After almost 23 years, news hit that Jason Bartanen, I-CAR’s director of industry technical relations, was leaving the organization.
On June 17, the industry was stunned when they found out that Bartanen would be joining the team at Collision Hub—one of the most prolific training organizations headed by Kristen Felder.
Passion for the collision industry runs in Bartanen’s family.
“My grandfather opened a body shop in Ishpeming, WI, in 1939, taught my father collision repair and he passed it along to me,” Bartanen said. “My father was my high school automotive teacher and we operated a smaller Bartanen's Auto Body in Oconto, WI. That's really where I learned collision repair. I also worked part-time, while in college, at Commercial Auto Body in Green Bay, WI, where I was a painter's helper.”
In 1996, Bartanen went to work for I-CAR as a technical writer developing training courses. This led to a promotion as technical development manager overseeing all curriculum development. This, in turn, led to a stint as technical director where he maintained industry relations with shops, OE’s and other stakeholders. Bartanen has been a mainstay in the industry, speaking at many industry events, conducting training classes at industry events as well as local association meetings, and serving as a spokesperson for I-CAR in industry magazine articles.
Autobody News spoke with Bartanen about his move to Collision Hub, and how this will affect him and the industry. Here’s what he had to say:
ABN: What is your proudest accomplishment at I-CAR?
JB: I am proud of the Repairability Technical Support Portal website. It was the first tool in the industry to bridge the gap between OE’s and technicians. It’s a great way to share information. In addition, it was the first product of its type—designed by technicians for technicians—so, the users can relate to it.
Furthermore, I’m proud of advancing what I-CAR did with the OE’s and the vehicle-specific training we developed for them.
I had a great relationship with all the I-CAR instructors and volunteers—all great people.