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Tuesday, 10 August 2021 16:31

Industry Veteran Leader Steps Away from 40-Plus Years in Collision

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David Mello, left, is retiring and has sold his auto body shop to Crash Champions, but by mentoring people like Sales Manager Bill Brady, right, he knows his crew is well-trained and prepared for the next chapter. David Mello, left, is retiring and has sold his auto body shop to Crash Champions, but by mentoring people like Sales Manager Bill Brady, right, he knows his crew is well-trained and prepared for the next chapter.

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David Mello recently announced he is stepping away from a long and successful career as the owner of Anderson Behel in Santa Clara, CA, and selling his shop to Crash Champions, which has 118 locations in 12 states and Washington, D.C.

Mello exits the industry he loved for more than 43 years as a body shop owner and strong representative for the collision repair industry in California and nationwide.

 

He has held almost every leadership position available in the California Autobody Association (CAA) for more than 25 years, and has worked hard to make a real difference in the collision industry in California and nationally since day one.

 

It all began in Santa Cruz, CA, when Mello landed a job in a local dealership’s parts department.

 

"My dad was a dairy farmer who eventually owned and operated a creamery," Mello said. "I always loved cars more than I liked cows, so when I was in high school, I got a job at a service station where I could mess with vehicles.

 

"While I was attending junior college, I got a job as a parts guy at a local Oldsmobile dealership where I was making $600 a week---decent money for a kid out of school. I was promoted to the parts manager position and then was hired at a body shop. I worked there for 10 years and then in 1989, I purchased Anderson Behel, a shop that had been there since 1960."

Every time the industry changed, Mello altered his business model as well to accommodate a rapid evolution. Anderson Behel was one of the first shops in Silicon Valley to switch from solvent to waterborne paint, and saw the value of OE certifications almost immediately.

Mello was never afraid to step up and represent the collision repair industry in Sacramento for many years.

 

“I started my involvement with CAA 30 years ago,” he said. “I joined my local chapter's board (Santa Clara Chapter) in 1992, and I've been on the board ever since then. I served as...


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