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Thursday, 17 May 2018 20:54

WIN Races to Connect at 2018 Educational Conference

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Outgoing Chair Petra Schroeder passed the torch to Incoming Chair Michelle Sullivan. Outgoing Chair Petra Schroeder passed the torch to Incoming Chair Michelle Sullivan.

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She shared, “This truck is a reaction. It’s not women fighting to get in the industry. It is women saying ‘We’re here, and we’re this good.’ Don’t wait until someone says you’re near the end--- do it now. Don’t wait for someone to tell you it’s OK. Do it now! I learned what I was worth while working on this project. This truck, this tribe of women, saved my life.”


Lateiner continued to share stories about some of the individual women and girls who participated in the build, including what they have gone on to do since completing the project. 


“I wanted to create an opportunity for other women to get involved in the industry, but I didn’t know that we were going to change lives, that my life would be changed. We let the naysayers fuel our fire, and we proved them all wrong. One of the biggest things we can do for the next generation is just be visible. You can tell a kid they can do anything, but they won’t believe it until they see someone who looks like them doing it. This build was about helping people find what lights their soul on fire. There are multiple paths, and we need more people who love what they do.”


Inspired by the previous evening and the event’s speakers, sponsorship winner Celia Martinez took the stage to express her gratitude to WIN. She shared, “It’s rare to find someone who has the same passion as you. I don’t expect everyone to be nice, but I do expect equality. If you have a goal, exercise that vision. As soon as I saw the opportunity, I pursued my vision. You have to be willing to set new standards and do things people didn’t expect.”


The penultimate educational session was “Collision Repair Industry Update,” presented by Greg Horn of The Hartford. Horn discussed the complexity of vehicles, the number of accidents caused by uninsured drivers, the increasing age of vehicles and the variety of distracted driving concerns. He concluded that while the industry may make advances in accident avoidance, the impact is years away and the industry will continue having vehicles to repair for the foreseeable future.Kristen Felder of Collision Hub moderated the “Racing to Connect” panel, which consisted of Debbie Day from Mitchell, Danielle Babino of I-CAR, Jake Rodenroth from asTech and Patrice Marcil of Axalta. As the group discussed connected cars, they began by clarifying that the term “connected car” means that the car is connected to the internet, going on to discuss the different technologies being used in vehicles, how this technology impacts the repair process and other segments of the industry, and what opportunities and challenges these advancements create.