Three industry professionals whose exemplary efforts and actions in 2016 best illustrate the vision and mission of the National Auto Body Council (NABC) were recognized recently at SEMA with the organization’s prestigious Award of Distinction, Body Shop Image Award, and Excellence in Community Service Award.
According to the Council, the goal of the NABC awards is to recognize auto body shops and individuals that exemplify the professionalism and integrity of the collision industry.
·The Award of Distinction, presented to Gerald Wicklund of CARSTAR Wicklunds Collision in Liberty, Missouri, celebrates selfless acts by collision industry professionals that benefit others in their communities.
Wickland has spent his entire life in collision repair and dedicated much of his time giving back to both the industry and his community. For the past 10 years, he has hosted an annual Military Appreciation Celebration, an extravaganza which includes dinner and a complete USO-style show. More than 130 veterans, active duty service members, law enforcement and first responders attended this year’s event, which also raised donations for Honor Flight, a non-profit organization that honors America’s veterans by transporting them to Washington DC to visit and reflect at their memorials.
·The Body Shop Image Award, presented to CARSTAR Macon in Georgia, highlights facilities that have had a beneficial impact on their communities through building and design improvements.
In May, CARSTAR Macon moved into a new state-of-the-art facility and rebranded its business. Formerly known as CARSTAR Preferred Collision, shop owner Walter Lee upgraded from an 8,500 sq. ft. facility to a modern 23,000 sq. ft. building that showcases the sophistication of today’s body shops. The shop features a larger, up-to-date production area and convenient, spacious reception area while retaining the shop’s warm, welcoming feel.
·The Excellence in Community Service Award, presented to Kathy Mello of TGIF Body Inc. in Fremont, California, recognizes outstanding charitable efforts and volunteerism.
Mello’s past and current volunteerism includes mentoring at-risk youth and disabled adults at Kainos Home Training Center and Bridges Intervention Services, serving on the boards of the Alameda County Work Investment as a volunteer in one of the business seats and the Regional Occupational Centers in Mission Valley, Eden & Alameda College.
Her volunteerism extends in to the collision repair industry, serving on the Boards of WIN, the California Autobody Association, East Bay Chapter of the California Autobody Association and as a founding member of the Assured Performance Co-op Board.
“Each of these award winners have made a positive impact in our collision industry and in their communities,” said Marie Peevy, NABC Awards Chair. "It was an honor to recognize this elite group of industry leaders who embody the spirit and ideals of each of NABC’s awards categories. Their efforts are wonderful examples of how our auto body shops and collision industry professionals are making a positive difference in local communities across the country.”