Although he sees himself as an I-CAR instructor first and a body shop owner second, Doug Roach, 66, has been wearing both hats successfully for the last 36 years.
As the owner of Collision Repair Specialists in San Jose, CA, and an I-CAR instructor since 1983, Roach is well-known and highly respected in the collision repair industry for having the knowledge to repair cars to OE standards and using it to teach countless collision professionals to do the same.
The numbers are impressive---Roach has taught thousands of technicians in approximately 25 different states over the years. He has conducted 1,700 classes, not including special training sessions. Each class normally lasts four hours, so Roach has taught his students for approximately 6,800 hours---more than 283 days total.
As I-CAR celebrates its 40th year, Roach looks back at how the organization and the industry have changed. It all began when he was inspired to pursue a teaching career back in 1970 while a senior at Irvington High School in Fremont, CA.
"One of my shop teachers suggested that I might be a good instructor, something I never thought about until then," Roach said. "So after graduating from San Jose State University, I earned a California life teaching credential and began my professional career at age 21 teaching auto mechanics and metal shop at the high school level and for adult education."
In 1983, Roach left his teaching position at Leigh High School in San Jose to work at the family shop and then began teaching I-CAR classes, he said. He later opened his own shop, Collision Repair Specialists, with a partner in 1987. He enjoyed the challenge of building a business, but never lost his passion for passing his knowledge on to collision repair professionals.
"I've always considered myself a teacher first and a shop owner second," Roach said. "When I can find someone who is hungry for information and really seems to get it, teaching is so satisfying. Teaching is not financially rewarding and it takes me away from running my shop, but I love it.