AASP/NJ held its Annual Meeting on Oct. 17 at Gran Centurions in Clark, NJ, featuring keynote speaker Danny Gredinberg of the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG) who provided an overview on the purpose of the DEG and how it improves database accuracy through facilitating the submission and tracking of database inquiries to the three major estimating system providers.
The meeting also included AASP/NJ’s Board of Directors election and a special awards ceremony where the association honored many members for their commitment to the collision repair and automotive service industries.
Regarding Gredinberg’s presentation, AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant said, "Danny explained how the DEG can offer system users a more standardized and streamlined process for the generation of database inquiries to ultimately put more money in your pocket.”
Gredinberg described how to submit successful database inquiries to information providers and discussed the benefits of using DEG. He also explained how the site’s estimating toolbox can assist repairers in building an accurate repair plan by granting access to non-included and included operations. He stated, “The more information you give to the DEG, the better we can help you. It’s not just helping you; it’s helping others industrywide.”
Before concluding his presentation, Gredinberg stressed that the voice of every technician is important since more voices will help get issues escalated to those who can effect change. “Don’t think that just because you didn’t get a change, it didn’t work. Your voice is not unheard.”
AASP/NJ’s special awards ceremony served as an opportunity to recognize several association members. As a way of honoring Lee Vetland, industry legend and past AASP/NJ president who passed away earlier in 2019, the association created the Lee Vetland Lifetime Achievement Award to honor a member who has been in the industry for at least three decades and has reached the age of 60.
Katie Vetland, Lee’s daughter, and other members of the Vetland family were in attendance as they presented the first Lee Vetland Lifetime Achievement Award to Jeff McDowell, past president of AASP/NJ. Tom Elder, treasurer of AASP/NJ, said, “Jeff has given nearly 40 years of his life to this industry.