BASF on the Future of Paint
Describe how your work at BASF Automotive Refinish Solutions relates to the collision repair industry.
As Director of Marketing for BASF Automotive Refinish Solutions from 2000 to 2007, I had the opportunity to develop strategy related to one of BASF’s four strategic pillars: “Help Customers Be More Successful.” I oversaw development and promotion of our suite of VisionPLUS Business Services and our Color Tools, which help drive productivity in repair facilities through tracking, benchmarking and best practices.
As Director of National Sales for the Refinish group, I now have the opportunity to help drive two other pillars in the BASF strategy: “Build the Best Team in the Industry” and “Ensure Sustainable Development.” My goal is to take our already responsive, knowledgeable and ethical sales organization and help move them to the next level of proficiency. BASF is a global leader in environmental awareness and developing eco-efficient products and processes. My view of the BASF Refinish Sales group is that of undisputed leader in the waterborne transition. Our internationally tested and proven waterborne and UV cure products provide the platform for our sales team to provide a completely compliant refinish system that can be implemented with little or no disruption to the production process.
When did you realize that collision repair was something you wanted to affect from a paint-industry perspective?
I was a third generation paint distributor in Upstate New York. As a teenager working part-time in the family business, I was frequently in collision shops talking to owners and technicians about the repair industry and how to improve it. At age 22, after the untimely death of my father, I took the business over and began building business relationships with shop owners and managers throughout the market areas we serviced. We facilitated training for painters and body technicians, installed equipment and provided an array of services to help improve shop performance. Attracting new and qualified people into the industry was a challenge then as it is now. Looking back, I think that may have been the turning point — helping to attract quality people, providing necessary training and general image improvement became a very important success factor as we serviced our customers.
Waterborne paints aside, what else does the future hold for automotive refinish?
Without question, waterborne coatings are a critical and highly visible issue in refinish today. Tomorrow, look for even more eco-efficient products including UV curable coatings and even higher solid materials. Much of the current chemistry being developed for coatings covers an area known as “nano” technology. Nano will improve the durability, appearance and characteristics of the refinish products and provide new chemistries that could potentially change the way we work with paint in the future.
What was it like to be inducted into the Collision Repair Industry’s Hall of Eagles?
It came as a complete surprise. Induction is a result of a vote by the existing Eagle membership; that in itself is a distinct honor when you consider the list of industry giants in the Hall. Recognition also considers contributions made to the industry on a national basis, so, I think that it’s seldom one single attribute that leads to the Eagle pin. I can trace my early involvement in repair industry related issues to a 10-year period, while I was a distributor in New York serving as Secretary of the Western New York Auto Body Association. Over time I have been active on or chaired a variety of boards and committees, including CIC, the I-CAR Education Foundation and the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association’s (AAIA) PBE Executive Committee; and I am an active member of SCRS and ASA, immediate Past President of the National Auto Body Council (NABC), and was recently named to the Board of Directors of the Collision Industry Foundation (CIF).