Toronto, Ontario -- May 13, 2013 -- The public may now access documents online detailing the backgrounds of tow truck drivers.
Thorough driver records detailing indiscretions such as past sexual assault convictions, Highway Traffic Act violations or any other crime are now available on the City of Toronto's website.
The decision follows the recent discovery that there was a four year gap between the mandatory background and criminal checks tow truck and taxi cab drivers must be subjected to. The city responded with a pledge to increase the frequency of the checks to every two years, with the possibility of annual background checks.
Toronto City Councillor Glenn De Baermaeker motioned to direct city licensing staff to investigate areas of concern connected to making drivers' records public, not the least of which includes the precise information that should be made available online.
Drivers must submit background and criminal checks when they first apply for their licenses, which must then be renewed annually. It's hoped that the motion to increase the submission frequency of drivers' checks will put the public at ease about who they entrust their lives -- and vehicles -- to, creating greater transparency in the towing industry.
Provincial Towing Association of Ontario (PTAO) executive director Doug Nelson says there's a lot of value in having the reports accessible online to ensure drivers are complying with basic standards and regulations.
"To report all of the issues is a good thing," he says. "I don't see any issues or have any concerns with the information being available online, as long as the information being published is factual."
While stricter protocols for drivers in the City of Toronto are welcomed, Nelson feels it does nothing for the consumer outside Toronto's city limits.
"There needs to be province-wide regulations because there's nothing stopping drivers from going to another municipality and getting their license there," Nelson says.
He says the PTAO submitted a regulations proposal to the Ontario government to expand the initiative across the province in an effort to make sure drivers don't pose a risk to consumers' safety. While the Toronto initiative is a step in the right direction, he says it is just a single step towards greater regulation and access to information.
"Municipal licensing in a nutshell is too late for the towing community," Nelson says. "It would be much more valuable if it was at the provincial level."
Dubai, United Arab Emirates -- May 9, 2013 -- 3M Automotive Aftermarket division, in collaboration with Rover Auto Center, has inaugurated its first Authorized Bodyshop in Dubai. The facility is the first of its kind from 3M in the Middle East region.
The new 3M Authorized Bodyshop was inaugurated in the presence of Irfan Malik, Area Vice President, 3M Middle East & Africa and Mr. B.P Vidyanandhan, Managing Director and Owner of Rover Auto Center.
According to a statement from the company, the 3M Authorized Bodyshop has been established to offer high quality and professional collision repair services to car owners by using proven 3M solutions, combined with 3M's decades of global expertise in the automotive aftermarket industry.
Irfan Malik of 3M Middle East & Africa and B.P. Vidyanandhan, Managing Director and Owner, Rover Auto Center cut the ribbon to officially open the first 3M Authorized Bodyshop in the Middle East.
With the inauguration of the new centre, 3M Middle East & Africa says it has established a dedicated one stop shop for car collision repairs in the UAE. Strategically located in the Al Quoz Industrial area, and well equipped with the latest technology for collision repair and car detailing, the newly inaugurated centre will offer 3M's complete range of automotive solutions with the assurance of a fast turnaround time for damaged cars.
Commenting on the opening of the new authorized centre, Irfan Malik, Area Vice President, 3M Middle East & Africa said, "Latest innovations that offer unmatched value and convenience to consumers is the hallmark of our solutions at 3M. The authorized body shop that has been inaugurated today is yet another example of the seamless application of our sophisticated technology platform for the benefit of car owners. 3M automotive aftermarket solutions have created a niche for themselves in the UAE and we are confident that our latest offering in the realm of collision repair will witness similar success and consumers will benefit immensely with the introduction of this new concept."
"Rover auto center has been at the forefront of implementing best auto care practices over the last decade and this reputation has earned us the collaboration with 3M automotive,” said B.P. Vidyanandhan, Managing Director and Owner, Rover Auto Center. “Car owners can now experience agency repairs like service and professional support for their collision repair and car detailing services. 3M collision repair products are renowned for delivering high quality work and we are proud to offer these solutions to our valued customers as we begin our association with 3M."
