Lisa Siembab, the co-owner of CARSTAR Berlin in Berlin, CT, was named as one of four recipients of the 2015 Women’s Industry Network (WIN) Most Influential Women (MIW) Award.
“It’s quite the honor within our industry,” said Siembab. “WIN has gained a lot of momentum over the past few years, which I think is wonderful. When I first started, it was a predominantly male industry. It has been rewarding to see women rise to leadership positions in all facets of the industry.”
“We are pleased to congratulate Lisa on such a high honor,” said David James, Vice President of Marketing for CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts. “The Women’s Industry Network has done so much to advance the collision industry as a whole. To have a current store owner and former employee recognized is a proud moment for our company”
Siembab has spent 21 years in the collision repair industry. She started out by handling marketing, insurance relations and customer service for the CARSTAR Connecticut Business Group. Throughout that time, the company said she increased sales by record numbers, organized charity events and built brand integrity in the market. It was during that time that she met and subsequently married Larry Siembab, co-owner of CARSTAR Berlin.
She next went to work for CARSTAR corporate in Kansas City, MO, as the director of field marketing. After two years in that position, Siembab decided to go back to Connecticut so she could spend more time with family and help run the Berlin shop. Her husband currently works for CARSTAR corporate as the director of insurance relations.
Eight years ago, the company said Siembab decided to take her influence beyond the collision repair shop and do something to help the industry as a whole. With her own money and resources, she founded and created Connecticut Collision Repair Specialists (CCRS), a non-profit association that represents any facet of the collision repair business for the shop owners within the state, including training and education, legislative issues, community relations and more.
Her hard work as executive director of the organization did not go unnoticed. The Automotive Service Association (ASA) recently approached Siembab about becoming a state affiliate. She is now in the transition process of dissolving the Connecticut Auto Body Repair Association to become ASA Connecticut.
“It was very humbling to be approached and recognized for what we’ve done,” said Siembab. “With the new affiliation, our membership will now triple with the addition of all of the mechanical shops in the state.”
Siembab is also involved in many other areas of the collision repair industry. She has been a part of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and the National Auto Body Council (NABC). She is also the Hartford, CT I-CAR committee chair. Her shop has been certified I-CAR Gold for over 20 years, and they host I-CAR training events.
Siembab hosts an annual charity Golf Tournament. For the past three years, they have donated over $25,000 dollars to the NABC AutoMotivation program in San Antonio that trains wounded veterans in collision repair. In her role as Executive Director of CCRS, Lisa created a job placement program for technical high school students in Connecticut.
In addition to Lisa Siembab, the following women were also recognized as honorees of the 2015 MIW Award:
- Cheryl Boswell, CFO, DCR Systems LLC, Duluth, Ga.
- Lauren Fix, President, Automotive Aspects Inc., Lancaster, N.Y.
- Ruth Weniger, CEO, Airbag Solutions LLC, Ivins, Utah