On Tuesday, November 19, the Southeast Chapter of AASP-MA held a meeting at the Holiday Inn located at 700 Myles Standish Blvd in Taunton, MA. According to Executive Director, Jillian Zywien, “this was the first Southeast Chapter meeting since April, and it was a great success!”
On the evening of Tuesday, November 12, the Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC) hosted a members’ meeting at the Country House Restaurant in East Haven, CT. The majority of the evening was filled with useful information provided by BMW through the efforts of John Musco, Parts Manager for BMW of Bridgeport.
Since the mid-1970s, the Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association (LIABRA) has been devoted to serving one of the busiest motoring regions in the country. Servicing Nassau, Suffolk and a portion of Queens counties, LIABRA maintains a finger on the pulse of the industry, monitoring technological advances, educational requirements and legislative initiatives in order to disseminate this important information to their member base.
The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Pennsylvania (AASP-PA) is the latest collision repair association to add its voice in opposition to insurance company requirements for their direct repair facilities to use specific parts procurement programs specified by the insurer.
On September 23, the Long Island Auto Body Repairmen’s Association (LIABRA) held their 12th annual golf outing at the Port Jefferson Country Club in Port Jefferson, NY. Executive Director Ed Kizenberger believes the event went very well with over 100 members participating. “Starting out with the spectacular weather we had and the phenomenal job our staff, especially co-Chair Paul O’Connell, did in organizing the outing, I would say that the success of the event was evident by the smiles on the faces of our participants. This year, we had a great group of ladies and gentlemen who, by all reports, had a wonderful time, enjoying the good food, wonderful golf course and networking with fellow members at dinner. The overall support from the industry makes this a very exciting event for our association.”
Citing the comradery that develops outside the shop environment as a major benefit of associations hosting events like LIABRA’s golf tournament, Kizenberger stresses “we enjoy the fact that we can get together as an association and network with our members in a fun environment. The importance of having a social aspect to a business trade group cannot be overstated; it places faces with names and makes the whole group stronger through shared good time memories.”
On the day of the event, registration began at 11am and was conducted by LIABRA’s Flo Pratt and Vito Tandoi along with Jackie and Dominique of Competition Infiniti. After registration, participants enjoyed a barbecue lunch on the lawn before warming up at the driving range and on the practice green.
At 1pm, a shotgun-style start announced the beginning of this year’s round, a full scramble in which players select the best of each shot, drop their ball at that point and play until the ball is holed. This style of play helped keep a good pace to allow all of the golfers to get through the round before moving to the clubhouse for an hour of cocktails and appetizers, followed by a buffet-style dinner which was served at 6pm.
Before dinner concluded, Kizenberger announced the recipients of LIABRA’s golfing skills awards for lowest net score, closest to the pin, longest drive, most accurate drive and most honest golfer. After dinner, over 300 prizes were raffled off. The first Grand Prize, a mountain bike donated by Advantage Nissan, was received by Eric of Competition Toyota. Donaldson’s Subaru donated the SUPER Grand Prize, a four-day golf experience in Myrtle Beach for four people; LIABRA member Lou Giordiano of Giordiano’s Collision in Medford received this fabulous prize. Additionally, Competition Toyota and Competition Infiniti each donated a car as hole-in-one prizes.
LIABRA is grateful to their sponsors who made this event so successful, as well as to the Golf Committee and its Chairman, Paul O’Connell, whose hard work has led to LIABRA’s golf tournament being deemed one of the finest on Long Island.
In regards to the success of this year’s event, Kizenberger notes, “every year, our event grows, and this year was no exception!” LIABRA has already begun planning for next year’s tournament.
LIABRA is also very excited about their upcoming legislative program, specifically NY bill A7234/S5786 which is a proposed act that will prohibit insurers from requiring shops to use specific vendors or processes for repair parts and materials.
The legislative issues surrounding NY bill A7234/S5786 were a major topic of discussion at LIABRA’s most recent meeting which was held on Tuesday, October 15 at 8pm at Nassau Boces/Barry Tech in Westbury, NY. The association disseminated some information on the event, and members discussed the bill’s impact on their businesses. Also, Larry Montanez of P & L Consultants presented a short seminar entitled “Become a Better Estimator” wherein he used three real-world examples to discuss the difficulties of handling claims, as well as the solutions. According to Kizenberger, the meeting went very well, and over 50 shop owners attended. LIABRA’S next meeting is scheduled for November 19 to discuss new vehicle technologies.
World wide, collision repair is a complex industry with many factors weighing heavily on its practice and progress, and the environment in New England is no different. There are constant legal battles, training issues and new technology to contend with, making it difficult for many people to keep up with and stay ahead of all these changes. The easiest way for many to keep up with current trends and information is supporting industry associations with your involvement on a local and national level.
AASP-MA always has many projects in the work, and fall 2013 is no different! In addition to hosting a barbeque, clambake and casino night for members, they will also hold a statewide meeting where they will discuss new technologies and some of their legislative activities. Executive Director Jillian Zywien took time away from her hectic schedule to discuss some of these events and initiatives.
For nearly ten years, the Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC) has been engaged in a legal battle with the Hartford Fire Insurance Company (the Hartford), and though the judge and jury awarded the victory to ABAC, the fight is not yet over as the Hartford has appealed the ruling to the state’s Supreme Court. Still, Tony Ferraiolo, President of ABAC, remains optimistic, noting “this is one of the biggest things happening in the industry right now, and it will rock the country if – no, when - we win next year.”
The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) has announced its support of the Mississippi Collision Repair Association’s (MSCRA) recently filed suit against State Farm and PartsTrader in an attempt to prevent the insurer from bringing the PartsTrader program to Mississippi.
The following comes directly from a post on AASP/NJ’s website:
As PartsTrader and State Farm continue to roll out their parts procurement program across the country, the announcement of the removal of the shops’ option to order from any vendor they choose comes as no surprise to the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ). From day one, AASP/NJ has been one of the country’s biggest opponents of the program.
Recently, the Massachusetts chapters of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers (AASP/MA) named Jillian Zywien to the position of Executive Director. Zywien is honored to be chosen to represent the association’s best interests, and she looks forward to implementing new programs to benefit their members. Despite the time demands of her new duties, she was eager to take time to share her plans for the association.
Since 1968, the Auto Body Association of Connecticut (ABAC) has been fighting for the collision repair industry. While their focus has changed many times over the past 45 years, ABAC is still dedicated to preserving the integrity and independence of repair specialists throughout their state. Because there are currently so many important issues facing the industry, Tony Ferraiolo, President of ABAC, took time to share the association’s goals and stances with Autobody News readers.