Time For Revival of the Southeast Chapter
|On October 2nd, our statewide Board of Directors held its monthly meeting in Raynham, MA, in conjunction with a scheduled meeting of the Southeast Chapter. That chapter has not operated really well for several years – during the last few years as part of the Massachusetts Auto Body Association (MABA), and the first couple of years after the merger of all collision industry associations into AASP. Certainly, people (most specifically, chapter treasurer, Tony Sampson, of Sampson Auto Body in Marshfield, MA) have tried to find ways to attract shop owners to chapter events, but strong efforts hadn’t materialized into any significant progress. Then, as frustrations reached a high point, Tony and the board decided that a revival of the chapter needed to take place. And, on that October night, it happened.
Approximately 45 people (including the statewide Board of Directors) were in the room, along with our association’s lobbyist, Marty Corry, and the well-respected Attorney Jim Castleman. Several questions came from the chapter members to the board regarding its work on several industry issues – Labor Rate Bill, “enhanced” direct payment plans, regulations and the ADALB, etc. – as well as more inquiries for Marty about other legislative matters (the “DRP” Bill – “yes, it will likely be filed again by insurers next year”) and Attorney Castleman about several legal issues for shops, including a long discussion on a shop’s role in total loss vehicles. These vigorous discussions were closed off for the final discussion of how the Southeast Chapter could move forward. Several suggestions came from the members and, at a point where it had become obvious, several people raised their hands in agreement to become involved as leaders of the revived chapter.
The new set of voluntary leaders of the Southeast Chapter are: Tony Sampson, Kevin Gallerani (Cape Auto Body, Plymouth), Bob Moran (Moran Marketing), Rob DelGallo (Factory Collision, Weymouth), Darlene Andrade (Wolpert Insurance), and Bob Powell (Harry’s Auto Body, Raynham). Certainly, many other members – newer ones and veteran ones – who attended this meeting are ready to help as well. It was decided that these chapter leaders would work over the rest of 2012 to put together a program that would ensure participation from local shop owners. An event was tentatively scheduled for February 2013 and Don Cushing from Bald Hill Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep & KIA (E. Greenwich, RI) pledged $500.00 so that members could attend this “kick-off” event free of charge. This enthusiastic group of members and generous suppliers, along with help from the AASP staff and the Board of Directors, can – AND WILL – stage a revival of the Southeast Chapter that will be a beneficial and important resource for local shop owners for years to come.