ASA Northwest Chairman of the Board Butch Jobst added his desire to “fully implement an educational coalition to bring our industry to both our region’s educators and the public in general. The complexity of our industry is mostly unknown by our education system and much of the general population.”
Ricki Garrett, executive director of the Mississippi Collision Repair Association (MSCRA), said, “Our goals for the new year include having more training opportunities for our members and making the SARC Conference the best collision repair conference ever.”
ASA-MI President Ray Fisher sees 2019 as a year when consumer education can and should expand to new heights. He said the association plans on “emphasizing the importance of awareness, communication and education to our internal and external customers. As vehicles with various levels of automation and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) increase in our vehicle population, it is our duty as professionals to inform the consumer and public the procedures necessary to fix these vehicles properly so that their systems once again work properly. Awareness, communication and education are paramount in 2019, and going forward, it must be a part of every estimator, manager and owner’s job description!
“Reimbursement for proper repairs should not be denied, feared or ignored, but rather welcomed. As an industry of professionals, we cannot overlook the procedures necessary to fix the vehicle to pre-loss condition---there are millions of American families counting on us to do our job as an expert! Predictions are that severity will increase, but initial studies of these systems also show that double digit decreases in bodily injury and accident frequency are occurring. We must understand that that is where the savings will take place to offset, not omitting a procedure, which could have catastrophic results.”
Burl Richards, president of the Auto Body Association of Texas (ABAT), provided an inspirational thought for industry unity: “Share, share, share information with everyone in the collision industry, as your successes will help others know that they are not ‘the only ones asking.’”
AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee agreed. “There is strength in numbers, and we all need to come together and educate each other to better our industry,” he said.
With these association leaders leading the charge for 2019, the industry is in for another year of progress and inspiration. Happy New Year!