The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) recognized a select group of professionals who have demonstrated outstanding service and accomplishment. The recognition was given at the association's annual Industry Achievement Awards and Reception on April 2 in Phoenix. The ceremony, a tradition that highlights the SCRS year, was presided over by newly-elected SCRS Chairman Ron Reichen, who also served as chairman of SCRS' Nominations and Awards Committee.
The first award presented was the SCRS Lifetime Achievement Award-Regional, which pays tribute to those who generously assist their local region. SCRS' Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg said, "The award is for people who inspire; people who have dedicated themselves to bettering the industry from which they have come."
This year's award is a posthumous one, given to Dave McBroom and accepted by his wife, Terri. Dave was an inspirational leader who was founder and president of the Florida Autobody Collision Alliance (FACA). Through his leadership and passion, FACA was formed and grew from three body shop owners having coffee once a month to more than 400 members in six chapters throughout the state.
"I'll never forget the first time I watched Dave exercise his charisma," said Schulenburg, as he presented the award. "We were both speaking at the inaugural FACA meeting. There were 120-plus shops in the room, and he spoke at length about the importance of associations. At the end of his speech, there were 120 shops on their feet, standing and applauding, excited about being part of an organization that was going to serve their state. Dave is somebody who epitomizes this award, and somebody we believe belongs on the very short list of individuals who should be memorialized for their efforts."
Upon accepting the award, Terri McBroom provided heartfelt appreciation for recognizing her late husband's accomplishments and passion. "He put his heart and soul into what he believed in, and he believed so strongly in this industry. He was honored to be a part of this, and I thank you for honoring him tonight. I wish that he were here to continue on with his dream, but you guys-and what you believe in-ARE his dream. I hope that you go on to do all the things that he knew that you guys could do together."
The Collision Industry Individual Service Award recognizes those who exhibit actions considered exemplary in maintaining and advancing the collision repair industry. This year's recipient is Gary Wano, Jr. in recognition of his leadership and drive which demonstrate the spirit of the award.
"Gary has traveled the world representing the industry while in search of information to benefit to the profession," said SCRS Immediate Past Chairman Aaron Clark who presented the award. "What makes him truly outstanding as a colleague is that he wastes no time in sharing his findings with his peers. Gary's global perspective, combined with his creative nature, result in solutions to issues that are strikingly original and integral to bettering the industry. His innovative thinking rubs off on all of us, which fosters positive change, real progress, and readies us to take on the challenges of the future."
The Collision Industry Non-Individual Service Award is presented to entities such as companies, businesses and corporations that have made their own distinctive contributions to the collision repair industry. This year the award went to Toyota Motor Sales, USA (Toyota) for their leadership and innovation in the industry, and responsiveness to collision repairers with the development of predictive estimating tools. This solution is intended to allow an estimator to start with all of the elements of a complete repair using Toyota OE-approved procedures, and then eliminate or omit those items that may not apply to the particular repairs needed.
"SCRS has worked long and hard to help better define our industry's standard of repair, bringing to attention areas of friction that surface as we come to recognize the difference between proper and improper repair techniques," said SCRS Past Chairman Barry Dorn, who presented the award to Rick Leos and Jerry Raskind of Toyota. "We are incredibly proud that those efforts aided in inspiring what we believe are one of the most promising developments in our industry, predictive estimating software from Toyota. It was a pleasure to honor a company that demonstrates uncluttered thinking and fresh perspectives that result in breakthrough advances that benefit our industry."
The Lifetime Honorary Membership to SCRS is reserved for those that make ongoing and long-standing contributions to SCRS-on both a national and local level. Since SCRS' formation in 1982, this is only the third time the honor has been given from the association. This year's distinction went to Toby Chess, for his ongoing dedication to educate our industry through SCRS channels.
Toby is a training specialist also known for his work with first responders and tireless advocacy for body shops and consumers.
"The honorary lifetime membership award needs no definition, other than by the character of those that receive it," stated SCRS National Director and award presenter Domenic Brusco. "Toby has demonstrated over many years his tireless efforts to research, bring awareness, share, inform, educate and bring positive change to our industry. He has developed a reputation very much like E.F. Hutton: When he speaks people listen."
SCRS congratulates the award winners on their outstanding achievements. "It's always engaging to be part of a celebration that recognizes those contributing to the advancement of this industry, with no thought of personal gain," said Reichen. "It is also wonderful to recognize the support our corporate members offer the industry, in large part out of respect for the accomplishments SCRS achieves due to the hard work of our board and members. It was a great night, and I look forward to many more."