The National Auto Body Council (NABC) has selected Bill Garoutte, a veteran business development, marketing and collision executive, to take the helm at the organization.
Garoutte succeeds Chuck Sulkala, NABC’s founder and executive director, who retired at the end of 2017.
In his new position, Garoutte will be responsible for developing and executing NABC’s strategic plans and fiscal objectives, membership development, marketing and administration.
“We are thrilled to have Bill take the lead to continue the tremendous legacy and positive impact that Chuck Sulkala and many of our colleagues have made in our collision industry through the National Auto Body Council,” said Darren Huggins, NABC board chairman. “As our collision industry continues its explosive growth, Bill’s strategic leadership skills will be an invaluable asset to guide NABC and its members to serve as the driving force to change and save lives in local communities across the country.”
Garoutte brings more than 30 years of experience in the areas of strategic business building, market development, marketing communications and advertising.
As founder and president of BDGA LLC, he provided management and consulting expertise for clients in a variety of industries, including the collision repair industry. Within the collision industry, Garoutte was a vice president and senior marketing executive for CARSTAR Franchise Systems, responsible for global brand and marketing initiatives.
Garoutte served on the NABC board of directors from 2007 to 2012, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists from 2005 to 2009 and as a business and marketing consultant for CIECA for the past four years.
Garoutte’s leadership on the board of directors of national and local community service organizations includes Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement of the Ozarks, St. Agnes Home and School, Lake Country (Mo.) Soccer, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Missouri, Catholic Business Network Organization and University of Alabama Parent Advisory Council.
“I have always had the highest respect for NABC, for what the organization has accomplished by shining a positive light on the collision industry,” Garoutte said. “I look forward to continuing these efforts to help make NABC even more relevant to all our stakeholders.”
NABC members represent all facets of the collision repair industry. Through its signature Recycled Rides program, NABC members teamed up to repair and donate a record 300 vehicles in 2017 – adding to a total of nearly 2,000 over the past 10 years – to individuals and service organizations in need of reliable transportation.
NABC’s other program initiatives include the First Responder Emergency Extrication Program (FREE), which helps save lives by providing thousands of fire and rescue professionals with valuable hands-on extrication training on late-model vehicles, and the Distracted Driving Initiative to promote safe driving habits for drivers of all ages.