Driven Brands Collision Conference Day 2 Features Awards Gala, Keynote Speaker


AbraCARSTAR and Fix Auto USA franchise partners' inaugural Driven Brands U.S. collision repair joint conference continued Sept. 29 with Matt Mayberry, retired Chicago Bears linebacker, acclaimed keynote speaker and one of the world’s foremost thought leaders on leadership development and culture. He shared an energizing presentation on personal motivation, overcoming adversity, achieving audacious goals and turning circumstantial hardships into opportunities for growth.
Following the keynote, Dirk Fuchs, director of technical programs and services, I-CAR, facilitated an OE panel with representatives from Nissan, Lucid and Rivian. The panelists provided an electrifying discussion on EV strategy, the evolving role of certifications, and the crucial changes collision repair providers should be making to stay ahead of the curve and meet consumer demand for EV repair processes.

Blake Kidwell, vice president of sales for the DrivenAdvantage procurement program, touched on the massive scale of the new marketplace portal as well as category coverage from valued vendor partners. 

Following Kidwell was the marketing message from Vice President of Collision Marketing Melissa Kwiatkowski. “You don’t have to get ready if you stay ready,” was Kwiatkowski’s leading message as she explained how the marketing team is readying the brands for every economic environment. 

A packed vendor tradeshow was held in the afternoon, where owners were able to spend valuable time with their trusted vendors and hear about new products and services available for varying segments of their business.
The 2023 Evolution Conference was capped off by the awards gala where the guests donned their formal attire and celebrated the collective achievements during the conference.

  • Abra Rookie of the Year: Jeremy and Matt Buller, owners of Abra Bismarck, Abra Mandan and Abra Minot in North Dakota
  • CARSTAR Rookie of the Year: Carlos Guzman, owner of CARSTAR Superior Collision in San Antonio, TX
  • Fix Auto USA Rookie of the Year: John Banh, owner of Fix Auto Rancho Cucamonga, Fix Auto Fontana, Fix Auto Garden Grove and Fix Auto Huntington Beach in Southern California
  • NPS Award: Richard Fish, owner of Fix Auto San Clemente in California
  • Length of Rental Award: Mike Chilton, CARSTAR Chilton's San Bruno in Northern California
  • CARSTAR Community Champion: Rose and Pickering Group in Wichita, KS
  • Abra Community Champion: Kedrick and Louann Johnson, KLST Inc., MSO owners of Abra Cloquet, Abra Duluth, Abra Elk River, Abra Princeton and Abra St. Cloud in Minnesota
  • Fix Auto USA Community Champion: Dan Stander, Fix Auto Highlands Ranch in Colorado
  • Top Gun Award: Mike Brown, Doug Sharp and Chet Lockwood, MSO owners of Abra Brookings in South Dakota
  • Arrow Award: Jesse Hord, owner of Fix Auto Orangeville, Fix Auto Roseville and Fix Auto Sacramento in California
  • Ironman Award: CARSTAR Fred Beans Group, CARSTAR MSO with locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
  • Fix Auto USA Franchisee of the Year: Vatche Derdian, owner of Fix Auto Pasadena, Fix Auto Santa Ana, Fix Auto Montrose and Fix Auto Express–Anaheim North
  • Abra Franchisee of the Year: Geri and Jerry Kottschade, owner of Jerry's Abra in Mankato, MN
  • CARSTAR Franchisee of the Year: CARSTAR Rowcroft Group, owners of CARSTAR Collision of Amherst, POW Collision CARSTAR and CARSTAR Eastern Hills

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