"Going to the different corporate events, EDGE Performance Group meetings and leadership classes, I was never made to feel any less than the male franchise partners. Although being a woman in collision repair is rare, I have always felt welcomed and looked at for the knowledge I have and never discounted just because I am a female in the industry.”
Lisa Rush got her collision repair education from her father.
“CARSTAR to me means knowledge,” said Lisa Rush, who grew up in the family-owned business. She noted that her dad had her under the hood of a car from the time she could walk. “Without the knowledge of our CARSTAR team and other CARSTAR owners, I would need to research and learn about changing technology myself. Pushed down to CARSTAR franchise partners, we receive data we need from both a technology standpoint and an insurance relationship standpoint, helping to keep us current. Thanks to CARSTAR, I have the resources and knowledge to be OEM-certified and have the confidence to know I am putting my customers back in vehicles that not only look good but are safe as well.”
Partners in Business and Love
For LaDonna Russom, a growing CARSTAR operation provided the opportunity to join forces with her husband, Brad.
“The CARSTAR Rutherford store opened in 2010, and we opened Dyersburg in 2013,” noted Russom. “It has been a great opportunity for my husband and I to work together. Attending CARSTAR’s annual conference and being able to network with other women in the industry allows you to feel you have a support system. Women’s roles in this industry and the ability to balance work/life is very rewarding but challenging. It is good to know you have those you can lean on for encouragement and support.”
Rosanna Lucarelli traded a career in banking for the body shop.
“It has been a learning experience and it has been nice to work alongside my husband and support him,” said Rosanna Lucarelli, who runs CARSTAR Stoney Creek in Ontario with her husband, Domenic. “I was an employee at a bank and decided to come in to this business to do bookkeeping and manage the office, all the while raising a family. By me taking care of the office, it took a load off Domenic's shoulders so that he could focus on the facility.