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Tuesday, 15 May 2018 18:21

AMi: Out of the Shadows

Written by
AMi President Jeff Peevy AMi President Jeff Peevy

Index


In 2015, Jeff Peevy, former I-CAR senior director, was hired as president of AMi and tasked with updating the organization’s infrastructure, designations and accreditation process to ensure ongoing relevance and value to the industry. Finally, AMi had a high-profile person to help raise its visibility to the collision industry. And most recently, industry veteran Mike Cassata joined the AMI team and was named Director of Industry Outreach for Collision for AMi. 

 

Recently, Autobody News caught up with Peevy and Cassata to check on their current status and future plans.


ABN: Mike, those who are able to attend CIC and other industry events have seen you at these events for several years. But please give our readers a quick review of your background.


Cassata: I grew up in Rochester, NY, where my family had a body shop. I did some repairs but knew I was not cut out to be a technician. But I certainly knew the business, so I ended up running the shop for over 10 years. Eventually, I sold the shop and became an independent appraiser. That led to my long career with Amica Insurance where, among other things, I was their DRP manager, catastrophe manager and salvage manager. I got to work with a lot of shops and learned a lot about the industry.


ABN: Mike, how did you first get involved with AMi?


Cassata: For years, I have been very active with I-CAR and served as the Committee Chairman in Rochester.  So of course, I knew Jeff Peevy. Working as the DRP manager with Amica, I got to know our DRP shops pretty well. I knew their technical skills were good at making safe and complete repairs. But for some shops, their customer service skills and financial and business management skills needed some help. This is true of many shops around the industry. AMi provides the help these shops need. So when Jeff called me about the position at AMi, I knew it was a perfect fit.


ABN: Who in particular are you trying to reach?


Cassata: I will be reaching out to shop owners, estimators, shop foremen---basically anyone in the shop who touches the customer. I also want to reach others, including paint company representatives, insurance estimators, insurance managers, independent adjusters---basically anyone who supports the industry. In a nutshell, this would be anyone who attends events like CIC. If we are going to raise the level of professionalism of the industry, it’s important that everyone be involved. We need full industry support to continue our work.


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