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Glass Half Full: Canadians steal the stage during Dave Luehr Positivity Summit

Nashville, Tennessee ⁠— Dave Luehr’s Elite Bodyshop Solutions held its third annual Positivity Summit on Friday, which featured a stellar lineup of speakers⁠ that included some of Canada’s most beloved collision repairers.

From 10 a.m. through 4 p.m., Dave Luehr and Ryan Taylor treated more than 200 Positivity Summit attendees to insightful conversations with over 20 collision industry professionals across North America.

Canadians featured during Friday’s stream were Leanne Jeffries of CCC Canada; Johnny Kloeckers, the MSO of CARSTAR Edmonton; Tom Bissonnette, executive director of the Saskatchewan Association of Automotive Repairers and Venessa di Vito, owner of Auto+ Performance Solutions.

Jeffries kicked off the Canadian crew with a discussion alongside Liz Stein of OEC, where the pair discussed how collision centres can prepare for and acquire OEM certifications in 2022. 

Kloeckes, who discussed how his business adapts to industry changes, received quite the introduction from Luehr, who commended him for his non-stop positivity.

“Most people only see the problems we experience in the collision industry,” said Luehr as he introduced Kloeckes. “Not this guy⁠—he’s got rose-coloured glasses on.”  

Kloeckes said one of the key steps he takes to ensure the success of his business is regular staff check-ins. He takes reviews from his team and makes decisions based on their reviews. Following a recent review, Kloeckes made the realization that one of his manager’s was highly skilled in conflict resolution; so he gave him the official title of “conflict resolver.” 

He said another key lesson for him is learning when to let a little gas off the pedal. 

“On our 25th wedding anniversary, my wife and I went to Europe to travel for a month. When we returned, everything was running just as smoothly at the businesses. That was a learning lesson⁠—that you can take your hands off sometimes to just relax and it will all be fine.

“What’s the acronym for fear? It’s either ‘fear everything and run,’ or ‘fear everything and rise.’ We choose the latter,” he said. 

Bissonnette followed Kloeckes and was met with just as warm of a welcome from Luehr and Taylor. 

“The only thing bigger than Saskatchewan, is Tom’s heart,” said Luehr. 

During his presentation, Bissonnette detailed the collision repair market in Saskatchewan, which operates under a unique situation with provincial insurer Saskatchewan Government Insurance as compared to Luehr’s mostly-American Positivity Summit audience. 

“What’s really missing in the industry right now⁠ is trust,” said Bissonnette. 

He also touched on measures he suggests to promote positive work culture and relationship with your team.

“When we hired someone [at Parr Auto Body,] we’d start them with three weeks of vacation time per year,” he said. “After ten years, that would increase to four weeks, but if we hired someone with ten years experience it was automatically four weeks of vacation.

“It pays off, I tell you,” he said. 

The final Canadian to claim her place on Luehr’s stage was di Vito, who partnered with Nick Schoolcraft of Pheonix Solutions Group to deliver their top-three tips on marketing in modern times.

Sessions from the 2022 Positivity Summit will be available in the coming days. For more information, click here.

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