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Monday November 27

NABC Announces Winners of 2006 Industry Idea Fair

The National Auto Body Council (NABC) has announced the winners of the 2006 Industry Image Enhancement Idea Fair, which encouraged members of the collision repair industry to come forward and submit their ideas for image building programs or campaigns.

The first place award went to Stephen Fink of Terry’s Auto Supply in Hollywood, Florida. Stephen proposed the development of 30-second screen ads, to be shown at movie theaters in metropolitan areas. These spots—envisioned to be polished productions of broadcast quality—would provide the motoring public a first-hand view of the high standards and professionalism synonymous with the modern collision repair industry. In addition, they would communicate that it is possible for body and paint technicians to attain a high standard of living.

Fink said, “I thought that we need to get the message out to the masses in the most efficient manner. What better way than having a captive audience watching a 30-second commercial with eye-catching images and a positive message about your industry? Now all we have to do is raise enough money and we’ve accomplished a lot for a relatively small investment. It’s a win-win situation that I think everyone in the industry could get behind and see it through to success.”

Though happy to learn that he won for what he considers a “pretty darned good idea,” Stephen was quick to point out the contributions of others. “NABC is one of many great industry organizations who fight daily to improve business,” he added. “I’m glad that I have the chance to belong and participate in making the industry a better place.”

Brandon Eckenrode, I-CAR senior marketing communications specialist, won both the second and third place awards.

USA Weekend magazine, which is delivered in more than 600 papers nationwide, figures prominently in Eckenrode’s second place idea. On the fourth Saturday of each October the magazine sponsors a “Make a Difference Day.” This is a day of service which the magazine promotes to encourage communities to accomplish thousands of projects in hundreds of towns.

Eckenrode proposed that NABC contact USA Weekend to inform them of the charitable professionals and businesses that make up the collision repair industry, as well as provide background on the work of NABC itself. At that point, NABC would coordinate an industry-wide charitable act, for example a canned food drive or neighborhood garbage pickup, on “Make a Difference Days” in consecutive years. This would showcase the industry’s giving nature to the entire country on an ongoing basis.

Eckenrode’s third place winning idea is exclusively local in focus. He suggested that NABC create a Community Action Recognition (CAR) program to reward industry individuals or businesses when they perform a noteworthy act of community service. Those recognized would receive an eye-catching window decal and certificate for display. The month and year of the recognition would be featured prominently, adding additional impact if more than one decal were awarded.

The multiple recognition surprised Eckenrode, who coincidently won a 2006 NABC PRIDE award for his efforts in helping raise money for a women’s homeless shelter in Illinois. He was quick to express his appreciation.

“It’s a great honor to be acknowledged by NABC, which is always on the front lines, highlighting the industry’s caring and generous nature,” he said. “I invite any and all industry professionals/businesses to get involved now, because there is no time like the present to help.”

All entries were submitted anonymously to a panel of impartial judges who did not know the identities of the winners until after the submissions were evaluated and the winners selected. The contest was conducted during NACE 2006 on November 2-4 and final decisions were made by the panel on November 14. The winners were notified on November 14 and 15.

Winners received an American Express gift card in the amount of $500 (first place), $300 (second place) and $200 (third place).

The three winning ideas will be considered at the Council’s annual strategic planning meeting, scheduled for January 16, 2007 in Scottsdale, Arizona, and preceding NABC’s annual fundraiser golf tournament (January 17) and the CIC planning meeting (January 18 and 19).

©2006 Collision Repair Industry INSIGHT
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