doug Irish, Fayetteville Technical Community College
    • Treasurer Ryan West, GEICO
    • Trustee-at-Large Don Mikrut, Wejo
    • Trustee-at-Large Brenda Hogan, Parts Trader
    • Immediate Past Chair Tom Wolf, PPG Industries
    • Stacy Bartnik, Intertek
    • Keith Bell, Axalta Coating Systems
    • Tom Brown, 3M
    • Mike Croker, Chief Automotive
    • Paul Folino, LKQ Corporation
    • Ty Gammill, Caliber Collision Centers
    • Andreas Hecht, CCC Intelligent Solutions
    • Mark Helvenston, Insurance Auto Auctions
    • Ken Hudson, Farmers Insurance
    • Sean Huurman, Service King Collision Repair
    • Josh Krentz, Forbes Road Career and Technology Center
    • Sandee Lindorfer, Allstate Insurance Company
    • Mark Verbois, Enterprise Holdings
    • Trustee Emeriti J. Laurence “Larry” Costin, CCC Information Services, Inc.
    • Trustee Emeriti Lirel G. Holt, U, Inc.
    • Trustee Emeriti Chuck Sulkala

    “The foundation is grateful to every individual and organization that donated funds and products, as well as all of our amazing volunteers,” Eckenrode offered in another round of thanks. “We’re addressing the technician shortage from every possible angle as we try to attract qualified talent to this field, but we rely on everyone’s involvement because we are stronger together. Let’s make 2023 an even more successful year!”

    Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs can contact us to learn about the many ways to get involved. Monetary donations can be made online.

    Source: CREF

  • ASE Announces 2022 Award Winners


    ASE Announces 2022 Award Winners

    PublishedDec. 19, 2022

    The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) has announced its award winners for 2022.

    “We want to congratulate all of the award winners and wish them continued success in their respective careers,” said Tim Zilke, ASE president and CEO. “We had a tremendous group of nominees, and they all were deserving of this recognition.”

    • Big O Tires/ASE Automobile Technician of the Year: Steven Whittenberg, Jefferson City, MO
    • BMW/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Michael Hanson, Shelby Township, MI
    • BodyShop Business/ASE Master Collision Repair and Refinish Technician of the Year: Thomas Alderman, Ocala, FL
    • The Bosch Automotive Service and Maintenance Module/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Paul Polis, Ham Lake, MN
    • The Bosch Diesel Workshop/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Brent Ordway, Dothan, AL
    • The eXtra Program/ASE Technician of the Year: John Weber III, Dayton, OH
    • BridgestoneRetail Operations/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Scot East, Prosper, TX
    • Byrl Shoemaker/ASE Education Foundation Instructor of the Year: Juwan Willis, Pontiac, MI
    • CCAR/Electude/ASE Instructor of the Year: Sara Heller, Branchburg, NJ
    • Cengage Learning/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: David Rodriguez, Twin Falls, ID
    • Delco Remy/ASE M/H Truck Electrical/Electronic Systems Technician of the Year: Mark Ehlers, Lisle, IL
    • FirstStudent/ASE Master School Bus Technician of the Year: Brock Hollingsworth, Coffeyville, KS
    • First Transit/ASE Master Transit Bus Technician of the Year: Raul Rivera, San Juan, Puerto Rico
    • First Vehicle Services/ASE Master Automobile and M/H Truck Technician of the Year: Daniel Williams, Longview, TX
    • Freightliner/ASE Master M/H Truck Technician of the Year: Travis Neimoth, Lincoln, NE
    • Gates Tools for Schools/ASE Instructor of the Year: Michael Thomason, Lawton, OK
    • Gates/ASE Master Automobile + L1 Technician of the Year: Zachary Ashton, Applegate, CA
    • GM/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Frank Tiedt, Milwaukee, WI
    • GM/ASE Parts Consultant of the Year: Eddie Yarborough, Sanford, NC
    • GM/ASE Service Consultant of the Year: Jere Price, St. Louis, MO
    • Acura/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: John Rodriguez, Sherman Oaks, CA
    • Honda/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Scott Hemsley, Walnut Creek, CA
    • I-CAR Platinum/ASE Master Collision Repair and Refinish Technician of the Year: Brian Toltzmann, Hoffman Estates, IL
    • Midas International/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Lorenzo Ramos, Greenwood Village, CO
    • Mitchell1/ASE Educator of the Year: Nathaniel Nie, Mission Viejo, CA
    • Motor Age/ASE Master Automobile + L1 Technician of the Year: Justin Bennett, Statesville, NC
    • NAPA/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Margarette Langdon-Lewis, Belfast, ME
    • Navistar/ASE Master M/H Truck Technician of the Year: John Schick IV, Grand Rapids, MI
    • Navistar/ASE Master School Bus Technician of the Year: Anthony DeCicco, Exton, PA
    • Infiniti/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Gary Kulinec, Peoria, AZ
    • Nissan/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Dennis Corson, Augusta, ME
    • NTB/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Jacob Boone, Washington, MO
    • Pep Boys/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Michael Todd Cooper, Hemet, CA
    • Pronto/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: John Myers, Corona, CA
    • Car-O-Liner/ASE Master Collision Repair and Refinish Technician of the Year: Gary Hughes, Howell, NJ
    • NEXIQ/Snap-on/ASE Master M/H Truck Technician of the Year: Adam Vershon, Springfield, MA
    • Snap-on/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Jason Rogers, Alamosa, CO
    • SpeeDee Oil Change and Auto Service/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Jerry Blasingame, Vallejo, CA
    • Stellantis/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Leon Morris, Easley, SC
    • Stellantis/ASE Master Collision Repair and Refinish Technician of the Year: Ted Hayes, Lawrenceville, GA
    • Subaru University/ASE Automobile Technician of the Year: David Fleck, Beaverton, OR
    • Subaru/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: David Nichols, Minnetonka, MN
    • TechNet Professional/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Todd Heiberger, Santa Fe, NM
    • TechNet Professional/ASE Service Consultant of the Year: David James, Grand Junction, CO
    • Tire Kingdom/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Kenneth Vieira, Hollywood, FL
    • Toyota/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Stephen Keeney, Maplewood, MN
    • Lexus/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Randal Nielsen, Mobile, AL
    • Toyota/ASE Master Collision Repair & Refinish Technician of the Year: Gabriel Qahtani, Melbourne, FL
    • Lexus/ASE Master Collision Repair & Refinish Technician of the Year: Ron Efken, Schaumburg, IL
    • TravelCenters of America/ASE Master M/H Truck Technician of the Year: Nicholas Barajas, Madison, GA
    • USAF/GM/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: SrA Joshua S. Bright, Hurlburt Field, FL
    • ZF Aftermarket/ASE Master Automobile Technician of the Year: Andrew Jensen, St. Ignatius, MI

    Source: ASE

  • ASE Announces New EV Standards, EV Testing and Certification Program


    ASE Announces New EV Standards, EV Testing and Certification Program

    PublishedMay 2, 2023

    The National Institute for Automotive Service (ASE) announced the creation of EV technician/shop personnel electrical safety standards.

    The purpose of the standards is to provide guidance, document and establish electrical safety requirements, standards, procedures and safe work practices relating to the development of an electrically safe working area for service professionals in North America working on or around electrified vehicles (xEVs). The intent is to minimize exposure to these hazards and their associated impacts.

    These standards were developed in conjunction with vehicle manufacturers, aftermarket personnel and other electric industry subject matter experts. Visit to see the standards.

    “Technicians and service personnel must be properly trained to perform EV service and repairs. With the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, ASE has taken a proactive approach to support shops as they encounter more hybrid and EV repair opportunities,” said Tim Zilke, ASE president. “The new ASE EV testing and certification program was developed in conjunction with industry experts to help ensure that service professionals are well prepared to safely and effectively service these technologically advanced vehicles.”

    In addition to the EV Standards, ASE has developed a new testing and certification program for all xEV vehicles including light duty and medium/heavy duty hybrid/electric vehicles (EV) based on the standards. This industry-developed program provides two options to certify shop owners and their employees based on their involvement with EVs. The certification tests are in pilot testing now and plans are to launch them shortly.

    The two tests that will be available are:

    xEV Electrical Safety Awareness Certification (Level One)

    This certification is designed for anyone who may encounter an EV in the workplace. This includes identifying individuals who perform tasks in proximity of electric powered vehicles in sales, service, repair and/or related environments. Level One individuals require high-voltage electrical safety awareness to identify the hazards and reduce the associated risks when working on or near electric vehicles (xEVs) and/or near high-voltage components of electric powered vehicles.

    Skills performed by Level One individuals may include: operating (driving) an electric powered vehicle; performing maintenance and repairs not related to high-voltage systems or their components; handling non-high-voltage components of electric powered vehicles; and encountering electric powered vehicles and/or high-voltage components of electric powered vehicles while performing job-related tasks.

    xEV Technician Electrical Safety Certification (Level Two)

    This certification is for service professionals, technicians or specialists who have received high-voltage electrical training; have demonstrated skills and knowledge related to the construction, operation and repair of electrically powered high-voltage vehicles; maintain an electrically safe working area and use required personal protective equipment (PPE). They have also received safety training to identify the hazards and reduce the associated risk.

    Skills performed by Level Two repair professionals may include: evaluating and classifying the condition of the high-voltage battery and high-voltage electrical system; isolating the voltage from the high-voltage systems and checking the isolation from the supply; securing the high-voltage system against being activated; re-starting the high voltage system; performing general work on de-energized high-voltage systems and components; and assessing the risk of high-voltage vehicles that were involved in an accident.

