Dec. 13, 2012—A new collision repair association has been formed in Utah and will host its inaugural meeting in January.
The Utah Auto Body Association (UABA) is the first statewide collision repair association in Utah’s history. The organization was formed as a result of several industry changes, and the need for repairers to communicate and unite to overcome business challenges.
"There's been a growing interest in forming an association in our state for some time, given the rapid changes our industry is experiencing," said Bob Torrey, chairman of the UABA. "Our belief is we will be better equipped to handle the challenges facing us if we are united in our efforts and communicate well with each other. With the help of Janet Chaney of the CARS Cooperative, who was instrumental in helping us see the advantages of coming together and how to do it effectively, we've began making rapid progress toward this goal."
Torrey said the organization’s first orders of business are to recruit new members, provide training and education for participants, and work with Utah’s legislature to ensure the collision repair industry’s interests are represented.
Since filing preliminary documents to become a formalized organization, the UABA also joined the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) as an affiliate association. The SCRS now has 40 state and regional affiliate associations in its network, and represents roughly 6,000 collision repair businesses and 58,500 industry professionals.
"Getting exposure to a group of outstanding collision repair professionals like those found in SCRS, and their network of existing affiliate associations, will be very helpful to our members,” Torrey said. "They possess a lot of accumulated knowledge and experience, and can help us be responsive and effective in dealing with the issues that we will be facing in the coming years. With SCRS, we'll benefit from having a national profile, as well. Partnering with them will help give the Utah Auto Body Association credibility and information right out of the gate. They've already served as a model for us in many different ways."
Aaron Schulenburg, executive director of the SCRS, is scheduled to speak during the UABA’s first meeting in January.
"The boundless energy and enthusiasm of the Utah Auto Body Association will pay great dividends for the repairers in Utah who will benefit from having a united statewide voice for the first time," Schulenburg said. "It's always exciting to see new leadership step forward on behalf of the collision repair industry, adding to its strengths. We couldn't be more proud to mark the monumental occasion of welcoming a 40th affiliate association than we are with the addition of these passionate representatives from Utah. We're glad to be part of the association's formative process, and look forward to supporting their mission as they grow and mature in the future."