BodyShop Business Names 2015 Executives of the Year

BodyShop Business Names Val Fichera and Gerald Wicklund 2015 Executives of the Year

Handed out since 1984, the award recognizes true collision repair “visionaries” who have experienced great success through innovative thinking, overcoming challenges and persevering.

BodyShop Business has announced its selection of Val Fichera, president of Collision Care Auto Body Centers in Philadelphia, as its 2015 Multi-Shop Executive of the Year, and Gerald Wicklund, owner/president of CARSTAR Wicklunds Collision Center, as its 2015 Single-Shop Executive of the Year.
The award, which has been handed out since 1984, recognizes true collision repair “visionaries” who have experienced great success through innovative thinking, overcoming challenges and persevering.

Val Fichera

At the tender age of 43, Fichera has already led Collision Care Auto Body Centers to being in the top 20 MSOs in the nation with more than $20 million in annual sales.

“I don’t know of any other executive, even outside his industry, who has accomplished and created as much as he has at 43, in the harshest of business environments,” says Collision Care Vice President of Sales Lou Berman. “Val has created, bought and sold other businesses as well and could have made a nice living doing other things besides working in the collision repair industry, but his heart was always here.”

While in grade school, when other kids were out playing after school, Fichera was working in his family’s shop, which was started by his grandparents, Mario and Sarah DeNardo, who came to America from Italy to pursue their dreams.

Fichera believes in giving back to his community, too, having donated refurbished vehicles to the Louie’s Voice charity for autism. He also had his head shaved for the St. Baldrick’s Cancer Foundation. Many times, he has hired people off the street who desperately needed a job to give them a second chance.

“Val is all about opportunity, realizing more than anyone that, had he not had his, that he likely would still be successful, but that his heart to this day wouldn’t be as appreciative for the chance he got,” says Berman.

Gerald Wicklund

Wicklund started in the family business when he was 12. By the time he was 18, he was working in the shop as a painter’s helper and doing small body repairs. In 1980, he became the head painter, then became an estimator in 1986. He took over as general manager in 2000, then formally became owner in 2012.

Wicklund has always kept his shop on the cutting edge, and will soon become the first shop in his area to earn an aluminum repair certification. His shop is also certified for Mopar, Ford, GM and Honda.

Some of the awards Wicklund has earned over the years include: 2013 CARSTAR Marketing Award; 1994 and 2013 Liberty SERTOMA (Service to Mankind) Award; and Best of the Northland for the past seven years.

Wicklund has also dedicated his career to giving back to the industry, serving as a SkillsUSA judge from 2008-2012, CARSTAR Advisory Board member, and other positions. He also hosts firefighter extrication classes and military appreciation events at his shop.


Both Fichera and Wicklund will receive an expenses-paid trip to the 2015 NACE | CARS 2015 Show in Detroit from BodyShop Business. They will also receive plaques in a formal ceremony prior to the opening General Session of the show on Thursday, July 23rd.

To nominate for the 2016 Executive of the Year, click HERE.

You May Also Like

CIECA Announces Webinar on CIECA Standards

The webinar, “Open API Development Best Practices and Lessons Learned”, will feature Darrel Miller, API architect at Microsoft.

The Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) announced it will be holding a webinar, “Open API Development Best Practices and Lessons Learned”, featuring Darrel Miller, API architect at Microsoft, on Thursday, April 20 at 2 p.m. EST. During the one-hour webinar, CIECA’s Architecture Committee will also provide an update about CIECA API Standards (CAPIS) and share information about the first standards release of the year, the 2023R1.

HD Repair Forum to Showcase OEMs and Insurers

The HD Repair Forum announced that it will once again be showcasing OEMs and insurers and their involvement in the heavy-duty collision industry at their conference April 18-19 in Forth Worth, Texas.

Ford, TechForce Foundation Announce $1M Scholarship

Ford Motor Company Fund is joining Ford dealers across four U.S. regions to provide a million dollars in scholarship funding to help students pursue careers as automotive technicians.

Maaco Rockwall Wins Customer Focus Award

Maaco Rockwall of Rockwall, Texas recently received the Excellence in Customer Focus award from the Rockwall Area Chamber of Commerce.

Chariot Collision Center in Indiana Joins 1Collision

1Collision has announced the addition of Chariot Collision Center in Kokomo, Ind.

Other Posts

NABC Donates Recycled Rides to Charlotte Veterans

The NABC, along with GEICO, Carolinas Collision Capital Ford and Crash Champions, recently donated refurbished vehicles to two deserving Charlotte veterans.

Auto Glass Now Colonial Heights Opens in Virginia

Derek Merriweather, manager of Auto Glass Now Colonial Heights, joins the growing auto glass family with 14 years of industry experience.

SUN Collision Unveils New Website

SUN Collision has unveiled its new website to provide easy access to OEM collision repair information. 

Crash Champions Donates Recycled Ride to Charlotte Veteran

Crash Champions, NABC and GEICO donated a refurbished vehicle to Cyril Smith, a Charlotte, N.C., Army veteran.