Friday, 12 January 2007 17:05

CAPA congratulates CAA on 40 years of Service

Encompassing a list of accomplishments that spans the decades, the California Autobody Association (CAA) celebrated its 40th anniversary last month.
Encompassing a list of accomplishments that spans the decades, the California Autobody Association (CAA) celebrated its 40th anniversary last month.  CAA was formed on December 13, 1966 when two local associations in Southern California joined forces. The Glendale chapter, which started in 1963, merged with the Long Beach chapter, which began in 1965.

Since then, the association has been actively working with state politics and other organizations to make a difference. With this in mind, David McClune, executive director of the organization, has set goals for the future.

"We are looking at working closer with BAR to insure that the regulations that they are looking at changing are fair to the automotive industry," McClune said.

"Also, to work closer with consumer protection groups to assist us with projects that we are working on. And to further educate the consumer to their rights in concerns to collision repair."

When McClune became executive director in 2000, there were 600 members. Since then, the membership has grown to 1,000. "In the last 5 or 6 years we've really tried to push the issues, to get the association more visible and to brand our logo," he said.

"We've been proactive on the legislative front as far as supporting legislation that will help the collision repair industry and also opposing legislation that we feel will not be beneficial."

The Certified Automotive Parts Association (CAPA) congratulated CAA for their longstanding commitment to improving auto body repair for the California consumer.

"Forty years is a long time for any organization, but the vision of Al Estorga, Jack Caldwell and Darrell Mallott saw the importance of an association dedicated to educating its members and improving the industry," said Jack Gillis, executive director of CAPA - a nonprofit, independent certification program.

Over those four decades, monumental accomplishments were noted in a press release from CAA. Those include the involvement of CAA when the Bureau of Automotive Repairs was formed in 1972. Also, CAA wrote the California Motorists Bill of Rights in 1978 and it was used by other states as a model.

Additionally, CAA represented the state of California when I-CAR was formed in 1979. When CIC was formed in 1984, Al Estorga, CAA president at the time, was appointed the first chairman. Jack Caldwell and Darrell Mallott, both past presidents of the CAA, also chaired CIC. In 1987 and 1998, CAA provided input to the South Coast Air Quality Management District on Rule 1151 which made an easier transition for shops on the VOC rule change, the press release stated.

The CAA has also sponsored legislation that has been instrumental in shaping the collision repair industry over the last forty years, the association said. Most recently, this includes passing SB 551, SB 1988, and SB 1146.

The CAA works closely with the collision repair industry to make their presence known.

"I owe a great deal of my knowledge and success to the CAA and its members," said current CAA President Ron Guilliams.

"The information, support, and networking with shop owners has been invaluable to me. I don't know of any other organization in the country that has a richer heritage and works harder on behalf of the collision repair industry. The CAA has continually developed a strong voice at the capitol with our motto of honesty, integrity, and craftsmanship."

Over the years, the CAA has attracted members for a number of reasons.

"After looking at one of the CAA Voice newsletters, I joined the CAA in Orange County," says Jack Caldwell of Autobody by Caldwell and CAA past president in 1984. "I could see that the networking and the education at meetings was going to be a big benefit. Plus, just learning from other members is a huge value as a CAA member - forty years ago and more today."

The CAA will officially recognize the 40th Anniversary at their First Quarter Board Meeting and Awards Banquet on February 10 at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim. All CAA past presidents and other industry members will be invited to attend this gala event.