FenderBender Management Conference Day 2

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LOMBARD, Ill., Sept. 28, 2017—The first full day of the FenderBender Management Conference was filled with networking events, sessions and panel discussions.

The day got a jumpstart with Purple Heart recipient John Kriesel’s keynote speech, “Still Standing. Still Smiling.” Kriesel lost his legs when he was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq. He died three times on the operating table, but after four hospitals, 35 surgeries and nine months of rehabilitation, Kriesel walked out of Walter Reed Army Medical Center with a renewed outlook on life.

Two of his friends were not as lucky and did not make it out with their lives. Kriesel said that for him, finding out that two of his best friends had died was rock bottom, but it was also the moment that he really started living his life.

"I got a second chance at life and I wasn't going to waste it," Kriesel said. "You will all face adversity in life. You will all get through it and be stronger for it." 

After the keynote, attendees enjoyed a full day of sessions, panels and FenderBender Talks, which are a way to provide attendees in-depth conversations about the industry’s most pressing issues.

FenderBender columnists Mike Anderson and Kevin Rains, along with renowned shop operators Jason Boggs and Matthew McDonnell, were among the featured speakers.  

The day concluded with the event’s official reception party at Pinstripes. Bowling, bocce ball, food and drinks capped off the day.

The FenderBender Management Conference is a three-day, hands-on educational event for owners and operators of auto service businesses. The event closes Friday with a full slate of business-building breakout sessions led by some of the industry’s top operators. For more information on the event, and a full schedule of events, visit

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