Collision Industry Red Carpet Awards Celebrates Standout Achievements

2023-SEMA-Red-Carpet-Awards
Liz Stein from OEC emceed the event.

The annual awards show, held during SEMA week, recognizes the people and companies stepping up to help move the industry forward.

The annual Collision Industry Red Carpet Awards ceremony was held this year in conjunction with the 40th anniversary of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC). The ceremony typically takes place during a morning breakfast at the SEMA Show; however, this year, industry members gathered during an evening event Oct. 31 to celebrate standout achievements and character in the collision repair industry.

Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS, and Jordan Hendler, CIC administrator, planned CIC’s 40th anniversary-celebration with the assistance of several volunteers, including Chris Cage and Lizzy Greve from Admin Concepts, Jill Tuggle, executive director of the Auto Body Association of Texas, and “Collisionista” Petra Schroeder.

The event was sponsored by participating organizations, with added sponsorship from BodyShop Business, the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) and SCRS.

Jason Stahl, left, editor of BodyShop Business, with Executive of the Year single shop winner Greg Solesbee, right, from CARSTAR Hayden.

Liz Stein from OEC emceed the event and described it as the industry’s “version of the Oscars with the best quality people, as well as awards that actually are meaningful and change lives.”

BodyShop Business

The Executive of the Year award has been given out to a collision repairer by BodyShop Business since 1984. Since 2014, the publication has recognized repairers in two categories, single shop and multi-shop owner.

Stahl, left, with Executive of the Year multi shop winner Charlie Drake, right, chief operations officer at Classic Collision.

This year, the single shop winner was Greg Solesbee from CARSTAR Hayden in Hayden, ID. Charlie Drake, chief operations officer at Classic Collision, received the multi-shop owner award.

“The winners of these prestigious awards are true collision repair visionaries who have experienced great success through innovative thinking, overcoming challenges and persevering,” said Jason Stahl, editor of BodyShop Business.

NABC

Jennifer Hubbard, National Auto Body Council (NABC) board member and secretary, and client engagement manager–Automotive Services Group for CCC, presented NABC’s Changing and Saving Lives Award, which recognizes the individual in the collision repair industry who delivers exemplary service in NABC’s mission of changing and saving lives.

Jennifer Hubbard, NABC board member and secretary, and client engagement manager–Automotive Services Group for CCC, presented NABC’s Changing and Saving Lives Award to Shawn Crozat, CEO of G&C Auto Body.

The recipient was Shawn Crozat, CEO of G&C Auto Body in Santa Rosa, CA, who shared his appreciation for the award virtually during the event.

“It's an absolute honor to receive the Changing and Saving Lives award from NABC,” said Crozat, whose dad was always passionate about giving back to the community. He started the Crozat Family Foundation a decade ago to gift vehicles to the community, specifically survivors of domestic violence. The family has donated 200 cars through the NABC Recycled Rides program.

“My mom, sister and siblings feel so blessed with this wonderful industry and business we have that we feel it's our obligation to give back to our community and help those in need.”

CIC

In honor of CIC’s 40th anniversary, Chairman Frank Terlep, vice president of ADAS solutions at Opus IVS, shared some history about the organization and played a video highlighting memories over the years. This included thoughts from Al Estorga. In 1983, Estorga became upset after being told at an inter-industry event that it was not the appropriate time or place to discuss an issue he had raised as a California shop owner. That later led to the creation of CIC.

CIC Chairman Frank Terlep, vice president of ADAS Solutions at Opus IVS, shared some history about CIC and played a video highlighting memories over the years.

As part of the celebration, CIC announced a new tradition---presenting a Volunteer of the Year award to someone who has gone above and beyond by being an ambassador of the vision and mission of CIC. Darrell Amberson, president of operations for LaMettry’s Collision and CIC past chair, said this includes participating in or chairing committees, contributing to the engagement of the conference, or making things better in general. 

