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Heavy Duty Repair Forum

Jim BarberDirector, Fleet Sales & Service, Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC

Jim Barber manages the Bendix sales and service team for the western half of the U.S. as well as Mexico. Jim’s career in the commercial vehicle market spans over 30 years. He brings practical experience in service, dealer and fleet sales, and OEM account management.  Barber joined Bendix in 2012 as an OEM account manager after working in the automotive and heavy-duty industry. During his tenure with the organization he has progressed through the sales organization, holding key account management roles. Jim began his career as a diesel mechanic and holds a degree from Mercer County Vocational Technical School and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from American Intercontinental University.

Robert BraswellExecutive Director of TMC, American Trucking Associations

Robert M. Braswell is the Executive Director for ATA’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC). Robert is responsible for ensuring the effectiveness of all TMC programs, products, meetings and services covering all aspects of light-, medium-, and heavy-duty vehicle engineering, maintenance and maintenance management.

Since 2005, he has served as co-host and content producer of the weekly coast-to-coast satellite radio segment, “Tech Talk with TMC” on “The Dave Nemo Show,” produced in partnership with Dave Nemo Entertainment and heard on SiriusXM Channel 146 every Tuesday at 10 am eastern. The show provides technical information and exchange on a wide range of technical issues to audience of U.S. and Canadian listeners.

Robert joined TMC in 1992 as Information Manager. He was named TMC Assistant Technical Director in 1994, and promoted to Technical Director in 1995. He was awarded the Council’s highest honor in 2004 — The Silver Spark Plug. He was named Executive Director in 2017. In 2021, he received Commercial Carrier Journal’s Career Leadership Award.

He has been a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) for 30 years; has previously served as a Member of SAE’s Truck & Bus Council and has chaired SAE’s Commercial Vehicle Maintenance Committee.

Len CopelandMarketing Manager, Detroit

As a Product Marketing Manager at Detroit, Mr. Copeland represents the full product portfolio of Detroit components, including electrified and conventional powertrains, axles, and transmissions, as well as Detroit’s industry-leading safety and connectivity technologies available for all Western Star, Freightliner, FCCC and Thomas Built Bus vehicles.  Mr. Copeland has held a variety of roles in his 28-year tenure with Daimler Trucks North America.  Prior to his assignment managing Detroit product marketing, he served as DTNA’s largest customers as an Account Executive with National Accounts.  Additionally, he has previously held roles as an Account Executive with Detroit, and a Product Support Manager with Freightliner.  Mr. Copeland earned his MBA at the University of Western Ontario’s Richard Ivey School of Business.

Karl CopenhaverOwner, Premier Coachworks

Karl Copenhaver became involved in the auto repair-collision business like many other second-generation children, he followed in his father’s footsteps. Karl’s father was a sportsman racer and mechanic on the local racetracks of his hometown of Lancaster, PA, continuing with his love of auto repair after relocating to the Los Angeles suburb of the San Fernando Valley in California. Karl was initially introduced as a child growing up helping his father with auto repair, body repairs, and painting projects on weekends.  Karl attended auto body, repair and painting trade school during high school, continuing his education and certification after graduating from high school.

Karl’s professional career started right out of high school, starting as an apprentice painter, working his way up through all levels of auto body repair and painting, parts management, estimating, and shop management working for many large collision repair centers in the Los Angeles area. Karl realized his dream of owning his own auto body and RV collision repair shop in 1999, eventually settling in the Arizona city of El Mirage.

Over 21 years later Premier Coach Works partnered with Fix Auto El Mirage has become the “Premier” Certified Auto & RV Collision Repair Center on Phoenix’s fast-growing westside area, we are a proud supporter of the 3M Company “Hire our Heroes” program as well a supporter of our local Phoenix Chapter of Make-A-Wish Foundation and the National Auto Body “Recycled Rides Program”.

Tom FarneyNational Specialty Vehicle Claims Manager, National General, an Allstate Company

Tom has been in the insurance claims arena for over 25 years handling and overseeing claims operations at the local, regional, and national level including material damage, casualty, and litigation.  For the past 9 years Tom has focused on building out claims ops for specialty vehicles including MD/HD trucks, trailers, and RVs.

James HeilStrategic Account Manager USCA, Fleet and Truck MSO, PPG Industries

Jim has been in the Collision Repair field for over 35 years and has been employed with PPG Industries for over 17 years. His career with PPG has always been focused on Commercial repair facilities. Jim is very knowledgeable in PPG’s Value Added Programs which help Commercial Repair facilities increase shop throughput, improve vehicle up time and deliver better collision center profitability. Currently, Jim leads a team of 7 specialists within USCA that focuses on providing these Value Added Programs to strategic Commercial Collision Centers and Fleets.

