CARSTAR Salutes the Women of the Collision Repair Industry

CARSTAR Salutes the Women of the Collision Repair Industry

The women of CARSTAR U.S. are role models for anyone looking to succeed in the vehicle service business.

In honor of International Women’s Day, CARSTAR celebrated the women who deliver the company’s renowned high-quality collision repairs and excellent customer service at collision repair facilities across the U.S. Working as technicians, painters, detailers, estimators, customer service representatives and store managers, they’re on the front lines every day helping customers manage their collision repair experience.

From fulfilling a family legacy by joining the collision repair industry, providing excellent customer service or finding a career, the women of CARSTAR U.S. are role models for anyone looking to succeed in the vehicle service business.

Fulfilling a Family Legacy

Heather Culleton is the second generation leading her family’s two locations: CARSTAR Autobody Resurrection and CARSTAR Autobody Resurrection Lakeland South in Lakeland, Fla. Her father, Fred Haberl, is planning to retire in June 2024.

“I grew up in the business and, after a few years away running a towing company, I came back to take over for my father,” said Culleton. “We opened a second location last year; we’ve expanded our services for electric vehicles, and we’re continuing to build our business.”

Culleton credits her father’s hard work and tenacity in the business with teaching her the skills needed to succeed in today’s collision repair industry.

“He’s always focused on two things: take care of the customer and do the repair the right way, and the profitability will follow,” said Culleton. “He was one of the first CARSTAR locations, and his commitment to these three things has allowed us to thrive in Lakeland for more than 30 years. I’m honored to follow in his footsteps as the next generation, with my sons already working in the business for the future.”

Ashley Garza, who is part of the team at CARSTAR Collision Specialists in McAllen, Texas, brings her family pride to work every day.

“We are a family business; my parents are the owners, and I aspire to own my own shop one day,” said Garza. “I love the culture of our shops, the staff and our customers. Coming to work every day never feels like work and I love that. We learn from each other, stick together and get things done.”

Unique Perspective and Talents Drive Success

The women of CARSTAR bring a unique blend of experience, expertise and emotional balance to the job.

For Nikki Rende, who works at Waldron’s A-1 Autobody CARSTAR, her love for her job drives her desire to succeed.

“There are many things I love about my job, but my favorite part would be working alongside my coworkers and the atmosphere within the company,” said Rende. “I am very blessed to be able to say that I love going to my job every day … so much so that even when pregnant, I didn’t want to miss a single day — and didn’t until I absolutely had to!”

While Rende didn’t actually plan to join the collision repair industry, it was fate that brought her to CARSTAR.

“The company had a customer service job opening, and I was looking for a new job and had a lot of customer service experience, so I applied,” she said.  “And boy am I glad I did, because I got it! It would be great if there were more women with knowledge of the automotive industry. I think it would be fantastic. I’ve learned so much about all kinds of vehicles, including my own, to the point that I can now identify when there is an issue … and sometimes even fix it.”

Fueling a Passion for All Things Automotive

Jen Forhan of CARSTAR Waldron’s Auto Body turned her father’s interest in working on cars into a career.

“Growing up my entire life, my father has worked on cars,” said Forhan. “My first car was a totaled vehicle that my father repaired for me. I’ve always enjoyed watching him working on vehicles. I absolutely loved when he took me to the car shows so we could check out all of the classics. I now stop at some small local shows with my daughter. She’s got good taste.”

Forhan said she’s just one of the guys at the shop but puts her customer service skills to work pleasing customers.

“Working here at CARSTAR Waldron’s has really been a great and unique experience,” she said. “I’ve worked in customer service my whole life. I really like the interactions with our customers, helping them and guiding them the best I can and making sure they’re happy throughout their experience with us. Of course, all the guys here are amazing and have welcomed me in as one of their own.”

Opportunities to Advance

For women looking for a rewarding career, CARSTAR offers numerous opportunities.

Sheri Poole started at CARSTAR Waldron’s as a customer service representative seven years ago then switched to a newly created position of marketing/administrative assistant last year, where she supports CARSTAR Waldron’s CEO, Bob Waldron, helping with all of the marketing tasks and managing the account receivables. 

“My favorite part of working at this facility would be the culture and the way that Bob runs his shops,” said Poole. “Bob is honest, respectful and fair in all decisions made for both his customers and employees. He goes above and beyond to mentor, train and provide all that is needed to be successful. He cares for where you are and will help you get to where you want to be. The security that he provides an employee makes you want to come to work.”    

While these are just a handful of the hundreds of women leading and managing CARSTAR, their hard work, commitment to quality, dedication to customer service and passion for performance make them the heroes on the frontlines.

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