    To learn more about the new ASE light duty hybrid/electric certification program, visit

    Source: ASE

  • ASE Education Foundation Seeking Nominations for Instructor Award


    ASE Education Foundation Seeking Nominations for Instructor Award

    PublishedMay 8, 2023

    Applications are now being accepted for the 2023 Bryl Shoemaker/ASE Education Foundation Instructor of the Year. The award recognizes a high school or college instructor from an ASE accredited automotive, diesel/truck or collision repair program who demonstrates excellence through their personal dedication and commitment to the young men and women who have chosen to pursue a technical career in the automotive service industry.

    “There are many individuals within automotive service education whose contributions continue to influence and inspire long after they are gone. Such an individual was Byrl Shoemaker, Ph.D.,” said Mike Coley, ASE Education Foundation president. “Few have done as much to advance technician education as Dr. Shoemaker. Each year, the ASE Education Foundation honors his memory with the presentation of an award in his name. It is a once-in-a-lifetime achievement for those outstanding instructors whose work reflects the same dedication to technical education modeled by Dr. Shoemaker.” 

    Shoemaker was the state director of vocational and adult education at the Ohio Department of Education from 1962 to 1982. He was a major contributor to education, including the development of the system of career technical education programs in Ohio and the development of the two-year post high school technician education centers that have grown into the system of community colleges across Ohio. 

    Shoemaker was also instrumental in the development of VICA(now SkillsUSA) in Ohio as well as nationally and the development of NATEF(now ASE Education Foundation) accreditation, ensuring entry-level automotive repair training programs meet standards set by the automotive service industry at the national level.

    The winner of the Bryl Shoemaker/ASE Education Foundation Instructor of the Year will receive a plaque, a $1,000 award and an expenses-paid trip for two to attend ASE's Board of Directors fall meeting and be celebrated at the annual technician of the year recognition banquet which will be held Nov. 15 in Clearwater, FL.

    Candidates must be nominated by an administrator such as a principal, program director, dean, department chair or CTE director. Finalists will be contacted by ASE Education Foundation field managers to verify their information and eligibility. 

    To nominate an outstanding instructor, administrators should complete the form by May 22.

    Source: ASE Education Foundation

  • ASE Instructor Training Conference a Huge Success 

    ASE Instructor Training Conference a Huge Success 

    Published Aug. 10, 2023

    The 2023 ASE Instructor Training Conference, held in July in Concord, NC, welcomed hundreds of high school and college instructors from auto, truck and collision repair programs nationwide, where they had the opportunity to participate in a wide array of sessions conducted by the transportation industry’s leading trainers and instructors. 

    “This year’s instructor training conference was a huge success, from the instructional sessions to the networking opportunities to the informational resources that instructors can integrate into their automotive programs,” said Mike Coley, president of the ASE Education Foundation. “The attendees heard from experienced OE and aftermarket trainers, enjoyed a keynote speech by Eric Chester and learned about ‘Revving up Diversity in the Classroom’ from Bogi Lateiner.” 

    Hosted by the ASE Education Foundation, the four-day annual conference is the largest of its kind. In addition to training and motivational sessions, attendees had time to network with their peers from across the country and share best practices. 

    Also on the agenda was Chester’s keynote speech, “Building Rockets That Fly: Ensuring the Success of our Graduates,” focused on ways to help graduates of automotive educational programs to succeed in their careers. In addition, Lateiner shared ways to enhance diversity in automotive programs with a standing-room-only audience. 

    “Being together under one roof gave the attendees the opportunity to learn, interact and focus on the future,” said Coley. “We want to thank the subject matter experts who shared their knowledge and expertise with the instructors and the conference sponsors who helped make this exceptional educational event possible.”

    Source: ASE Education Foundation

  • Auto Care Alliance Announces New Industry Events Calendar

    Auto Care Alliance Announces New Industry Events Calendar

    PublishedOct. 28, 2022

    The Auto Care Alliance (ACA) announced a new resource for the aftermarket automotive industry.

    The ACA Industry Events Calendar is an available resource for shop owners, technicians, educators and vendors to stay up-to-date with the latest conferences and expos throughout the U.S.

    "We found that there wasn't a comprehensive listing of industry events available. This will provide not only be a valuable resource for industry professionals but will also assist organizations in scheduling future events so as to not conflict with other industry events," said Sheri Hamilton, executive director for the Auto Care Alliance.

    The calendar can be found at Each event features its own dedicated page, which will include the event dates, description, registration links, websites, venue information and contact information.

    Companies and organizations can submit their events to be included by completing the submission form included on the site.

    Source: Auto Care Alliance

  • Auto Care Alliance Offers HRA Plans to Members

    Auto Care Alliance Offers HRA Plans to Members

    PublishedNov. 29, 2022

    The Auto Care Alliance has partnered with health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) provider Take Command Health to offer unique HRAs that enable small employers to reimburse their employees tax-free for health insurance premiums and medical expenses.

    Employers can set an allowance and employees choose the plan that fits their needs.

    Take Command offers two types of programs, a Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA) and an Individual Coverage HRA (ICHRA).

    In contrast to a group plan, HRAs provide employers the benefit of not worrying about annual premium increases, participation rate concerns and management of underlying health risks of employees. HRAs also ensure employers are not privy to the private medical information of their employees.

    As an added bonus, Auto Care Alliance members who set up an ICRA or QSEHRA plan by Dec. 2 will receive an additional $50 off their first month.

    Chad Snider, an employee covered by this unique HRA, said, "I couldn't be more pleased with how my employer utilizes Take Command. I upload my proof of insurance each quarter and my reimbursements are included in my paycheck at the beginning of each month. If you don't use the full amount of your stipend in a given month it rolls over month-to-month until the end of the calendar year, which would allow a larger fund to work with for an emergency room visit or the birth of a child. The program is easy to access online and the process couldn't be smoother."

    Sheri Hamilton, executive director of ACA and its Midwest alliance, said, "This IRS-compliant program allows me to be competitive with benefit offerings of large corporations and still stay within budget, while offering flexibility for employees personal needs. It is much simpler offering employees a monthly medical expense stipend through Take Command Health and not having to worry about calculating reimbursements or searching for health insurance programs and pricing that would fit all our employees' needs."

    Getting your HRA set up early gives your employees who need health insurance in 2023 enough time to shop for a plan before open enrollment ends Dec. 15. Set up your HRA by Dec. 2 to take advantage of this special $50 offer. More information on the program can be found at

    Source: Auto Care Alliance

  • Auto Care Alliance Partners with Elite to Bring Training Savings to Members

    Auto Care Alliance Partners with Elite to Bring Training Savings to Members

    PublishedJan. 10, 2023

    Auto Care Alliance has partnered with Eliteto offer online sales training for service advisors. Elite is offering a benefits package valued at more than $300 to ACA member shops who are new to the program.

    Each ACA member that signs on with Elite's Sales Master University will receive a full year of access to 16 lessons taught by Ratchet & Wrench All-Star Award winner Jen Monclus, including quizzes and activities to improve retention and accountability, and quality content developed by America's top shop owners and service advisors with real-world applications that can be implemented immediately, ensuring consistent and profitable sales cycles.

    "Sales training is an important cornerstone to a successful repair facility. Partnering with Elite to offer our ACA members access to top-quality sales training in the comfort of the shop or their home was a big win for our members and their sales team," said Sheri Hamilton, ACA and MWACAexecutive director.

    “At Elite, we pride ourselves not only on the caliber of our people and the quality of our services, but on our principles, and the people we associate with," said Darrin Barney, president of Elite. "As a company with a 30+ year reputation of excellence, and knowing the caliber of those in the ACA, we’re not only honored to partner with the ACA, but we’re thrilled to announce we’re now making our industry-acclaimed Elite sales training available to shops at an incredible savings.

    "Through our partnership, shop owners are now able to access Elite’s Sales Master University 24/7---our easy to learn and easy to use sales training that will dramatically improve their sales, and their customer satisfaction, in the most professional and ethical way," Barney said.

    Elite and Hamilton will host a 30-minute webinar on this benefit to member shops at 1 p.m. CT Jan. 24.

    More information on the program and upcoming webinar can be found at

    Source: Auto Care Alliance

  • Auto Care Association Announces Director of Digital Products


    Auto Care Association Announces Director of Digital Products

    Written by Zoi’ Holloway, Auto Care Association
    Feb. 22, 2023

    The Auto Care Association on Feb. 22 announced the addition of David Logan as its new director of digital products. 

    Logan will lead Auto Care's ongoing development and maintenance of the product suite. In addition, he will collaborate with stakeholders to develop product roadmaps and determine which technology is needed to achieve the vision.

    Logan is a seasoned professional with more than two decades of experience in the automotive aftermarket industry. Throughout his career, he has held a variety of leadership positions in product management and catalog direction. He has a proven track record of success working with top brands in the industry, including FEL-PRO, Sealed Power, Raybestos, TRICO, Carter, FRAMand Victor-Reinz.

    Logan has worked for renowned organizations such as DANA Corp., Federal-Mogul and First Brands Group, serving automotive retailers, wholesalers and independent customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. With a deep passion for the aftermarket industry, Logan is now leveraging his expertise as a member of the Auto Care Association to give back to the community that has given him so much over the years.

