Wednesday, 13 June 2018 22:07
Featured in AUTOBODYNEWS
On May 29, AASP/MA announced its recent decision to have Evangelos “Lucky” Papageorg take over the role of executive director for the association.
With previous experience as the executive director for the Massachusetts Auto Body Association and more recently running his own consulting business for the industry, Papageorg is excited to return to the role of executive director for a Massachusetts collision repair association.
Papageorg shared, “I am especially pleased to be assisting the Board members as they strive to make AASP/MA the premiere collision repair association in Massachusetts. Together, we will work hard to advance the industry and benefit and assist its members as they work toward safe, proper repairs to protect the motoring public.”
In addition to boasting decades of familiarity with the collision repair industry in Massachusetts, Papageorg spends much of his time attending ADLAB and other meetings across the state.
“I know members of the ADALB, people on the board of directors of AASP/MA and have been familiar with what the association has been involved with and doing,” he said. “When it came to my attention that they would be seeking a new executive director near the end of the year, I put in my proposal and it [was] accelerated.”
When asked what experience he will bring to this role, Papageorg quipped, “Very little, actually!” before listing his involvement with the previous association, his many interactions with the industry in Massachusetts and across the nation through his involvement with SCRS, attendance at industry-related leadership conferences and his most recent role running a consulting company, which allowed him to see the issues shops face on a daily basis firsthand.
Additionally, he noted, “I’ve run several shops over the years, and I can empathize with our members’ struggles.”
AASP/MA President Molly Brodeur noted, “We are thrilled to announce that a longtime, recognized industry professional has agreed to join AASP/MA as the executive director. Lucky is a consummate professional with a wealth of knowledge, not only about the Massachusetts industry but about the collision repair industry at large. The level of expertise that he will bring to our association is unmatched in Massachusetts.
“Lucky is somebody that can walk into a shop and immediately empathize with the struggles repairers face in negotiations with appraisers, customer interactions—anything! He’ll be so accessible to our members and will do everything he can to empower the members and assist them in solving problems as they arise.”
Papageorg jumped into his new role in June, determined to be more hands-on than members have seen in the past.
“I plan to be on the road three to four days each week, traveling around the state and visiting shops,” he said. “On a monthly basis, we’ll let members know which of the four chapter areas I will be in on any given week. I will be available for face-to-face meetings and I’ll be making an effort to meet as many current members as possible while also soliciting and renewing membership. I’ll be going to the shops to conduct surveys on pertinent issues and those surveys will be made available on the association’s website through member portals.
“In addition, we will be making sure it’s as informative as possible for members and the motoring public. I really want to make everything we do more personal. When visiting shops, I want to be helpful and show them what value they can expect from joining the association. I feel like I have a unique ability to empathize with shops due to my past experience.”
The goal is to make AASP/MA the premiere collision repair association in Massachusetts, Papageorg said.
“We want to develop an association [that] is the go-to spot for collision repairers and a clearing house for information,” he said. “This development will assist members as they run their businesses on a daily basis. Additionally, AASP/MA will continue to be the ‘watch dog’ to make sure nothing gets by legislatively that could adversely affect the industry. We will watch for these items because shops are tied up in their day-to-day business and don’t have the time to focus on legislative issues, so we really need to keep our finger on that pulse and be aware of what’s going on. We will promote positive legislation as well as ensure that nothing adverse happens to what’s already in place.
“We also want to make the association a recognizable location for consumers to go for information and advice. We must encourage shops to become more involved in the industry through the association so they know they aren’t an island in and of themselves, because everyone is facing the same issues and challenges. By getting together, we can have a positive impact on how the industry is viewed. From an educational standpoint, the industry is bombarded with rapid changes and many shops don’t know where to go for current information, plus it can be such a cumbersome process. We are going to streamline some of that information to make it more readily available through our member portals on the website, which adds even more value for our members.”
Additionally, AASP/MA has decided to expand its relationship with Thomas Greco Publishing, Inc. which publishes the association’s official publication, the New England Automotive Report, and will now perform administrative duties for the association.
“We are very excited to be enhancing our relationship with Greco Publishing. We’ve had a longtime relationship that’s been mutually beneficial for us, and we felt like we were in a good position to take that relationship to the next level. Having a staff in place, we’re reassuring folks that when they call, we have a very capable, professional group on the other end ready to assist,” Brodeur noted.
AASP/MA most recently met on May 2 for Todd Tracy’s popular presentation that Papageorg called “an unorthodox presentation with a powerful message.” Next, the association will hold its 2018 Golf Outing on July 25 at the Blackstone National Golf Club in Sutton, MA. Its Fall Meeting on Sept. 13 will feature Mike Anderson of Collision Advice at the Doubletree by Hilton in Westborough, MA.
Brodeur believes the future holds many exciting things for AASP/MA.
“In our industry, there is a constant evolution of vehicle technology, certifications, training— there is so much information and content coming at us every single day,” she said. “We intend to position ourselves as a clearinghouse of all that information for our members, so they have one place to go to get the answers. We want to be the primary resource for our members, and I think we’re more than capable of taking on that task.”
For more information on AASP/MA, visit www.aaspma.org.