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DCR Systems announced that three team members were appointed to store leadership roles at the company: Jerry Diorio at The Collision Center in Rockland, Mass; Melissa Novotnak at Metro Accident Repair Center in Brook Park, Ohio; and Marnee Miller at Classic Accident Repair Center in Mentor, Ohio.
Michael Giarrizzo, president of DCR Systems, and Cheryl Boswell, CFO of DCR Systems, stressed the importance of growing the company from within the organization and allowing team members the opportunity to learn and move into new roles.
“Our philosophy is that improvements and process enhancements are best being driven by those doing the work,” said Boswell. “We want to help advance those who want to grow and learn.”
Giarrizzo said that DCR Systems dealer accident repair centers think and operate differently from other collision repair facilities.
“Our process is simple, yet not easy as it is counterintuitive in so many ways,” he said. “Growing our people from within provides them opportunities and us a competitive edge. We have found great success and fulfillment with this commitment.”
Diorio joined DCR Systems two years ago as a body technician at The Collision Center location in Rockland, Mass., after working for another facility for 35 years. He was asked to step into the store leader role six months ago with the support of Boswell, Giarrizzo, DCR Systems Director of Operations Dave Martin and the team.
“It’s something I have wanted to do all of my life,” said Diorio. “Over the past 40 years, I have been working with my hands; now I’m working with my head. I like the change.”
Diorio said he is acquiring new duties as store leader, which is exciting for him. During a typical day, he coaches his team to learn processes, execute disciplines and produce quality work.
During his career, Diorio attended the Toyota school, where he learned about lean systems and continuous flow which he can implement at DCR Systems.
“It’s a new wave of techniques they use here and it’s nice to see,” he said. “I like the atmosphere and this type of environment.”
Diorio said he enjoys sharing knowledge with employees and has found camaraderie with the other store leaders. “We stay in touch and contact each other. If I need a hand, I dial somebody and vice versa.”
Giarrizzo said that Diorio is so passionate that it’s contagious.
“He has done a masterful job of making the transition to this role with his receptiveness to new processes and caring for his team,” he said.
Added Boswell, “Jerry has a great energy and enthusiasm for doing the best for our customers and team.”
Martin said that Diorio embraced the ownership and drive of the store leader role well before officially having the title.
“He is without question the right person to lead this team,” said Martin.
Miller said she grew up in the collision repair industry learning from the “gurus” – The Giarrizzo Family – who coached her on the values to believe in the industry as well as herself. She joined DCR a decade ago as a customer service representative (CSR) at the Classic Accident Repair Center in Mentor, Ohio.
In her new role, Miller is responsible for ensuring processes are being executed by team members. This includes staying in constant communication with the team to strategize the day, week and month for success.
“The ultimate goal is to make it a ‘WOW’ experience for the customer from the time the car is dropped off until we are ready to deliver a proud product back with confidence,” said Miller.
Miller said process and education are the key words when carrying out her job. “We are continuously educating our team and dealer partners, ensuring the DCR processes are carried out. We listen for process improvements and ideas from essentially everyone that has something sound to offer.”
Over the years, she has learned that everyone is a customer, including team members and dealer partners. “By treating them with the utmost respect, listening to what is being said and making decisions based on facts and what is best for everyone, it creates a ‘win–win’ experience.”
Giarrizzo said that Miller comes with a lot of experience and passion for excellence.
“She is a perfect example that leadership is not just a title, but rather the one stepping up and making a difference,” he said.
Added Boswell, “Marnee can be described as a natural leader. She is not only knowledgeable, but she is also a great teacher.”
“She has been an example for a countless number of our people over the years and has stepped into her new role without skipping a beat,” said Martin.
Novotnak worked with Michael Giarrizzo as a CSR in 2001 when they were both employed at Sterling. She joined DCR Systems as an administration leader at the Metro Accident Repair Center in Brookpark, Ohio, in 2012. In Novotnak’s new role as store leader, she is responsible for the day-to-day operations as well as managing inventory and ensuring employees are educated and follow DCR processes. She also works with customers to meet their needs and expectations and ensure they have a positive experience out of a bad situation.
Novotnak said that DCR has a unique lean production process that helps make learning a little easier.
“The model has proven to eliminate the headaches and inefficiencies of trying to ‘figure out’ how to operate a collision repair center,” she said.
Throughout her career, Novotnak has recognized that the collision industry can be challenging.
“Having this position proves that women can do anything they set their mind to,” she said. “We have the ability to support and encourage one another. There is always a way to improve, and no one can tell you that you can’t do anything if you have the right mindset.”
Giarrizzo said that Novotnak is a leader by example. “She understands the business as well as the needs of her team that fully supports her and the DCR way.”
Boswell added that Melissa is committed, persistent and compassionate. “Her leadership skills have resulted in consistent, strong month-over-month store performance.”
“Melissa has been an integral part of Metro’s success for years, and has always had her finger on the pulse of the team,” said Martin. “I’m excited to see her lead that team to continued excellence for years to come.”
Boswell and Giarrizzo both offered advice for collision repair owners and managers looking to grow their talent.
“The best-kept secret is growing the team sitting in front of us,” said Boswell. “People will not always speak up when they want to try new roles and grow. Ask and listen and then take the time to develop them.”
Giarrizzo said a facility’s best and often untapped resources are the people working for the organization.
“Work standards and an internal training program yield so many benefits, with the most gratifying being able to facilitate the career growth of your people and making a difference in their lives,” he said.