I-CAR Honors Bergstrom Automotive Body Shop Manager Joel Preissner for Contributions to Collision Repair Industry Training

Hoffman Estates, IL
April 21, 2015
Preissner joins Mike Hoke of Abaris as 2014 Tech Center Award Honorees

I-CAR, the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair, recently presented its Robert Author Smith Tech Center Award to Joel Preissner, body shop manager for Bergstrom Automotive in Neenah, Wisconsin. Bergstrom is one of Wisconsin’s largest automotive groups and has several Gold Class® shops. Preissner joins Mike Hoke, president of Abaris Training Resources, Inc., of Reno, Nevada, as a 2014 award winner. Hoke received the award at the national SEMA Show in Las Vegas late last year.

The honor is presented to individuals and/or businesses that have provided exceptional support to I-CAR course development, recognizing them for lending their knowledge and expertise as well as their commitment to bringing timely and relevant I-CAR training to the industry. This is the only I-CAR award not limited to those within the I-CAR network.

“Joel has made invaluable contributions to I-CAR’s efforts over the past year,” said I-CAR Director of Curriculum and Product Development Josh McFarlin. “He recognizes the importance of I-CAR programs and has made his shop and his time available to support the advancement of our training programs – helping benefit the entire I-CAR community for years to come.”

Preissner was named for helping to develop a new training role for the industry: the shop production manager, who manages the repair and customer-service process. He participated throughout the DACUM (Developing a Curriculum) process for the production management role and opened up his state-of-the-art shop a number of times during the year for I-CAR to conduct photo and video shoots for product development.

He was selected for the award by a vote of I-CAR Tech Center staff, comprising the organization’s Repairability Technical Support personnel, the product development team and the fulfillment group.

Preissner received the award at the body shop that he manages in Neenah, where he was surprised by I-CAR executives and Bergstrom Automotive Chairman John Bergstrom, who congratulated Preissner on the recognition. Bergstrom is committed to Gold Class, an I-CAR recognition that lets consumers know a collision repair shop has technicians who have received the standard of training required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs.

Hoke was instrumental in helping I-CAR instructors develop their expertise on carbon fiber repair and in developing the carbon-fiber training course. He worked extensively with I-CAR staff on the program’s development and trained the organization’s staff.

“Mike has been key to our ability to prepare ourselves and our members for the ‘technical tsunami’ of advanced structural materials and vehicle designs that is flooding the auto industry,” said I-CAR Director of Industry Technical Relations Jason Bartanen. “His expertise and commitment to our training program have elevated the entire community to new levels of collision repair knowledge and quality.”

The Robert Author Smith Tech Center Award is named for one of the guiding figures in I-CAR’s history. Smith, a collision-repair instructor at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, Wisconsin, for more than 30 years, was an early member of I-CAR’s board of directors. He played the principal role in forming the I-CAR Tech Center from the Fox Valley Tech Center. For nearly 20 years, the award in his honor has been presented annually to outstanding I-CAR supporters.