Cheryl Boswell welcomed attendees and introduced Beverly Rook-Twibell and Petra Schroeder, co-Chairs of the Scholarship Committee. Recipients of the scholarships are required to possess a 3.0 GPA, provide school involvement, engage in community service, bring a recommendation from their instructor, and submit an essay describing their goals and reasons for joining the collision repair industry and to try to ensure that they plan to stay in the industry.
In 2016, WIN awarded ten scholarships: five to high school students and five to post-secondary students. Winners of post-secondary scholarships were Nancy McInerney, Tristen Berlin, Chelsea Bonds, Jasmine Storey and Krystyna Zak. Each of the young women were introduced and their goals shared before their mentors were announced.
Berlin plans to work in a body shop or be an adjuster, and Rook-Twibell will mentor her for next year. Storey plans to own a collision repair shop and will be mentored by Debbie Menz. Bonds hopes to work for Service King and will be mentored by Petra Schroeder. Zak, who wants to be a body technician or estimator, was assigned Michelle Sullivan as her mentor. Although McInerney could not be present, her goal is to paint cars for a living; Yen Hoang was assigned as her mentor.
Speaking on behalf of the scholarship recipients, Zak admitted that they didn’t know what to expect before attending the Educational Conference, but they were all pleasantly surprised by how warm and welcoming WIN members treated them. “We’re used to being alone or among few women, and we are relieved to find a network of women in this industry. We are grateful for this experience and the scholarships which provide so many opportunities. We are all elated to be part of something as great as WIN. Thank you for your time, energy, leadership and support.”
Boswell introduced Trish Serratore, one of WIN’s founding members and a 2000 MIW Honoree, who emphasized the importance of being involved with local schools and the future generation. Looking at the term “Most Influential Woman,” she noted that each word is significant and represents someone truly incredible “whose actions and leadership provide a strong influence.”
Since the inception of the MIW Award by AkzoNobel, the program has honored 88 women in celebration of their leadership, mentorship and inspiration. Serratore believes, “It is essential for women in our industry to support other women. We can change the world by speaking out.”
Serratore went on to recognize all women who contribute to the success of the collision repair industry, stating that making a difference, staying true to their values, and using their actions to create a positive influence makes each one of them “most influential.” She then introduced MIW Awardee Michelle Sullivan. See story this issue.