BodyShop Business 2021 Executives of the Year
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BodyShop Business 2021 Executives of the Year

Steve Saunders has been honored with the single-shop executive of the year award, while Cheryl Boswell has been recognized as the multi-shop executive of the year.

Jason Stahl has 28 years of experience as an editor, and has been editor of BodyShop Business for the past 16 years. He currently is a gold pin member of the Collision Industry Conference. Jason, who hails from Cleveland, Ohio, earned a bachelor of arts degree in English from John Carroll University and started his career in journalism at a weekly newspaper, doing everything from delivering newspapers to selling advertising space to writing articles.

For the 37th consecutive year, BodyShop Business has recognized distinguished collision repair facility owners and managers with its Executive of the Year award.

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The awards are given to true collision repair “visionaries” — individuals who have experienced great success by being forward thinking, overcoming challenges and persevering. Winners are selected based on experience, special achievements and involvement within the local community and collision repair industry.

This year’s Single-Shop award winner is Steve Saunders of Faith Quality Auto Body in Murrieta, Calif., and the
Multi-Shop winner is Cheryl Boswell of DCR Systems.

OE Compliance

Single-shop winner Steve Saunders has been working in the collision repair industry for 33 years. As director of original equipment (OE) compliance and training for Faith Quality, he probably has the most knowledge of correct original equipment manufacturer (OEM) repair procedures for any modern vehicle in the entire industry, states shop owner Lee Amaradio.

Saunders got promoted from general manager to director of OE compliance and training several years ago when management realized he was the only one who could do this job. He walks through the shop daily, inspecting the technicians’ work to make sure his shop stays compliant with their OEM requirements — and that’s a lot of responsibility, given the shop has 17 different OEM certifications.

I-CAR Involvement

Saunders, who has been the I-CAR district chair for Riverside County since 1996, was honored with the prestigious I-CAR Founders Ring Award in 2005. He has also been an active member of the Collision Industry Conference and part of the Sherwin-Williams AVG2 Vision Group.

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“I am so humbled being recognized by BodyShop Business and all the industry icons and legends that attended the Red Carpet Awards Breakfast at SEMA this year,” said Saunders. “I love this industry, and it’s always been good to me, but this award was truly a heartfelt, career-defining moment for me.”

Spearheading Growth

Multi-shop winner Cheryl Boswell’s collision repair career has spanned over 20 years. She began her career in 1998 with Sterling Collision Centers as national director of finance and, acting as a strategic partner with the chief operating officer and regional operations directors, helped expand Sterling from 23 locations to 70 locations and grow revenue from $40 million to $160 million. She assisted with 18 acquisitions and 29 greenfields.

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Continuous Improvement

Since 2005, Boswell has been the chief financial officer and managing partner of DCR Systems, LLC, a company established in 2004 that offers outsourced, turnkey accident repair centers based on lean manufacturing principles. In this role, she provides strategic leadership for DCR, 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 customer. She recently led a kaizen event for DCR’s central claims team to increase efficiency by expanding their reach. Embedded in the concept of lean is the principle of “continuous improvement,” which is why Boswell is always asking, “Can we do it better?” What makes her unique, DCR Systems CEO Michael Giarrizzo says, is that while she has the insight to ask the tough questions, she can explain difficult concepts in a way that resonates for a diverse audience.

WIN Involvement

Boswell has been involved with the Women’s Industry Network (WIN) since 2013, whose mission is to support and enhance the role of women in the collision repair industry, promoting education, professional advancement and networking.

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She served on the WIN Membership Committee before joining the board of directors in 2015. She served on WIN’s Finance Committee from 2015-2021 and joined the Executive Committee as treasurer in 2018. She also served as the Most Influential Women Committee Co-chair from 2016-2019. From 2019-2021, she served as the WIN chair and is currently serving as the past chair.

In 2015, she was recognized as one of WIN’s Most Influential Women, and in 2019, she won WIN’s Cornerstone Award for demonstrating outstanding commitment to WIN’s mission and vision and setting an example for others to follow.

“I am so thankful for the collision repair industry and the opportunities it has given me,” said Boswell. “This award is a reflection of my support network, including my family, my mentor Michael Giarrizzo, WIN and my entire team at DCR Systems.”

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