During AASP/NJ’s NORTHEAST event in March, AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee and Larry Montanez of P & L Consultants presented the third annual James Moy Memorial Award for Dedication to the Automotive Repair Industry to Marc Gabbard, owner of GSR Quality Collision Repair in Yakima, WA.
Gabbard graciously agreed to talk to Autobody News about this honor.
Q: What does this award mean to you?
A: This is, without a doubt, the greatest honor of my career. Just knowing the people who are involved in selecting me to receive the award and realizing that they find my contributions to the industry worthy of acknowledgement---it’s overwhelming! Knowing Larry Montanez’s relationship with James and how much this means to him personally makes it that much more special.
Q: How did you get involved in the industry?
A: My father is a car guy. In addition to being a diesel mechanic his entire career, he’s an antique car hobbyist, so he's had me involved with antique cars and hot rods since I was in diapers. We worked together on project cars he built throughout my childhood. As an adult, I spent a little time working off and on in the industry, but most of my career was as a maintenance technician in a lumber mill---that’s how I saved the money to start my business. I started what is now GSR Quality Collision Repair in 1999 out of a pole barn in my parents’ backyard, and my wife, Carrie, and I moved the business into our current location by 2008.
Q: What are your proudest professional achievements?
A: This is number one for me, truly. I know the people, I knew James … I can’t imagine a prouder accomplishment. Aside from this honor, my proudest professional achievement is probably building and cultivating the culture of the social media collision group I founded and now administer on Facebook: Collision Repair Technicians United. It’s 5 years old and has more than 22,000 members. I try to be pretty selective of the join requests and filter to make sure they’re industry people who are going to bring valuable input to the group. It definitely has a different feel from some of the other groups I’ve seen on social media.