Tom Bissonnette appointed SAAR Executive Director

Tom Bissonnette has recently accepted the position of Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Association of Automotive Repairers (SAAR). Bissonnette takes over from Bill Ziebart, who has recently retired.

By Tom Davis

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan — October 10, 2017 — Tom Bissonnette, former owner of Parr Auto Body and former Chairman of the Canadian Collision Industry Forum (CCIF), has been appointed as Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Association of Automotive Repairers (SAAR).

Bissonnette, who previously wrote Collision Repair magazine’s “Prairie View” column, officially started the position on October 1 after taking over from predecessor Bill Ziebart who retired from the post.

After selling 90 percent of his former business, Parr Auto Body, to the staff who worked there, Bissonnette took a year out of the industry to focus on home renovations and travelling. After seeing the vacancy at SAAR, he was eager to make his way back into the industry.

“I still have a lot of enthusiasm and energy for the collision repair industry. I want to use my experience to be a mentor for the young people coming through the sector, while adding a lot more value to SAAR’s existing members. I feel like I can make a positive difference for our members,” said Bissonnette in a recent interview with Collision Repair magazine.

During his tenure, Bissonnette will focus on providing more value to SAAR members through increased training in both technical and soft skills. Meanwhile, the organization will help shop owners adjust to the changes involved in dealing with Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) as shops become the primary estimating and claims processing stakeholders

Bissonnette will also implement the addition of two conferences each year, one in the spring and one in the fall. The conferences are another method of adding further value for the association’s members, with a focus on both soft and hard skills as well as hands-on training.

“SAAR is probably on of the more active provincial autobody associations throughout Canada, and we want to be the ones setting the standard of what a provincial association in the industry should like. We will engage with our member shops and partners to prove that, even if we sometimes disagree with each other on certain topics, we can work together to improve the industry,” said Bissonnette.

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