Keynote Speaker Announced for FenderBender Management Conference

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John Kriesel

April 12, 2017—Military veteran and Purple Heart recipient John Kriesel will give the keynote speech at the 2017 FenderBender Management Conference.

In 2006, Staff Sergeant Kriesel was hit by a 200 lb. roadside bomb in Iraq. That day, Kriesel lost two fellow soldiers and his legs. On the road to recovery, he endured four different hospitals, 35 different surgeries and nine months of recovery.

After 10 years in the Army National Guard, Kriesel retired and received, among others, the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

Kriesel co-authored the book Still Standing: The story of SSG John Kriesel in 2010, which has won numerous national book awards. In 2010, he was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives but chose not to seek re-election in favor of spending more time with his family. He is currently the director of veterans services for Anoka County in Minnesota and serves as a part-time personality on the Twin-Cities-based KFAN Radio.

The keynote session, “Still Standing. Still Smiling,” will touch on Kriesel’s story of survival and his determination to overcome.

“You are not going to get blown up by a roadside bomb, but at some point you will face hardship—physical or emotional,” Kriesel says. “And you can deal with it.”  

The FenderBender Management Conference, scheduled from Sept. 27-29 in Chicago, will include educational sessions, deep-dive workshops, panel and roundtable discussions, and networking opportunities, all aimed at helping shop operators and managers make money, save money and work smarter. Conference sessions and speakers were inspired by the best FenderBender magazine content and the most pressing topics in the industry today.

For more information or to register, visit

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