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Stacey Phillips

Stacey Phillips photoStacey Phillips is a freelance writer for the automotive industry based in Southern California. She has 20 years of experience as an editor including writing in a number of businesses and fields.


She can be reached at sphillips.autobodynews@gmail.com. 

Monday, 08 June 2020 23:04

How CIF Assistance Has Benefited Collision Repair Professionals in Time of Need

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The team at Dalton Collision prior to the pandemic. The team at Dalton Collision prior to the pandemic.


When the coronavirus restrictions were first put into place, the Collision Industry Foundation (CIF) recognized the challenges being faced by the industry.

As a result, the nonprofit organization set up a special COVID-19 fund to support collision repair professionals impacted by the pandemic.


“Since 2001, CIF has been dedicated to raising, managing and donating funds to provide emergency relief to collision repairers who have been impacted by natural disasters or other catastrophic events,” said Michael Quinn, CIF board president and SVP of business development at AirPro Diagnostics. “The donations we received for the COVID-19 fund were vital to help repairers across the country.”


CIF established the fund with $100,000 raised previously, and CCC Information Services matched that amount. Other industry organizations and individuals then donated to the fund, including AirPro Diagnostics, Guy Bargnes, Colette Bruce, Chris Caris, Benjamin Cupelli, Dave’s Collision Center/Halethorpe, Kelli Dewberry, Jeff Hendler, Kurt Lammon, Timothy Morgan, Partstrader, Clark Plucinski, Petra Schroeder, Sean Carey Consultants, Spanesi Americas, Tanya Sweetland, Tractable and John Yoswick.


Funds were also contributed from monthly donors Meredith Bradshaw and Bill Enross.


“We are once again grateful to belong to an industry that believes in supporting their own,” said Quinn. “We thank our generous donors and the industry for allowing CIF volunteers to deliver aid to collision repair professionals and their families in need.”


CIF has received more than 630 individual applications since March, the majority of which met the organization’s established criteria and were funded.


Although the application period ended May 31 and the COVID-19 fund is now exhausted, CIF is still trying to assist collision repairers and encouraging general donations from the industry.


“I was inspired to join the CIF Board of Trustees in early 2019 when I realized just how unique the organization is,” said Ann Gonzalez, CIF board vice president and VP of strategic development for I-CAR. “The support that CIF receives from across the collision repair industry that allows us to then provide assistance back to collision repair individuals in need is exceptional, and something I have never seen in other industries. I am proud to be part of this generous community that, time and time again, steps up in times of need to help our own.”
Autobody News talked to three body shop owners from across the country to find out how CIF support has helped their employees.


Dalton Collision


Nearly 30 years ago, Jerry Dalton opened Dalton Collision, a 13,000-square foot body shop in Blaine, TN. Since then, he and his team of 39 employees have focused on providing excellent service, and safety and peace of mind for customers.


As the business expanded over the years, Dalton opened a second location in Knoxville last year. The facility is approximately 24,000 square feet and serves the north, central and eastern parts of Knoxville, as well as the surrounding counties.


They first learned about CIF last year during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, when Dalton watched CIF Board President Michael Quinn give a presentation about the organization. Dalton was impressed with the way CIF helped body shop employees at the time in California when they were dealing with wildfires.


When his business began to slow down, Dalton reached out to CIF for assistance. The human resources director at Dalton Collision applied for support on behalf of the employees at both locations.


When they received the checks from CIF, Dalton said it reminded him of winning the Publisher’s Clearing House sweepstakes.


“It was awesome,” said Dalton. “It sure helped out our employees. They were really appreciative.”


He is very grateful for the support from CIF and encourages other collision repair facilities to reach out when disaster strikes.


Recently, Dalton said many of the restrictions have been lifted in Tennessee and business is beginning to ramp up.

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