Curtis HemmelerExecutive Director, RV Technical Institute and SVP, RV Industry Association

Curtis Hemmeler is managing the establishment and launch of the RV Technical Institute’s new headquarters and training facility, as well as managing and executing the strategic business plan. He brings 20 years of professional experience in technical education and training to the RV Technical Institute. Prior to joining the institute, Curt was the vice president of operations and strategy for WyoTech, a division of Zenith Education that trains auto and diesel technicians. In that position, he led a team of over 300 across three locations. He has extensive experience with the sales, marketing, fundraising and developing community partnership. Curt is looking forward to building a first-class technical and educational program that will ensure that the RV industry’s success continues for generations and generations to come.

Jennifer KingBusiness Analytics Manager, Automotive Refinish, PPG Industries

Jennifer King has had extensive formal training and experience in practical application of Six Sigma and Lean during her 20+ years with PPG.  Jennifer’s PPG career began as a bench chemist formulating industrial paints.  In 2000, she joined the Refinish group and since has held leadership positions in technical, quality assurance, production, and sales support.  Jennifer’s passion for others, entrepreneur spirit, and innate drive for continuous improvement are contagious and easily seen in her home and work life.

Ron KuehnPresident, Collision Business Solutions, Inc.

Ron is an internationally known speaker, author, instructor, and business consultant with a passion for process improvement. Growing up in a family in the trucking industry and initially learning collision repair skills from his grandfather, Ron has held high-level positions with ICAR, Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes, and ABRA Auto Body & Glass. After a career of over 30 years in the Collision Repair Industry, Ron started Collision Business Solutions in 2007 and began sharing his problem solving principles with other business segments. Similar success is now experienced with clients in personnel management, veterinary, software, as well as a growing list of automotive and transportation service companies. Ron is a facilitator for several Axalta Business Councils, including a Heavy Duty Collision Group and a RV Collision Group. Collision Business Solutions also manages consulting and operational benchmarking services for the FIX Auto USA franchise and facilitates their Business Councils and Performance Groups as well.

Phil LangleyVice President - Client Services, SCA Claim Services

As the Vice President of Client Services for SCA Claims, Phil is responsible for account management, sales and service nationally.   A 31-year veteran of the property and casualty (P&C) insurance services industry,  Phil has been involved in leadership roles and innovative projects directly related to claims services ranging from vehicle appraisal, mobile repair services, temporary housing and collision estimating.

Prior to joining SCA Claims, Phil has worked with Premiere Services, MyKey Insurance Housing, PDA Corporation CCC Information Services and maintained an independent claims services consulting practice.

Lee LocklearCEO, Cutting Edge Solutions

In a career spanning over 30 years, Lee Locklear has held positions including Master Technician, Shop Foreman, Service Manager, Fixed Operations Director, Diagnostic Trainer, and SVP Sales and Marketing, among other responsibilities. This diverse experience allows Lee to understand the industry challenges from all points of view – the technician, the shop owner, the service manager, and the customer. As the CEO of Cutting Edge Automotive Solutions, Lee has led his company from humble origins in his home garage to a multi-million dollar company with international distribution.

Todd MathesApplication Engineer , 3M

Todd has worked for 3M for over 32 years in a variety of R&D, Sales, and Application Engineering positions.  He has spent the last 14 years in the collision market, focusing the last 4 years on Heavy-Duty Truck and Commercial Vehicle collision.  His Goal is to understand customer and market needs and bring 3M product and process solutions to the industry.

Steve LoveladyDirector of Sales - Truck Market, IMMI

Steve Lovelady is IMMI’s Director of Sales-Truck Market and is responsible for guiding IMMI’s truck market sales and service activities with OEMs, dealers and end users. Steve has more than 35 years of experience in the medium and heavy-duty truck marketplace at the OEM, dealer and component levels with an emphasis on sales, service, parts and marketing.

