The Women's Industry Network (WIN) recently announced that four women will be honored as Most Influential Women (MIW) in 2018.
They will be celebrated at the MIW Gala and Awards Ceremony, held during WIN's Educational Conference in Indianapolis May 7--9. Originally established by AkzoNobel in 1999 and taken on by WIN in 2013, the MIW program aims to recognize women whose leadership, vision and commitment to excellence have enriched the collision repair industry.
The 2018 MIW honorees are Shelly Bickett, Director and Co-Founder of Fix Auto USA; Mary Mahoney, Vice President of the Insurance Replacement Division for Enterprise Holdings; Marie Peevy, Owner of Automotive Training Coordinators LLC; and Collisionista Petra Schroeder. While all of these women are involved with WIN, the association does not select the MIW honorees. Established criteria focused on industry influence, professional accomplishments, mentorship and community service are considered by an independent third-party company that reviews the nominations and selects each year's winners.
This year's honorees all graciously agreed to discuss with Autobody News their careers, involvement with WIN and how they feel about receiving this recognition.
After years in the corrugated box industry, Peevy began her collision repair industry career by chance when she relocated and needed a new job.
She recalled, "I liked it from day one, but I began to love it after my first year when I attended an industry conference. I developed a tremendous respect for collision repairers, owners, managers, technicians---all of them. I found the industry interesting and challenging, [and] always providing an opportunity to learn. I have been in the industry since 2005, and I find it hard to believe those 13 years have gone by so quickly.
"It's difficult for me to discuss my career without first stating I have five boys ranging in age from 5 to 32! I think this is important because, as most women know, your priorities revolve around your kids first. However, it is important you do something for yourself, so that you leave an example of what is possible for your children. Honestly, my real career accomplishments began when I took a chance on an idea. I saw collision repairers struggling to meet and maintain training requirements and all of the details associated with it. My passion for their struggles drove me to develop and continue to refine an approach that simplifies the process. Every day, I am excited because I know my company, Automotive Training Coordinators LLC, is helping collision repairers and making their lives just a little easier. I am grateful to the people who coached me and even for those that said I couldn’t be successful. Today, my company makes a difference every day."