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AkzoNobel gives first sustainability award at MIW event

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ATLANTA, April 14, 2010—AkzoNobel gave a body shop and a collision repair association its first industry sustainability awards at its annual Most Influential Women event on Wednesday.

The California Autobody Association and Park Place Bodywerks, based in Dallas, were awarded AkzoNobel’s FIT Sustainability Award for pursuing green-focused business initiatives. FIT stands for focus, innovation and talent. This is the first time AkzoNobel has presented this award, which was given in conjunction with the company’s 11th annual Most Influential Women in the Collision Repair Industry event. Six women from the collision repair industry who have demonstrated leadership in the industry received MIW awards.

“Our hope is that the FIT awards will be as successful in promoting the reduction of the carbon footprint of our industry as MIW has been in advancing the contributions of a valuable talent and resource pool,” said Arabinda (A.B.) Ghosh, general manager for AkzoNobel Car Refinishes Americas.

L-to-r  Frederica Carter, communications manager, AkzoNobel Car Refinishes Americas, Beth Meckel, body shop manager, MileOne Collision Center, Kristen Felder, CEO, Collision Hub. Carter and Felder present Meckel with her MIW award.

Recipients of the MIW awards:
• Erica Eversman, chief counsel, Vehicle Information Services Inc., Bath, Ohio
• Kimberly Hicks, president, MicroRim, Highland Park, Mich.
• Linda Sommerhauser, owner, Autobody Color Co. Inc., Kansas City
Beth Meckel, body shop manager, MileOne Collision Center, Glen Burnie, Md.
• Marcy Tieger, managing director, Symphony Advisors, Irvine, Calif.
• Janet Chaney, owner, Cave Creek Business Development, Stevensville, Mt.

The event was held at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, where AkzoNobel’s American operations are headquartered. The previous MIW awards events were held in conjunction with NACE in Las Vegas in the fall, but AkzoNobel decided to change the time and location of the event to coincide with three related industry events going on in Atlanta this week. The Collision Industry Conference and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists both held meetings in Atlanta this week, and the High Museum of Art has an exhibition of classic cars called The Allure of the Automobile. MIW attendees viewed the exhibition as part of the event.

“It was serendipitous to have all three events here at the same time,” said Tim Loden, director of marketing for AkzoNobel Car Refinishes Americas. “We decided to have [MIW] in conjunction [with them].”

AkzoNobel executives have not yet decided whether the company will resume pairing its award ceremony with NACE, or whether it will continue having it at a separate time and location. Either way, the FIT awards will become an annual tradition in the same vein as the MIW awards, said Loden.

“The goal of both programs is to recognize excellence in the industry,” said Loden.

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