Thursday, 18 November 2010 18:29

Winners of 15th Annual NABC Pride Awards Announced

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) is pleased to announce the winners of the 15th annual 2010 Pride Awards, the cornerstone of NABC’S mission to create positive public awareness of the collision repair industry. The honors were bestowed at the Collision Industry Achievement Luncheon in Las Vegas on Wednesday, November 3. The accomplishments of the recipients are as diverse as they are inspiring.

Carl Garcia was designated a Home Town Hero in his community of Fall River, Massachusetts because he has tirelessly volunteered on behalf of families, children, and the elderly. Mr. Garcia has likewise been involved in Citizens for Citizens – Operation Christmas, a Wish Come True, the Sea Arid Scholarship Fund, the Fall River Firefighters Association, the Rhode Island Diabetes Association, and the Katie Brown Fund, which raises awareness among youths about domestic violence.

“Mr. Garcia’s selfless behavior has had a positive impact on the lives of many,” said BankFive President Thomas Lyons. “His tireless efforts inspire all; his willingness to help has been a great influence on those around him.”

In addition, Garcia was noted for donating a refurbished van to the Fall River Council on Aging as part of NABC’s Recycled RidesTM program.

Church Brothers Collision Repair, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is an 81-year old family-owned and operated business. The company was recognized for its ongoing efforts to collect food and money to benefit multiple food pantries in the Indianapolis area through the third annual “Driving Down Hunger” food drive.

All six Church Brothers locations serve as food and cash collection sites for the campaign, and the repairer encourages other businesses to get involved by making available Driving Down Hunger collection site kits. By April 2010, Church Brothers had collected 4.3 tons of food and generous cash contributions for several food pantries.

“The need for help just keeps growing,” said Church Brothers co-owner Rhonda Hall. “More people out of work means more people going hungry. Driving Down Hunger helps stock their shelves and helps get them through this recession which has hit Indianapolis hard.”

Sam Metz knew, when he heard a Reno, Nevada college student had been abducted, raped and murdered, that he had the skills to help find the killer. A founding member of the Nevada Collision Industry Association and retired manager of Bill Pearce Collision Center in Reno, Nevada, Metz did it using the skills and tools his long career in the collision repair industry had placed at his fingertips.

When police released information about the crime and two others like it in the vicinity, they included a detailed description of a vehicle. Using Mitchell UltriMate and CCC Pathway illustrations, Metz determined the vehicle was a Toyota Tacoma. He confirmed his findings on Carsdirect.com and then, working with a Reno detective, identified a partial VIN enabling police to find the criminal using vehicle registrations. The suspect was arrested thanks in no small part to Metz.

Robert Jesberger, of Mid Island Collision on Long Island, New York, possesses a long record of giving back to society in and about the New York area. He started an annual coat drive for children. At Thanksgiving, he buys 3,500 turkeys and canned goods for local soup kitchens. He contributes to the Wounded Warriors organization and to the Bethany House for retired nuns. Jesberger recently bought a truck for the homeless shelters to transport food, much of which he is getting donated.

Mike Peppers has either assisted or played Santa Claus for over 40 years in the Quad Cities, Iowa, beginning with the Davenport Jaycees in 1965 and progressing through to the Davenport Public Library, the Quad City Arts Festival of Trees, and a number of other projects to help handicapped and low-income children. When he served a tour of duty in Viet Nam, Peppers took the suit with him.

Mike’s gift of time and resources to bring Santa Claus to the citizens of the Quad Cities is unrivaled as the longest running charitable donation in local history. In 2004, he received the Friend of Davenport Award and in December, 2009, he became Davenport’s official Santa by proclamation of the city council.

Peppers’ nomination is noteworthy in that it was made by one of his long-running competitors, John Arnold, a man who freely admits he only conversed with Peppers a few times before nominating him. When Peppers received the award he was clearly touched by his competitor’s gesture.

“I saw John in my office and it was a little shocking because it was the first time I had ever seen a competitor in my office,” says Peppers. “When he told me I had won the award it kind of shook me; we both sat there for a while and shed a few tears.”

The NABC is honored and humbled to be able to facilitate the recognition of each deserving recipient. “I never get over how many exemplary people the Pride nominating and award process uncovers each year,” stated Pride Co-Chair Bob Keith, “and I know there are many more to uncover. We’re asking everyone to be on the lookout for the 2011 Pride nominees.”

“This year the efforts and great deeds of our colleagues brought the industry assembled in the room to its feet,” said PRIDE Co-Chair, Janet Chaney. “I never get tired of the look in the eyes of the winners; I guess you can say they are filled with the industry’s Pride.”

About the Pride Awards: The Pride Awards embody the NABC spirit and mission to improve the image of the collision repair industry by allowing NABC to recognize those individuals or groups from the industry that selflessly contribute to the world around them. The award has been given for bravery, philanthropy, charity, and selfless acts of kindness. It transcends the rigors of daily business and reaches out to uncover those not seeking recognition for themselves.

About NABC: NABC is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the image of the collision industry. Our ongoing and continued success is a direct result of the efforts and support of our sponsoring companies and membership. Please contact NABC directly for membership information. Call 1-888-667-7433 (888-66PRIDE) or go to www.autobodycouncil.org.

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