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Keynote from the Court: Tropicana treats students to slam-dunk surprise

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— Students of Tropicana Community Service’s Auto Body Pre-Apprenticeship and Collision Damage programs were treated to a special guest during Tuesday’s annual Discovery Day event.

Chad Sanders, manager of the Raptors 905 NBA-G League team and most recent recipient of the Executive of the Year for the NBA G-League surprised the audience of young collision repairers as the event’s keynote speaker. During his spotlight, event moderator Pat Ryan of AkzoNobel picked Sander’s brain about his rise to such success in such a short time. 

Chad, who hails from Crestwood, Kentucky, joined the Raptors organization as the manager of basketball operations for the 2017-18 season before being elevated to general manager the following season. From 2011 to 2017, Sanders worked in the Dominican Republic. 

He served as the General Manager of the country’s Men’s National Team beginning in 2014 after three years as the Director of Operations for the team. In addition to his work with the National Team, he was the General Manager of Leones de Santo Domingo, earning the league title in 2016.

Suad Dualeh, the program coordinator for Tropicana’s Auto Body Pre-Apprenticeship offerings, was keen to keep the keynote a surprise, she told Collision Repair.

“I didn’t tell anyone–the students had no idea!” she said.

Sanders even invited the students to a tour of the Raptors 905 court, once pandemic restrictions loosen.

The three-hour event⁠ also hosted presentations from collision industry representatives from AkzoNobel, CARSTAR Canada, 3M’s Automotive Aftermarket Division and BMW Collision Repair. 

Pat Ryan and Fred Daoust of AkzoNobel generously offered students a tour of the paint company’s training facilities and provided an in-depth summary of the entire repair process, while CARSTAR representative Tony Mammone delved into the future of collision repair claims in the wake of photo estimation’s popularity. Lucas Humberstone of 3M’s Automotive Aftermarket delivered a synopsis of the company’s extensive history in the automotive aftermarket and the importance of proper breathing protection, and BMW covered the importance of following OEM procedures and 

Click here for more information on Tropicana Community Services and its collision repair programs.

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