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The International Board of Directors of the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR) announced that it has appointed John W. Edelen to fill the position of president and chief executive officer of the organization. Edelen has served as interim chief executive since November 2007.
“Since last November, at the request of the I-CAR Board, John Edelen has been serving as the interim CEO of I-CAR. The Board is pleased with the progress that I-CAR is making under John’s leadership, and we want to see this progress continue," said Sam Pezzullo, vice chairman of I-CAR’s International Board of Directors. "Through his appointment, we will be able to provide the organization with continuity and build upon the early work that John has done with both the I-CAR staff and volunteers. John has resigned from his position as a member of the Board of Directors and as chairman to assume this leadership role.”
Per the I-CAR bylaws, Pezzullo, as vice chairman, will assume the responsibilities of the chairman position vacated due to Edelen’s resignation from the Board.
“The past months at I-CAR have been both challenging and rewarding,” said Edelen. “The organization has stepped-up to meet the challenges of these difficult times for the auto collision repair inter-industry and for I-CAR. We are re-engaging with our customers and taking their lead in finding ways to deliver increased value from the I-CAR training experience. Our volunteers, instructors and staff have the highest levels of commitment to the vision of I-CAR that every person in the collision industry, current and future, has the necessary knowledge and skills relevant to their position to achieve a complete and safe repair. I’m grateful for the support of I-CAR volunteers, instructors and staff, and for the confidence that the I-CAR Board has placed in me. I commit to do all that I can to lead I-CAR in fulfilling the mission for which it was created by the auto collision inter-industry close to 30 years ago.”
“Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures and, in my 25-plus years involved with I-CAR, this is one of those times," said Chuck Sulkala of ACME Body & Paint in Boston, Mass. "As chairman of the Search Committee, it seemed to me that the committee always ended up talking about finding someone with the talents that John had and was using in his position as chairman of the Board and interim CEO. Several times we asked how long we could continue to have his expertise in the interim position as we searched for someone who had the mix of experience and skill sets that John was bringing to the organization. I believe this move will be the best short-term action for I-CAR, positioning us for long-term success to benefit the industry we serve.”
Mike Schoonover, president of Schoonover Body Works in St. Paul, Minn., who holds an Automotive Service Association (ASA) seat on the Board, also had praise for Edelen: "This is fantastic news. I cannot think of a better person to lead I-CAR than John. John’s knowledge of I-CAR, the strong relationships he’s built within the inter-industry and his passion for excellence to make I-CAR a stronger organization are a few of the reasons why the I-CAR International Board of Directors supported the idea of John becoming the chief staff executive of I-CAR. Personally, I’ve learned a great deal from John and am honored to work with him. I believe he will do a great job leading the staff and volunteers of I-CAR by empowering them to provide high-quality education to the collision repair industry.”
Bob Keith, director of environmental, safety and production for CARSTAR, echoed Schoonover’s thoughts: “As a member of the Board from the collision repair segment, I’m extremely pleased that John Edelen has accepted the position of chief staff executive of I-CAR. He has shown through his interim term that he has the experience and leadership skills to guide the very dedicated staff of I-CAR through these challenging times. The Board will work with John and the staff to rebuild the organization by providing a high quality product with a high level of customer service which we as repairers strive to deliver every day.”
John Edelen had been a member of I-CAR’s International Board of Directors for five years. He also had been an officer at Allstate Insurance Company, responsible for Allstate’s auto claim handling practices. He’s a graduate of Rutgers College and New York Law School. Edelen has participated in a number of executive post-graduate courses, including studies at: The Sloan School of Management at MIT, The Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University, and a consortium of MIT, Tufts and Harvard in Boston. Over the past 10 years, Edelen has served on a number of for-profit and non-profit boards, including: Tech-Cor, LLC; Sterling Collision Repair Centers; the Certified Aftermarket Parts Association (CAPA); the CynCast Corporation; and I-CAR, where he most recently served as board chairman. In the past, John has presented at inter-industry forums such as CIC, NACE and IBIS.
For more information on I-CAR, visit www.i-car.com.