MSO Symposium, Canada Night among the highlights of NACE 2013

By Mike Davey

Las Vegas, Nevada — October 21, 2013 — Challenges exist, but the future is what you make it according to Mike Anderson. Anderson delivered the keynote address at the Opening General Session/Collision Industry Forum at the International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE), which took place October 16 to 18 in Las Vegas, Nev. The session was sponsored by Axalta Coating Systems. 

The conference portion of NACE opened on October 16. Although there were numerous educational opportunities available, most of the buzz was around the 3rd annual Multiple Store Operator (MSO) Symposium. The all-day session was hosted by Vincent Romans of The Romans Group.

Highlights included a panel discussion on “MSOs: Another Perspective,” with Rick Wood, Cook’s Collision; Chris Pohanka, Pohanka Collision, Bill Aeschliman, CARCARE Collision Centers and Ron Nagy, Nagy’s Collision Specialists discussing how they see consolidation, its implications and their insights on how they intend to remain relevant and win in the marketplace. Other panel discussions included a discussion on International MSO models, with panelists Bob Kirstiuk, Advantage Parts Marketing, Michael Macalusco, CARSTAR Canada and Andrew Peet, Innovation Group, and “Three Years Later: What Has Changed, Where Are We, and How Does the Future Look?” facilitated by Rex Green, Managing Director, Automotive Aftermarket Investment Banking, BB&T Capital and Vincent Romans, with panelists Chris Abraham, CEO, Service King Collision Centers, David Byers, CEO, CARSTAR U.S., Brock Bulbuck, CEO, The Boyd Group, Steve Grimshaw, CEO, Caliber Collision Centers and Duane Rouse, CEO, ABRA Auto Body & Glass.
“The MSO Symposium provided a great opportunity to see what’s happening in the industry from a U.S. perspective and to see what solutions have been developed that can be brought into the Canadian marketplace” said Michael Macaluso of CARSTAR. “What was especially interesting was the high interest from private equity within the collision repair business.”
The Opening General Session was held from 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on October 17, immediately prior to the opening of the exposition portion of NACE. The session, “The Future is Not Set in Stone,” was led by well-known industry expert Mike Anderson, the second-generation shop owner and consultant, who charmed the audience with anecdotes, humour and real-world advice for their businesses.
“Among the many takeaways from this session, Anderson’s message focused on the power of unifying the industry, regardless of our individual business philosophies or roles within the industry,” said Dan Risley, ASA executive director. “His message was well-received by attendees and Mike wowed the audience with his knowledge and charisma.”
The collision forum was included free of charge in all registration packages, and all attendees were invited and encouraged to attend.
At the conclusion of the session, Anderson was presented with the prestigious 2013 Joe Jackson Industry Champion Award, by Axalta Coating Systems. The award recognizes individuals in the collision repair industry who reflect admirably on the industry through outstanding leadership, charity or humanitarian works
Highlights of the other presentations that day included “The Future  Workforce,” presented by Bill Haas of Haas Performance Consultants, “Training, Knowledge and Operational KPIs,” by Jeff Peevy of I-CAR and  â€œIndustry Headwinds,” presented by George Avery of State Farm. 
Thursday’s session concluded with the official Welcome Party on the show floor. For many attendees, the action during the Welcome Party revolved around “Canada Night,” hosted by Collision Repair magazine at our booth. It was a phenomenal success, with the vast majority of Canadians at the show stopping by for camaraderie and networking. 
For Steve Leal, President of Fix Auto Canada, the drawing together of stakeholders from numerous firms is what helps make NACE a must-attend event.
“For me, the highlights of NACE this year were the MSO Symposium, the ready access to multiple training tracks and the ability to have meetings with multiple vendors in one location. Those are the three keys,” said Leal.

At the close of this year’s NACE, it was announced that the show would come under new management. Stone Fort Group will provide conference management, sales and marketing for NACE 2014. Next year’s event will take place July 29 to August 2 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Mich., and will be co-located with I-CAR, the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) and the Collision Repair Education Foundation.
Watch for a complete report in the next issue of Collision Repair magazine!



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