Women’s Industry Network (WIN) conference attendees and other distinguished guests celebrated this year’s recipients of the Most Influential Women (MIW) award on May 5, 2015 during the 9th Annual Educational Conference held at The Omni Shoreham, Washington, D.C. The event, emceed by Susanna Gotsch, CCC Information Services, Inc., and Marcy Tieger, Symphony Advisors, LLC, provided a glimpse into the MIW program’s history, recognized past recipients of the award and announced the 2015 recipients.
The Most Influential Women award is given annually to women in the collision repair industry who exemplify qualities of business and civic leadership, vision and commitment to excellence.
Cheryl Boswell is constantly asking the question, “Can we do it better?” As managing partner and CFO of DCR Systems, LLC, a company that develops outsourced, turnkey accident repair centers based on “lean manufacturing” principles, Boswell provides strategic leadership for DCR Systems, overseeing the company’s financial functions while developing best practices. She is also a recognized process improvement (“kaizen”) leader who has volunteered her time working with repairers and insurers on process improvement in both the U.S. and Canada in order to foster better relations for the benefit of the consumer. She has lent her time to the WIN Membership Committee and the Collision Industry Foundation (CIF), where she has served on the Board of Trustees since 2013 and also serves as the organization’s treasurer. Last month, she was also elected to the WIN Board of Directors.
Lauren Fix wants to educate drivers across America…and she’s doing it! Working as The Car Coach, Fix has become a nationally recognized automotive expert, author, spokesperson, media guest, keynote speaker, television car host, racecar driver and ASE-certified technician. A trusted car expert, Fix is a top woman in the automotive world and provides an insider’s perspective on a wide range of automotive topics and safety issues. In the past several years, she has expanded her audience across the country in person, print, and on air to educate people about a wide range of automotive topics and issues. Highlights of 2014 include multiple national appearances (CNN, Fox Business News, NewsMax TV, Arise America, HLN, Al Jazeera America and Inside Edition) covering the latest trends in automotive technology, and information for consumers on proper car maintenance, travel and repairs. Fix lives the saying posted over her desk: “Do what you love, love what you do.”
Lisa Siembab, owner, CARSTAR Berlin, likes to “fight the status quo.” Eight years ago, dismayed with the friction and contentiousness of other collision repair groups in her state, she founded and served as executive director of the Connecticut Collision Repair Specialists (CCRS) organization with the goal of bringing all constituents of the industry together in a more cooperative environment. Recently, CCRS became ASA Connecticut. Siembab entered the industry 20 years ago as a marketing professional with the CARSTAR organization, ultimately becoming marketing director for CARSTAR Corporate for more than 225 locations. In 2008, she was drawn back to the shop environment, and is now overseeing day-to-day operations at the CARSTAR Berlin location in Berlin, Conn. Siembab’s compassion is shown in the volunteer work she does to benefit the collision community and her local community. She believes strongly in helping those who are often overlooked, especially where language may be the barrier. To this end, she volunteers at Literacy Volunteers of Greater Hartford, a nonprofit organization providing adult literary services to the Greater Hartford Community, and teaches for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), a program that focuses on literacy and speaking skills to assist the student in entering the workforce. She has also served on the National Auto Body Council’s In-Language Committee, which focused on translating a glossary of collision industry terminology and translating it from English to Spanish.
Ruth Weniger, CEO, Airbag Solutions, was asked, “What does it mean to be named a Most Influential Woman?” At first she hesitated, still a little self-conscious for having received the award, but then she answered, “I hope it means I’m leaving something good behind.” For those who have worked with Weniger, her influence is unquestionable. Her company regularly donates subscriptions of their content to technical schools and colleges around the country. She has also become a recognized presenter in the industry on such topics as personal development planning tools for CEOs and time management. She has been a tireless volunteer for WIN, taking an active role in the Conference Committee and Communications Committee for several years and serving as the chair of the Communications Committee since 2011. She has also been a member of the WIN Board of Directors since 2011. In her various roles within WIN, she is viewed as someone who knows how to lead without pushing others aside. She has also raised the level of professionalism within the organization by just being herself. She also serves on the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) Scholarship Selection Committee.
“The nominees this year showcased a breadth of responsibilities,” said Russell Long, president of Change Innovations. “I was impressed with their dedication, creativity and accomplishments. The award recipients reflect well-rounded profiles of achievement in their jobs, in the collision repair industry and in their communities.” Long’s organization, a business consulting and executive coaching group, was contracted as an independent third-party entity to conduct the interviews and select the honorees.
“Each year, women from different facets of the collision repair industry are selected for their passion and commitment to progressive and positive evolution of the industry,” said Denise Caspersen, WIN chair. “There is so much opportunity for women to have rewarding careers – the sky is really the limit for those with skill, creativity and a strong work ethic.”