12/23/2020 by Kimberly Owens
Industry veteran Jeff Peevy, who has 20-plus years of executive management experience, has returned to I-CAR as Vice President – Technical Products, Programs and Services. We wanted to catch up with Jeff and ask him about his return to the organization and what he sees in the future of I-CAR and the collision repair industry.
Welcome back! What was your first day back at I-CAR like? What’s changed since you’ve been here and what hasn’t?
It felt like I was back home. In as much as things have changed, many things have not. The foundational things like vision, mission and overall purpose of the organization have not changed. Being familiar with the I-CAR five-year plan when I left in 2015 helped me understand many of the changes I am seeing. It’s been interesting at times as staff welcome me back that I in turn welcome them to I-CAR as well.
What is it about I-CAR’s mission that you believe in most?
I have spent my entire adult life working in the collision repair industry and have seen first-hand the positive impact training and more especially I-CAR has had on the industry. I have been around I-CAR since starting as a volunteer in 1990, so I have believed in our mission for many years. It is common for us to focus on shop recognition and its connection to training, but more importantly I-CAR has had a tremendous impact on driving professional growth at the individual level. I love the human side of how our organization has made such a difference. For instance, we have helped repair business owners be successful, we have helped individuals repairing vehicles improve and see themselves as the professionals they are, and we have contributed to a safer repair. So, we have helped families live better and safer. How special is that?
What do you have in plan for your first few months in your Vice President - Technical Products, Programs & Services position?
Well the first three months flew by, but my initial focus has been on fully understanding the changes and strategic direction and approaches of our organization. I also began the process of learning about my teams, what they do and how they do it. I am not one that will just jump in and start making changes until I feel I understand the current activity. Now having said that, we will be working as a team to understand how we can position ourselves to stay ahead of the momentum of change in technology. The industry depends on us to provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to repair the ever-changing vehicle. You will see the Technical Products, Programs and Services team bring about improvements as the learning experience we provide continues to grow in relevance, effectiveness and accessibility.
What was your main driver in making the transition back to I-CAR?
The opportunity to make the most positive industry impact possible during my career. As I mentioned earlier, much of my career has been invested in I-CAR and its vision and mission. In November of 2019, my wife Marie and I interviewed Matthew and Marcia Seebachan, which can be seen here, during the Collision Industry Conference. They had been involved in an accident while driving their previously repaired Honda Fit. This experience reinforced my belief in the important role technical training plays in a complete, safe and quality repair. So, I saw this new role aligning with my personal determination to impact the industry’s ability to repair the latest vehicles safely.
With this most recent move, what has been some of the feedback you’ve heard from the industry?
I have been humbled by the outpouring of industry support and encouragement. When the announcement was made, my phone’s voicemail stayed full for several days. I believe those that know me know my sincerity and determination to help the industry grow and improve. Most also know that it goes beyond a personal goal, as my wife Marie shares the same vision of a better, safer industry and we have worked as a team to do all we can.
What’s been your proudest accomplishment in the collision repair industry?
When I was asked to chair the Collision Industry Conference (CIC). That was humbling and such an honor. It also represented a tremendous learning experience.
What opportunities for I-CAR do you see ahead?
I-CAR is as needed today as it was in its earliest days. The rapid technological advancements of the modern automobile mandates that we think differently. For many years, knowledge was the key competitive advantage, but now I believe it is the speed and ability to learn. This applies to individuals and companies and most especially to I-CAR. Our ability to learn and understand the latest technologies and then efficiently deliver this information effectively to the industry is our role. As the industry faces these challenges, we will be there to support them.
Read more on Jeff Peevy’s return in the Collision Reporter: The Virtual Issue.