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Wednesday, 19 December 2012 21:26

A Busy 2012 is Remembered by Bay Area’s CAA Chapters

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It was an exciting year for the California Autobody Association’s (CAA) northern California chapters. Here are year-end recaps from the East Bay and Santa Clara chapters reported by former Chapter President/State Board Member Gigi Walker and 2012 Chapter President Randy Greenblat, respectively.

East Bay Chapter Year in Review
The chapter began the year by appointing its new President Tiffany Silva from Accurate Autobody. “As a second-generation body shop owner, Tiffany has been an exceptional president,” Walker said. “She took the reins and hit the ground running. Her industry knowledge and leadership skills were apparent almost immediately and we’d like to thank her for her contributions to the chapter this year.”

At its March meeting, the chapter hosted bestselling author and motivational speaker Mike Robbins, who works as a life coach for the San Francisco Giants, as well as management and staff. It was definitely one of the highlights of the year, Walker said.

“Mike’s program was designed for our industry and the challenges we face in running a shop and dealing with so many different personalities in the work place. Robbins really motivated our members and got us ready to run our shops with a better outlook for the year. His message was clear and his delivery to our group was on target and we surely want him back to speak again.” The sponsors for the evening included LKQ, Diamond Standard and Enterprise.

In April, Gene Lopez from I-CAR updated the chapter on the organization’s changes and how it would impact their businesses. “Gene is a great speaker and always provides us with a ton of useful information,” Walker said. “I-CAR has undergone a lot of changes with its curriculum and Lopez was there to convey the news.”

In May, industry expert Richard Forness spoke about the future of the collision industry along with statistics and in-depth analysis. Forness was invited to speak on behalf of Audatex and kept the chapter’s membership engrossed for more than an hour, Walker said.

The chapter’s golf tournament ended up in the rough this year and unfortunately had to be canceled. “Our annual tournament was hampered by scheduling conflicts which resulted in a small number of signups,” Walker reported. “But, we’re poised and ready to make sure it’s going to happen in 2013.”

In July, the East Bay chapter co-hosted a summer barbecue sponsored by PPG that took place at the PPG training center in Concord, CA. The evening’s guest speaker was Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS, who talked about the PartsTrader Program that State Farm has implemented across the U.S., as well as other collision industry trends.

In September, the East Bay chapter broke new ground when they sponsored a joint meeting with the Automotive Service Council of California (ASCCA) for the very first time. The evening’s guest speaker was Chris Risdon, one of the administrators for educational development for University of Toyota.

“Risdon was the most appropriate speaker to educate a room full of collision repairers (from CAA), along with mechanical shops in attendance (from ASCCA),” Walker said. “One of the main topics at the meeting concerned hybrid vehicles and how to repair them.”

The chapter’s 2012 schedule was triumphantly completed with its annual Toys for Tots Model Truck Customizing Competition.

“It was a success due the effort of our great and longtime members, schools and sponsors,” Walker said. “We’d also like to thank Ed Attanasio from Autobody News for volunteering his time and emceeing the night!”

The East Bay CAA Board members for 2012 were: Lisa Daves (D&S Auto Body), Gigi Walker (Walker’s Auto Body & Fleet Repair), Mike Govette (FinishMaster), Kathy Mello (T.G.I.F Auto Body), Trish Pickens (Audatex), Jack Sandri (Dublin Buick GMC), Peter Lock (Contra Costa College) and Bill Andrews (City of Alameda).

CAA Santa Clara Chapter Year in Review
Highlighted by a successful golf tournament and a series of informative meetings, the Santa Clara CAA chapter flourished and helped the collision industry in the South Bay by providing networking opportunities at meetings featuring top guest speakers.

Chapter President Randy Greenblat is an industry veteran and a long-time member/officer of CAA. He sees the value in organizations such as CAA, for a wide range of reasons. “We work very hard in this business and in many cases we lose sight of the big picture. Reaching out to other body shops in your region is so valuable, because by sharing concerns and issues that we all encounter in our daily lives, we can be stronger and more effective.”

On the chapter’s list of guest speakers for 2012, there were presentations by 3M in April, the Labor Enforcement Task Force LETF in July and Collision Billing Solutions in October.

The chapter was well-represented at CAA’s annual Legislative Day in Sacramento, with members Tabias Padilla, David Mello, Miguel Espana, Randy Greenblat and Shawn Saidi in attendance. Espana, Mello, Greenblat and Alex Ornelas also attended the CAA State Meeting in San Jose during the third quarter of 2012.

In May, the chapter made a presentation at the Central County Occupational Center (CCOC), a program that teaches students in both collision and mechanical repair. “We donated $250 to the school’s top students in their paint and auto body programs. Special thanks go to Don Dutra from Martin Auto Color for championing this cause and getting it done.”

Chapter board member Tabias Padilla received the annual I-CAR  Founders Award, honored for his service to the educational organization. 

“Tabias is an integral member of our chapter and we’re proud of him for his service to our membership and I-CAR,” Greenblat said. “He has organized our golf tournament for the past few years and he makes it a special event every single time. Our success hinges on people like Tabias, who give their valuable time without question or hesitation.”

The chapter’s annual golf tournament was held at Cinnabar Hills and attracted 73 golfers, raising a considerable amount of money for the operational fund.

The East Bay CAA Board members for 2012 were: Shawn Saidi (Active Autobody), Dave Mello (Anderson-Behel Body Shop), Chad Iken (Enterprise), Nathan Chukes (CCOC), Bob McTaggert (CCOC), Tabias Padilla (Hertz), Don Dutra (Martin Auto Color), Miguel Espana (Espana’s Collision Repair), Adam Piper (FCC Collision Centers), Alex Ornelas (Toyota Palo Alto), Steve Sturken (Sturken Auto Body) and Rudy Solorio, (B2 Perfection Auto Body).


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