With the launch of its first collision repair facility in Dubai, 3M has also expressed interest in opening similar facilities across the United Arab Emirates and wider Middle East region, in collaboration with existing centres with proven track record, professional management and excellent customer feedback.
"For the past 100 years, 3M's innovative solutions have been implemented across various applications by the automobile industry around the world and now the same products have been tailored for direct consumer use as they are made available at the 3M Authorized Body Shop Center", said Kevin Miranda, General Sales & Marketing Manager Automotive Aftermarket Division.
Norcross, Georgia -- May 9, 2013 -- AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings Americas is now accepting nominations for the 2013 FIT Sustainability Awards.
As a global leader in sustainability, AkzoNobel launched the FIT Program in 2009 in an effort to bring awareness and create a desire for change within the collision repair industry related to this critical global issue. FIT is an acronym for Focus, Innovation and Talent, the three key criteria for the award. The FIT program was established as an expansion of the Most Influential Women in the Collision Repair Industry Program.
The FIT award is presented to organizations and institutions that are on the leading edge of this issue and are seeking to advance sustainable business practices within the collision repair industry. Past recipients have included the California Autobody Association, Enterprise Holdings and Keenan’s Autobody, forerunners in their respective areas of the industry pertaining to the issue of sustainability.
2013 FIT award winners along with other industry leaders will participate in the annual AkzoNobel Sustainability Leadership Symposium. During this time AkzoNobel will also reveal plans for the AkzoNobel Education Challenge Grant for the Advancement of Sustainable Business Practices in Collision Repair. This grant, administered in collaboration with the Education Foundation, will go to secondary and post-secondary educational institutions and students that also choose to take a leadership role in advancing the sustainability movement within the collision repair industry.
“AkzoNobel is extremely pleased to be able to continue to promote this critical initiative within our industry,” said Mike Shesterkin, Director of Sustainability and Business Improvement for AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings Americas. “It is our goal to raise the level of awareness for sustainability in much the same manner as we did for diversity and women in the collision repair industry with the Most Influential Women in the Collision Repair Industry Program.
Deadline for submittals is June 30, 2013. Nominations can be placed by going to facebook.com/GoAkzoNobelAAC and click of the FIT logo or sending to
Stefani McIntosh joins Fix Auto Alberta as Strategic Partner Developer.
Mississauga, Ontario -- May 8, 2013 -- Fix Auto has announced that Stefani McIntosh has joined the team as Strategic Partner Developer for Fix Auto Alberta.
McIntosh has over 10 years of customer service experience. She was most recently involved in administration and production management at Fix Auto Calgary South Central. She joins Fix Auto with great knowledge of RepairCenter, estimating and working hand in hand with insurance partners. Most recently, McIntosh also executed leadership and participation during the 2012 Alberta hail catastrophe.
“Stefani possesses great attention to detail and has a strong passion for the body shop industry, she is truly a great asset to the Fix Auto organization. We are pleased to have her join the team,” said Peter Polito, General Manager, Fix Auto Western Canada.
McIntosh can be reached at 403-978-2676 or
. For more information, please visit fixauto.com.
Phoenix, Arizona -- May 7, 2013 -- The seventh annual Women’s Industry Network Conference kicked off Sunday evening in Phoenix with an amazing Welcome Reception. Members participated in this team building event with sombreros, salsa, margaritas, and of course, catching up with long-time industry contacts and making new ones.
Monday’s session started with conference emcees Petra Schroeder of DuPont and Yolanda Santor of BASF welcoming over 160 women from all segments of the collision repair industry to the conference. Schroeder and Santor also acknowledged Conference Student Scholarship recipients Zoe Gorrow from Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Kaitlyn Lease from Lexington Technology Center, Columbia, South Carolina. Collision Shop Employees Scholarship recipients were Lindsey Hassevort, Customer Service Representative at Holland Auto Body Xperts CARSTAR, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Myssee Grysen Customer Service Representative at Holland Auto Body Xperts CARSTAR, Grand Rapids, Mich.; Melissa Kaboos, Collision Repair Teaching Assistant at Kent Career Technical Center, Hudsonville, Mich.; and Amanda Bolton,Estimator at Gerber Collision and Glass, Jessup, Md.
