Celebrating in Quebec: CSN’s National Conference

Quebec City, Quebec — The 2019 CSN Collision Centres National Conference took place in late October amidst the historic sites of Quebec City. Le Château Frontenac hosted the affair, serving as a suitable setting for CSN’s conference and its historical theme.

The conference began on Thursday afternoon with two OEM-led information sessions. Paul Stella, manager Certified Collision Repair for Toyota and Lexus discussed the importance of identifying counterfeit parts and what impact improper components have on the quality of the repair. 

Stella’s session was followed by a futuristic look at collision repair with an electric presentation by Volkswagen and Audi Certified Collision Repair program manager, Scott Wideman. The two OEM presentations marked the first time in CSN’s History that OEM representatives were not only in attendance but presented to the attendees.

As the afternoon sessions closed, the venue shifted to the Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury for a night of Quebec entertainment. Guests were welcomed with music and performances by a live band before experiencing a vendor showcase. More than 25 of CSN’s vendor partners were present to exhibit their respective products and services to the shop owners, insurers, and automakers in the room. From maple syrup stations to lumberjacks to an in-house Olympic hockey legend, the evening had a genuine and uniquely Canadian feel. 

Friday morning’s CSN Journey event opened with an address from Dana Alexander from CSN Dana’s in New Brunswick, Jeff Jones from CSN Jones in Ontario, Gary Laschuk from CSN Reflections in Alberta, and Daryl Kruger from CSN On-Line in British Columbia. The industry professionals told their peers about what CSN means to them and why they joined the network.

After a marketing presentation by UCLA professor and marketing guru Sasha Strauss, Ashley Thorpe, CSN’s director of marketing and communications, then took to the stage to provide an update on future plans and strategy. She introduced CSN’s new communications specialist, Jarred Jones, who revealed a website upgrade, a commitment to increased involvement on social media and heightened focus to bolster the company’s presence within industry publications. It is clear that the marketing and communications side of CSN’s strategy is trending upwards.

After a brief break, Nashville, Tennessee native Dave Luehr delivered a speech on what the world’s best body shops are doing. A specific and detailed outline of the processes and best practices that he sees collision industry leaders doing at their respective facilities. 

Later on, the first-ever Frontenac Family Feud saw a team of CSN licensees compete with a team of insurers in a Family Feud style spin-off. Larry French, CSN Collision Centres vice president of Sales and marketing, hosted a 30-minute trivia session that included a fast money round won by Team CSN. Their victory solidified a $10,000 donation to Make-A-Wish Canada and offered a lighthearted transition to an evening of celebration.

Then came the Evening of Excellence, where CSN Collision Centres honoured its shops with an awards night. The ‘Shop of the Year Award’ was won by Steven Dupont and the team at CSN Lou’s in Calgary, Alberta. 

Saturday morning⁠—the final day of the conference⁠—opened with a Town Hall featuring the CSN executive team. The session kicked off with a spirited address from CSN’s COO Flavio Battilana, who provided an update on the direction of the company. 

Later, Battilana took the stage once again, this time calling the entire CSN corporate staff up with him. After three days and more than a dozen working sessions, the 2019 CSN Collision Centres National Conference wrapped. 

“We are thrilled at how the conference went this year and for the opportunity to celebrate our shops and to add value for our partners,” Battilana concluded.

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