On March 20, AASP/NJ (Alliance of Automotive Service Providers/New Jersey) lost one of its most valued participants with the passing of former Board member Ron Kromer, Jr. The second-generation repair professional leaves behind an unmatched legacy of strong association involvement including the organizing and promoting of numerous AASP/NJ events spanning several years.
“Ron was always full of energy, and ready to take on a new task,” remembers AASP/NJ President Jeff McDowell, who knew Kromer for two decades. “He inspired people around him with his level of enthusiasm for whatever he would take on. He was always on the cutting edge of whatever information was out there and tried to share that with other people.”
During his time with AASP/NJ, Kromer was directly responsible for overseeing several special events including the Ski Trip, the Day at the Races and the Fishing Trip. Additionally, he was instrumental in the formation of AASP/NJ Chapter One in 2001 and created a special “P-Page Checklist” that shops could use to identify typically-forgotten items on estimates.
AASP/NJ member Dan Hawtin, who knew Kromer for more than 30 years and worked alongside him in building Chapter One, remembers his friend’s willingness to roll up his sleeves and work for the benefit of his fellow technicians.
AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant credits Kromer for developing several intriguing marketing ideas for the association.
“When we ran into trouble finding enough chairs for AASP/NJ members a few times [at meetings], Ron decided to take charge and come up with an idea to solve the problem,” Bryant explains. “Ron gathered enough support from industry vendors to purchase a trailer and about 100 chairs that could be transported to any location we were going to have a meeting. He funded it by allowing those who donated to put their logo and name on the trailer; we would park the trailer in front of the location where we were holding the meeting. What a great idea for all!"
A longtime NASCAR aficionado, Kromer founded the Bayville chapter of the NASCAR Members Club, a fan-driven organization noted for charity work. His work with the group included organizing a special Pig Roast to benefit NASCAR Day, an event designed to assist underprivileged children.
In 2006, Kromer purchased Ultimate Collision Center in Brick, a business that had thrived in the area for nine years.
Like so many others in the AASP/NJ family, Bryant will never forget Kromer and all that he did to better this industry.
“Words cannot express the pain that I feel that Ron is no longer with us,” he shares. “He touched so many in the collision industry through the many projects and events he thought of and made happen. I will truly miss Ron, and my heartfelt sympathy goes out to his family.”