The first day’s program included a keynote address on “The Promise of Optimal Motivation” by Susan Fowler, expert on the latest science of motivation.
"You are always motivated," said Fowler. "It is the quality of motivation you choose that makes the difference."
Following the keynote, the group took time, through facilitated discussion, to explore ways to apply keynote learnings to everyday life and business. Attendees shared personal experiences and how their motivation helped them to conquer and resolve these.
The afternoon session included a panel discussion on hiring and retaining top talent, legal considerations during the interview process and ways to keep employees engaged and committed to personal and company success. The lively discussion was facilitated by Denise Casperson with ASA and panel members included Marie Artrim with Enterprise, Stacee Royce with 3M, and Kathy Mello with TGIF Body Shop.
The WIN Annual Meeting was held over a beautiful Ritz-Carlton luncheon. WIN members welcomed new Board of Directors members: Beverly Rook-Twibell of Safelite Solutions, Melissa Miller of CARSTAR, Michelle Sullivan of AkzoNobel as well as Petra Schroeder of DuPont. Also acknowledged were new officers and Executive Committee of Chair Margaret Knell of I-CAR, Vice-Chair Denise Casperson of ASE, Immediate Past Chair Victoria Jankowski, Treasurer Shelli Andrews of Dana's Collision, and Secretary Terri Neely of Nagy’s Collision Center.
Teresa Bolton with ASE was awarded this year’s Cornerstone Award, an honour given each year to a board member that exemplifies the values and ideals of WIN.
Also recognized were WIN’s 2013 Corporate Sponsors: AkzoNobel; DuPont; Allstate; ASE; BASF; Enterprise Rent-a-Car; State Farm Insurance; Hertz; 3M; Sterling Autobody Centers; Valspar Automotive; Geico; Fix Auto; CARSTAR; PPG; ABRA Auto Body & Glass; CAPA; FinishMaster; Sherwin Williams; Mitchell; CCC Information Services; Insurance Auto Auctions; AudaExplore; Certified Auto Parts; Dent Wizard; FinishMaster; MetLife Auto & Home; PPG; Safelite Solutions; Service King; and Symphony Advisors.
“We want to thank every one of our sponsors for their support of WIN. Their commitments are essential to achieving our mission of engaging women in the collision repair industry,” said Margaret Knell, WIN’s chair. In addition, special recognition was given to the following 2013 Conference sponsors: Enterprise Rent-a-Car; FinishMaster; Toyota; MetLife Auto & Home; PPG; ABRA Auto Body & Glass; and AudaExplore.
London, Ontario -- May 6, 2013 -- Bob Onyschuk, Director of Enforcement for the Ontario College of Trades (OCT), will be on hand at a special evening information event organized by Collision Industry Information Assistance (CIIA). Onyschuk will explain the college’s mandate as part of an event that also includes information on the new CASIS Vehicle Security Professional (VPS) program and an update on collision repair related activities at Queen’s Park.
The event takes place May 7, in Room Z2005 at Fanshawe College in London, Ont. In addition to information on the OCT’s mandate and the VSP program, upcoming highlights include health and safety hoist updates, an update on association and industry activities, new options for the 386 salvage inspection stations and a discussion on insurance company parts procurement programs.
The information evening sponsored by Standard Auto Wreckers, Class Bumpers & Fenders and iCoat.
CIIA requests that anyone interested in attending call 1-866-309-4272 for details. An admission fee of $10 will be charged at the door to help cover costs.
This is the third of 10 meetings CIIA plans to hold across Ontario. Each evening event runs from 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Below is a list of the upcoming workshop events. Bob Onyschuk of OCT will be in attendance at the meetings scheduled for Vaughan, Burlington, both Toronto events, Oshawa and Barrie.