This year’s award was given to Schroeder, a Hall of Eagles inductee known by many in the industry as “Collisionista.”

Amberson said the first honoree of the Volunteer of the Year Award is a person who embodies every attribute, makes meaningful contributions and always has new ideas. He added Schroeder serves the industry in many ways, greeting first-timers with a welcoming, warm spirit and epitomizes class and dignity.

“Collisionista” Petra Schroeder, front left, received the CIC Volunteer of the Year award. Also pictured are Jordan Hendler, back left, CIC administrator, and CIC’s current and past chairs.

“This is an honor that you can only imagine what this means to me,” said Schroeder. “I will contribute to this industry as much as I possibly can. I love this industry and most of all, I love the people in it.”


CREF

Brandon Eckenrode, CREF’s executive director, handed out the organization’s two Fueling the Future Awards. The award recognizes volunteers or businesses going above and beyond to help support the industry’s future.

Pam Watson, sales and marketing strategist at Albert Kemperle and Florida state chair for I-CAR, was recognized for her help in addressing the critical need for entry-level talent entering the industry.

In addition to organizing fundraisers that help support local schools and students, Watson plans career fairs, participates in advisory boards, facilitates product donations to schools and organizes field trips so students can interact with industry members.

Brandon Eckenrode, left, CREF’s executive director, with Pam Watson, right, sales and marketing strategist at Albert Kemperle and Florida state chair for I-CAR, who received CREF’s Fueling the Future Award.

“I want to thank CREF and I-CAR for setting ambitious goals and providing us the resources and the guidance to achieve those goals,” said Watson. “[It’s a] pleasure to work with Brandon and his team. Equipping collision repair education programs with the tools that they need is very valuable to me…I'm just very appreciative of delivering that.”

CREF’s second Fueling the Future Award recipients included Tony Russo from Volkswagen Group of America and Mark Allen from Audi of America. The auto manufacturers donated 78 new vehicles slightly damaged in an overseas shipment and could not be sold to consumers.

As a result, 18 schools in Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia received a mixture of internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric vehicles, totaling a donation of more than $2 million.

“Thousands of students are going to be impacted…through this very generous donation,” said Eckenrode. Once the schools use the vehicles, they will be donated to local first responders.

I-CAR

I-CAR President and CEO John Van Alstyne announced the Jeff Silver and the Russ Verona Memorial awards recipients. 

“Our two award recipients promote technical education and professionalism beyond just their own businesses,” said Van Alstyne. “These industry champions recognize the relationship of technical knowledge and skills to perform high-quality collision repairs that ultimately benefit the consumer.”

I-CAR President and CEO John Van Alstyne, left, presented the Jeff Silver Memorial Award to Zack Beck, corporate claims trainer for GEICO Insurance.

Zack Beck, corporate claims trainer for GEICO Insurance, received the Jeff Silver award, given out since 2009 and named after industry leader Jeff Silver. Silver pioneered I-CAR’s Platinum and Gold Class recognition programs for individuals and shops.

“Our award recipient, who trains appraisers, is viewed by coworkers as a true champion for the I-CAR community,” said Van Alstyne. Beck has completed about 200 I-CAR courses and continues to train.

“Nothing is more satisfying to our award winner than helping advance the careers of his teammates and other professionals he meets through active networking in our industry,” said Van Alstyne. “He's especially supportive of newcomers to appraising and offers solid training recommendations to give them a good start.”

I-CAR President CEO John Van Alstyne, left, with Ron Reichen, right, owner of Precision Body and Paint in Beaverton, OR, who accepted the Russ Verona Memorial Award presented to Clinton Body Shop in Mississippi, established by late John Mosley.

Clinton Body Shop in Mississippi, established by John Mosley, received the Russ Verona Memorial Award, presented every year since 2006 to honor the memory of industry pioneer Russ Verona. Verona owned and operated the first I-CAR Gold Class-designated business and made numerous contributions to reinforce a positive image of the industry.

