• St. Louis I-CAR Committee Plans Helicopter Golf Ball Drop as 2021 Fundraiser

    The St. Louis I-CAR Committee held its first virtual meeting of 2021 on February 17, attracting “a great turnout with 18 people in attendance,” Chair Shelly Jones said. During the meeting, Robbie Saladino shared I-CAR Updates and provided an overview of the committee’s 2021 goals, which were explored in-depth during the group’s discussion. Gene Slattery, the committee’s education coordinator, also provided an update on their previous fundraisers and how the money raised has been allocated. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the St. Louis I-CAR Committee is uncertain whether they will be able to hold their annual job fair in October. “As an option this year, we asked Brandon Eckenrode, director…

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  • WrenchWay Connects Schools with Collision Repair Industry

    The collision repair industry has been contending with a massive technician shortage for years, as few students enroll in educational programs and existing technician leave the industry. Last year, Find A Wrench started a sister company, WrenchWay, to help “solve the automotive, diesel and collision technician shortage.” Although the organization started with only one product, Top Shops, they quickly expanded to add WrenchWay Insiders, a mobile app for technicians to share feedback about the industry. The debut of WrenchWay School Connect followed shortly after, as part of the organization’s continued efforts to connect industry employers, technicians, and the schools training the industry’s future technicians. According to Christen Battaglia, Director of…

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  • Dream It, Brand It, Own It: Jan Griffiths Shares Tips on Converting Dreams into Reality

    By Chasidy Rae Sisk “Dream more, fear less,” Jan Griffiths, president and founder of Gravitas Detroit, told members of the Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation (AWAF) on Jan. 14. During “Dream It! Brand It! Own It!,” Griffiths provided useful tips that can help automotive and collision professionals turn dreams into reality by crafting and executing a vision, staying focused, saying ‘no’, and managing distractions. The presentation, according to Griffiths, was “the origin of my story and breaking through barriers to move from being a farmer’s daughter in a small town in Wales to becoming one of the top 100 women in the automotive industry and now an entrepreneur.” Beginning with dreaming,…

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  • 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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