This occurs as the association also prepares to turn the mid-century mark of 50 years in operation.
Excited by the addition, one specific West Virginian has led the charge to see the Mountain State join the fold. Steve Krieps, Shop Manager for Greg Cline Automotive in Winfield, WV, and the newest board member of WMABA, commented on the inclusion process.
"The collision repair industry is changing at a rapid pace,” Krieps said. “As vehicle technology advances, the repair process must evolve as well. As repairers, it is absolutely critical that we stay informed on local issues, and act when necessary. We must educate our consumers so they can make informed decisions and stay consistent with our training, to [the] benefit of consumer safety and quality of repair.
“WMABA has been navigating the socio-economics and technical aspects of the collision repair industry for nearly 50 years. With its presence at trade conferences across the country, it is on the forefront of progress. This partnership with WMABA will be instrumental to the Mountain State, and we are ecstatic and honored to be members of the WMABA family. We are more than prepared for a brighter future.”
"WMABA has two major milestones cresting into 2018 with the 50th anniversary and now the West Virginia addition," commented WMABA President Mark Schaech, also Vice President of Mark's Body Shop in Baltimore, MD. "I am so pleased to see this new growth, probably to go along with additional re-branding opportunities, and the excitement of this is very refreshing. As collision repairers, we can get bogged down in the minutia of shop life. It's easy to lose sight of all we are really capable of when we lock together. It could be the best thing to happen in my time with WMABA, both on the board and as a longtime member."
Coming in the near future, WMABA will also release additional information about the anniversary and initiatives in the works for continuing to be at the forefront of education, mentoring and membership advocacy. The entire Board of Directors of the association is pleased with the potential opportunities these milestones offer.