Close to 600 attendees were at the conference, including franchise, vendor and insurance partners.
Themed ‘1’, this year’s conference focused on the continued unification of CARSTAR Canada and US into CARSTAR North America and the ongoing commitment to its brand, its business and its people.
The conference kicked off on Wednesday, August 24 with the “Walk Lobster,” CARSTAR’s annual conference walk to support Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The “Walk Lobster” raised almost $8,000 for the charity, and, combined with other initiatives including a silent auction and raffles, close to $35,000 was raised throughout the week. Following the walk, Michael Macaluso, president of CARSTAR North America, opened up the event by outlining the theme of “1” and CARSTAR North American goals for the future.
“We are one CARSTAR. We have one vision, one mission and one core set of values,” said Macaluso. “This is year one for CARSTAR North America, as we are venturing into a new beginning and a new journey, built upon the same culture of excellence and fighting spirit. For CARSTAR, it is not only about being number one in our industry, it is about being a part of one community, having one united focus and driving forward as one CARSTAR family.”
Dean Fisher, COO, CARSTAR US and Laura Skinner, director, Driven Brands Charitable Foundation, also took the stage for the opening ceremonies, followed by Dr. Nick Bontis, a leading expert on intellectual capital and its impact on performance.
The second day was jam-packed with speakers, including Artemio Garza, chief brand officer, Driven Brands; Chris Moore, director of marketing, CARSTAR Canada; and Hannah Ross, director of marketing, CARSTAR US, to discuss marketing the CARSTAR brand. Customer experience manager Lillian Haskett took the stage to discuss Net Promoter Score (NPS), the industry standard customer loyalty measurement, as did John Harvey, vice president, Insurance, who examined the industry-wide transformation and the importance of CARSTAR's key strategic relationships.
Presentations concluded with insurance keynote speaker Etienne Berlinguet, deputy senior vice president; Claims, Intact Insurance. That afternoon, CARSTAR held break-out sessions and an interactive vendor expo.
The closing day of the conference featured Colson Cole and Melissa Miller, both vice presidents of Operations for CARSTAR, to discuss the six pillars of “The CARSTAR Way” for franchise partners to become “Best In Class,” and Edward Blaha, director IT, who discussed future technologies for the industry. The morning wrapped up with guest speaker Jay Papasan, bestselling author of “The One Thing,” and an insurance panel discussion.
On Friday evening, a gala dinner and awards ceremony celebrated the best of CARSTAR and featured a ‘roaring twenties’ theme, where decadence and elegance were on the menu.
“We are happy that, once again, our annual conference excited and educated our franchise partners while providing the tools, resources and contacts needed to grow their business and improve operations,” said Macaluso. “This is our largest network event of the year, and it was a total show-stopper.”
For more information, visit www.carstar.ca.