Van Alstyne said the death of Mosely left a huge void in the industry. Moseley was a 22-year member of SCRS and served on its board. He traveled throughout the country, promoting education and proper collision repairs. As a consumer advocate, he lobbied state and federal lawmakers and testified on Capitol Hill.

“His selflessness is infused in the business he built,” said Van Alstyne. “He was always willing to work with local shops, even direct competitors, to help them understand the importance of OEM procedures and training.”

Ron Reichen, owner of Precision Body and Paint in Beaverton, OR, accepted the award on behalf of John’s widow, Carol.

“John was a warrior for our industry,” said Reichen. “He always put the customer’s needs above all else. John believed there was only one correct way to repair a vehicle, and that was knowing the vehicle's construction and the correct methodology that could only be achieved through training. Not only did John believe in I-CAR, but every vehicle that he repaired saw the I-CAR stamp on it.”


CIECA

CIECA Chairman Greg Best, senior business analyst at California Casualty, announced CIECA’s award recipients.

CIECA Chairman Greg Best, left, senior business analyst at California Casualty, with Frank Phillips, right, formerly of Rivian, who received an Outstanding Achievement award.

This year, two individuals received an Outstanding Achievement award for their tremendous contribution and dedication to CIECA over the last year.

Frank Phillips, formerly of Rivian, was the first.

“He is an active supporter of CIECA,” said Best. “He went above and beyond to arrange a tour of the Rivian plant as part of the recent CONNEX Conference and gave us a behind-the-scenes look at what the EV company is doing.”

Best, left, with Jake Rodenroth, right, North American Body Repair Program operations manager at Lucid Motors, who received an Outstanding Achievement Award.

Jake Rodenroth, North American Body Repair Program operations manager at Lucid Motors, also received an award for his committee participation and presenting at CIECA events.

“I want to thank my team at Lucid Motors; I couldn't do it without them,” said Rodenroth, who thanked Andy MacDonald, Lucid’s director of technical operations, the certified Lucid repair facilities and his family, most of all his dad.

Bill Brower, vice president of industry relations at Solera, received CIECA’s Chairperson’s Award.

“Over the last year, he has taken an active role on the CIECA Board of Trustees and regularly contributes to board discussions to help move the organization forward,” said Best.

Best, left, with Bill Brower, right, vice president of industry relations at Solera, who received CIECA’s Chairperson’s Award.

Brower, who helped at his dad’s body shop while growing up, has worked in claims for 35 years.

“The ability to have an organization like CIECA to allow us to exchange information accurately to help customers at their time of need is really, really important,” said Brower. “I'm honored to be a part of the CIECA organization and really appreciate the industry and all that you do for consumers to help them get their cars repaired properly and pleased to play a small role in that.”

The final CIECA award was for the 2023 Electronic Commerce Company of the Year, which recognizes the company that contributes the most through its employees, resources and dedication to help CIECA achieve its mission, objectives and goals.

OEC received this honor and Ken Eagleson, OEC’s vice president of business development and a CIECA board member, was recognized for his dedication on behalf of the company.

Best, far left, presented the 2023 Electronic Commerce Company of the Year Award to OEC team members, second from left to right, Ken Eagleson, OEC’s vice president of business development and a CIECA board member, Pat Blech and Tanya Sweetland.

“The company chosen this year has supported CIECA and its mission in many ways,” said Best. “In addition to active representation on the Board of Trustees, company members greatly assisted with planning the CONNEX Conference.”

SCRS

SCRS Chair Amber Alley, manager of Barsotti’s Body & Fender, noted how special the event was, how “deserving everyone has been, and what a great opportunity it was to get such beautiful people with so much to offer together and acknowledge their accomplishments.”

SCRS board members Tony Adams, business services consultant for AkzoNobel, and Andy Tylka, owner of TAG Auto Group, presented the 2023 Affiliate Association Award, given to an affiliate association that displays exemplary actions of leadership and helps to lift the collision repair professional in their state. It has only been given out seven other times. 