Before joining IMMI, Steve worked with companies such as Peterbilt Motors, Volvo Trucks, Detroit Diesel Allison, and Caterpillar representing them at the OEM, distributor, and dealer levels. Steve received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University. He is a member of the National Private Truck Council, Indiana Motor Truck Association, Tennessee Trucking Association, Florida Trucking Association, Kentucky Trucking Association, National Ready-Mix Concrete Association, American Trucking Association’s Technology and Maintenance Council, and National Tank Truck Carriers. Steve also serves on the National Advisory Board of the National Private Truck Council and has previously served on the Advisory Board for the Truck and Diesel Technology Program of Indianapolis Public Schools

Tyler RobertsonCEO, Diesel Laptops

Tyler Robertson is the founder and CEO of Diesel Laptops, which is the industry leader of providing diagnostic products, services, parts lookup and repair information to the commercial truck, construction, agriculture, off-highway, marine, and automotive markets. With over 15 years of experience working at commercial truck dealerships and IT background, Tyler has created a unique company that provides a variety of solutions to repair facilities across North America.

John SpotoHeavy Duty Commercial Fleet Manager, 3M

My name is John Spoto, 3M Heavy Duty Commercial Fleet Manager. My entire life, I have been involved with the commercial / automotive industry, with well over 45 years in collision repair.  As a Heavy Duty Commercial Fleet Manager, I spend much of my life working closely with commercial fleet facilities on current, up to date processes. My goal is to help initiate and eliminate constraints that lead into increased revenue. Also, being an I-CAR Instructor in Southwest Florida, affords me the opportunity to relate with everyone throughout the entire commercial repair process since many of the substrate materials in automotive are comparable to trucks.

Chris StewerfCFO/COO , Fairfield Auto & Truck Service, Inc.

Chris Sterwerf is the CFO and COO of Fairfield Auto & Truck Service, Inc. in Cincinnati, Ohio. Chris represents the second generation and has over 20 years of experience in the world of heavy-duty body repair, frame repair and refinishing of large vehicles and equipment. Chris is a graduate of Miami University, Oxford Ohio and attained a degree in Entrepreneurial Business with an emphasis on Insurance. He is also a graduate of AMI (Automotive Management Institute) with an accreditation of AAM (Accredited Automotive Manager). Chris attended the Natural Gas Vehicle Institute for training on CNG and LNG vehicles. He is now a Certified CNG Cylinder and Fuel System Inspector for Compressed Natural Gas Vehicles by the globally recognized CSA (Canadian Standards Association). Chris also holds several commercial painting certifications. Chris is an active participant in the industry and is a member of several associations, including: · ASA National (Automotive Service Association) · ASA Ohio · TARA (Truck Frame and Axle Association) · ATA TMC (American Trucking Association Technology Maintenance Council) Chair of Study Group S17 Collision Repair & Corrosion · ACOFAS (American Council of Frame and Alignment Specialists) · TRAO (Towing Recovery Association of Ohio) · Regular Attendee of NTHECC (National Truck and Heavy Equipment Claims Council) In 2012, Chris was appointed by Ohio Governor John Kasich to the Ohio Board of Motor Vehicle Repair and became the Board Chair in 2016. The Board works to protect the consumer and level the playing field for independent automotive repair businesses in the State of Ohio. Chris has appeared in trade publications and magazines, including Transport Topics, ABRN magazine, Fender Bender Magazine, HDT Magazine, Air Waste Management’s EM Magazine and Truck Parts and Service Magazine. Chris’ goal is to move the Heavy-Duty Truck, Commercial Vehicle, Emergency Vehicle, Equipment, RV and Bus world forward so all repairers can provide safe, consistent repairs across the country while maintaining profitability and an excellent customer experience.

David WillettVCE Vehicle Dealtership, Repair & Service, ProSight Specialty Insurance

David is responsible for Auto, Truck, Motorcycle and RV Dealership/Repair programs, bringing over 35 years of experience to this position. Prior to joining ProSight, he helped establish the actuarial department at Universal Underwriters before leading two divisions of underwriting and sales. David has shared his automotive and insurance knowledge in many publications and as a leading presenter at events like SEMA, CIC, and 20 Groups including Collision Advice. He is a member of WIN (Women’s Industry Network—Automotive) and a Gold Pin member of CIC (Collision Industry Conference), contributing on two national committees. David graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in Economics.

John WebbVice President | Partner, Ten Point Complete

John Webb has been involved with the automotive collision repair industry for over 20 years. His passion is helping clients understand the customer journey so that they can enhance the customer experience. By enabling clients with dashboards that visualize the measurement of a Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) or Net Promoter Score (NPS), clients are able to transform customer satisfaction from a catch phrase into a management philosophy that positive impacts company culture and financial results. Webb, a frequent author on the subject, is also a Net Promoter Certified Associate. He has spoken on the topic at SEMA, NACE and other industry events held by trade groups and clients. He has attended the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) for over 20 years and is a past member of CIECA (Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association) and supported numerous additional industry organizations.