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Tuesday, 24 September 2013 20:18

GCIA Sees its Role as to Educate and Support

Arguably, the most important roles of collision industry associations is to advocate for its members rights and keep members educated on and informed of changes, both potential and real, in the industry. The Georgia Collision Industry Association (GCIA) agrees with this philosophy which is why they focus much of their efforts on hosting meetings and events to provide members with current information that may impact their businesses.

This fall, they plan to be quite busy with their upcoming meeting, annual golf tournament and First Responder Emergency Extrication Program.

Executive Director, Howard Batchelor, explains their goals: “we want to educate members on the new products and information available in the industry, in hopes of helping them improve their businesses.” Each GCIA meeting is broken into various segments to focus on specific issues.

One of the association’s main focuses is to be their members’ voice when it comes to legislative issues. Currently, GCIA is interested in Mississippi’s recent lawsuit against PartsTrader and shop owners’ right to purchase parts from the supplier of their choice. They are also trying to put together a class-action lawsuit for shortpays with the goal of helping shops get compensated for the things insurers refuse to pay for, causing shop owners to complete these items at their own expense.

GCIA will hold their next meeting on September 19, from 6:30 to 9 pm. The meeting will include a catered dinner for members. They also plan to meet in January 2014 when Jake Rodenrot of AES Modules is scheduled to present on the company’s new code reader. GCIA brings the value of education to its members, and Batchelor emphasizes the importance of such information.

“Vehicles are becoming increasingly high-tech, so repairers need the tools and education to fix these vehicles properly.” Batchelor also notes that, in conjunction with educating shops on the newest technology and products, GCIA also focuses on educating the consumer; however, because it is a non-profit organization, GCIA relies solely on the funds gathered from members and raised through their various events.

One such event is their 17th annual golf tournament which will be held on Wednesday, October 2 from 11am to 5pm at the Trophy Club of Atlanta in Alpharetta, GA. Registration costs $75 per person and includes lunch, dinner and a chance at over $1000 in door prizes. The golf tournament usually attracts around 80 attendees, but Batchelor hopes to see an increase this year since the proceeds from this year’s event will be donated to two local collision repair schools. This is significant because, according to Batchelor, “the children in these programs are the future of our industry, so we want to ensure that they are provided with the tools, equipment and training necessary for success.”

GCIA’s belief in the importance of education is also why they support and promote their member, Sports & Import Collision Center, who is hosting a First Responder Emergency Extrication Program on October 8 from 9am to 1pm at their facility in Dulith, GA. Though this year’s program will be smaller than in the past, it is being co-hosted by the National Auto Body Council, and Batchelor is confident that much useful information will be disseminated through the program.

For information on GCIA or any of their sponsored events, contact Executive Director Howard Batchelor at: 770-367-9816 or


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