CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts announced Lisa Siembab, co-owner of CARSTAR Berlin in Berlin, Conn., as one of four recipients of the 2015 Women’s Industry Network (WIN) Most Influential Women (MIW) award. MIW awards recognize women who have enriched the collision repair industry with their leadership, vision and commitment to excellence. CARSTAR National Director of Operations Melissa Miller nominated Siembab for the award.
“It’s quite the honor within our industry,” said Siembab. “WIN has gained a lot of momentum over the past few years, which I think is wonderful. When I first started, it was a predominantly male industry. It’s been rewarding to see women rise to leadership positions in all facets of the industry.”
David James, vice president of marketing for CARSTAR, added, “We are pleased to congratulate Lisa on such a high honor. The Women’s Industry Network has done so much to advance the collision industry as a whole. To have a current store owner and former employee recognized is a proud moment for our company.”
Siembab has spent 21 years in the collision repair industry. She got her start by handling marketing, insurance relations and customer service for the CARSTAR Connecticut Business Group. Throughout that time, she increased sales by record numbers, organized charity events raising countless dollars and built brand integrity in the market. It was during that time that she met and subsequently married Larry Siembab, co-owner of CARSTAR Berlin.
Siembab next went to work for CARSTAR corporate in Kansas City, Mo., as the director of field marketing. After two years in that position, she decided to go back to Connecticut so she could spend more time with family and help run the Berlin shop. Her husband currently works for CARSTAR corporate as the director of insurance relations.
Eight years ago, Siembab decided to take her influence beyond the collision repair shop and do something to help the industry as a whole. With her own money and resources, she founded and created Connecticut Collision Repair Specialists (CCRS), a nonprofit association that represents any facet of the collision repair business for the shop owners within the state, including training and education, legislative issues and community relations.
Siembab’s hard work as executive director of the organization did not go unnoticed. The Automotive Service Association recently approached her about becoming a state affiliate. She is now in the transition process of dissolving CCRS to become ASA Connecticut.
“It was very humbling to be approached and recognized for what we’ve done,” said Siembab. “With the new affiliation, our membership will now triple with the addition of all of the mechanical shops in the state.”
Siembab has also been a part of the Collision Industry Conference and the National Auto Body Council (NABC). She is also the Hartford, Conn., I-CAR committee chair. Her shop has been I-CAR Gold for more than 20 years, and it also hosts I-CAR training events.
Siembab also hosts an annual charity golf tournament. For the past three years, her shop has donated more than $25,000 to the NABC AutoMotivation program in San Antonio that trains wounded veterans in collision repair. In her role as executive director of CCRS, Lisa created a job placement program for technical high school students in Connecticut.
In addition to Siembab, the following women were also recognized as honorees of the 2015 MIW award:
- Cheryl Boswell, CFO, DCR Systems LLC, Duluth, Ga.
- Lauren Fix, president, Automotive Aspects Inc., Lancaster, NY
- Ruth Weniger, CEO, Airbag Solutions LLC, Ivins, Utah
“The nominees this year showcased a breadth of responsibilities,” Russell Long, president of Change Innovations, a business consulting and executive coaching group that was contracted as an independent third-party entity to conduct the interviews and select the honorees. “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.”
“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 WIN Chair Denise Caspersen. “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.”