Collision Repair 10#3
When Nathan Balzer, general manager of Vickar Autobody & Glass was last on the cover he was referred to as a ‘young blood’ because, at 34-years-old he was considerably younger than most people occupying similar positions in the industry.
Now 10 years later, he’s no longer known for his spry young age, but rather his help in making Vickar Autobody & Glass one of Manitoba’s largest volume Chevrolet, Ford, Mitsubishi and Nissan collision repair facilities.
When Balzer thinks about the future of the industry he immediately refl ects on how much the industry has changed throughout the course of his career, alone.
“When I close my eyes and think about my fi rst day on the job 18 years ago in a small shop and what that looked like then, versus what it’s like now. The differences are crazy, it’s night and day,” he says.
“The one thing I’m 100 percent sure of is the industry is going to continue to change. I just know if you are going to be successful in this industry you have to be adaptable to change and you better be open to the fact that you are going to have to do things differently.”
Collision Repair 10#5
KAVIA AUTO BODY
Raj Kavia, the owner of Saskatoon’s Kavia Auto Body, credits his father in teaching him how to be a lean operator. His father, who had previously owned a collision centre in Kenya, opened his fi rst Canadian shop in 1984 and, as Kavia recalls, things were pretty tight.
“We had to lean out everything at the time and it turned out to be a good thing. It helped turn me into a lean operator. Since his 2011 Collision Repair cover, Kavia himself has taken a slight step back from the collision repair business—though he still serves as chairman. Regardless, his mind is always at ease knowing Kavia Auto Body’s day-to-day success is in the morethan- capable hands of general manager Kim Kos and the team.
In February 2021, Kos was honoured as the only Canadian to make the Women’s Industry Network’s annual list of Infl uential Women in Collision Repair.
“I am grateful to be recognized for doing something that I love,” Kos told Collision Repair at the time of the honour.
“I am also thankful for the people that supported me on my journey: my family, Raj Kavia as my biggest mentor, my business partners, and the Kavia Auto Body Team; and a special thank you to John Santos for the nomination.”
Collision Repair 10#6
IAN AND KEN MCINTOSH
KIRMAC COLLISION AND AUTOBODY
Ian McIntosh founded Kirmac Collision and Autobody in 1973, and has run the business with his brother, Ken for decades. Now McIntosh is happy to say that he and his brother have been bought out by none other than their children.
“The recent completion of the sale to our families next generation, I can’t imagine anything I could be prouder of than having them want to buy it,” said McIntosh. His son, daughter and nephew will be taking over the business. All three of them have worked their way up the company ladder to now being able to call it theirs. “To be able to have family that are not only in the business, but they are very good at what they are doing, there’s just nothing I can think of in terms of the business side that I could have wanted more,” he said.
Currently, McIntosh is in the process of writing a book for his family to tell the story of how their automotive business came to be so that future generations can see how it all started.