By James Kerr
Charlotte, North Carolina -- August 23, 2017 -- It’s a long way to travel, but Canadians have made a very strong showing at CARSTAR's annual conference. With the theme of 1NE, the 2017 conference combines for the first time the annual US and Canadian conferences into one North American CARSTAR event. This conference promises to gather more than 1,500 CARSTAR franchisees from across North America, as well as corporate team members, vendors and industry leaders. Still, everywhere we turn there is a Canadian presence. So far, Collision Repair magazine has counted more than 250 franchisees from Canada in attendance.
Michel Guerette, National Director, Business Performance at CARSTAR Canada says it's "Great to bring together the large multi-store operators from Canada and the US."
Taking place August 23 to 25 at the Westin Hotel Charlotte, and at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, CARSTAR's 1NE conference may be the collision repair industry's single largest multi-store owner (MSO) network event.
This may only be the first day, but already you can tell there are warm feelings of comraderie among the attendees. "We are excited to offer our North American MSOs an opportunity to congregate with each other as we continue to be one CARSTAR," says Ryan Anderson, North American Training and Development Manager for CARSTAR. "They really are the heartbeat of our network."
The conference includes sessions on strategic planning, management and technical education sessions, panel discussions, motivational speakers, an insurance industry forum, and a special appearance by NASCAR legend Jeff Gordon. Attendees will have the opportunity to visit to the Charlotte Motor Speedway for a vendor expo and may even get to take some laps on the 1.5-mile track.
The attendees we interviewed couldn't be more excited. Eric Leveille of CMAX says it's, "Great to be in Charlotte at the CARSTAR North American conference."
CARSTAR US joined Driven Brands in 2015. Driven Brands purchased CARSTAR Canada in 2016, and soon the Canadian and US arms were integrated to become CARSTAR North America. Driven Brands is headquartered in Charlotte. Combined with the city’s worldwide reputation as auto racing hub, it’s a fitting place to host CARSTAR’s first combined conference.
“Over the past year, CARSTAR has expanded its presence as the most dynamic company in the collision industry. Our conference will reflect this with an event where store owners, business leaders, vendor partners and insurance companies come together to help build the collective industry for the future,” said Michael Macaluso, President of CARSTAR North America. “This is the largest MSO network event of the year, with an incredible lineup of speakers, educational events and networking opportunities exclusively for the CARSTAR store owners. This is just one of the many resources we provide store owners in the CARSTAR family, and a powerful tool for them to help them gain the edge, grow their business and improve their operations."
Collision Repair magazine is here on the scene throughout the conference and will be bringing you updates live via twitter at @collisionmag, and make sure to watch for more updates on collisionrepairmag.com!
For more information on CARSTAR, please visit carstar.ca.