The Women’s Industry Network (WIN) bestowed its Cornerstone Award to Laura Kottschade, operations manager of Jerry’s ABRA Auto Body & Glass in Mankato, Minn., and Jeanne Esquivel, business development manager for Enterprise Holdings, at its Educational Conference May 1-3 in San Antonio, Texas. Tanya Sweetland, chair of WIN and general manager of OEC, presented the award.
The WIN Cornerstone Award recognizes high-impact actions and unique contributions that demonstrate commitment to the WIN mission and vision and set an example for others to follow.
“Each year, it is the privilege of the chair to recognize excellence among the small group of fighters doing battle nights and weekends to bring value to WIN members, sponsors and the industry in generaI,” said Sweetland. “I lovingly call this group the WIN board, and the award is called the WIN Cornerstone.
“Laura and Jeanne took on the task of completely overhauling the scholarship program and have done a phenomenal job managing it on top of their demanding career and extracurriculars. They both have a passion for women coming into the industry to succeed, even personally delivering shop tools to local scholarship recipients. They really pushed the scholarship program to another level this year through their efforts of getting packages and applications together. They helped build a different level of camaraderie within the Scholarship Committee and were willing to seek out additional resources to help better support keeping women in the collision industry.”
WIN scholarships are presented annually to deserving students enrolled in a post-secondary collision repair technology program. This year, WIN expanded its signature scholarship program, continuing its tradition of financially supporting females who demonstrate a desire to excel in the field of collision repair.
The 2023 program’s expansion was designed to attract more students and increase the number of awards, starting with doubling the award rate this year and enabling a variety of students to grow in their collision repair career journey. There were a record 20 WIN scholarships awarded this year.
WIN Scholarship Walk
The Scholarship Walk is a fundraiser event for the WIN scholarship program as part of WIN’s commitment to driving the future of the collision repair industry. Originally held in conjunction with the annual conference, the walk has evolved in recent years to allow friends, family and colleagues from across the industry to participate from any location.
The 2023 walk registration opened Feb. 1, encouraging participants to compete for leaderboard prizes or simply donate to the cause — walking on their own or with a local team, or joining WIN attendees for an in-person walk at the 2023 WIN Conference.
This year’s walk raised close to $8,000 — a new record — with more than 130 individual walk participants and donors. During the on-site conference walk, the top three student winners were recognized:
- Morrigan Wolf
- Lexi Huntley
- Sylvia Fort
Four collision industry businesses, who represented over half of all participants, were honored for their participation and fundraising prowess:
- WINning with Enterprise
- Jerry’s ABRA Auto Body & Glass and Hertz (tie)
“The Scholarship Walk is an important part of the newly relaunched scholarship program, and we are encouraged to see so many organizations and individuals contribute to a dedicated funding source for these important scholarships,” said Esquivel, who led as scholarship co-chair for several years before starting a new role to launch WIN’s talent resources team in 2023.
Added Kottschade, “Our goal is to double the number of applications and scholarship recipients in 2024, and we can see that coming to fruition with this kind of backing,”
For more information on WIN, visit womensindustrynetwork.com. For more information on the WIN Scholarship program, click here.