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Letter to the Editor
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Thursday June 26

Third Annual Midwest Collision Industry Forum a Success

AASP of Missouri, ASA MOKAN, and SCRS MOKAN just completed their 3rd Annual Midwest Collision Industry Forum in Columbia, Missouri. Nearly 125 collision industry professionals from the Midwest and across the country participated in the one day forum that featured speakers Mike Anderson of Wagonwork Collision Centers;, Erica Eversman of Vehicle Information Services; Brett Butler, staff attorney for the Missouri Insurance Coalition; Chris Andreoli and Larry Shaw of Progressive Insurance; and George Avery and Don Porter of State Farm Insurance.

Mike Anderson conducted a rousing seminar on Positioning Yourself in the Collision Industry. Many of the attendees learned valuable ways of thinking outside of the box when it comes to marketing, production methods, and understanding the importance of being familiar with your financial information.

During the working lunch, the associations recognized the sponsors of the event: LKQ/Keystone, a Platinum sponsor; 3M, DuPont, and Hertz Local Edition, Gold Sponsors; Ford Motor Company, Silver Sponsor; and Car Quest Auto Finishes, Insurance Auto Auctions, and JC Auto & Truck Parts, Bronze Sponsors. All sponsors received plaques of appreciation and participation.

Brett Butler, staff attorney for the Missouri Insurance Coalition (MIC), briefly outlined some of the accomplishments between the MIC and the collision repair industry.

Erica Eversman followed with an informative and thought provoking presentation on “short sheeting within the industry” and how this affects treatment of the vehicle owner and his perception of the repair process as well as his insurance company.

Chris Andreoli outlined some of the initiatives Progressive Insurance is researching and testing, and spent a generous amount time answering questions from repairers in the room.

Calamity nearly struck when George Avery and Don Porter of State Farm found their usual route to Columbia, MO blocked by flood water. With the assistance of some local Missourians and their GPS they eventually did manage to arrive and address the participants who were kind enough to extend their meeting attendance.

As one person attending put it, “It was a professionally set meeting about difficult topics, any one of which could have taken the full day. Sometimes it takes a little spirited dialogue to express the frustration that all parties are feeling within the industry. This meeting provided the opportunity for that to happen in a professional setting where all could take something constructive home with them to further whatever segment of the industry they represented.”

Ron Reiling of AASP of Missouri stated, “I feel that the dedicated professionals of the collision industry that attended the MCIF received the maximum return on their investment. A day away from their business to spend with likeminded professionals, receiving pertinent, first hand information, set in a professional environment, is a priceless opportunity.”

“Excellent content and speakers with an outstanding turnout from the repairer community, so if you missed it - you missed big time!” stated Bill Garoutte, Chairman of SCRS MOKAN.

Lastly Ben Steinman Past Chairman of ASA MOKAN noted, “It is very impressive that the three organizations worked together to host a national level forum in the Midwest with an array of speakers, all of whom excelled and exceeded any expectation. The training and networking that was available to those who attended was absolutely outstanding.”

Together these associations represent those on the cutting edge of the industry and by working together are able to represent many repairers by bringing in nationally known speakers who are current on the latest in national trends. This year’s event attracted people from as far east as Virginia and as far west as Montana.

©2008 Collision Repair Industry INSIGHT
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