I have just returned from this year’s Industry Week. This year’s events were, as expected, the apex of 2017. Sorry, I could not avoid the pun. Of course, I’m speaking of the week-long events known as AAPEX and SEMA, held simultaneously in Las Vegas every year in early November. It’s a time when all things automotive come together to celebrate, announce and reveal.
One really interesting thing that goes on is the announcement of new products. This year was no exception for this. I was astounded by the number of new ideas and products being launched for our industry’s review. The tech sector of the automotive world is alive with new and innovative stuff. Telematics, scanning and of course autonomous vehicles were just a few, plus plenty of new parts and tools to solve every problem you didn’t even know you had. As a car guy, I find these two venues nirvana.
The truly exciting happenings during the two weeks’ worth of events is the recognition that goes on. People from within our industry are highlighted for their contributions to industry, community and personal achievement. Recognition is a key ingredient for all of us. It proves self-worth and recognizes our own commitment to improving ourselves, business and industry. In the collision arena, we recognized the 2017 BodyShop Business Executive of the Year award winners. This year, as in the past, we had two winners for the award. We recognized both a single-location shop as well as a multi-shop owner. Our winners, Rick Cope of Cope Collision Center in Meridian, Idaho, and Stephen Kendrick Jr. of Kendrick Paint and Body in Augusta, Ga., are excellent examples of people in our industry who are not just owners but leaders.
This is an award that has been given out annually for more than 30 years and recognizes shop owners who exemplify what it means to be a true collision professional. Their dedication to providing service and quality repairs when they’re needed is truly exemplary.
Please join me in congratulating Rick and Stephen.