Friday, 31 August 2007 17:00

California CRA Expands Board and Member Services

Not lying idle during the dog days of summer, the Collision Repair Association of California (CRA) has added three board members with over 100 combined years of collision repair experience in Central and Southern California.

        “Our new board members bring a wealth of collision industry expertise to our no-nonsense association,” stated Allen Wood, CRA executive director. “The business climate differences between Southern and Northern California demand that our board reflect the challenges confronting collision repairers in all parts of our state. These three individuals fit the CRA’s other acronym: courage, responsibility and action."

Lee Amaradio, Jr.

Autobody News columnist Lee Amaradio, Jr., Faith Quality Auto Body, Murrieta, has 36 years in the collision repair business. Originally a surf board shaper and custom painter of race cars and choppers, he purchased his first shop at age 26. He will advocate for policies that help the shop regain control of the repair process.

        Amaradio points out that when shops continually make concessions to insurers, they create an environment where substandard work is the norm. He has authored numerous articles on how the industry should reform itself. One of his proposals suggests that shops should be categorized according to ability; i.e., “A,” “B,” or “C.” He suggests that there should be an accepted industry limit on the percentage difference between the door rate and the DRP rate as well as recognized standards for recycle time.

John Tyczki, Jr.

Literally starting from the ground up, John Tyczki, Jr., J&M Auto Body, Inc., San Diego, took his first job sweeping floors at a repair shop 28 years ago. He soon worked on vehicles out of his parents’ house. He learned the business by working 14 hours per day every day of the week, with 17 years in a management position at Chapparone Autobody.

        Tyczki purchased his first shop in 2003 and added a second location in 2005. He believes the industry has to focus on educating consumers about the importance becoming involved in the repair process, from selection of a shop to the parts installed on the vehicle.

Kim Andreatta

With 36 years of collision repair experience, Kim Andreatta, of Bakersfield Auto Body, is a third-generation owner with the next Andreatta generation already involved in the business. He worked in his father’s repair shop and later for the Datsun dealership that purchased the business after his father’s retirement. By age 25 he was managing the business that he and his wife, Carla, bought in 1999 and reopened under the original family name. He has 30 employees, a 22,000-square-foot facility on 2.75 acres with an Enterprise car rental facility on site.

        As a board member he wants to return control of the repair process to the shop owner which, he says, can be achieved by educating consumers and other shop owners about their rights concerning the repair of damaged vehicles.

        Wood said the CRA will add one more collision repairer to the eight-member board in the near future.