The Kansas Auto Body Association (KABA) was recently founded by a small group of auto body industry professionals dedicated to improving the industry in their state.
KABA President Jeff Oldenettel was willing to speak about how the group got started and what their future plans are.
He shared, “A small group of us began talking and decided the endeavor was worth pursuing. After a couple of GoToMeeting conversations, we all showed up at the Iowa Collision Repair Association’s trade show in January, even though none of us had discussed it, and from there, things just took off!”
KABA’s founding group includes President Jeff Oldenettel, Eddy’s Body Shops; Vice President Tony Adams, Weaver’s Auto Center; Secretary-Treasurer Jamie Leonard, Briggs Automotive; Board Member Clay Hoberecht, Best Body Shop; and Vendor Board Member Ementi Coary, Mitchell International.
These industry leaders established the group’s mission statement: “To serve our members and the public of the state of Kansas through leadership, education and initiatives that further uplift the professionalism and business conditions of those engaged in our state’s collision industry for the safety and knowledge of the consumer.”
Oldenettel elaborated, “As our mission statement expresses, we are seeking to improve the professionalism and standards of our industry for the betterment of the repairs for consumers within our state. We are planning to host four to six events each year in different areas of Kansas in order to bring in recognized leaders to our industry for the education and development of our profession. It’s important for the collision repair industry in Kansas to have our own association because so many issues are legislated on the state level. It’s important to support and understand what is happening both at the city and state level, and an association will allow us to bring trainers, leaders and speakers to the local level to improve our local industry.”
A large topic that the association is currently focused on is ensuring that all collision repair professionals have access to OE repair procedures.
“Some OEs made their repair procedures difficult to find, but this is constantly improving as the OEs seek to assist in how facilities are repairing their branded vehicles,” Oldenettel explained. “The best way we can help is to educate our industry on where to find these vital documents.”