From March 1--3, I-CAR hosted its annual Volunteer, Instructor and Assessor Conference at the Hilton Bonnet Creek Resort in Orlando, FL.
The event attracted more than 450 industry professionals as well as I-CAR’s board of directors and the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s board of trustees and employees.
Nick Notte, senior vice president of sales for I-CAR, noted, “Our annual Volunteer, Instructor and Assessor Conference provides a unique opportunity to thank and acknowledge the efforts of our most dedicated volunteers, instructors and assessors.”
This year’s theme, “40 Years in the Making,” celebrated I-CAR’s 40th anniversary, featuring presentations, videos, panel discussions and Q&A sessions about I-CAR’s curriculum and recognition program enhancements. The event also featured a special 40 Years in the Making I-CAR Anniversary Exhibit, which provided a retrospective of I-CAR’s and the industry’s history over the past four decades. I-CAR plans to present the exhibit at various functions throughout the rest of the year as well.
Notte said, “This year’s conference was particularly noteworthy given our 40th anniversary and the numerous updates that we will soon be introducing with our Professional Development Program (PDP) enhancements. It was a successful kickoff to the next 40 years!”
More than 2,000 I-CAR volunteers, instructors and assessors work diligently each day to educate the collision repair inter-industry. The conference provided an opportunity for attendees to learn many details about the “Even Better I-CAR” (PDP enhancements), which have been discussed over the past few months.
Arguably, the most important part of the conference is the annual Recognition Dinner and Awards ceremony where I-CAR recognizes individuals and committees that help further its efforts in the industry.
Individual awards are given in three categories to an industry professional in each of the country’s regions (Northeast, Southeast, North Central, South Central, Northwest and Southwest).
The Johnny Dickerson Award is given to a welding instructor who has a teacher’s heart, goes above and beyond to help their technicians succeed, gives their time and energy, and furthers the cause of I-CAR and the Welding Training and Certification program. This year’s recipients were Dennis Beardsley, Charles (Abe) Sells, Mike Hoeneise, Tim McCarty, Neal Grover and Tim Gruber.