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SCRS Elects New 2008-2009 Board of Directors

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The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) announced its
newly elected 2008-2009 board of directors at its Corporate Awards
Dinner at the Crowne Plaza in Philadelphia on April 15.

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Gary Wano
of GW & Son Autobody in Oklahoma City, assumed the duties of
chairman. Also elected to a new position was Aaron Clark of Collision
Solutions in Indianapolis, who was named secretary. Rounding out the
executive board were Farzam Afshar of VeriFacts Automotive LLC in
Newport Beach, Calif. (immediate past chairman), Barry Dorn of Dorn’s
Body & Paint in Mechanicsville, Va. (vice chairman), Tim Waldren of
Paramount Auto Body in Reno, Nev. (treasurer) and Stacy Bartnik of
CARSTAR in Palatine, Ill. (director at large).

National directors
for the upcoming year include first-timers Ron Reichen of Precision
Body & Paint, Inc., in Beaverton, Ore., Dale Matsumoto of AutoBody
Hawaii in Kailua-Kona and Joe Skurka of BASF in Southfield, Mich. as
well as returning officers Dan Bailey of CARSTAR in Overland Park,
Kan., Rollie Benjamin of ABRA Auto Body & Glass in Brooklyn Center,
Minn. Steve Regan of the Massachusetts Auto Body Association was
appointed to the board of directors in February to fulfill the
remainder of the term of Chad Sulkala, who resigned his position.

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The
SCRS also handed out its industry achievement awards. Winners included
Dan Bailey, Russell Thrall III of CollisionWeek, Chad Sulkala of Acme
Body & Paint in Jamaica Plain, Mass., Bob Smith of Storm Appraisal
and Management Service, Inc., in Independence, Mo., Dale Matsumoto and
Theresa Bolton of the Center of Applied Technology in Severn, Md. 

New Chairman Wano anticipates the upcoming year to be challenging but rewarding nonetheless.

"There are a lot of industry issues that we intend on addressing throughout the year," he said. "Although some repairers are pessimistic about the general climate of the collision repair industry, we are optimistic about the opportunities that lie ahead. SCRS’ job is to identify those opportunities and ensure our members are successful and profitable. Thankfully, the growing varieties of electronic communication methods allow us to respond more quickly to repairer needs and, if needed, mobilize faster than before. We recognize that our strength is derived from our members and our state affiliate associations. SCRS will continue to focus on strengthening and leveraging those relationships, as the need for unity has never been more prevalent."
 
First-time board member Ron Reichen looks forward to representing the industry in the Northwest, as well as helping the industry tackle a variety of significant issues.

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"The merger of information providers (CCC and Mitchell) is on every repairer’s mind," he said. "There is a lot of uncertainty and unanswered questions that could have a negative impact on repairers and their profitability. That’s something we’ll continue to watch closely. There’s also the matter of training and lack of readily accessible information – with the diversity of vehicle structures and repair techniques being promoted by various manufacturers. And, of course, insurance industry relations are always a concern – finding the right balance of cooperation and responsible push-back to ensure our members get the compensation they need to operate profitable businesses."
 
In regard to insurer and repairer relations, SCRS is in the process of implementing a strategy it believes could be one of the keys to a more improved and productive relationship.

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"What we’ve found is that often times, there’s a disconnect between what the insurer’s home office has set as policy and what is implemented in the field by local management," Wano said. "In the process of being passed down, the intent and spirit of the policy is often lost, sometimes resulting in negotiations at the shop level that are heated, unproductive and certainly not market-driven. By dealing with the decision-makers at the home office, we may be able to identify solutions which are mutually beneficial that ultimately benefit the consumer. We’ve used this approach successfully with other industry segments and are confident it will be successful with insurers also, as we believe ‘Working Together Is the Most Important Work We Do’."

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For more information on SCRS, visit www.scrs.com.

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