    For more information about Auto Care Association’s digital products, visit

    Source: Auto Care Association

  • Auto Care Association, ASE Announce 2023 World Class Technicians


    Auto Care Association, ASE Announce 2023 World Class Technicians

    PublishedMarch 10, 2023

    The Auto Care Association has announced the latest recipients of the World Class Technician Award in partnership with the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE).

    The two organizations provide this annual recognition to professional technicians who have attained ASE certification in 22 specific areas during the previous calendar year.

    There are an estimated 887,000 technicians in the U.S., with approximately 250,000 holding ASE certification. As of now, there are 2,224 technicians who have earned the respected status of “World Class Technician” since its inception more than 30 years ago.

    The class of 2023 World Class Technicians is listed below:

    • Anthony H. Caputa, Arnold, MO
    • Arlen Parker Hart, Athens, GA
    • Bobby Leatherman, Stony Point, NC
    • Bradley Kilwy, Plano, TX
    • Brian Ward, Denton, NC
    • Bryan Jensen, Apple Valley, CA
    • Craig Wilkins, Fillmore, CA
    • Dale Collins, Orange Park, FL
    • Daniel Hammond, Indianapolis, IN
    • Daniel Indovina, Centennial, CT
    • David Yentema, Macedon, NY
    • Don Verville, Cape Coral, FL
    • Gordon Marr, Yorba Linda, CA
    • Gregg Brinlee, Detroit, MI
    • Gregory Pheasant, Sparks, NV
    • James Moody, Heber Springs, AR
    • Jarod Johnson, Lubbock, TX
    • Jason Kirby, Groveland, FL
    • Jeff Autery, St. Louis, MO
    • Joel A. Pritchard, Warren, MI
    • John Lewins, Nashville, TN
    • John Vaccarello, Detroit, MI
    • Jon Ewing, Detroit, MI
    • Jorden Ellis, Corpus Christi, TX
    • Luke Plant, Edmond, OK
    • Marcus Buchholz, Detroit, MI
    • Mario Monsivais, Houston, TX
    • Matt York, Canton, GA
    • Michael Gavrielides, Winterville, GA
    • Nathaniel A. Dillard, Brookwood, AL
    • Paul Bostel, Apple Valley, MN
    • Paul French, Dallas, PA
    • Robert Bridges, Omaha, NE
    • Rodney Prince, Henderson, NV
    • Roger Abbey, Rochester, NY
    • Russell Andrew Ringling, Warrenton, VA
    • Ryan Woods, Old Bridge, NJ
    • Sam Mott, Reno, NV
    • Shawn Williams, Ladson, SC
    • Thomas Kepler, Curtice, OH
    • Tyler Grahl, Newport, TN
    • Victor Hasstedt, Hollister, CA
    • William P. Link, Virginia Beach, VA
    • William Pickham, Bensonville, IL

    Congratulations to this year’s ASE World Class Technicians.

    The Auto Care Association surveyed this year’s ASE World Class Technician award recipients to learn about their career journeys, what motivated them to pursue the goal of ASE World Class Technician and what achieving this status means to them in their own words.

    “To become ASE World Class meant becoming a top person in my field of work, said Joel A. Pritchard, General Motors, Warren, MI. "I strive every day to gain more knowledge in every aspect of the automotive field. I adopt the philosophy of ‘If you're going to do something, you might as well be great at it!’ and World Class status is another step in becoming great at what I want to do.”

    Auto Care Association, ASE Announce 2023 World Class Technicians (article continued)

    “This is an honor to be named a world class technician," said Gregory Pheasant, A Master Mechanic, Sparks, NV. "Every day I strive to be better, learn more and always move in a forward direction. This industry can be challenging at times with the constant growth of new technology and systems training is a must. I pride myself in constantly furthering my education in the field and adapting to these new advancements to be the best at what I do. One can never stop learning or we become stagnant and stale. I hope to inspire others to follow me and advance to higher levels with confidence in your day to day.”

    “World Class (and ASE) status is a valuable confirmation tool I use to audit my knowledge of current customer products," said Bradley Kilwy, Toyota Motor North America, Plano, TX. "It shows my customers and employer that I am keeping my knowledge current and that my skill is of the highest quality and value to our customers.”

    “World Class certification is important to me because of the exclusivity of achieving it," said Don Verville, Kia of Cape Coral, Cape Coral, FL. "I set the goal for myself years ago, when I first read about it and take great pride in reaching that goal. I currently hold a total of 29 ASE certifications, a feat I display proudly.”

    For more information about the Auto Care Association’s World Class Technician certification qualifications, timing and recognition, visit the association’s World Class Technician webpage.

    For more information about ASE and service professional certification, visit

    Source: Auto Care Association

  • CIECA Announces March 30 Webinar Focusing on Adapting to Change


    CIECA Announces March 30 Webinar Focusing on Adapting to Change

    PublishedMarch 9, 2023

    The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) announced its next CIECA webinar is scheduled for 11 a.m. PT/1 p.m. CT/ 2 p.m. ET March 30: “How to Adapt to the Speed of Change in the Collision Industry… Without Getting Crushed.”

    The one-hour webinar will feature Ryan Taylor, founder of the CRM software BodyShop Booster and president of The AMP Bureau.

    During the live broadcast, Taylor will share three secrets focused on how Fortune500 companies embrace change: upstream thinking, how to adapt and ride the technology wave, and how the military uses change as rocket fuel to boost advancement.

    Upstream Thinking

    Taylor said upstream thinking is a new way to solve some of the biggest challenges. “From staffing to supply chain issues, this problem-solving methodology is a closely-guarded secret that many of the most successful companies use,” he said.

    How to Adapt and Ride the Technology Wave

    Are you struggling to keep up with the fast-paced evolution of technology? Don't get left behind! Taylor will share a proven framework that can be used by the industry to adapt to the latest technological advancements and thrive in today's digital landscape.

    From Fear to Freedom: How the Military Uses Change as Rocket Fuel to Boost Advancement

    The military operates in a constantly changing and unpredictable environment. As a result, it has developed a culture that embraces change and adaptation.

    “By using change as a catalyst for growth and advancement, the military has been able to stay ahead of the curve and maintain its competitive edge,” said Taylor. “This secret approach can be applied to businesses in the collision industry by fostering a culture of innovation and adaptation and embracing change to drive growth and success.”

    Taylor said he started his first body shop when he was 17, fueled by way too much coffee. Through unconventional and creative means, he grew it to be an MSO with locations across Canada, with a successful exit in 2014. Presently, Taylor is the founder of the CRM software BodyShop Booster and the president of The AMP Bureau. He is an advisor and coach to thousands of shops, OEMs and Fortune 500 companies around the globe.

    All industry segments, including CIECA members and non-members, are invited to attend the webinar. Following the presentation, there will be a Q&A session.

    Attendees can earn Automotive Management Institute (AMi) credit toward an industry-recognized professional designation and specialty degree by attending this webinar.

    To register for the CIECAST, click here.

    Source: CIECA

  • CIECA Forms Electric Vehicle (EV) & Battery Committee


    CIECA Forms Electric Vehicle (EV) & Battery Committee

    PublishedFeb. 20, 2023

    CIECAhas announced the formation of a new Standards Development Committee focused on electric vehicles (EVs) and electric batteries. The committee will be chaired by Frank Phillips, senior manager of Certified Collision North America for Rivian; Jake Rodenroth, North American body repair program operations manager for Lucid Motors; and Ginny Whelan, senior consultant for the Automotive Recyclers Association (ARA).

    The first meeting is March 1. All industry stakeholders, including CIECA and non-CIECA members, are invited to join.

    In 2022, CIECA’s Recycled Parts and Inventory Committee, chaired by Whelan, was discussing recycled EV parts and found questions kept arising about how an EV’s lifecycle and batteries would impact recycled parts. As a result, the EV Committee was formed.

    The committee will bring together companies and individuals from all industry segments to discuss how EVs will change the current business workflows and data. Committee members will identify new data sources, access and sharing requirements, connectivity methodologies, workflows and terminology.

    “The goal is to create new workflows that will show the lifecycle of an EV and its battery,” said Paulette Reed, CIECA’s technical project manager. “The workflows will then be used to generate new messages and data elements so the industry will be able to continue sharing data electronically.”

    Whelan foresees the committee will address the safe handling of an EV, the impact of parts and materials on the collision repair process, and the availability of charging stations. She said the committee will also likely discuss EV battery issues, such as mining, manufacturing and battery strength.

    “I think the safety component is definitely something worth spotlighting and ensuring that the industry has a good understanding of,” said Phillips. “We want the industry to have the proper knowledge and understand what it takes to repair these vehicles.”

    “I think the message is market readiness,” said Rodenroth. “We want to ensure all entities of the industry are ready and understand the lifecycle of the EV, what they are working on and how to work on it.”

    To join the committee, click here.

    CIECA has 27 product and project standards development committees focusing on creating standards to address industry needs. For more information about joining a committee, visit or contact Paulette Reed at

    Source: CIECA

  • CIECAST Explores What’s Driving EV Adoption and How Collision Repairers Need to Prepare

    CIECAST Explores What’s Driving EV Adoption and How Collision Repairers Need to Prepare

    Written by Abby Andrews, Autobody News
    June 29, 2022

    CIECA hosted its latest CIECAST webinar on June 23, “Charged for Success: Understanding EV Trends and Their Impact.”

