The Montana Collision Repair Specialists (MCRS) 2014 Spring Meeting was held March 21–22, 2014, at the Hilton Garden Inn in Billings, MT. The day-and-a-half event included a cocktail reception party, training provided by Steve Trapp of Axalta Coating Systems, and an election of new MCRS officers. The 2014 event was deemed a success with over 90 industry professionals in attendance, an impressive turnout considering the harsh Montana winter and the dismal weather forecast that weekend.
The event began with a cocktail party on March 21, 2014, allowing attendees time to socialize and network. This first MCRS Meet and Greet, sponsored by Denny Menholt Chevrolet, was lauded as so useful that the MCRS plans to incorporate the concept into their future bi-annual meetings.
On March 22, 2014, MCRS held a Business Breakfast Meeting before two of Trapp’s courses, “Selling Customer Pay” and “Consumer Based Marketing.” During lunch, MCRS provided an overview on the Montana industry and engaged in a discussion on PartsTraders coming to the state. This included a satellite conference call with Dan Hunsacker, who runs one of the first shops to be put on PartsTrader in Tucson, AZ.
In the afternoon, Trapp presented “Improving Scoreboard Results.” Outgoing MCRS president Bruce Halcro praised Trapp’s informative courses. “Trapp did a phenomenal job. He’s a great trainer who really encourages participation.”
Halcro believes the meeting went over really well. MCRS tried a new approach, inviting local non-member shops to the meeting, and their efforts were rewarded with the presence of six non-member shops both days, helping MCRS reach their goal to expand their reach outside their current member base and to recruit new members so that the association can grow. Considering the weather, Halcro was “really encouraged and quite pleasantly surprised” by the number of attendees.
During the 2014 Spring Meeting, MCRS also held elections, appointing a new president, vice president, and two new directors, in addition to adding two more director positions. Mike Mitchell of Mitchell’s Crash Repair in Great Falls, MT, was elected president, and Brad Meuli of A&D Collision in Bozeman, MT, was named vice president. New directors appointed are as follows: Matthew McDonnell of Big Sky Collision in Billings, MT; Paul Flores of Rick’s Auto Body in Missoula, MT; Jeremy Myers of Flawless Auto Body in Great Falls, MT; and Todd Litton of American Auto Body in Billings, MT.
MCRS members expressed gratitude to outgoing president Bruce Halcro and director Gene Dzidza. Halcro was awarded with a plaque in recognition of his outstanding service and dedication to the Montana collision industry. MCRS is also grateful to their sponsors for helping to make their 2014 Spring Meeting such a success. Sponsors included Axalta Coating Systems, Denny Menholt Chevrolet, NCS, Auto Nation, Montana Radiator, Parts Channel, Archie Cochran Ford, Car Quest, and Mountain PBE.
MCRS will be scheduling a board meeting to discuss the 2014 Spring Meeting and preparing for the 2014 Autumn Meeting.