Monday, 03 March 2008 08:54

McClune --- CAA looks forward in 2008 - The CAA Annual Legislative Day

Written by David McClune

The California Autobody Association (CAA) is coming off a very good year and is ready for the challenges of 2008. Already we have seen that this year will be just as active as last year. 2007 was a year that the CAA met our membership goals of over 100 new members and we are projecting that 2008 will be an even better year for membership and accomplishments. One of the most important parts of our association is the hard work our volunteers dedicate to the success of our state chapters. The CAA currently has nineteen active chapters throughout California which includes three new active chapters, Bakersfield, Ventura, and San Fernando Valley. Our chapters hold regular meetings that include updated information and presentations on our industry that is vital to the success of these businesses.

This month the CAA had its Annual Board of Directors Meeting and Awards Banquet at the Disneyland  Hotel in Anaheim. The new 2008 State Executive Board was sworn in at this meeting which includes new President Ted Stein, Drew Collision, La Mesa, First Vice President Don Feeley, City Body and Frame, Riverside, Vice President-Finance Gigi Walker, Walker’s Auto Body, Concord, Treasurer Chuck Reyes, Alhambra Auto Kraft, Alhambra, Secretary Dave Picton, G & R Body and Paint, Sacramento, and Past President, Dave Mello, Anderson-Behel Body Shop, Santa Clara.
   The CAA recognized a number of dedicated volunteers as Chapter Members of the Year awards at their banquet. Included in these awards were the 2007 Associate Member of the Year Award that went to Mark D’Angelo and D’Angelo’s Automotive & Industrial Coatings, and the 2007 Chapter President of the Year Award to Ben Mendoza, Jr. of Kelly’s Body Shop, Santa Anna.
   One of the other awards that was presented included the Darrell Mallott Memorial Award for 2007 Member of the Year, which went to Monte Etherton, Fender Mender, Encinitas.
   In addition to the awards, the CAA discussed the positive outlook for what we are projecting for 2008. This year the CAA will be very active in using our Collision Rights For Consumers committee to further educate consumers on their rights and collision repair issues. We have produced a public service announcement that will be running statewide on cable television to educate consumers on illegal steering. Also, member shops are getting feedback from consumers to assist us in identifying exactly how consumers are steered.  
   The CAA is participating in a series of meetings with the California Department of Insurance (DOI) to address the issues of steering, paint and material capping, labor rate surveys, and the enforcement of current regulations. We just recently introduced Senate Bill 1371 with Senator Lou Correa which would prohibit insurers from arbitrarily “capping” paint and material charges associated with automobile collision repair (see front page story). Some progress has been made with the DOI at these meetings addressing the paint and materials capping and we will continue working with them but we felt we needed a legislative proposal in the event a resolution could not be met in a timely manner.
   The CAA will continue to represent its members on the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR) Advisory Board to provide input on collision repair issues. A new sub-committee has been formed by the BAR to discuss only collision repair issues and the first meeting will be scheduled in the next few months.

   The CAA Annual Legislative Day

Is scheduled for March 26th in Sacramento. CAA members are invited to come to Sacramento and meet with their legislators for a day to discuss their issues. This is a great opportunity to be with your peers and be able to show your senator or assembly member to commitment you have for your industry and the small business community.  
   Find out more information about the upcoming CAA Legislative Day by calling CAA at 1-916-646-8111.