    Ryan Mandell, director of claims performance for Mitchell International, spoke about the trends in electric vehicle adoption and what is driving them, how EVs should be handled differently in a repair facility than their gas-powered counterparts, and what needs to be done to facilitate better, safer repairs.

    “This is a critical topic for collision repair and the industry as a whole,” Mandell said.

    Mandell said the last couple of years have been tough on new vehicles sales overall, due to parts shortages and supply chain issues---except for EV sales, which have been a bright spot.

    Gross volumes of EV sales grew 5% at the same time total vehicle sales decreased 15%, Mandell said.

    Bloomberg recently projected worldwide EV sales to grow from 6.6 million in 2021 to 21 million in 2025.

    “People are very bullish on EVs,” he said.

    Mandell said charging infrastructure is growing but has a long way to go. DC Fast Chargers---which will be key to making long-distance traveling feasible, as they can charge a battery to 80% in about a half hour---increased in the U.S. by 24% in 2021.

    Batteries are also improving to increase range and decrease “range anxiety” among drivers, Mandell said. The battery is 35% to 50% of the total cost to build an EV, so as mining for components becomes more efficient, it will drive down what consumers have to pay for an EV.

    However, the recent increasing prices for many of the metals that go into batteries, including nickel, lithium and cobalt, will offset some of those mining efficiency gains, Mandell said.

    “I think it will be closer to the end of the decade before we see price parity between EVs and ICE vehicles,” Mandell said.

    As more EVs are sold, EVs will constitute a greater share of repairable claims coming into shops. They still make up less than 1% of claims, Mandell said, but that will continue to grow at an increasing rate.

    Repairers need to be ready, he said.

    “An EV is not just an electrified variant of an ICE,” Mandell said. “It really is completely different, and needs to be treated as such.”

    EVs have nearly double the number of semiconductors of an ICE vehicle, and a greater reliance on high-voltage batteries, which add to the complexity of repairs.

    “There are extra components (on an EV) and the systems are more interconnected,” Mandell said.

    Based on model year 2015 vehicles and newer only, the average ICE vehicle has 8.7 fault codes per scan, while an EV averages 13.8.

    Estimate lines also increase---the average ICE vehicle’s estimate has 35.5 lines, while the average EV’s has 47.7.

    “It shows how interconnected the systems are,” Mandell said. “EVs rely on more semiconductors, more digital systems, more advanced electronics to do the same tasks as mechanical systems in ICE vehicles.”

    A front impact on an EV has a far greater likelihood of affecting other systems throughout the vehicle, he said.

    Mandell noted the scan data he presented excludes Teslas, as no aftermarket tool can scan them.

    EVs also use a lot more lightweight materials, like aluminum and carbon fiber, for major component sheet metal parts to offset the heavy batteries, Mandell said. Those materials will respond differently in an accident, which will create the need for a new process to decide what can be repaired or has to be replaced, and will need new tools.

    EVs also have significantly longer cycle times, Mandell said---on average, keys-to-keys for a drivable claim takes 8.4 days, compared to 6.9 days for an ICE vehicle.

    Mandell said there are new precautions that must be taken to avoid damaging the battery and keep everyone safe during the repair.

    “There are precautions that need to take place even before a basic teardown,” he said. Also, the battery has to be removed before going to the paint booth, due to the heat involved, which adds two hours to the process.

    Mandell said it will be important to set appropriate expectations for the vehicle owner from the start.

    “This is likely most owners’ first experience repairing an EV,” he said. “You will have to help them understand why the repair process is so different from an ICE. Have a very honest discussion at the beginning about additional steps that need to be taken to repair it safely. I think that really sets up the overall outcome to be a positive one.”

    Mandell said he thinks estimates for EVs need to evolve, rather than just using the same template as for an ICE vehicle.

    “We need to make sure it’s built in a way to facilitate a safe and proper repair, and is efficient as well,” Mandell said.

    He suggested adding EV-specific categories that address the completely different chassis, and adding “EV” as a separate vehicle type, as it’s not only important to note if the vehicle is a truck, van or car.

    He also suggested creating new EV specific templates and qualifiers, like battery capacity.

    “EVs overall are becoming more widespread,” Mandell said. “There are 84 EV models in the U.S. now; there were 14 just five years ago. We are going to see the tech improve as well. Rising fuel prices will also be a tailwind for EV adoption.”

    Watch the full CIECAST above or on

  • CIF Continues Legacy of Service, Providing Emergency Relief and Connecting Collision Repair Industry


    At any moment, someone in the collision repair industry could be impacted by a natural disaster or other catastrophic event.

    “If that were to happen, the Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) ensures that others in our industry will be there in support,” said CIF President Michael Quinn, who is also president of AirPro Diagnostics. “We help each other, we look after each other, and we connect the industry.”

    Prior to the creation of CIF in 2001, members of the collision industry rallied donations and volunteers to perform works that would benefit organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and Ronald McDonald House. Although their efforts were successful, Quinn said they were the result of the work of a small group of people and required a substantial personal investment in time and administration.

    CIF project leaders discussed building a foundation to coordinate fundraising, create committees, gather volunteers and brainstorm. At the time, volunteers had committed to raising $500,000 toward constructing a medical center for Camp Make-A-Dream, a free camp for children with active cancer. They realized it was no longer possible for a handful of volunteers to coordinate a project of such enormity.

    As a result, they formed CIF, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization incorporated April 26, 2001. CIF’s founders include Mark Claypool, Glen Funk, Dan Greenwald, Marco Grossi, Jeanne Silver, Charles Sulkalaand Doug Webb.

    The organization’s mission is to provide emergency relief by securing and distributing donations to collision repair professionals who have experienced significant losses due to natural disasters or other catastrophic events. That assistance can be monetary, connecting individuals with suppliers or other industry providers, and/or lending a hand to rebuild or retool.

    Since its inception, CIF has managed the funds donated to support charitable and educational causes in the collision industry. They are disbursed after trustees, selection committee volunteers and leaders review the projects. Due to the complexity of some projects, CIF funds the foundation’s administration.

    In the early years, CIF worked closely with the National Auto Body Council (NABC), whose members suggested worthy causes. Some of the charitable projects funded by CIF have included donations to local causes, including children’s hospitals and abused women’s outreach programs; donations to sponsor student participation at the 2005 WorldSkillscompetition and fund the purchase of a handicapped accessible school bus for Camp Make-A-Dream; and The Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief Fund for collision industry victims. Following Hurricane Rita, the Disaster Relief Fund was created to aid industry victims of any natural disaster.

    Until 2020, CIF coordinated fundraising to raise money for specific disasters. Members of CIF’s Board of Trustees typically reach out to organizations that have donated in the past or they feel would be good candidates. The CIF Gala, typically held annually in January, has been a major fundraiser for CIF since 2010.

    During the pandemic, the need for assistance was widespread across the country due to layoffs and reductions in work hours at collision repair shops. Hundreds of individuals found themselves in need of assistance. Quinn said this differed from past disasters or catastrophic events that were tied to a particular geographic area or location. CIF had not dealt with a situation of this magnitude.

    CIF used the reserves in the Disaster Relief Fund to make an initial commitment of $100,000 to assist those impacted by COVID-19. The organization also put out a call to the industry for donations. The outcome was raising an additional $150,000 that was dispersed to individuals in need. CIF Trustees vetted each request and responded to more than 700 requests for assistance from 38 states.

    Through the pandemic, CIF implemented new methods of fundraising. These included online events, such as a magic show and a silent auction.

    In addition to the call for pandemic assistance, in 2020, CIF participated in Giving Tuesday, a national day of philanthropic support. Forty donors contributed to these efforts. The organization has continued to participate in Giving Tuesday for the past two years.

    The CIF Annual Donor program was introduced in 2021 so it would be easier for industry organizations to make an ongoing commitment to CIF, streamlining the donation process for CIF and supporting organizations. There are currently 36 donors, up from 23 annual donors in 2021.

    “Our annual donor commitments make it possible for CIF to provide assistance to our industry brothers and sisters in times of crisis,” said Quinn. “We appreciate their generosity and ongoing support and are honored to conduct work on their behalf.”

    “We could not fulfill our mission without our entire network of donors, volunteers and supporters,” added Ann Gonzalez, CIF vice president. “No words can express the depth of our thanks to this industry for allowing us to do this work on their behalf. Speaking for the CIF board, we thank our CIF community from the bottom of our hearts.”

    In 2022, the annual fundraising gala was held after being on hold for nearly two years due to the pandemic. “This event provided the opportunity to bring industry individuals together as well as raise additional funds through event ticket sales, raffles and silent auctions,” said Quinn. For 2023, the event is going to be held during its usual timeframe on Jan. 18 in Palm Springs, CA.

    Typically, raffle and auction items are donated to CIF so all proceeds from those sales go directly to the Disaster Relief Fund.

    At the July 2022 CIF Gala, President Michael Quinn presented a check to Bryan Miller, a burn victim from the collision industry who suffered third-degree burns over most of his body.

    At the July 2022 gala in Pittsburgh, PA, CIF was proud to present a check for $15,000 to Bryan Miller, an individual from the collision industry who displayed heroic bravery and resiliency despite suffering third-degree burns over most of his body. Miller hopes to find a new role in the industry and continue working in a shop. Numerous donations of money, as well as training, equipment, etc., have allowed him to plan his next steps.

