I am thankful that I get to work with so many Rock Stars. Or maybe they could closer be described as Superheroes. These are absolutely remarkable people who stand up and stand out; heads and shoulders above the rest.
In the past 60 days I’ve been immersed in the work we’ve done with education and legislation for our membership and community. Getting to spend more time with Aaron Schulenburg, Mike Anderson, Toby Chess, Ray Gunder, Barrett Smith, Brent Geohagan and every single first responder who came to the WMABA-organized member-hosted Emergency Vehicle Extrication classes made it clear to me that there are extraordinary people doing seemingly ordinary things each and every day.
Before I talk about those amazing individuals, I want to say a “thank you” to our own amazing men and women to serve on the WMABA Board of Directors (page 43). They tirelessly work together with me and our staff, which is away from their business or family, to help make our area collision industry better. They are truly selfless, and you should take the time to thank them for looking out for you!
SCRS’ Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg is supported by a solid Board of Directors made of our country’s finest shop owners and managers, and standing on those stilts of steel he continues to impress with his charismatic and direct way of affecting positive change for our industry. This includes the always improving Repairer Driven Education hosted by SCRS at the SEMA Show each year. Truly a one-stop shop for getting the best educational and business building experience that the automotive industry has to offer. WMABA is so proud of our affiliation with SCRS. If you want to make next year a hit then buy your ticket to Vegas for next year’s show!
Ray Gunder, Barrett Smith and Brent Geohagan are what I lovingly refer to as David, his slingshot and the rock, in that order (from the David vs Goliath story of the Old Testament). Ray has been truly blessed to have such success through perseverance coupled with the team of wonderful and skilled folks around him. They are a point of light in a usually grim world. They give others uplifting and helpful advice at the expense of their own businesses, which is truly unselfish. Their story shows that they are the better men up against giants.
Mike Anderson and Toby Chess are two of the best instructors our industry has, in my humble opinion. After having Mike teach his estimating seminar in late August (see in October issue of H&D), having Toby come out the following month is just overwhelming. These two men care so much about you knowing how to fix cars properly and with the tools to get paid for it, that they offered their time to us at no charge. I hope the next time we have education of this caliber in our area that you take advantage, because opportunities like these are not always available a second time around.
As WMABA explores avenues for community outreach, we had three member shops recently do a free vehicle extrication class for area first responders, primarily fire rescue workers. (See page 14) These emergency personnel are dedicated, hardworking people who come ready to learn and engage and are so appreciative of our host shops who afforded them this opportunity to not only learn about new vehicle technologies but apply it with their tools on those same newer vehicles. They truly are the first line of defense for our customers in an accident, and deserve to be recognized for the commitment they show in the advancement of their education to save lives.
Take some time to think about the Superheroes in your life, and thank them for all they do. Sometimes just a phone to tell them that you appreciate them is all the encouragement they need to continue on their road to greatness.