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CARSTAR Franchisees Reconnect on Day 1 of Conference

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 13, 2022)—The first of the three "C" words in big red letters behind Driven Brands Collision Group President Dean Fisher could not have been more appropriate for the occasion, the first in-person CARSTAR Conference since 2019.

"Connect."

There was plenty of connection and reconnection starting on Wednesday at the Gaylord Opryland resort in the Music City, as well as much discussion on the other two "C" words, compete and conquer. 

“It is so exciting to reunite with our CARSTAR family in person for the first time in two years, and the city of Nashville provides a dynamic background for this event,” Fisher said in a press release. “As the industry’s premier collision repair provider, these events are incredibly important to fuel our growth for the future. We have three days of inspiring speakers, education, collaboration, and celebration with friends, family and colleagues from far and wide.”

While Fisher took the stage Wednesday night to officially open the first day of the conference, scores of conference participants kicked off the festivities with a walk to raise money for cystic fibrosis, a cause of focus for the collision repair chain. Fisher then sat for a roundtable discussion with media on successes and challenges facing the organization, from the supply chain and labor shortage woes faced by shops across the country to how the company was able to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for an influx of electric vehicles across its floors.

"I think generally I would say our franchisees are happy with the tools and the processes that we're providing them, but I can tell you in the trenches every day, that's a tough moment," Fisher said in the discussion. "I don't think they're happy, to tell you the truth, I think they're unhappy that they feel that pressure. They just got through COVID, they're extremely busy, they've got pressure on their bottom line. I think that's a tough pill to swallow.

"At the same time I say that I think that our franchisees are innovating, they're concentrating on operational outcomes, we're assisting them and helping them with that. We're providing all the tools and all the mechanisms relative to what they can do to manage that. So they are much better off in a franchise organization or in a scaled organization that's providing that outcome."

Following Fisher's opening remarks Wednesday night, attendees also heard from Executive Vice President & Group President of Paint, Collision & Glass Michael Macaluso, after which time the 2022 U.S. and Canada Franchisees of the Year were honored.


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