The Intercontinental Hotel of Buckhead in Atlanta was the setting for a double anniversary celebration – the 40th anniversary of the AkzoNobel Acoat Selected network of premium body shops globally and 25th anniversary in North America.
AkzoNobel pioneered the idea of a premium body shop network in the 1970s when it established Acoat Selected as a business improvement program for users of Sikkens, one of AkzoNobel’s premium vehicle refinishes brands. Acoat Selected has members throughout the world, with both independently owned body shops and multi-shop organizations that are all recognized as repair industry leaders focused on advancing their own performance as well as that of the industry.
The Atlanta conference brought together more than 200 attendees representing over 100 collision repairers and dozens of distributors of AkzoNobel products. The program, in addition to the traditional performance group discussions, included a wealth of industry-related topics, including:
- How to Grow in a Consolidating Environment with Brad Mewes, principal, Supplement
- Get Off the “Collision Course”: Hiring Right to Retain Employees Long Term with Chason Hecht, president, Retensa
- Situational Leadership II with Adrianna Marino, Sales Training leader, AkzoNobel Coatings
- Paint by the Numbers with Tim Ronak and Greg Griffith, AkzoNobel
- Advanced Paint by the Numbers: Coloring Outside the Lines with Tim Ronak and Greg Griffith, AkzoNobel
A highlight of this year’s program was a gala dinner at the famed Georgia Aquarium, the largest aquarium in the western hemisphere. Guests were treated to the visual spectacle of some of the world’s most exotic and largest fish and mammals, followed by dinner while surrounded by massive whale sharks, curious manta rays and playful beluga whales.
“Acoat Selected has been a cornerstone program for our premium business in North America,” said Doug Holmberg, business director for AkzoNobel Vehicle Refinishes North America. “The program’s focus on training and eduction at both technical and shop management levels was a unique and innovative concept when first launched. We have sustained this focus throughout the years. Being unique and innovative distinguished us then and it continues to do so today.”