    Unfortunately, Quinn said there will always be another disaster like the record flooding in Kentucky or wildfires in Oregon, or another health care emergency like COVID-19. “It is our intention that CIF will always be there---reaching out through our distribution channels, seeking to identify individuals in need, and providing whatever assistance we can,” he said.

    Future plans include expanding the annual donor program and gaining visibility with additional industry organizations. CIF is increasing the number of trustees on its board to fill the seats with leaders from various industry segments and building closer connections with other nonprofit organizations.

    “People who become connected with CIF do so in support of our mission and vision, with a desire to contribute and serve,” said Quinn. “We are part of an industry that looks after our own, who have big hearts and take generous actions. Whatever the need, CIF is there and will be there, continuing our legacy of service.”

  • Collision Repair Association Conducting Study of Blend Time Formula


    Collision Repair Association Conducting Study of Blend Time Formula

    Written by John Yoswick, Autobody News
    Published August 10, 2022


    The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has provided a few more details about its studybeginning in August into the accuracy of the blend time formula commonly used in the industry.

    Speaking at the association’s open board meeting in late July in Pittsburgh, Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg noted the three estimating system providers each establish its own refinish labor allowance for any given panel.

    “The refinish time for a fender in Audatex will look different than the refinish time for that fender in CCC, which will look different from the refinish time in Mitchell,” Schulenburg said. “Which is fine, they’ve each done their own research on it. All three companies identify 50% as a blend value; despite the fact that they don’t have the same refinish values, all identify blend time as 50%.

    "Our members have long challenged that," Schulenburg said. "We don’t believe 50% is reflective of what we’re actually doing, because there are a lot of tasks associated with [blending] outside of just the application of the base coat, which, for a large part, is the task that is being adjusted.”

    Schulenburg said given the lack of “positive movement” SCRS has seen on the issue based on its long-standing discussion with the estimating system providers, the association is working with the five primary refinish companies on a study taking place at Global Finishing Solutions’ Center of Excellence facility in Wisconsin.

    “We will actually be using a systematic approach where we do complete refinish on doors, fenders and hoods, and then blend on doors, fenders and hoods, to evaluate the delta between the full refinish task and the blend tasks,” Schulenburg said. “We’re not doing a refinish time study. Our goal is not to establish a refinish time on those panels. We will just be evaluating what percentage of the full refinish value blend represents.”

    He said the study will use panels for a high-volume Ford truck, waterborneproducts used in all U.S. markets, and color codes that represent a solid, a metallic and a tri-coat.

    “This has been an issue for a long time,” Schulenburg said. “We hope to put a punctuation mark on this one.”

  • Collision Repairers Find Cost Savings & Quality Care with SCRS National Health Care Plan


    Following the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) announcement in September that it implemented a national health care solution for members, Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg said the program has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the collision repair industry.

    “Since launching the plan, we've been able to save companies within the collision repair space close to $650,000 in premiums,” said Schulenburg. “That’s the tip of the iceberg and doesn't account for the out-of-pocket expenses families can save.”

    Schulenburg said the plan is saving companies up to 20% versus the renewals they are receiving from their current insurance providers. Additionally, he said the plan is unique in that it provides $0 deductibles, employee choice in their out-of-pocket maximum, and a list of no-cost services, such as primary care, urgent care, specialty care, labs and imaging, generic prescriptions and mental health care. He said most plans do not cover these services until an employee meets the deductible.

    During the time when most employers go through open enrollment, collision repairers could stop by the SCRS booth at the SEMA Show and learn about the health and retirement plans available from two organizations involved in setting up and managing the programs, Deciselyand Gravie. They included Decisely’s CEO and co-founder Kevin Dunn and SVP of Business Development Eric Frazer, and Abir Sen, co-founder and co-CEO of Gravie, the insurance carrier.

    Schulenburg, Dunn and Frazer shared details about the program.

    Why was the health care plan initiated?

    Schulenburg: In 2018, the SCRS board began focusing on how we could best serve member requests around human resources and benefits programs. We found that health care was their biggest challenge. They said it costs a fortune, they get bad coverage they can't use, spend a ton of money, and feel they don't have better options.

    We worked with Decisely, a firm specializing in benefits brokerage and HR services, and launched the SCRS 401(k) Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) first because it was easier to put together for members. Health care is a complicated area of the industry, so we relied on Decisely to help navigate the available options. We also engaged with Gravie, the plan provider, to learn more about their product Comfort™.

    Our goal was to find a national program for SCRS members. We wanted it to reduce costs for employers and employees and improve the quality of care. We needed it to be something that gave our industry a distinct advantage to help recruit entrants. We didn't need to just compete with larger businesses in our own space; we needed to compete with industries offering more competitive benefit plans.

    Why did you team up with Decisely and Gravie?

    Schulenburg: Decisely was the right partner because it was as important for them as it was for us to find the best plan for the industry.

    Gravie’s cofounders also made it clear how important it was to change how people interact with health care. We found they could offer a sustainable plan and deliver average savings between 10 to 15% versus members’ existing plans.

    Gravie’s plan utilizes the Aetnaand CignaPPO networks, which most people are familiar with. The result is a familiar experience without the familiar costs and obstacles.

    We’ve worked closely with both companies and have been impressed with the importance they have placed on touching base with the industry and ensuring members understand the plan.

    What did you want the plan to include?

    Frazer: In 2018, association health plans were a common topic in national news. Regardless of the political climate and the winds of change in regulatory agencies and state insurance organizations, we wanted to find a plan that could rival large corporate buying power. We’re happy we found a solution.

    Dunn: Small businesses feel the brunt of high premium costs. Because they often have a small number of employees, they are underwritten with a high premium. It’s unfair that they are not part of a scaled product. That’s what Decisely was able to offer.

    We sourced health care like large corporations such as Delta Airlines or FedExbecause the collision repair industry is part of an amalgamation of a group of like-minded people. We wanted a plan that could help attract people to join the industry and retain them. We’ve found that an employee will stay at a company three and a half times longer if there is a benefits plan.

    What makes the program unique?

    Frazer: When basic needs such as primary and specialist care, labs and generic prescriptions are covered at no cost, this meets 88% of health care needs for most people. That’s a 180-degree difference from other programs.

    Dunn: With traditional plans, you pay a $50-$200 co-pay as part of your premium. The SCRS plan eliminates those costs, so there is no copay, whether that’s for a doctor’s appointment, an MRI or prescription.

    Schulenburg: By offering an affordable insurance plan with no co-pay, you get a healthier population with people who take their prescription drugs and go to the doctor.

    This program is about giving health care solutions that people can use today. One of our early adopters employs a technician whose wife is pregnant. When the couple compared their existing plan to this new one, they found they would save $6,000 in out-of-pocket expenses on the birth of their child. That's a meaningful difference.

    Who is eligible to join?

    Schulenburg: Anybody in the collision repair industry can shop the plan and learn about its benefits. Those who choose to participate must be SCRS members.

    Why should employers evaluate the plan?

    Schulenburg: We encourage all employers, whether they already have a plan, to look at the available options and get a free quote. Imagine if you could leverage a 10% or 15% savings. That is a substantial amount of money that could be reinvested into your business and/or employees.

    Dunn: It's a challenging environment with inflationary concerns and high costs. This plan is great for employers to save on premiums and put money back into employees’ pockets. If you can save a family $6,000, the employee will remember that and be a cheerleader for the company.

    With the savings, many employers are taking part of that money and investing it in other plans, such as vision, dental and setting up a life insurance policy.

    Frazer: If you want a different result, you must do something different. Gravie’s program SCRS has secured for members is already showing results.

    While the plan can help larger SCRS members, it also helps level up the playing field for small- and medium-sized members so they can compete, recruit and retain like a Fortune500 company.

    Schulenburg: There are things that SCRS does that are important as an association and there are things that we can do that really make a difference in people's lives. This plan can change a lot of people's lives.

    For more information, visit

  • Course Topics Announced for ASE Instructor Training Conference 


    Course Topics Announced for ASE Instructor Training Conference

    PublishedApril 27, 2023

    The upcoming ASE Instructor Training Conference will feature speakers from leading transportation industry organizations. Hosted by the ASE Education Foundation, the premier training event will be held July 17-20 in Concord, NC, and will be attended by high school and college instructors from auto, truck and collision repair programs nationwide.

    “Each year, some of the industry’s best share their knowledge and experience at the ASE Instructor Training Conference, and this year will be no different,” said Mike Coley, president of the ASE Education Foundation. “This year’s speakers will address a variety of relevant technical subjects and teaching techniques to help the instructors be more effective in the classroom.”

    The 2023 ASE Instructor Training Conference will feature the following speakers and course topics:

    Steve Smith of Pro-Cut International will discuss “The Importance of Rotor Matching, Relating to Today’s Students & EV’s Brakes and the Metaverse,” where he will take a different look at communicating how brake service is changing and the importance of explaining how these changes are affecting the end result of today’s brake service on all vehicles.

    Paul Cigala, a 32-year veteran of Exxon Mobil and vehicle lubricant applications engineer supporting large fleet customers, will present “Heavy Duty Lubricants, Fuels and Coolant Training,” where conference attendees will learn about heavy duty lubricants, used oil analysis, fuels and coolants used by diesel technicians in the on-highway fleet sector.

    James Wilson of ATech Training will review “Diagnosing by the Numbers: DVOM Application with the Modern Automobile.” An ASE Master certified technician, Wilson has more than 40 years or experience as a dealership and fleet technician, shop owner and trade school instructor. He will answer why there are other buttons on a digital multi meter (DDM) and discuss taking meter usage training to the next level and advanced DDM features.

