The National Auto Body Council (NABC) has established the Chuck Sulkala NABC Appreciation Scholarship Fund to honor the 50-year career and legacy of the retiring founder and executive director of the organization.
“We know of no better way to thank and immortalize Chuck’s significant contributions and impact than to help ensure that a future generation of collision repair professionals will benefit from the many opportunities created during Chuck’s labor of love to transition the image of body shops into today’s respected collision repair industry,” said Darren Huggins, NABC chairman.
NABC announced the scholarship fund at its annual member reception in Palm Springs, Calif., where industry colleagues, family and friends recounted the many ways Sulkala personally and professionally influenced their lives and the industry at large. The Collision Repair Industry Foundation (CREF) will administer the fund.
Among Sulkala’s many accomplishments:
- He was one of the first and most frequent instructors to deliver the 3M/ARMS workshop that is credited for changing the course of the industry by bringing management to the forefront.
- He was an early advocate of I-CAR, served and chaired numerous committees, including I-CAR chairman, and is a recipient of the Chairman’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
- He collaborated with colleagues to establish the National Auto Body Council in 1995, serving as board president and the organization’s only executive director.
- He was named Collision Executive of the Year by BodyShop Business.
- He led a volunteer team of industry colleagues during CIC week to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity in Kansas City.
- He spearheaded an ambitious $500,000 capital campaign to create the NABC Medical Center at Camp Mak-a-Dream in Missoula, Mont., and followed up the next year by donating a bus for the organization.
- He has received lifetime achievement and humanitarian awards from numerous organizations throughout the collision industry.
“We are grateful for Chuck’s vision and leadership over the years which have contributed to the positive image of today’s collision industry,” Huggins said. “On behalf of the National Auto Body Council board of directors, we are committed to building on the legacy and momentum that Chuck has created as we work towards our mission to provide community initiatives that exemplify the professionalism and integrity of collision professionals.”
How to Donate
Individuals and companies who wish to contribute to the Sulkala scholarship fund can:
- Visit the CREF website and select the Sulkala scholarship.
- Text SULKALA to 91999.
- Mail a check to the Collision Repair Industry Foundation at 5125 Trillium Blvd., Hoffman Estates, IL 60192.
- Contact CREF Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at [email protected] or (847) 463-5244.