Are You Ready for SEMA? - BodyShop Business

Are You Ready for SEMA?

Repairer Driven Education, Ideas Collide Showcase and more await you in Sin City.

It’s time, can you feel it? Nervous anticipation. Steeling yourself for a grueling but fun week. Something you planned for all year, wondering how the shop will survive without you but knowing you will be better off for going. Wondering if you can resist the temptations but knowing you should set aside time for fun. Wondering what old friends you’ll run into or new ones you’ll make.

That’s right, it’s SEMA time. Planes full of automotive industry professionals and enthusiasts blasting toward Vegas to take over Sin City for a week of networking, ogling the latest equipment and products, and learning about the latest trends in collision repair.

This year’s Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series curriculum is special. Since the Society of Collision Repair Specialists launched their first program in November 2010, they’ve continually worked to make each year a bit different. In looking at the lineup this year, nearly half of the 20-plus regular sessions on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday feature a first-time speaker, while the other half sees the return of some of SCRS’ most favorite RDE alumni:

SCRS Repairer Driven Education Series

Monday, Oct. 29, 2018 3-5 p.m.

RD1 – 2025 The Millennial Takeover – How to Find, Train and Pay Qualified People Mike Lanza, manager of Global Business Consulting Services, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Product Finishes; Room N233

RD2 – Corrosion Protection: Is Your Shop Ready for the Post-Repair Inspection Era? Shawn Collins, senior technical service engineer, 3M Automotive Aftermarket Division; Room N237

RD3 – Gauges of Your Business: Maximize Profits in Your Collision Shop Jim Anderson, senior consultant, DRIVE; Room N241

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 9:30-11:30 a.m.

RD4 – Auto Body Growth Hacks Ryan Taylor, CEO, Bodyshop Booster / Mathew McDonnell, President, Big Sky Collision; Room N233

RD5 – Preparing for Negotiations Eric Newell, Chief Operating Officer, Tom & Ed’s Autobody / Andy Tylka, Tom & Ed’s Autobody; Room N237

RD6 – Understanding Shop Liability in This New Era of Diagnostics, Calibrations and Programming Michael Quinn, senior vice president of business development, AirPro Diagnostics / Chuck Olsen, executive director of operations, AirPro Diagnostics / Aaron Clark, vice president of technical compliance, Assured Performance / Scott Kaboos, assistant manager, collision marketing, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. / Nick Notte, senior vice president, I-CAR / Jack Rozint, senior vice president of sales, Auto Physical Damage Solutions, Mitchell / Todd Tracy, The Tracy Law Firm; Room N241

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

RD7 – Visually Managed Collision Repair
Lee V. Rush, manager of Business Consulting Services, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes; Room N233

RD8 – Building Your Business to Meet the Direction of the OEM
David Gruskos, president, Reliable Automotive Equipment; Room N237

RD9 – Facing Increased Complexity and Liability – How to Protect Your Collision Repair Business!
David B Willett, CPCU ALCM CYB, GM Auto Aftermarket, Intrepid Direct Insurance / Ron Reichan, president, Precision Body and Paint / Shaughn Kennedy, ASE Master and TIA Certified, CSA, Intrepid Direct Insurance / Bill Eveland, president, Eveland Brothers, Inc.; Room N241

Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018 3-5:00 p.m.

RD10 – The Imperative of Accessing and Retaining OEM Repair Information on Every Structurally Repaired Vehicle
Pete Tagliapietra, business development leader, NuGen IT Inc. / Wil Peck, software development leader, NuGen IT Inc.; Room N233

RD11 – 4 Steps to Set Proper and Profitable Labor Rates for Your Individual Shop
Sam Valenzuela, president, National AutoBody Research / Richard Valenzuela, CEO, National AutoBody Research; Room N237

RD12 – Current and Future OEM Styling Trends and the Impact on Refinish
Jennife Boros, director of marketing, PPG USCA Collision Segment / Frank Jemiola, global technical manager, Pigments, PPG / John Thomas, color technical manager, PPG Automotive OEM / Darin Poston, application specialist, PPG USCA Collision Segment; Room N241

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 9:30-11:30 a.m.

