Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Arizona, Utah, Arkansas, Colorado, Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Louisiana
Alan Walne, Body Shop Manager at Herb's Paint & Body Shops in Texas, was elected chairman of the board of directors and chairman of the executive committee of the State Fair of Texas during the annual meeting of the board on April 20 at The Women’s Museum in Fair Park. Walne succeeds Ruben Esquivel, who served as chairman from 2007-2011. Esquivel will continue as a member of both the board and executive committee during Walne's term.
Five new members were elected to the board of directors; Sam P. Burford, Levi H. Davis, Robert A. Estrada, Wendy A. Lopez and Craig A. Woodcook will serve on the 55-member board of State Fair of Texas, Inc., the private, non-profit corporation responsible for presenting the annual exposition.
At the luncheon meeting, the board of directors also elected its officers for the coming year. In addition to Alan Walne, chairman, others elected were Errol W. McKoy, president; Lee Winton, CFO/senior vice president, finance; Robert B. Smith, corporate secretary; and Billy R. Allen, Roy C. Coffee, Jr., Thomas M. Dunning, Ruben Esquivel, Roy Gene Evans, Lois Finkelman, Richard Knight, Jr., James M. Moroney III, Alice Murray, Pete Schenkel, John Scovell, George Shafer, Bruce Sifford, and Joel T. Williams, Jr.
The collision industry lost one of its leading members at the end of March; James Robert “Bob” English, Jr., founder of English Color in the southern US.
To view a PDF of this article please CLICK HERE.
Bob was raised in Dallas, and took great pride in having graduated from Texas A&M University, Class of ‘46, with a Business degree. Bob was known by his friends for his love of a good Aggie joke, so much so that he was given the nickname “Aggie Bob”, which was how he was identified for decades.
“Bob was just a core Aggie,” said Michael McCabe with English Color, “Our corporate office in Richardson flies the American flag and the Texas A&M flag right below it.”
Bob was an accomplished businessman who founded English Color & Supply, Inc. in 1946. The company has evolved from selling automotive batteries out of a panel truck to becoming one of the largest distributors of automotive paint and supplies with 41 locations in 6 states and representing products from over 100 suppliers. Even after Bob’s retirement, he continued to have an active role in an advisory capacity and strived to maintain a personal relationship with his dedicated employees.
Students in St. Philip’s College’s Collision Technology Department have created a Student Organization with officers rallying around one of their classmates, Raymond Tolosa, who placed first at the Texas Skills USA competition in Vehicle Refinishing.
The organization also recognizes the achievements of Jose Palomo, who is also a St. Philips auto collision student and finished second in the competition.
The students are starting a fundraiser for travel expenses for Tolosa to travel to the Skills USA Nationals in Kansas City in June.
The students are also creating a letter announcing the formation of the Student Organization and its purpose including the benefit to the industry and students relating to Skills USA accomplishments.
St. Philip’s College Auto Collision Repair Program is a 2 year state accredited program that offers students three options in their auto collision industry education and career path, including a 2 year Associates in Applied Science degree, a Collision Repair Certificate and a Refinishing Certificate.
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association (NWLCRA) held their monthly meeting on April 5 in the Magnolia Room at the Louisiana Technical College in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The meeting was hosted by President, Chris Fielder and Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Burnside.
The I-CAR schedule was discussed and the “test out” procedure that is now in place. Students have to register at least 2 weeks prior to the testing.
If the deadline is missed, you won’t be able to test. The test will be given between 5 to 7 PM and the doors will be locked at 5:00 PM.
For more information, contact Bill Burnside or see the I-CAR website.
The Houston Auto Body Association is asking that members of the collision repair industry in Texas contact their Senators in support of SB 1300, which is up for committee hearing on April 12. SB 1300 will require more disclosure from insurers about their Direct repair Program policies and requirements. Please call and email the State Senators who will decide whether or not SB 1300 will go to the next phase in becoming Law as soon as possible. By making 8 phone calls you will make a difference when the Committee meets tomorrow.
To view the most recent version of SB 1300 please CLICK HERE.
James Brown and many others will be in Austin Tuesday April 12 at 7am to show support for this bill. Give James a call 832-515-9609 if you plan on being there. The latest version of the bill can be seen below. The Texas Department of Insurance is in full support of this bill as well.
On March 16, 2011 the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) held its Annual Awards Banquet at the Crowne Plaza Meadowlands in Secaucus, New Jersey. As always, the highlight of the event was the presentation of the SCRS Industry Awards, through which the Society recognizes those that demonstrate outstanding service and achievement within the collision repair industry.
The Houston Autobody Association (HABA) was honored with the Affiliate Association Award.
The Affiliate Association Award recognizes an SCRS affiliate that exhibits exemplary actions on behalf of the collision repair professional.
The Texas Senate voted to approve Senate Bill 944 on March 24. The bill was introduced by Texas Senator Mike Jackson earlier this month before being transferred to the Committee on Business and Commerce. The bill now moves to the House for approval.
The bill would create an advisory committee for the Texas Insurance Commissioner that would make recommendations regarding automobile insurance claims.