    Brandon Steckler of Motor Age Training will discuss “A Logical Approach to Diagnostic Dilemmas.” This course capitalizes on the technician’s ability to incorporate basic testing techniques with modern diagnostic tooling and combine it with available service information to solve difficult dilemmas.

    Mandy Green of Goodheart-Wilcox has worked as a teacher and school counselor with a focus on career and technical education and instructional technology. Green will examine “Five Strategies to Unlock the Power of Discussion.” Because class discussions are used primarily as a tactic to raise student engagement, class discussions can also be a rich source of data that allow teachers to understand the thinking of their students in the classroom or in the auto shop.

    Sean Lannoo of Continentalleads a team of 11 training specialists who provide technical support and training to customer sales personnel and professional technicians throughout the U.S. and Canada. He will present on a course entitled “TPMS: Technology, Diagnosing and the Future” which will focus on what TPMS is, the system types and how they operate.

    Mark Lake of Summit Racing will present “Gen III Hemi Engine Swaps,” which will help guide automotive enthusiasts through their build and discuss what parts are needed to do an engine swap.

    For more information and to register, click here

    Source: ASE Education Foundation

  • CREF Announces High School & College Transportation Student Career Fairs


    CREF Announces High School & College Transportation Student Career Fairs

    PublishedFeb. 14, 2023

    Shops, suppliers and other collision industry businesses around the country constantly lodge complaints about the lack of qualified help entering the workforce, but the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) works hard to connect businesses with future employees.

    Half a dozen High School & College Transportation Student Career Fairs have already been scheduled this spring from coast to coast, providing industry employers with an ideal opportunity to get acquainted with thousands of incoming industry professionals.

    “CREF’s Career Fairs offer a great forum for connecting collision industry employers with hundreds of students who have trained for entry-level positions and are prepared to begin their careers,” said CREF Program Manager Tiffany Bulak. “This engagement with future transportation industry professionals is vital for all segments of the industry---collision centers, dealerships and even paint, tool and equipment companies---as a means of generating brand awareness for the business that will help attract qualified help in the near future. Even more importantly, participation in CREF’s Career Fairs helps us showcase the diverse career paths available to the students in attendance and promote the industry as a viable industry that will sustain their futures.”

    Spring 2023 High School & College Transportation Student Career Fair Schedule

    • March 3: World of Wheels Student Day Rosemont Center, Chicago, IL
    • March 3: OKC Auto Show Bennett Event Center, Oklahoma City, OK
    • March 9: Universal Technical Institute, Long Beach, CA
    • April 11: Warren Tech Central, Denver, CO
    • April 14: Tulsa Auto Show Expo Square, Tulsa, OK
    • April 27: Rosedale Technical College, Pittsburgh, PA

    Stay tuned for additions at

    To complement the physical career fair events and ensure CREF helps connect students with employers across the country, CREF has also developed an electronic student resume database which contains contact information for more than 600 collision students.

    Interested in participating in an event listed above, or in collaborating with CREF to schedule one in your market? Contact Bulak at

    Unable to attend a career fair but still eager to get your company name in front of incoming technicians? Support local high school and college collision students by sponsoring work uniforms to ensure the future workforce recognizes the value of looking professional. For a donation of just $50 per student, companies can provide students with a brand-new Cintastechnician shirt, branded with your logo, work pants and a safety kit. Email to learn more.

    Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting CREF’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs can contact us to learn about the many ways to get involved. Monetary donations can be made online.

    Source: CREF

  • CREF Develops Collision Career Awareness, Pathing and Readiness Initiatives, Funded by GM Grant


    CREF Develops Collision Career Awareness, Pathing and Readiness Initiatives, Funded by GM Grant

    PublishedOct. 12, 2022

    When GMawarded the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) with a $100,000 grant for 2022, the foundation made good use of the funds to develop its Career Opportunity Awareness Initiative.

    The initiative aims to increase the number of collision repair students who graduate with marketable technical skills by tackling the challenging dilemma from three specific angles: career awareness, career pathing and career readiness---and CREF exceeded expectations in every area.

    “General Motors is proud to support the Collision Repair Education Foundation,” said Terry Rhadigan, vice president of corporate giving at GM. “CREF’s work to increase awareness of career opportunities in the collision repair industry will help attract talent and connect the future workforce to the resources and trainings needed to launch a career in this field.”

    CREF began by highlighting the collision repair industry as a viable and valuable career to school counselors, educators, parents and other influencers during the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Conference in July, where CREF engaged in "meaningful conversations with counselors from all 50 states," according to Amber Ritter, director of marketing and project management for CREF.

    Participating in the event allowed CREF to directly educate more than 4,000 school counselors on the multitude of career opportunities available within the collision industry, and also to indirectly promote that message to approximately 100,000 additional students those education professionals will encounter in the 2022-23 school year alone.

    “We also gained valuable insights on the challenges schools face in keeping these programs open, with many citing the largest challenges as finding instructors and paying them well enough to retain them,” Ritter added. “Additionally, we connected with nonprofit organizations for other trades, and we plan to assess ways we can further collaborate and best communicate the opportunities that exist within the skilled trades.”

    CREF addressed career pathing by using industry and student feedback to design and create Career Awareness banners, distributed to 125 schools, serving to educate more than 5,000 students on the multitude of opportunities that exist within the collision repair industry.

    Career readiness and job preparation videos were created to “provide schools with resources to recruit and to provide students with the resources they need to become collision professionals,” Ritter said.

    Instead of creating five videos as intended, CREF developed a series of seven, which were shot in an on-site shop studio and in live shop environments, using “former students now working in the industry who were willing to share their real-world experiences and stories in an informative and relatable way.”

    All aspects of the Career Opportunity Awareness Initiative were so successful, CREF plans to continue growing them through industry sponsorships, but CREF is still identifying new ways to connect students with collision careers. CREF was recently approved for a third GM grant which will continue to fund its Support and Connect Project.

    “Although there is a large demand for talent in many segments of the collision industry, there are many barriers to entry,” Ritter said. “Two specific barriers are entry-level training and awareness of career opportunities. Programs lack funding to effectively teach their programs and ensure equipment is maintained and updated. They also struggle to increase enrollment to meet the industry’s demands for qualified help. Enrollment in collision programs has decreased by 22% in the past five years, and though collision repair schools across the country are working very hard to alleviate these barriers, they cannot do it alone.”

    CREF’s Support and Connect Project hopes to further support collision students and schools by building on its Benchmark Grant program, and it seeks to connect by deepening the foundation’s relationships with school guidance counselors through the creation and dissemination of informational materials to be shared with students and parents.

    Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting CREF’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs can contact us to learn about the many ways to get involved. Monetary donations can be made online.

    Source: CREF

  • CREF Opens 2023 Scholarship Applications


    CREF Opens 2023 Scholarship Applications

    PublishedJan. 13, 2023

    The ongoing technician shortage poses a problem for many collision repair facilities around the country, and while most can agree the resolution begins with the youth who will become the industry’s future, students often struggle to pay post-secondary tuition.

    The Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) attempts to address some of those funding concerns through its Student Scholarship awards.

    In order to be eligible for the foundation’s scholarships, applicants must visit a collision industry business---shops, suppliers, paint companies or any other segment---and CREF urges industry organizations to participate in this step of the process, which will also allow them to get acquainted with the next generation of collision professionals.

    “Hopefully, this process will help students envision the many opportunities available to them, and we’re hopeful that industry organizations could even extend future job offers,” said Melissa Marscin, director of operations and administration for CREF. “Helping students pursue a collision education without accruing debt has made a huge impact for hundreds of student over the years, and CREF is thankful for the industry supporters who have made this possible by continuing to step up and donate to fund these annual scholarships.”

    CREF’s 2022 Student Scholarships provided 46 students with nearly $150,000 in financial assistance to ensure those students will be able to continue their education and that they are prepared to pursue a successful career in body shops around the country.

    In addition to scholarships and tool grants, 50 veterans will receive toolboxes, valued up to $500 each, through CREF and 3M’s Hire Our Heroes initiative.

    Applications opened Jan. 13 with a deadline of March 9. Apply for a Student Scholarship online.

    Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs can contact us to learn about the many ways to get involved. Monetary donations can be made online.

    Source: CREF

  • Digital Access Available for All SCRS RDE Sessions from SEMA 2022


    All Repairer Driven Education (RDE) sessions, recorded by SCRSduring the 2022 SEMA Show, are now available for digital access at

    Current SCRS members are entitled to a 20% discount off purchases in the SCRS Online Education Platform. If you are not currently a member of SCRS, join online at or contact our office at to confirm your membership status.

    The 2022 Repairer Driven Education (RDE) FULL SERIES Online pass ($249) provides at-home access to more than 20 educational sessions originally delivered throughout the week during the 2022 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV. Unlike the in-person event---where attendees had to pick and choose between sessions within a time slot---the RDE FULL SERIES Online access allows attendees to watch every session, without having to pick and choose. This means more opportunities for education, and greater ability to share the information amongst everyone within the repair facility.

    For a full list of RDE sessions and speakers, visit

    The FULL SERIES Online also includes access to the three sessions that comprised the 2022 OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit, including topics on "OEM Repair Procedure Accessibility," featuring representatives of Audi of America, Mercedes-Benz USA, Toyota Motor North America, Alliance for Automotive Innovation, Barsotti’s Body & Fender and SCRS; "Tackling the Technician Crisis Together," featuring representatives of Ducker Carlisle, I-CAR, Collision Engineering and TechForce Foundation; and "Managing Scan Tool Choices While Ensuring Safe and Proper Repairs," featuring representatives of Repairify, Nissan Motor Corporation, Subaru of America and Lucid Motors.