This year, the recipient was the Auto Body Association of Texas, accepted by Tuggle.

Pictured, left to right, are SCRS Chair Amber Alley, manager of Barsotti’s Body & Fender; Jill Tuggle, executive director of the Auto Body Association of Texas, which received the SCRS 2023 Affiliate Association Award; Tony Adams, business services consultant for AkzoNobel; and Andy Tylka, owner of TAG Auto Group.

“This year's recipient has really demonstrated exceptional leadership in their state and their activity in advocating for legislation, specifically the work they do to work with lawmakers to make sure that they understand the issues that are happening in their state and how they're impacting consumers,” noted Adams.

“The person accepting this award for the organization is selfless,” added Tylka. “She a progressive thinker. She encourages people to learn from what they're doing.”

“I've been in this industry for a long time…it has been a pleasure to me to fight the good fight and to be there and represent the small guys and the independent shops and really just be here not for a paycheck or to sell a product, but to do what's good for this industry and the empty chair,” said Tuggle. “That is what those associations represent every single day.”

Michael Bradshaw, vice president of K & M Collision, awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award to the late John Mosley, owner of Clinton Body Shop. The award is designed to recognize people who have given generously to the aid of their industry nationwide.

“He was as genuine an individual you'll ever meet in your life,” said Bradshaw. “He cared deeply about everyone else, and he was always someone who put others’ needs before his.”

Bradshaw said Mosley was constantly standing up for consumers and was believed in political action, spending countless hours traveling to D.C. to meet with Congress. One of those efforts spurred the preservation of the 1963 Consent Decree.

Burl Richards, owner of Burl’s Collision Center, accepted the award on his behalf and shared some thoughts from Mosley’s family. 

“Thank you all for honoring our husband and father with this Lifetime Achievement Award. John was a one-of-a-kind person," Richards said. "He always believed in standing up for what was right, even if it meant standing alone. He was a man of many accomplishments, and each one, no matter how small or large, was just as important as the other.”

Kye Yeung from European Motor Car Works received the March Taylor Kina'ole Award from SCRS. Pictured, left to right, are Barry Dorn of Dorn's Body & Paint, Amber Alley of Barsotti's Body & Fender, Brenda and Kye Yeung, and Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS.

Schulenburg, of SCRS, and Barry Dorn, vice president of Dorn’s Body and Paint, presented the final award of the evening, the 2023 March Taylor Kina’ole Award. The award honors the legacy and lessons of the late March Taylor, who owned Auto Body Hawaii and served on the SCRS Board of Directors.

Schulenburg said the award represents the spirit of Kina’ole, a Hawaiian word for flawlessness in the sense of “doing the right thing, in the right way, at the right time, in the right place, to the right person, for the right reason, with the right feeling, the first time."

The award was presented to Kye Yeung, owner of European Motor Car Works.

“This award is about folks that truly shine a light on all of us…whether or not they intend to,” said Dorn. “I remember the first time I met Kai was through March at his beautiful store and it truly amazed me what he does, how he does things with his family, and his certifications.”

When Dorn talked to Yeung about joining SCRS, Yeung hesitated and said that he didn’t feel ready.

“One of the most remarkable moments is when there's somebody who everyone around a board table knows is the right person to come sit beside it,” said Schulenburg. “It’s common that that person just doesn't believe they belong there because they look at all the greatness in everyone else, and sometimes, they fail to recognize it is within themselves."

Schulenburg said Yeung has gone above and beyond since being part of SCRS.

“The success that that I feel in accomplishing this is because of the friends around the table,” said Yeung. “Thank you so much. I'm so proud to be part of this.”

Stacey Phillips Ronak

Columnist
Stacey Phillips Ronak is an award-winning writer for the automotive industry and a regular columnist for Autobody News based in Southern California.

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