RD13 – The Importance of ADAS System Resets When Performing Wheel Alignments during the Collision Repair Process
John Shewbridge, technical training instructor, Hunter Engineering Company; Room N233

RD14 – Why You Should Embrace Post-Repair Inspections
David Smith, Auto Damage Experts; Room N237

RD15 – Leading the OEM Transition
Jeff Wildman, OEM and industry relations manager, BASF / Steve Feltovich; Room N241 12:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 12:30-2:30 p.m.

RD16 – OEM Repair Procedure Best Practices
Mike Anderson, CEO, Collision Advice; Room N233

RD17 – You Schedule How?
Charlie Whitaker, services consultant, AkzoNobel; Room N237

RD18 – Damage Assessment Documentation: Key Steps for Maximum Reimbursement
John Shoemaker, business development manager, BASF Automotive Refinish Coatings; Room N241

Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 3-5 p.m.

RD19 – More than Just a Hand Shake: The Professional Administrative (Legal) Documents You Really Need to Operate a Successful Shop
Erica L. Eversman, J.D., attorney, Auto Education Policy Institute / Wade Ebert, former owner, American Auto Body; Room N233

RD20 – Developing an Effective Digital Marketing Strategy in Collision Repair
Lee Emmons, chief marketing officer, AP Digital / Brent Betts, senior digital marketing consultant, AP Digital; Room N237

RD21 – Know Your Score
Jennifer Hubbard, industry relations strategic solutions advisor, CCC Information Services Inc. / Ray Chew, national account manager, CCC Information Services Inc.; Room N241

Don’t Miss the IDEAS Collide Showcase!

For those still coordinating travel arrangements for the 2018 SEMA Show, you’re going to want to make sure you budget plenty of time for Friday events.

In addition to great Friday mainstays such as SEMA Ignited, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) has announced the launch of the IDEAS Collide Showcase, which is quickly becoming one of the most anticipated events in the collision industry.

The IDEAS Collide Showcase will highlight visionary disruption and solution in the collision repair industry, and serves as the newest extension of the association’s ever-evolving Repairer Driven Education series. The two-hour-long session will run from 10 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 2, and will feature 10 fast-paced presentations designed to stimulate thought, innovation and resolution of business challenges with brash, outspoken and thought-provoking concepts from thought leaders both in and out of the industry.

Meet and hear from captivating individuals, concept-driven startups and tenured companies with an eye on the future, all of whom will take center stage and present innovative ideas, business models and concepts that have the potential to revolutionize the future of the collision repair industry.

“The concept behind the event was developed with an emphasis on breaking away from how we believe the industry needs to operate, and exploring concepts and business solutions that have the potential to create real paradigm shifts in the businesses we serve,” said Brett Bailey, vice chairman of SCRS.

The presentation subject matter will focus on either industry disruption or industry solution:

  • Industry disruption will rattle the status quo with ambitious ideas that have a transformative effect on the industry. From conceptual alternatives to existing business models, technological advancements that will shake up the automotive aftermarket landscape, to changing the consumer expectation of what is possible, this segment is certain to leave heads spinning with possibility.
  • Industry solutions would offer conceptual keys to resolving existing market challenges, business considerations, resources and solutions that stem from, or can be implemented by, great minds within the industry.

“We’ve really put an emphasis in our Repairer Driven Education sessions of being practical, tangible solutions to bettering your business,” said Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of SCRS. “The IDEAS Collide Showcase is really poised to counter that by also celebrating thinking that breaks past the practical and explores what could be. We sought dreamers, idealists, big thinkers, and people with a passion for promoting change for the better within the industry. Not every idea may resonate, but they should all make you think and inspire the audience to consider what could be in the future state of our industry.”

Those interested in securing seats in the inaugural event can do so in advance of the show at, or at registration desks onsite.

What to Do in Vegas


Celine Dion – Catch Céline Dion perform her repertoire of hits mixed with timeless classics that pay tribute to some of the most celebrated songs of all time in her residency show at Caesars Palace.

Vegas! The Show – Encompass the feeling of Sin City in one hit musical! This high-energy performance experience showcases amazing singing and dancing talent to bring alive the city’s greatest entertainers including the Rat Pack, Elvis, Tom Jones and more.

Blue Man Group – Swim through the music, lights and sounds to become a part of this production. The show is good clean fun with a variety of acts and quick-change illusions, but the core of its appeal is the company’s signature music, played on far-out, makeshift instruments.