    Once registered for the Full Series Pass, OEM Summit Sessions can be found under "Included Courses," or purchased separately for access to just the three sessions ($99) via

    SCRS’ objectives in providing digital access to the RDE series is to connect collision repair businesses who were unable to join in person at the SEMA Show, and to allow attendees to bring the leading subject matter experts and topics back home to share with their coworkers. Online attendees can expect the same unique content they would receive in classroom settings, now delivered to the convenience of their own facility.

    Access to the 2022 Repairer Driven Education series online is made possible with support from of is currently made possible with support from 3M, AASP, AirPro Diagnostics, AkzoNobel, BASF Corporation, CAR-O-LINER, CCC Intelligent Solutions, Celette, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, PPG Automotive Refinish, Reliable Automotive Equipment, Repairify, SEMA, Spanesi-Americas and Toyota Motor Sales.

    Source: SCRS

  • Health Care and Retirement Consultations Available in the SCRS Booth at SEMA


    Health Care and Retirement Consultations Available in the SCRS Booth at SEMA

    PublishedOct. 27, 2022

    SEMA Show attendees will be able to take advantage of consultative services on health and retirement plans available to the collision industry at the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) booth 31147 in the Upper South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

    In September, SCRS announced the availability of a unique new health care solution available for its members, with the objective of raising the standard of care for those in the collision repair industry.

    “Health care benefits are a significant challenge and expense for small businesses,” said Aaron Schulenburg, SCRS executive director. “It was extremely important to SCRS that we find a way to meaningfully decrease costs for employers and employees while increasing the quality of plan options.

    "We are incredibly excited to be able to share in person what this solution looks like for collision repairers in attendance at the SEMA Show," he said. "We’ve been working with Deciselyfor several years to identify the right benefits package and we are extremely confident in the solutions we’ve collectively found for the industry.”

    Decisely will have representatives in the SCRS booth (Upper South Hall, 31147) Nov. 1-4, during the SEMA Show. For attendees who wish to reserve time with Decisely to explore one-on-one how the plan can benefit their business and team members, click here to reserve a dedicated appointment.

    SCRS and Decisely were able to break the conventional mold by engaging with Gravie, and their flagship product, Comfort™, which uses the Aetnaand Cignanetworks. Founded in 2013, Gravie has long been driving change and improving the health care industry by creating innovative employer-sponsored health benefits that put consumers first. The goal since day one for Gravie has been to do things better, working to create a health plan people can love.

    Designed with both the employer and employee in mind, Gravie’s model disrupts the health insurance status quo by removing cost barriers that deter individuals from getting the most out of their health benefits and offers straightforward coverage from day one. The plan has the ability to save up to 20% versus renewals and is earmarked by $0 deductibles, employee choice in their out-of-pocket maximum, and an impressive list of no-cost services like primary care, urgent care, specialty care, labs and imaging, generic prescriptions, mental health care and more.

    Gravie co-founder and Co-CEO Abir Sen will join the Decisely and Gravie team Nov. 3 in the SCRS booth, meeting with collision repair businesses and discussing the unique nature of the Comfort™ plan, and what benefit that brings to members of the association.

    “I think the fact that the CEO of the provider wants to meet directly with our members speaks heavily to how different this company is, and why they made sense to SCRS for our members,” added Schulenburg. “I’m excited for our members to understand just how different this model is, and how powerful that can be in benefitting their team back at home.”

    On Nov. 3, the SCRS booth will also host Scott Broaddus, CFP®, AIF®, CEPA® and partner, Irongate Capital Advisors, and Coley Eckenrode, partner, Virginia Asset Management, who will provide live consultations with collision businesses about the advantages associated with the SCRS Multiple Employer Plan (MEP) for retirement services. Sign up for a slot and see availability in real-time during the show by clicking here.

    In 2019, SCRS launched an opportunity to leverage the collective buying power of its membership to pursue more affordable and attractive 401(k) options, and have effectively helped participating members save upwards of $15,000 per year while improving upon their retirement options for their team.

    Broaddus and Eckenrode serve as investment advisers to the SCRS plan and has helped countless repair facilities learn how they could not only reduce costs and mitigate administrative burdens, but also fiduciary risks.

    On Nov. 4, Broaddus will also be featured during the IDEAS Collide Showcase, speaking on the "Psychology of Money." Every day we are bombarded with world news and how it may impact our financial health. Broaddus will share how personal biases and emotional factors play important roles in how we make financial decisions and how to think more rationally about money.

    Source: SCRS

  • How Will Results from SCRS ‘Blend’ Study Be Used Moving Forward?


    With the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ release in November of the results of its hands-on study demonstrating that blending of a panel takes an average of 31% more time than a full panel refinish---rather than the 50% less time allocated in the three estimating systems---the association was asked during CICwhere the issue goes moving forward.

    “Here’s the beauty of CIC: That’s up to you,” Aaron Schulenburg of SCRS said during the conference held during SEMAin Las Vegas. “Our goal was to capture data, and present it in a transparent manner, and to share it with the industry so you can have the dialogue you need to have. I don’t know where that occurs or how that occurs, but I think there’s a big disconnect between what we’ve identified and what exists today.”

    The study came about because the three estimating system providers each establish its own refinish labor allowance for any given panel, and while those labor times for the same panel may differ from one estimating system to another, all three companies use 50% as a blend calculation.

    “Our members have long challenged that,” Schulenburg said this past summer, before the study was completed.

    The association’s 35-page report on the study---which can be downloaded at how it was conducted, with painters employed by each of the five major paint companies following their company’s process guidelines for spraying both a full refinish and a blend panel using the same paint colors on new F-150 panels supplied by Ford.

    Across all colors, the average blend time among the five paint lines were between about 128% and about 134% of full refinish time.

    “What’s remarkable to me, with all the different [paint] companies and [their] different processes, is how close the [percentage differences] are among all of the companies,” Robb Power, senior manager of refinish solutions for PPG, said at CIC. “I would have never thought it would come in that close. To me, that adds validity to what we see in those results.”

    Schulenburg said it’s clearly an issue that needs to be addressed with the information providers, who were invited to attend the SCRS study but who were “not present” over the two days. He said he feels it is an appropriate topic for CIC’s Paint and Materials Committee to address moving forward, but regardless, he said, it “can and should be addressed with the information providers [as] an issue that has been brought to them through our work with different associations…for years.”

    “That was the goal from the onset, to capture credible data, to have real conversation, that helps motivate positive change in the industry,” Schulenburg said.

    Attracting and Training New Employees

    Another panel discussion at CIC in Las Vegas focused on employee recruitment and retention.

    Jim Guthrie, president of Car Crafters, which operates five shops in New Mexico, said his company uses a “recruitment card” as part of its effort to attract new employees. Guthrie said all his employees have the cards, which include a QR code that can be scanned to link to the company’s “career page” where someone can fill out and submit an application.

    Guthrie said collision repair businesses can develop an internal promotion to encourage employees to hand out the card to potential hires. If a referred potential employee gets hired and stays for six months, the employee who handed out that card may get $500, for example, “and if they stay another six months, they get another $500,” Guthrie said. “Whatever the promotion is that you want to come up with within your own shop. The recruitment card has been a neat little tool for us.”

    Guthrie said his company tries to have six to 12 entry-level employees participating in its “earn while you learn” program, which uses a basic curriculum that “starts with the simple EPA/OSHA stuff, and then goes through bumper tools, door panels and bumper repair.” Students learn a skill, then can use it in the shop.

    “It takes somebody off the street, teaches them the basics, the theory, and then they go put it into practice,” he said.

    Once a student in the program can demonstrate the skill, and has the tools to perform it, they are “signed off for that particular function, whether it’s drilling spot welds or whatever.” Within two or three years, he said, students are “advanced to a point where they’re basically a B-tech. It’s a way they can earn while they learn.”

    Reasons Why Insurers Receive a Low Grade

    Also at CIC, John Yoswick of CRASH Network shared data from that publication’s annual “Insurer Report Card” survey, showing the reasons shops give some insurance companies’ claims practices a lower grade can be based more on the processes that insurer uses rather than payment-related concerns.

    The Insurer Report Card allows collision repair professionals to grade the insurance companies they interact with based on how well each carrier’s policies and practices help ensure quality repairs and customer service. The data shared at CIC, from a prior year’s survey completed by more than 1,100 shops, showed differences exist even among insurance companies receiving a similar grade.

    Not surprisingly, some of the reasons commonly cited by shops for giving an insurer a low grade were payment-related issues: an insurer seeks “unreasonable” discounts on parts or labor, or is viewed as “slow to pay.”

    However, many of the reasons are primarily process-related rather than payment-related. While only 3% of shops grading one insurer said they gave that insurer a “C-" or lower because they view that company’s claims staff as inexperienced or poorly trained, for example, more than one in four shops cited that as the reason they gave one of the other insurers a similarly low grade. Almost 80% shops said one insurer requires more digital images than other insurers, but only 27% of shops felt that was true about one of the other insurers receiving a similar low grade.

    These findings, Yoswick said, offer insurers “something of a roadmap for improving their relationship with shops without thinking that the only thing that would make shops happier is paying them more money.”

