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Friday, 12 April 2019 17:04

Rick Johnson Named CAA's Newest Executive Director

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Rick Johnson, a former body shop owner who has been a leader in the collision repair industry for nearly 40 years, was named the new executive director of the California Autobody Association (CAA).


After a statewide search for new leadership, Johnson recently accepted the position and is already formulating new and exciting plans for the future of CAA.


Johnson has been involved with CAA since 1980 and is coming out of semi-retirement to assume the leadership role.


"I have seen CAA grow as this industry has changed in many ways, so I know how the organization can help body shops in the state on many levels," Johnson said. "Adapting to those changes and embracing new technology to stay connected with our members and attracting new people are [some] of our main goals. I was CAA president in 1999, a board member for eight years and I ran its CARPAC for a decade, so I have an inside perspective of what's going on within the organization and know how to motivate others to get onboard and achieve our goals."


CAA began looking for a new executive director starting at the end of 2017 to replace David McClune, who retired. Don Feeley stepped down from CAA's executive committee at that time to become the volunteer non-paid interim executive director while an ad hoc committee was formed to search for a permanent full-time executive director.


Johnson owned B & J Body Shop in the Sacramento area for 35 years before selling the business to his managers in 2009 and then took a break from the industry.


"I've never really retired completely," Johnson said. "Once this business is in your blood, it's hard to step away. When the people at CAA contacted me and we began discussing the opportunity, I realized that this was something I really wanted to do. Rather than bringing in a new person, I feel like I can get a lot done quickly and make the changeover as seamless as it can be."


Now CAA's new chief information officer (CIO), Feeley will continue much of the work he began as an interim director and work closely with Johnson in every aspect of the organization. In addition, CAA's two regional reps, Cindy Shillito in Southern California and Pete Bezeck in Northern California, will assume larger roles as they work closely with the chapters in their respective regions.

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