Wednesday, 15 September 2021 17:43

IACA to Host Kristen Felder for One-Day Educational Event

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On Sept. 30, the Idaho Autobody Craftsmen’s Association (IACA) is hosting a full-day training and equipment show at the College of Western Idaho (CWI) in Boise, ID, with industry expert Kristen Felder as the keynote speaker.

Felder will teach three classes: Policy 101, OEM Procedures and Negotiations, followed by an equipment show.


An industry-recognized leader with a lifetime of experience in the collision repair and insurance industries, Felder received the 2011 Society of Collision Repair Specialists Industry Service Award, 2011 Finalist Car Council's Woman of the Year, 2010 Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) Impact Award-Top Four Executives Under Forty and 2007 AkzoNobel Most Influential Women.


Felder travels nationwide to auto body shops to help them with every aspect of their operations with an emphasis on marketing, and often speaks to organizations such as IACA.


More than a decade ago, IACA went through a re-organization under the direction of Matt Thornton. Through his hard work and by connecting with literally every body shop in Idaho, he was able to build a strong group consisting of most of the top independent operators in the state. Recently, he sold his business to a large MSO to step away from the collision repair industry and retire after decades of service.


The new president of IACA is Rick Cope, a third-generation body shop owner of a company founded by his father in 1963. With his children ready to take over the business, Cope is concerned about the future of the industry. He’s also enthused about serving as IACA’s new president and making the organization stronger than ever, he said.


“This is a volatile time in the collision repair industry with so many changes that happen literally every day,” Cope said. “Collision repairers in Idaho have many of the same concerns that other body shops all over the country have. Our job is to...

...provide a powerful unified front, so that we can stay competitive.


"This involves by supporting legislation that will benefit us and fighting legislation that might negatively impact us now or in the future. Every business needs a voice, and that’s the role we want to play at IACA," Cope continued. "Plus, by sharing information and providing education like these classe with Kristin Felder, we can all be better business people and industry leaders.”


Founded in the 1980s, IACA was established to be an active voice in the industry until the late 1990s, when the association fell apart and dissolved due to a lack of participation. In 2012, Thornton and two other shop owners decided to re-form the organization by scheduling an initial meeting that attracted more than 40 people.


After affiliating themselves with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) in the fall of 2012, IACA held a second, more formal meeting in November 2012, which attracted nearly 60 attendees and featured presentations by Bruce Halcro, then chairman of the Montana Collision Repair Specialists (MCRS), and Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS.


One of IACA’s primary goals is to provide relevant educational events and vendor presentations. Since reorganizing, IACA has hosted several sessions with Mike Anderson from CollisionAdvice.com, with help from Axalta Coatings. They’ve also met with their state’s Department of Insurance and several state legislators as they explore legal options for correcting industry issues.


Several years back, IACA hired a lobbyist to guide them through the legislative process. Recently, they also produced a TV commercial to educate consumers about the collision repair industry in Idaho.


Source: IACA