The Utah Auto Body Association (UABA) held its first formal meeting Jan. 12 in Salt Lake City. Despite a blinding snowstorm, more than 100 people showed up for this inaugural event.
UABA was formed by a small group of shop owners and vendors who recognized the need to unite to meet the ever-growing barrage of challenges facing the industry. Before the association was formed, two informal meetings were held to get feedback and support from the Utah collision industry. Both meetings were standing-room-only and were marked by such vigorous discussion that it was decided to move forward with a state association.
UABA is now managed by an interim Board of Directors. Members include:
Bob Torrey (recently retired from Ken Garff Collision Centers), chairman
Cory Stanger, Alpine Auto Body
Jeff Miller, Miller Auto Body
Stan Ware, Dave’s Body Shop
Brian Nichols, Cascade Collision Centers
Alex Ware, Dave’s Body Shop, treasurer
A questionnaire was handed out at the January meeting, asking attendees what issues were most important to them. Committees will focus on education, membership, legislative affairs and EPA regulations. UABA will have bi-annual statewide meetings and six smaller member meetings a year, or "work sessions" where committees will be developed and offer opportunities for industry people to work together.
The second UABA meeting will be held in St. George, Utah, on Feb. 28.
“Most of the board will be traveling to St. George for this meeting," said Bob Torrey. "The UABA is a statewide organization, and we feel it is important to try to reach as many shops as we can.”
UABA is the 40th Affiliate Association of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists.
“[Joining SCRS] was the first thing we did,” says board member Cory Stanger. "We saw tremendous benefit from being affiliated with SCRS and the national collision industry.”
SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg was a guest speaker at the UABA event and congratulated Utah on successfully starting this new association.
“I’m so impressed with the passion, motivation and willingness to ‘roll up the sleeves’ by the Utah group right now,” Schulenburg said. “These are industry professionals who are actively looking to make a difference. I think what is most impressive is that it really seems to permeate the whole group, not just the board and the executive officers. Here we had a meeting that happened to be distracted by a blizzard, and they still had nearly 100 attendees show up. The drive and determination is impressive, and I think will bring the state great results moving forward. There are a lot of passionate and bright individuals involved, and I’m excited to watch their momentum.”