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CROWNING THE KEMBERS

CARSTAR recognized its top franchise partners during its annual conference in July, where the title of 2022 Franchisee of the Year was given to CARSTAR Centennial Auto Group, led by Ezra, David and Robert Kember.

“The Kembers are a proud CARSTAR family with deep roots in their community,” wrote CARSTAR in its accompanying press release. “They continuously give back, whether through supporting local sports teams, church donations, or cystic fibrosis fundraising initiatives.” The Kembers recently expanded from a six-store MSO to eight locations through acquisitions. They also recently built a new 830 sq. m. (9,000-square-foot) facility to replace an aging store and will be adding a ninth purpose-built facility by the end of the year.

“It’s a little too early to feel the full effect of this award, but we are honoured,” Ezra Kember told Collision Repair magazine. “We joined CARSTAR with two facilities in 2004. In those early days, CARSTAR’s support with the direct repair partnerships was a key step in our success.” “We feel very supported by our CARSTAR family,” added David Kemper. “Dave Meery, our zone director, has driven a lot of our growth through informing us of new purchasing opportunities. He does a lot of work with us to help smooth out any transitions or industry challenges.”

Other Canadian CARSTAR honours went to Romena Deokinandan, owner of CARSTAR Newmarket, which claimed the Net Promoter Score (NPS) award; Colin Manuel, owner of CARSTAR Miramichi, who took home the Length of Rental (LOR) award; Lorenzo Pellicciotta from CARSTAR Oakville East and CARSTAR Oakville West, who snagged the Ironman award; and CARSTAR Torcam group, led by Javier Torres, Sebastian Torres and Liliana Galeano, who took the Marketing Award for their forward-thinking strategies in the post-pandemic era.

Left to right: Jeff Labanovich, COO, CARSTAR Canada; David Kember, David Burton and Ezra Kember, CARSTAR Centennial Auto Group; Jason Wong, recipient of the CARSTAR U.S. Franchisee of the Year award; Sabrina Thring, CARSTAR Operations U.S. and Dean Fisher, collision president, Driven Brands.
Romena Deokinandan, owner of CARSTAR Newmarket and recipient of the NPS award, with Gloria Mann and Allison Rogers of Media Matters.
Robert Kember was unable to accept the award with his family in Nashville; as his brother David put it, he was “holding down the fort.”

BUDDY SYSTEM

Facility owners in Nova Scotia can bring in an extra set of hands to help out thanks to a recent amendment to the province’s apprenticeship regulations aimed at meeting the demand for skilled trades.

Where previously apprenticeship training was intended to be a one-on-one experience between an apprentice and a journeyperson, the Nova Scotia government has amended the Apprenticeship and Trades Qualifications Act General Regulations to allow journeypeople to train up to two apprentices at a time.

Other amendments to the Act include increased flexibility for virtual supervision of apprentices and exempting youth apprentices from being included in the apprenticeship supervision ratio, in order to remove barriers to youth apprenticeship.

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