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2018 ISSUE 5



Get an inside look at I-CAR's product development process.

In this issue, you will find:

  • Training Panel with Three Industry Experts
  • Anatomy of a Training Course – From Concept, to Course Design and the DACUM Difference
  • 24K Gold – Three Lessons from Highly Trained Collision Repair Shops
  • It's 1979 All Over Again
  • What’s New at I-CAR
  • And Much More!

  Bonus Content


Inside I-CAR’s Tech Center

For a taste of what this dramatic change was like, check out the pilot episode of MotorWeek from 1979.



11 Questions with a Damageability Engineer

11 Questions with a Damageability Engineer CoverPhoto
Want more Q&A with Gerry Bonanni?


Three collision repair executives provide a real-world perspective on the value of training.

Michael Bradshaw
K&M Collision

Bill Burke
Gerber Collision and Glass

Steven Schmidt
State Farm

Q1 – Why does your organization make a commitment to training – what is the value proposition for your organization?

Q2 – Has that always been the case – a culture of training – or can you recall a watershed moment when you fully embraced training?

Q3 – Before a single training course is developed, extraordinary field research is performed to identify and evaluate curriculum voids, and the ideal course to close the gaps. Please comment on the relevancy of training.

Q4 – What role have you personally played in course development or feedback/testing?

Q5 – There's the cost of training vs. the cost of not training – any insights on this?

Q6 – As an important "customer" of I-CAR training, what aspects of the curriculum and training does your organization find most beneficial and impactful?

Q7 – What specific KPIs have you experienced directly tied to training?

Q8 – What do you believe are the biggest curriculum and training myths out there?

Q9 – Now, Before a technician enters the classroom, hundreds of hours have gone into the preparation of each and every course, so they can immediately put that training to use. Please comment on the immediacy and impact of training.


Jeff Silver
CARSTAR Mundelein

With over 50 years of demonstrated experience in the automotive industry, Jeff Silver’s career portfolio is nothing short of extraordinary. Following graduation from the University of Wisconsin, Jeff landed at General Motors as an automotive safety engineer. From there, he headed back to the classroom to earn his MBA before joining Blackhawk Automotive. There, here helped introduce new measuring and welding processes to the U.S. market. This led to his involvement with I-CAR, where he became executive vice president in 1985. The move to the then-new, not-for-profit serving the collision repair industry was a pivotal one, as I-CAR was just beginning to solidify its mission dedicated to complete, safe, and quality repairs for the ultimate benefit of the consumer.

Leading the I-CAR team for the next 11 years, Jeff would lay the foundation for what is now the industry standard for collision repair training. In 1996 Jeff and his wife Jeanne began the Illinois-based business, CARSTAR Mundelein-Butterfield. The shop is a longtime I-CAR Gold Class business, and Jeff is an I-CAR Platinum Individual. In honor of his dedication and service, I-CAR created the “Jeff Silver Award” for those individuals who have held the I-CAR Platinum designation for at least five years. Jeff still remains active in many aspects of I-CAR to this day.


Tom Kearns
Chief Designer
Kia Design Center America

Growing up in the automobile capital of America, Tom Kearns has a wide breadth of experience to bring to his role at Kia Motors. Kearns graduated from the College for Creative Studies in Detroit and began his career at General Motors Corporation. Kearns spent 17 years with General Motors, working on several high-profile assignments before transitioning to Kia in 2004. Kearns currently serves as Chief Designer—Kia Design Center America, in Irvine, California.

Gerry Bonanni
Senior Engineer, Paint and Body Repair
Ford Paint and Body Technology Center

It seems that Gerry Bonanni, Senior Engineer, Paint and Body Repair at Ford Motor Company, was born for the collision repair industry. Bonanni got his start in the industry at the young age of 12, when he completed his first paint job and restoration on his 1969 Ford Fairlane. In 1995, Bonanni graduated from Pittsburg State University with a degree in Automotive Technology, and from there, went to work for Ford Motor Company. His role as senior engineer, paint and body repair (commonly referred to as "damageability engineer") was perhaps most illuminated during his work on the aluminum 2015 Ford F-150. Bonanni has held his position as senior engineer since 2008, and has been with Ford Motor Company for over 23 years.

Michael Bradshaw
Operations Manager
K&M Collision

Michael Bradshaw is currently Vice-President, Operations at K&M Collision, Hickory, N.C. as well as the current Director-at-Large with the Society of Collision Repair Specialists. In the industry for over 11 years, Michael is also a member of I-CAR's Industry Segment Advisory Council (ISAC).


Bill Burke
Training Manager
Gerber Collision and Glass

Bill has been working in training and development for almost 30 years. Holding a degree in journalism, Bill started out writing training materials… pretty bad ones, actually. But working for Midas International at that time, the automotive service provider invested generously in Bill's development. Before long, Bill had earned certifications from some of the leaders in the training and development community, becoming an accomplished curriculum designer and a expert facilitator.

In addition to Midas, Bill has worked for Ace Hardware Corporation, Veolia Environnement, and now Gerber Collision & Glass. Additionally, Bill still delivers training and acts as a learning consultant on his own.

Over his career, Bill has designed hundreds of training programs and delivered several thousand hours of training every year since 1991. His expertise lies in customer service, management and leadership development, and trainer skills development.

Steven Schmidt
Program Director – Manufacturer Relations
State Farm

Steven Schmidt, Manager – Auto Manufacturer Relations, supervises a unit at State Farm whose responsibility it is to maintain relationships with the global auto manufacturing industry and with other industry organizations aligned with the manufacturing and repair of motor vehicles.

Steve started in the collision repair industry in 1980, and held a variety of positions as an apprentice, technician, structural technician and ultimately facility manager as he developed his career in this important industry.

Steve has been employed by State Farm for 31 years - 25 years in their Strategic Resources department in Bloomington, IL and six years in their claims areas in New Mexico. He is a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers, where he led a technical standard development division for six years, and served on the SAE Technical Standards Board for a three-year term. Steve has been an instructor for I-CAR for 30 years and is proud to maintain his Platinum designation, which aligns well with his never-ending desire to learn.

George Dobbs
Downtown Garage & Autobody

George Dobbs graduated from Emory & Henry College in 1982 with a degree in accounting, and started his career as a certified public accountant. George was the CFO and board member for a privately-owned multi-new car dealership operation for 14 years before buying the Downtown Garage in Fredericksburg, VA in 1998. George has partnered with his wife Susan in running the Gold Class recognized shop for the past 20 years.

Jim Guthrie
Owner and First Technician
Car Crafters

Jim Guthrie has always had a knack for taking risks and going fast. His passion for the collision repair industry has paved the way for Car Crafters, the business he founded in 1982, to continually receive national recognition. Over the past several years, Car Crafters has expanded from a single location to 7 locations around the Albuquerque and Rio Rancho metro areas. It is currently the largest MSO in New Mexico.

Guthrie's strength lies in his ability to assemble strong management teams that flourish under his leadership. He has a diverse entrepreneurial background and constantly finds innovative ways to take his business ventures to new heights. In 2005, Guthrie helped develop a management software system for the collision repair industry that is known today as Repair Center. Guthrie serves on numerous boards in major collision repair industry organizations.

Chris Becker
Central Autobody Rebuilders

Chris Becker graduated from South County Technical School in 1974, and immediately entered the world of collision repair at Central Autobody Rebuilders Inc. as an apprentice. By 1987 he had climbed his way to the top, buying the business and increasing yearly sales nearly 20 fold. Central Autobody has now been a Gold Class shop for 27 years, an accomplishment that reflects Becker’s personal motto that if you work hard, and stay up-to-date in training, anything is possible.