The full text of the engrossed* bill can be seen below:
Service King Collision Repair Centers, a Texas-based operator of collision repair facilities, is acquiring Alamo Body and Paint, a collision repair service provider in San Antonio. The transaction is expected to be completed by May 1, 2011.
With the addition of Alamo Body and Paint Service, Service King has 42 locations throughout the San Antonio, Dallas, Ft. Worth and Houston areas.
Service King Collision Repair Centers was founded 35 years ago by owner, chairman and CEO Eddie Lennox.
Alamo Body and Paint co-owner and President Mark Fuller will be joining the Service King team as operations manager. Alamo Body and Paint co-owner Dave Braun will continue to develop Nexsyis Collision Inc., the developer of NEXconnex, a multiple location operator-specific collision repair management system, where Braun serves as CEO.
The collision industry has lost several key players over the years, but their contributions continue to live on through their work.
In February of 2011, the collision industry lost an exceptional colleague in Jim E. Adams.
“Though a Louisiana native, he was known nationwide as a teacher, problem solver, product manager and most importantly a friend to all of the collision repair industry,” said coworker Bill Burnside.
Jim’s collision career began in 1980 when he opened Pioneer Automotive Paint and Body with his father. Jim enjoyed painting most and soon became the lead painter at a dealership body shop while continuing to work at Pioneer. He also helped to teach his two younger brothers the autobody repair trade.
Jim joined United Bumper Exchange in 1983 as a paint store manager. He oversaw two paint lines and serviced numerous body shops within a 150 mile radius of Shreveport, LA. James Hunter, owner of United Bumper said as a team builder, Jim helped assemble the ‘old’ and ‘new’ body shop managers to fulfill a need to repair cars differently.
Jim was instrumental in forming the Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association (NWLCRA) which is still active today. From this association the local I-CAR committee also formed and Jim served as an instructor.
The Northwest Louisiana Collision Repair Association held their monthly meeting on March 1, 2011 at the Country Tavern Restaurant in Shreveport. NWLCRA President, Chris Fielder, and Secretary-Treasurer, Bill Burnside, hosted the meeting. First the I-CAR class schedule (on the NWLCRA website Calendar page) for Shreveport was discussed.
Texas Representative Craig Eiland introduced House Bill 2276 to the Texas House of Representatives on March 10; the bill is aimed at restricting insurers from limiting the parts, labor charges and repair shop the insured may choose to use.
“An insurer may not directly or indirectly limit the insurer ‘s coverage under a policy covering damage to a motor vehicle by: (1) specifying the brand, type, kind, age, vendor, supplier, or condition of parts or products that may be used to repair the vehicle; [or] (2) specifying maximum labor charges for the repair of the vehicle; or (3) limiting the beneficiary of the policy to selecting a repair person or facility to repair damage to the vehicle from a list provided to the beneficiary by the insurer,” the bill states.
The bill also addresses full disclosure of an insurers repair policies and processes for claim payments through a direct repair facility and a non-direct repair facility to the insured. According to the bill insurers must also disclose to non-direct repair shops the processes and requirements to gain the DRP contract with that insurer.
Eiland, who is Vice Chair of the House Insurance Committee, introduced the bill to the House, while Senator Mike Jackson introduced a companion bill to the Senate.
Caliber Collision Centers, operator of high-quality collision repair facilities in California and Texas, announced today its continued expansion into the Houston area with the grand opening of its 44th center in Texas. This new center is an 18,986 square foot, state-of-the-art collision repair center located in Bryan, TX. Bryan is the sister city to College Station where Texas A&M University is located.
Steve Grimshaw, Caliber Collision Centers’ Chief Executive Officer announced, “We continue to expand our capacity in the Houston/Bryan/College Station area to meet the needs of our customers and insurance clients across this high growth area of the state. The opening of this newest location supports Caliber’s continued expansion plans and offers best-in-class operational consistency, customer focus, and cost management.”
“The addition of the Bryan-College Station location further extends Caliber’s position as the largest collision repair provider in Texas. The opening of our 44th center is a testament to our commitment to meeting the growing needs of our clients in the South Texas area,” added Mark Sanders, Chief Operating Officer for Caliber Collision.
About Caliber Collision Centers
Caliber Collision Centers operates 81 state-of-the-art collision repair service centers throughout California and Texas. Caliber plans to continue acquiring and integrating additional high-volume collision repair centers while providing innovative collision repair solutions and automobile damage claims support. For more information about Caliber Collision Centers, visit our website at www.calibercollision.com.
The Houston Auto Body Association's labor rates surveys for Houston and the surrounding areas has gone live online. The survey is being conducted by CSi Complete. Please go to: http://www.csicomplete.com/haba/ to take the survey.
To increase the incentive for all Oklahoma drivers to carry mandatory liability auto insurance, a House of Representatives committee voted to prohibit uninsured drivers from being able to sue for vague “pain and suffering” damages after an accident.
“There have to be greater consequences for uninsured drivers,” said state Rep. George Faught, R-Muskogee. “If you or I are hit by an uninsured driver, there’s no insurance company to pay our actual losses, let alone ‘pain and suffering’ claims. Why should those same uninsured drivers be treated better than law-abiding citizens in a court of law?”