By Colby Horton
Jon Owens, publisher of BodyShop Business Magazine, presented the BodyShop Business Magazine Education Scholarship during Friday morning's OE Forum.
Dick Delaere, controller for Autobody USA in Kalamazoo, 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 (ASA) 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.
Also presented at Friday morning's session was the BodyShop Business Magazine Executive of the Year. This year's award went to Gene L. Hamilton, owner of Sports & Imports Collision in Duluth, Ga. The award was also presented by Owens.
"He's passionate about what he does and has dedicated his life to doing what he can to improve the industry," said Owens. "Ever since joining the industry, he has felt it important to get involved beyond just running his shop day-to-day, believing that if you don't give back to the industry, it will stay the same as it is."
Mike Willins, editor of Automotive Body Repair News, presented this year's Emil Stanley Merit Award. The award is presented annually by AMI and ASA to an ASA collision repair manager or technician who has a strong interest in improving their business management skills. This year's award went to Lisa Gibson, business manager for Old Town Auto Body Inc. in Trotwood, Ohio.
Gibson has worked in the collision industry for eight years and has received I-CAR training in metal and plastic bonding, collision repair, finish matching, and steering and suspension. When not in the shop, she contributes her time to various community activities and organizations.