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by Colby Horton
ASA's Manager of Web Operations

Jon Owens, publisher of BodyShop Business Magazine, presented the Babcox Education Scholarship during Friday morning's NACE General Session.

Frank Paschal, an auto body instructor at Tuscola Technical Center in Caro, Mich., was the recipient of this year's Babcox Education Scholarship. The $1,000 scholarship is presented to an individual who owns or works for an Automotive Service Association member-business, and who has demonstrated a commitment to body shop management. The scholarship enables the recipient to attend NACE and take advantage of Automotive Management Institute (AMI) courses.

"This year's winner is a dedicated and skilled auto body instructor," said Owens. "Our winner has been instructing and guiding students and future technicians for approximately 18 years."

Paschal is also a Skills USA-VICA advisor, I-CAR certified, ASE-certified and teaches at a NATEF certified auto body program.

Also presented at Thursday morning's General Session was the BodyShop Business Magazine Executive of the Year. This year's award went to John Sweigart, principal for The Body Shop @ in Pittsburgh, Pa. The award was also presented by Owens.

"This year's winner is a unique executive. He's a true visionary who sees great potential and opportunity in our industry, where others see constraints and conflict," said Owens. "He's an executive who believes right now, new attitudes are more necessary than new equipment, and that lean and more efficient processes are more necessary than top line revenue growth."

Sweigart has spent 21 years in the collision repair industry. Starting from a hobby of restoring Corvettes, he eventually became manager of several Ford dealership bodyshops before becoming regional vice president for Sterling. After leaving Sterling, he started his own business .

"Today, our executive and his business partner have set out on a mission to change the collision repair industry," said Owens. "Recognizing that there is always a better way, they apply their lean manufacturing principles on a daily basis to deliver high quality repairs with great speed, at competitive prices."

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