The Washington Metropolitan Auto Body Association (WMABA) celebrated its 50-year anniversary with a membership dinner and special twist: President Torchy Chandler was awarded the Society of Collision Repair Specialists’ Regional Lifetime Achievement Award in the presence of her peers.
Held at the association’s former stomping ground, the restaurant P.J. Skidoo’s in Fairfax, VA, the association went through historical reminiscing and looked to the future of the collision repair industry.
With the event being M.C.’d by Jeff Hendler, longtime industry mainstay and administrator of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), those in attendance heard the history of WMABA’s presence at every national industry event or industry entity creation.
He stated, “WMABA was always in the room---when I-CAR was formed, when the national SCRS group got started [and] when CIC first began. There may have been only a few people there to start, but WMABA folks were always present, and look where those organizations are today. You have been well-represented in every major event in these past 50 years, and I’m sure you will be for the foreseeable future.”
While all those in attendance enjoyed a great meal, WMABA Executive Director Jordan Hendler showed the association’s 40-year history video to the group, then followed with a state-of-the-industry address. Talking about future technologies, such as artificial intelligence and autonomous vehicles, she discussed how the future of our industry is in the hands of the youth of today who are familiar with technology and computers.
“They will be the needed boost for our industry to have diagnosticians that are efficient and knowledgeable. With the knowledge base being laid off by the thousands on the insurer side, this is how our industry will keep up---[by] getting these young minds in our shops. It’s all about the advancements of repairers at WMABA; onward and upward!” she said.
Members of the association who have had continued membership for the past 50 years were also recognized: Fairfax Auto Body, Hanagan's Auto Body, NCS Coatings, Inc. and Ray's Auto Body.