Bellagio fountains – Free, fun to watch, and with a show every 15 minutes at night, it’s an easy sightseeing detour. With more than a thousand fountains shooting water nearly 500 feet in the air accompanied by music, the display is a staple of any Vegas trip.

Neon Museum – Take a tour off the beaten path of nearly three acres of retired, vintage neon signs. The self-proclaimed “neon sign graveyard” offers both self-guided and guided tours of its property. Recently, the museum added a new light and video experience called “Brilliant” by artist Craig Winslow that brings some of those signs to life without a single one being plugged in.

Topgolf – While there are a few Topgolf locations across the U.S., the one in Vegas comes with a killer view of the Strip skyline from three levels. Not to mention the top-notch food and drink served in your own private bay to complete the experience!

Mob Museum – Besides all the partying and gambling, Vegas is also know for its legacy of organized crime. Wanna know more? Stop at the Mob Museum for exhibits dedicated to the most devious mobsters in history. It’s also where bus tours usually leave for a look at historic mob locations throughout the city.

SlotZilla – If you’re looking for some thrills in Vegas, look no further than this 12-story slot machine-
inspired zip line attraction! The multi- million-dollar SlotZilla is the world’s largest slot machine and features Las Vegas icons such as oversized dice, a martini glass, pink flamingo, coins, video reels, a giant arm and two showgirls. Take the plunge either headfirst or feet first as you fly over the crowds!

Where to Eat

Mr. Mamas
5693 S. Jones Blvd., Ste. 106
Looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown Vegas Strip? Mr. Mamas offers a homey, comfortable American dinner atmosphere at a reasonable price. The restaurant is open for both breakfast and lunch and serves up all of your favorites with no added frills or gimmicks.

Wicked Spoon
The Chelsea Tower, 3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Level 2
What’s a trip to Vegas without experiencing a true Vegas buffet? The Wicked Spoon inside the Cosmopolitan is by far the most affordable top-rated buffets, or rather culinary food hall, in the city. The dining hall delivers well-crafted original selections for every appetite. With its mix of top-quality, familiar staples and imaginative seasonal dishes, this place is sure to wow for brunch.

La Bella Napoli Pizzeria
6599 S. Las Vegas Blvd. #210
The best of Naples is now in Las Vegas! The pizzeria does all your favorites including antipasti, Neapolitan pizzas, calzones, and salads done right. La Bella Napoli’s authentic Italian, bell-shaped wood-fired oven was shipped straight from Naples, Italy, to ensure that each menu item is sealed with flavor and transformed into fine-crafted edible masterpieces. Oh, and did we mention there’s also Italian beer and wine?

Rollin Smoke BBQ
3185 Highland Dr.
Claimed by many as the “best BBQ joint in Vegas,” this homey counter- serve spot dishes out ribs, brisket and other classic barbecue dishes with lots of side choices including a complimentary slice of southern comfort on the West Coast. With their spicy, smoky flavors, tender meats and habit-forming sauce, this place is sure to satisfy any barbeque lover.

OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit

The OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit is designed to put SEMA show attendees in a room with automotive structural design and technology innovators. The Summit’s three session times will feature discussions between companies and individuals with rich histories of producing sophisticated advancements in the automotive and collision repair fields. The event content will highlight architectural and technological developments in modern vehicles, with a focus on emerging trends that influence vehicle repairability and collision industry preparation. Every participant in this industry can benefit from better insight into how vehicles and materials are evolving, what that means in the repair process and what will be expected of those who are performing these repairs. The future of our collision repair industry is highly skilled professionals working on highly sophisticated automobiles that require the industry to embrace the necessary investments in training and equipment. But it also relies on informed business owners who understand how to define for themselves what a sustainable and successful business model to support that investment looks like. Space will be limited, so early registration is encouraged. Sessions can be selected individually or as part of the full series pass.

9-10:30 a.m.

OEM1: The Rules – and Challenges – of Structural Repair on Modern Vehicle Architecture; Room N241

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

OEM2: The Evolution of OEM Network and Expectations; Room N241

3-5 p.m.

OEM3: The Future of Telematics, Technology and Transportation and the Collision Industry; Room N241

9:00 p.m.-12:00 a.m.

SCRS RDE Sky Villa After Party; Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, Sky Villa Suite

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