2019 FenderBender Awards: Marie Peevy
Marie Peevy was at the 2016 CIC meeting in Palm Springs when suddenly, she became very ill and was rushed to the hospital where, to her surprise, she found out she had liver disease.
The culprit? Hepatitis C, which she contracted from a blood transfusion, 26 years earlier, resulting in Cirrhosis and at that moment in Palm Springs, esophageal varices. Later, thanks to the medical breakthrough of Harvoni the summer before, Marie was able to be completed cured of Hepatitis C and is much better. She credits organizations like the American Liver Foundation and the work they do in supporting medical research for her health success.
She was able to complete treatments due to a medical breakthrough of Harvoni the summer before and is fine today, but without the help of other groups like the American Liver Foundation raising money for treatments and support, she might not be where she is.
“They did awareness campaigns and collected funds for treatment and ultimately saved my life,” Peevy says. “I decided in that moment that I had to pay it forward.”
Today, Peevy is a member of the American Liver Foundation Great Lakes Region Board of Trustees and also took her passion for paying it forward to the collision repair industry. Among her many industry involvements: She is currently on the board for the Women’s Industry Network for her third term, co-chairs the WIN Most Influential Woman (MIW) committee, is a member on the WIN industry outreach committee, member of the Scholarship Committee for the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), she co-chairs the National Auto Body Council’s Awards Committee, was the IL I-CAR Committee Chair and member of SCRS.
When she’s not managing her own business, Automotive Training Coordinators, she volunteers in her community to help spur education opportunities. For instance, she co-founded a local middle school booster club and is treasurer of the local PTA .
“Marie is truly motivated, not by money, but by a sincere desire to help others,” her husband, Jeff Peevy, nominator, president of the Automotive Management Institute and the chairman of the Collision Industry Conference, says. “She started her company after seeing the struggles that shop owners and managers had as they attempted to keep up with training requirements.”
Peevy has spent much of her industry career dedicated to helping others. In fact, she started her business to assist collision repair shops in managing and coordinating training to meet requirements because she saw so many struggling with it.
“One of the things I kept coming back to in my career, has been that connecting in person with others is important to success,” Peevy says. “We can follow processes and directions,but connecting one-on-one with others in the industry is what ends up being the most impactful.”
At the time she started her company, I-CAR was one of the most prominent training certification programs out there, but today, shops need to juggle I-CAR training with insurance company training, paint company training courses and OEM training requirements.
She’s determined, honest, sincere and not afraid to look at old processes in a new way.
Through her work, she helps a large number of collision repair shops in the U.S. Her goal is to help shop owners be able to wear their other “hats” while she helps focus on what training requirements and classes they need to complete. It’s one aspect of the job taken off their plate but it’s a significant one at the end of the day.
Peevy travels to industry events throughout the year, like SEMA, the Collision Industry Conference and the WIN conference (she was awarded the 2018 Most Influential Woman award, which recognizes women that have enriched the industry with their leadership, commitment and vision to excellence), so she can relay information back to her clients who often can't take the time to travel and attend industry events.
She has dedicated 13-plus years of her life to helping other women overcome struggles in the industry and has followed in the footsteps of her mentors, TGIF Body Shop owner Kathy Mello, and her husband, Jeff.
“I believe everyone has strengths and weaknesses,” Peevy says. “When you work with mentors, you get the unique opportunity to see what worked for them and what didn’t.”
In fact, all of Peevy’s efforts toward the collision repair industry would be hard to document, says Jeff Peevy.
“She is quick to volunteer to help make our industry a better place,” he says.