• ASA Colorado Builds Bikes for Toys for Tots

    By Chasidy Rae Sisk As part of ASA Colorado’s Annual Meeting on Dec. 14th, the association’s member shops donated bikes to Toys for Tots, an annual contribution with a slight twist due to the complexities of 2020. ASA Colorado Executive Director Julie Massaro explained, “Leading up to the meeting, we asked shops to build a bike or two to donate to Toys for Tots. Every year, when we normally hold the meeting in-person, we build the bikes as a group, but we wanted to make sure that we were still doing our part for the community during this chaotic year.” Over two dozen automotive and collision repair industry professionals attended…

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  • AWAF Welcomes Ford’s Lisa Drake and Presents Annual Awards and Scholarships at 2020 Holiday Event

    By Chasidy Rae Sisk The Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) virtually held its 2020 Holiday Event on Dec. 2, featuring Lisa Drake, COO, North America, Vice President, Global Purchasing for Ford Motor Company. According to AWAF Coaching Co-Chair Kim Ziomek, “The event was flawless, and Ford Motor Company was extremely supportive in hosting the virtual event.” AWAF’s goal “was to host our Holiday Celebration with a featured speaker to offer her knowledge, wisdom, words of advice, and how her career developed to our membership and guests. Lisa’s very genuine approach to addressing the group and answering questions was very impactful, and attendees enjoyed the event,” Ziomek explained. Drake began by…

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  • Customers Need Connections, Not Facades: Rick White Teaches IGONC to “See the Unseeable”

    By Chasidy Rae Sisk On Dec. 3, Rick White of 180BIZ provided members of the Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) with valuable insights on how to have a discovery conversation. “A common question I hear from shops is: What can I do to improve my closing skills?” White posed, explaining, “You’re asking the wrong question! It’s not something you’re putting out that impacts your closing ratio; it’s about what you’re taking in – if you want to increase sales, you need to ask customers the right questions!” Shops’ struggles with sales, according to White, begins with the fact that shops aren’t in control of the conversation because they…

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  • ARA’s 77th Annual Convention and Expo is a Virtual Success

    The Automotive Recycling Association (ARA) hosted its 77th Annual Convention and Expo on November 11-13. “After many discussions, serious consideration, and with the safety of all attendees at the forefront, ARA announced in August that the 77th Annual ARA Convention and Exposition would transition into a virtual conference,” said ARA Executive Director Sandy Blalock. “We were hopeful that this year’s Convention could remain a live event, but the current state-of-affairs simply presents too much uncertainty and risk at this time.”  “For 76 years, the ARA Annual Convention and Exposition has been the gathering place for the professional automotive recycling industry and an incredible place to network, learn and conduct business,”…

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  • Paving the Path: Industry Organizations Collaborate to Produce the Ultimate Virtual Training Event

    Few collision repair industry events have taken place this year, leaving a gap in training and networking opportunities for many shop owners and their employees. Seeking to close this gap, over a dozen automotive industry organizations collaborated to create the Professional Automotive Virtual Education (PAVE) Training event, scheduled for January 8-10, 2021. Jeff Lovell, PAVE event chair, President/Executive Director of ASA Northwest, said, “By providing this event virtually, more industry professionals can take advantage of the training without the cost or risk of travel and lodging, especially during these uncertain times.” “This ULTIMATE training event brings quality training to the comfort and safety of your shop or home. By creating…

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  • What’s Required for PPP Loan Forgiveness? A Lot!

    “The PPP loan forgiveness process doesn’t happen automatically,” explained Brad Mewes of Supplement Advisory, during ASA’s November 11th Webinar Wednesday presentation on “Taxation and PPP Loan Forgiveness.” Attendees learned about common mistakes in PPP tax planning and loan forgiveness, as well as ways to potentially reduce their taxes. As he began his presentation, Mewes emphasized, “We’re on a mission to help as many business owners as we can survive this crisis.” “The foundation of avoiding costly mistakes comes down to proper planning. Adjustments for forgiveness are made in increments of 10%, so planning is crucial because small percentage changes can result in large monetary increases,” he added, posing the question,…

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  • Insider Threats Pose Greater Risk Than Cyberattacks

    With many companies utilizing more remote workforce strategies, recent months have exposed a variety of risks within workplaces that should be considered. Chris Jones, Cybersecurity Director at DELL Technologies discussed “Remote Threats:  Inside Risks and the Remote Work Paradigm” during ASA’s Bonus Webinar Wednesday on August 27th, sharing “strategies to protect your company, your employees, your customers and your bottom line.” Jones began by quoting Dr. Larry Poneman, Chairman of the Ponemon Institute: “We discovered in our research that insider threats are not viewed as seriously as external threats, like a cyberattack. But when companies had an insider threat, in general, they were much more costly than external incidents. This…

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  • Protect Customers and Employees with Touchless Payments

    During Kukui’s 2020 Virtual Conference, Shane Bonno of 360 Payments discussed “Touch-less Payments” as it pertains to interaction points while accepting payments. In addition to fears related to the spread of COVID-19, modern customers prefer remote payment options such as Text-to-Pay. Bonno stressed, “It’s your responsibility to protect your employees and your customers. How will you adapt to the new normal? Right now, you need to do everything you can to ensure everyone’s safety. The world is an ever-evolving place, and it can be difficult to decipher what’s the latest and greatest technology, and what’s going to be right for your business. One thing we can always count on is…

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  • NY Shop Reopens After Self-Imposed COVID-19 Shutdown

    When New York Governor Andre Cuomo closed schools on March 16th to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19 in one of the country’s hardest hit regions, Frog Hollow Collision in Bethpage, NY closed its doors for over six weeks. The decision was made by owner Anthony DeMieri whose goal was protecting his employees, his customers, and his own family from the virus. On May 4th, Frog Hollow Collision reopened to a whole new world. Prior to reopening, DeMieri shared his fears with Autobody News readers: “It’s terrifying to know that everything I’ve worked for could be gone when we reopen. I may not be reopening to what I had; I…

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  • Vo-Techs Promote Collision Programs in a Virtual World: WAC Meeting

    During the August 19th meeting of Women in Automotive and Collision (WAC), held via Zoom, Sally Difani, Administrator of Partnerships and Instructors, Special School District, North and South Tech, spoke about current enrollment numbers, automotive education instructors’ plans for remote learning this fall, and how the schools are promoting recruitment efforts virtually. According to Shelly Jones, President of WAC, “We learned how schools are promoting their programs in a virtual world and to learn more about a Collision national pilot program. The speakers were awesome, which led to really good conversations. The schools that spoke said enrollment is good this year, including more female students. Teachers shared ideas and resources…

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