Monthly Archives: May 2014

Notes from the WIN Conference

I was recently honored and humbled to receive the Most Influential Women’s Award from the Women’s Industry Network in San Diego, California. For the first time, I attended the WIN annual conference where the award ceremony was held. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not much on drawing any attention to being a woman in a male-dominated field, and industry.

I’ve never been a fan of differentiation, and instead have been an advocate for recognition of a job well-done. Growing up with the desires to work on cars, then to become a welder, and then to join the collision industry, I always felt that my non-traditional callings weren’t normal, but not something that was a hindrance. All that said, I still think it is important for women in our industry to have a network of other women as mentors, colleagues and confidants.

Attending this event, I was open to understanding the vision they have of an organization “dedicated to encouraging, developing and cultivating opportunities to attract women to collision repair while recognizing excellence, promoting leadership, and fostering a network among the women who are shaping the industry.” I saw that many of the attendees were doing just what I did when I first started to attend national meetings: to meet new people and make connections that could widen my network in the industry.

On top of making those connections, they offered motivational seminars and break-out educational meetings that anyone would have drawn from. The speakers were vibrant and moving in their material and gave many takeaways. I think men would have gotten the same from attendance as I did.

The goal of this conference was to “power up” women in our industry. Anything that boosts personal confidence, and understanding of work-place dynamic, is a positive. I realized that many of the women in attendance hadn’t had ever received motivational support, or the education that had received growing up in the industry. They didn’t have the same connections that I had and this was a great way for them to grow as a person.

If all the employers in our industry would take the time to empower their employees in this same way, then I could see us having a more positive work environment and stronger, more self-starting people.

I realized at the table awaiting the award ceremony that from the inception of the Most Influential Women’s award in 1999, I had a relationship with a woman honored each year since. Each of those women had been a friend, or a mentor, or at minimum a colleague of mine, and there is no way I could have understood or made my way through these past 16 years without them. I have a lot of respect for them, and a lot to be thankful for in knowing that.

I’m also truly thankful for my parents, who are also in the industry. My dad, Jeff Hendler (administrator and past Chairman for the Collision Industry Conference), who showed up at the conference to bear witness to my award. He’s been […]

By |May 13th, 2014|Categories: Executive Director, News|Comments Off on Notes from the WIN Conference

Mike Anderson Meeting – May Day, May Day! Can you hear me?!

May 1 is also known as May Day, and “May Day!” was a dominant theme for attendees of the recent Mike Anderson seminar put on through WMABA at the LKQ Training Center in Linthicum Heights, Maryland. With his usual boisterous and take me as I come or leave me personality, Mike gave attendees more than they bargained for. He says what needs to be heard without judgment, but instead with warning. Safety is his number one priority, and he wants every pair of ears to hear how vehicle technology is changing everything we know about collision repair processes.

Opening with The Rules, he first warns attendees to not mistake his passion for arrogance. Then it’s not too long after they figure out why; he asks for an audience “Amen!” for agreement similar to a high-strung preacher. His presentation is nothing short of refreshingly eye-opening.

“My goal was for everybody to understand that it’s important for us to still focus on cycle time – and I understand why people focus on severity – but safety needs to be more important than all of that. Whether you’re a DRP or non-DRP, when that customer chooses you to fix the [vehicle], they’re saying, ”I’m choosing you to fix my car because I trust you to look out for my best interest and do things the way they’re supposed to be done.’ Sometimes, shops take that too lightly; they don’t take it as seriously as they should.”

Covering everything between the definitions of required or recommended for reimbursement, to estimating for weld burn damage, there was something for everyone. Mike’s approach is to give tools and methods for learning, rather than giving quick fixes that fizzle or change over time.  Instead, he focuses on the long-term solution of student-initiated learning and adaptation.

“A lot of people aren’t aware of what it takes to fix a car properly. I don’t mean that disrespectfully; it’s just that the industry is changing so fast that it takes a lot to keep up on things today. You really have to spend time on training. There are times when I do classes where you have a lot of naysayers [who say], ‘This will never work.’ But I didn’t sense any of that negativity; people seemed to be like, ‘Yeah, I got it. I understand it and I can do it.’”

If you didn’t make the meeting, there are several FREE websites or products Mike wants you to know about: – FREE! The Database Enhancement Gateway is the repairers’ tool for asking estimating database questions about missing part numbers, missing or inaccurate labor times, or p-page questions. This underutilized tool is a big reference for all things estimating. – FREE! Mike’s website has all the forms, links and tools that he covers in all of his seminars, free to download. So, what are you waiting for?! – FREE! Missing labor operations? How would you know? This website will go over your entire […]

By |May 1st, 2014|Categories: News|Comments Off on Mike Anderson Meeting – May Day, May Day! Can you hear me?!