I-CAR recently announced the establishment of six regions in the United States that will replace the organization’s current three-zone structure to provide enhanced leadership and support for I-CAR training. The organization has named six people to fill its newly-created Regional Manager roles for the not-for-profit training organization beginning Aug. 1.
The new Regional Managers will report to David Coffey, director of national market development, and will be responsible for leading the support and development of volunteer committees and local part-time program instructors.
Gene Lopez will join I-CAR to head the Southwest region and will be located in Glendora, Calif. Since 1998, Lopez has been the director of development for Seidner’s Collision Centers and has also been an active part-time instructor for I-CAR. His experience extends from material inventory management in aerospace, and medical implant devices to automotive refinish sales.
Lopez has received numerous awards and recognition in management, sales, and personal development. He is the recipient of the Automotive Management Institute (AMI) “Tom Babcox Award” for his desire to improve the automotive service industry through management education. He has been certified by the California department of Insurance to facilitate Continuing Education course work to insurance agents. Lopez has earned the AMI accreditation of AAM (Accredited Automotive Manager).
He has also held several volunteer positions in the collision repair industry including serving as a committee chairperson for I-CAR, participating on several high school and college advisory boards, and serving as a member of the South Coast Air Quality Management District’s task force on Monitoring, Recording, and Reporting Volatile Organic Compounds.
German Mejia will head the Southeast region from Atlanta, Ga. Since 1990, Mejia has been active in marketing and sales in the southeast U.S., Latin America, and Caribbean markets, developing channels of distribution for resins, dispersions, automotive refinish paint, and collision repair equipment and products. Mejia’s experience includes roles with AK Finishes, Valspar and AkzoNobel.
In 2005, he founded Automotriz Colisiones, a magazine dedicated to the automotive refinish and collision repair industry for the Caribbean and Latin America. Mejia holds a degree in International Business from Florida Atlantic University, and he specialized in international economics at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England.
Bob Mickey, currently with I-CAR as the Western zone manager, will head the Northwest region based in Mukilteo, Wash. Mickey has been with I-CAR for 15 years, managing I-CAR training for the western and northwestern regions of the U.S.
Prior to coming on board with I-CAR, Mickey served as Executive Director for the Autobody Craftsman Association for eight years. Mickey holds a degree in Management from the University of Oregon.
Keith Risley will become regional manager of the Northcentral region and will be based in Aurora, Ill. Risley joins I-CAR with experience in the collision repair industry and over 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, having worked for both Nationwide Insurance and Allstate Insurance.
In addition to serving as Auto Claims Manager and Claims Trainer for Nationwide, he also was successful heading a start-up agency.
Doug Schlueter will manage the Southcentral region and will be based in Overland Park, Kan. Schlueter brings over 20 years of operations and sales management leadership to the organization and most recently served as vice president of sales and marketing for a national cleaning company.
Prior to that, he held positions as director of auctions for Yellow Corporation, general manager for Copart and IAA, and manager for Hertz and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Schlueter received his bachelor’s degree in marketing from the University of North Texas.
Allan Smith will lead the Northeast region and will be based in Media, Pa. Smith comes to I-CAR with extensive Automotive Paint Sales experience.
His recent experience includes his role as regional sales manager for Sharpe Spray Equipment (a division of Graco), where he worked directly with NAPA stores, Snap-on dealers, as well as automotive warehouse distributors along the east coast. Smith also held territory manager and Trainer positions for PPG Industries and for Sherwin-Williams.
“Ultimately, this new structure is for the benefit of the inter-industry,” said Jeff Peevy, I-CAR director of field operations. “This will allow for greater efficiency and an even better support structure for volunteers and instructors as they receive the added support they deserve.”
“The Mission and Vision of I-CAR are key in this move,” said John Edelen, I-CAR president and CEO. “By providing a framework that meets and exceeds the needs of the inter-industry, the inter-industry will have an even greater capacity to achieve safe, cost-effective repairs and to provide a quality experience for the collision repair consumer.”
The new Regional Managers will spend a month in training with I-CAR and will officially assume their new roles on Aug. 1.
Visit www.i-car.com for more information.