    Change in CIC Leadership

    Also at CIC in Las Vegas, Darrell Amberson was recognized at the end of his two years serving as chairman of the conference.

    “We want to thank you for all you’ve done because you’ve certainly raised the bar,” Jeff Hendler, a past CIC chairman who has been CIC administrator, told Amberson.

    “Together with our committees and chair people, we work to elevate our industry to higher levels of performance, professionalism, technical expertise and business acumen,” Amberson said of CIC in his closing comments. “I believe we are making a difference.”

    Frank Terlep of Auto Techcelerators will begin his term as CIC chairman at the next meeting, being held Jan. 19 in Palm Springs, CA.

  • I-CAR® Board of Directors Recognizes 3 Leaders for Exceptional Service 

    I-CAR® Board of Directors Recognizes 3 Leaders for Exceptional Service 

    PublishedNov. 11, 2022

    I-CAR® recognized three industry leaders for their outstanding service to I-CAR and the inter-industry during this year’s SEMA Show.

    Jim Roach received the prestigious I-CAR Chairman’s Award, recognizing an individual or organization whose contributions to I-CAR have been significant or extraordinary. The Chairman’s Award recipient is selected by the Executive Committee of the I-CAR Board of Directors (BOD).

    The Chairman’s Award was presented to Roach, who participated virtually, by Kyle Thompson, immediate past chair of I-CAR’s BOD and assistant vice president of property and casualty for USAA.

    Roach served in various roles on I-CAR’s BOD from 2011-2020, including the I-CAR Executive Committee. Roach served as I-CAR board chair from 2016-2018. He also received I-CAR’s Founder’s Award in 2018.

    Kyle Thompson, assistant vice president, property and casualty, USAA, and I-CAR Founder’s Award recipient.

    Formerly senior vice president at American Honda Motor Company, Roach spent 35 years with the organization until his retirement in 2014. His experience there included managerial and executive roles in auto sales, parts and service operations, customer service, power equipment, dealer relations, export fixed operations, corporate risk and automobile technical support services. He also served as director of the Honda subsidiary CALHACand as a board member of Automotive Youth Education Systems (AYES).

    His passion for education has been evident throughout his career, early on as a teacher and instructor, and today at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles, where he is an adjunct professor, executive in residence and member of the MBA Advisory Board.

    “Jim has not only been a collision repair champion for the inter-industry but has contributed sound insights that continue to guide I-CAR in advancing our vision: ensuring complete, safe and quality repairs on behalf of the consumer,” said Thompson. “Jim follows in the exceptional footsteps of other I-CAR Chairman’s Award winners who have brought deep passion, purpose, optimism and unique perspective that make our industry better and the driving public safer. It is my sincere pleasure to present him with this award.”

    Tim O’Day, president and CEO, Boyd Group Services, and I-CAR Founder’s Award recipient.

    Additionally, Tim O’Day, president and CEO of Boyd Group Services, and Thompson were both honored with I-CAR Founder’s Awards. The Founder’s Award has been presented to I-CAR’s immediate past BOD chair since I-CAR’s inception in 1979; this recognition was paused during COVID.

    As such, Thompson presented O’Day with the Founder’s Award for his service as board chair from 2018-2020. Prior to joining the I-CAR Board in 2014, he served two terms on the CREF Board of Trustees.

    “During Tim’s tenure as board chair, he championed significant innovations to the organization’s governance model that paved the way to a stronger, more robust and modern framework for leading I-CAR into the future with continued relevancy and responsiveness,” said Thompson. “Under his leadership, I-CAR also introduced its COVID-19 Industry Relief Program at the start of the global pandemic, offering discounts to help shops continue training."

    Jim Guthrie, current I-CAR board chair and president of Car Crafters, presented the Founder’s Award to Thompson for his leadership as board chair from 2020-2022.

    “Assuming chairmanship in 2020, Kyle helped I-CAR maintain its positive momentum, with I-CAR earning its first-ever IACET(International Accreditors for Continuing Education and Training) accreditation,” said Guthrie. “He championed the expansion of I-CAR’s technical capabilities and capacity with the opening of the Chicago Technical Center, and he was an enthusiastic advocate of I-CAR’s Talent Programming Initiative, which the board unanimously agreed to support earlier this year; both projects are significant investments that we expect to positively impact the inter-industry.”

    “The Founder’s Award represents a long legacy of unwavering commitment to upholding and advancing I-CAR’s vision and mission on behalf of our great inter-industry, and I can’t think of two more deserving individuals who personify this honor and commitment,” said Guthrie. “On behalf of I-CAR, we deeply appreciate both Tim’s and Kyle’s service to I-CAR and our industry.”

    Source: I-CAR

  • Michigan Auto Instructor Named ASE Instructor of the Year

    Michigan Auto Instructor Named ASE Instructor of the Year

    PublishedJan. 31, 2023

    Juwan Willis Sr., a National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) Certified automotive technician from Pontiac, MI, was honored with the Byrl Shoemaker/ASE Education Foundation Instructor of the Year award, presented in late 2022 at the ASE Board of Governors meeting in San Diego, CA.

    “Juwan, who is an automotive instructor and the four-campus program teacher leader at Oakland Schools Technical Campus Northeast in Pontiac, is one of the outstanding ASE Certified professionals recognized annually by different segments of the automotive service and repair industry,” said Tim Zilke, president and CEO of ASE.

    Zilke, along with Mike Coley, president of the ASE Education Foundation, and Brad Pellman, chair of the ASE Board of Directors, presented the award to Willis.

    “ASE has honored extraordinary industry professionals from across the nation for more than 40 years,” Zilke continued. “This is made possible by the support of our many award sponsors. This award is given by the ASE Education Foundation in memory of Byrl Shoemaker, a champion of automotive education. We are proud to recognize Juwan's commitment to excellence, providing the very best in automotive technology education to his students. This dedication is reflected in the talented professionals we recognize each year and Juwan represents the best of the best.”

    Thirty-three companies from both OEM and aftermarket segments sponsored the individual technician recognition awards in the auto, truck, collision, parts and service categories, along with awards for instructors. In addition to looking for top scores on ASE tests, award sponsors examine on-the-job excellence, community service and other factors when selecting honorees.

    Source: ASE

  • Mike Anderson to Keynote 2023 PBES Conference


    Mike Anderson to Keynote 2023 PBES Conference

    PublishedMarch 15, 2023

    The Auto Care Association on March 15 announced Mike Anderson of Collision Adviceas the keynote for the PBES Conferenceto be held May 23-24 during the 2023 Auto Care Connect event at the Hyatt Regency Orlando in Orlando, FL.

    At the 2023 PBES Conference, Anderson will share updates on the current paint, body and equipment (PBE) industry landscape and also reveal and analyze fresh survey results from the award winning survey “Who Pays for What?,” distributed quarterly to an audience of more than 25,000 collision professionals. In recent surveys, Anderson and his team asked collision shops their views on the current distribution market and what their motivators are for selecting their manufacturers, suppliers and paint lines.  

    Anderson is a former multi shop owner, based out of Alexandria, VA. Anderson is an Accredited Master Automotive Manager (AMAM) through the Automotive Management Institute (AMi). He also participates in the development of the collision ASEtesting for technicians and estimators in the U.S. Anderson also is fully certified in all collision categories for ASE. 

    Collision Advice has been selected by several OEMs to provide their factory training in regards to estimating, scanning and calibrations to include Porsche, Toyota, Lexus, Nissan, Infiniti, Hondaand Acura. Anderson also produces a quarterly summary of the latest trends and statistics in the U.S. for the collision industry, as well as conducts quarterly surveys of more than 28,000 collision repair professionals regarding insurer reimbursement.

    Auto Care Connect is the premier event for leaders of the auto care industry to engage and collaborate for an elevated industry experience. Auto Care Connect brings together four of the Auto Care Association’s signature spring events into one location for an audience that spans the full automotive aftermarket supply chain.

    To learn more about 2023 Auto Care Connect, its sessions and to register, visit

    Source: Auto Care Association

  • NABC Announces Deborah Robinson as New Executive Director


    NABC Announces Deborah Robinson as New Executive Director

    PublishedJan. 11, 2023

    The National Auto Body Council® (NABC) announced Jan. 11 it has named Deborah Robinson as the executive director for the organization.

    Robinson, who has served the NABC as head of marketing and public relations as president of Victory Management Group since 2017, was selected in a unanimous decision by the NABC Board of Directors and Executive Committee for the role after an extensive search process.

    “I am honored to continue serving the National Auto Body Council and its members in a new role as the executive director,” said Robinson. “I admire the members and the work they do in giving back to their communities, and look forward to continuing the momentum of the NABC in changing and saving lives every day.”

    Robinson brings deep experience in the automotive industry, leading clients such as Driven Brands with its portfolio of companies including CARSTAR, Fix Auto USA, ABRA, Maaco, Auto Glass Now, Take 5 Oil Changeand Meineke; VeriFacts Automotive; Goodyear Brakes; Lowe’s Racing; Dodge Motorsports; Ray Evernham Enterprises; Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR Racing Experience, among others.

    “We’re proud to welcome Debby, with her background and experience, as our next leader for the National Auto Body Council, said Scott Sampley, chairman of the NABC Board of Directors. “She has provided unwavering support, valuable counsel and impactful results to the NABC over the past five years. We are excited about the future for our organization and our members.”

    Source: NABC

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