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CARSTAR hires new CEO, Dick Cross transitions to board role

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April 6, 2011 — CARSTAR hired David Byers, an experienced executive with a background in franchise operations, finance and marketing, as its new CEO, the company announced Tuesday afternoon.

Byers will replace former Chairman and CEO Dick Cross immediately as Cross transitions to a position on the company’s Board of Directors. Cross will work closely with Byers for the next 60 days to bring him up to speed. Warren Feldberg, chairman of Champlain Capital Management, which owns CARSTAR, will take on the position of non-executive chairman of the board.

Byers most recently served as chief commercial officer for Sirva, a Chicago-based global supplier of relocation and moving services operating under the Allied and North American Van Lines brands, according to a CARSTAR news release_notes. He was also CEO of the Mutual Fund Store in Overland Park, Kan., and chief operating officer for H&R Block in Kansas City.

“CARSTAR is well positioned for additional growth, and I hope to bring my years of retail, multi-unit franchise experience to bear in helping to significantly accelerate that growth,” Byers said.

Cross, who has been with CARSTAR since 2004, is credited with transforming the company into the well-known national franchise system it is today. He orchestrated the sale of CARSTAR to Champlain Capital Partners in 2008, helped create a financially stable platform for the company, strengthened its management team at all levels and developed its business process.

“Dick has done a remarkable job of navigating CARSTAR through a complicated and changing environment,” said Feldberg. “We are now well-positioned to continue growing as an outstanding franchising organization offering enormous value to our current and future franchisees by enabling and documenting industry-leading KPI's through every store in our system. My partners at Champlain and I want to thank Dick for his many contributions, and look forward to serving with him on the board going forward.”

This is the second big executive change at CARSTAR this year. In February, the company announced that Dan Bailey, its chief operating officer, would be transitioning out of his role after a decade with the company. The company announced two new hires at that time: Cecil Johnson will be the company's franchise development executive, and Brad Rein, who will serve as chief information officer.

CARSTAR Auto Body Experts is the largest group of branded collision repair facilities in North America. It has more than 380 locally owned and operated locations in 30 states and 10 Canadian provinces. It has repaired more than 2.5 million vehicles since it was founded in 1989.

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