History of SCRS


The beginning of shops coming together to help other shops—the beginning of ‘Working Together’ to become an association that would one day be ‘Repairer Driven.’


 

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) was founded in Riverside, Missouri in 1982. At the associations onset, the phrase “Working Together Is The Most Important Work We Do” was recognized as a hallmark of the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS, the Society). Truth be told, the theme of repair facility unification infused the organization from the start.

The collision repair industry in the decade before the birth of SCRS - the 1970s - was different in many ways, notably its fragmentation. “Practically every shop was an independent,” recalls Iva Dehn, who along with her husband Fred, witnessed the birth of the Society. “That may sound good today, but in practice it wasn’t. Shops looked at each other with suspicion; each convinced their competition was out to take food off their family’s table.”

With communication next to non-existent, the trade consisted largely of strangers with each facility an island unto itself. Not a great model even in a stable market, and as the decade came to a close, signs began to surface indicating imminent industry upheaval. It wasn’t just advancements in technology, such as the introduction of the unibody vehicle. The new vehicle structures, together with advancements in refinish materials and a lack of industry-accepted training, caused perceptive shop owners to feel as if certain market dynamics were wrestling away control of their businesses.

“There wasn’t a collective industry voice, and that left the industry vulnerable,” states Past SCRS Chairman Bill Eveland, also a participant in the formation of the Society. “In fact, when some of us in the Kansas City area began to throw around the idea with other like-minded individuals of forming a group that would help us improve as collision professionals, some repairers feared retaliation.”

Despite their apprehension, their conviction grew, and the feeling that the industry had to do something. Then it was only a matter of time until the right catalyst kick-started the movement toward a national organization solely dedicated to collision repair.

Dehn continues, “Fred and I attended a meeting in North Kansas City, and at that meeting a man stood up. This gentleman was neat, clean and he wore a suit. He spoke with knowledge, power, wit and humor. He said that the person across the table was neither demon nor monster, that he or she was a body shop person just like us. Suddenly, it became obvious we had a better chance of solving some of our problems if we worked together. Later that evening with the meeting over, we all stood out in the parking lot even after it began to rain, and really talked to each other for the first time. That night’s speaker was none other than John Loftus. He had already made a difference in our lives.”

Rochelle Wicklund, who also attended that meeting with her husband Past SCRS Chairman Bill Wicklund, likewise recalls the dramatic effect Loftus had on the crowd. “My husband Bill and I—as well as Bill Eveland and the rest of those in attendance—felt that John was the man that could put a face on the type of group we had discussed. He talked about cleaning up our shops and having professional offices. It was evident that he knew what we were going through and what needed to be done to change our industry. It wasn’t long before we had another meeting, this time at Gene Parks’ Body Shop in Riverside, Missouri.”

“I’m not certain of the precise sequence of events,” adds Eveland, “but by the time we met at Gene Parks’, a group of us had talked a bit and a loose agenda had been put together.” That night at Gene Parks’ was a fateful one. Cars were moved back in the stalls and the floor was swept clean. Folding chairs were brought in to form a semi-circle in the middle of the shop and the anxious owners and technicians milled together. A side door opened, and John Loftus stepped through. After a round of hand shakes, the group got down to business. Though the details had yet to be worked out, those in attendance knew they wanted to form a group and that John needed to lead it.

“We realized we needed numbers if we really wanted to effect change,” explains Dehn, “and to do that we had to reach out to at least every shop in the Kansas City area. We discussed it some more, and John informed us that there were others beyond our local horizon that had the same thirst to reach out and join with others. The fire really started to burn in us then, as we began to ponder the possibilities that might come with the creation of a true national body shop association.” That was the beginning of shops coming together to help other shops—the beginning of ‘Working Together’ to become an association that would one day be ‘Repairer Driven.’
 

 

Past Chairpersons

Don Caldwell
1982 - 1984
 
Jeff Cowan
1984 - 1985
 
Bill Wicklund
1985 - 1986   
 
Chuck Sulkala
1986 - 1987
 
Rex Womble
1987 - 1988
 
Bill Payne
1988 - 1989
 
Paul Hutton
1989 - 1990
 
Bob Jones
1990 - 1992
 
Nikki McDonald
1992 - 1993
 
Jeff Hendler
1993 - 1994
 
Rich Goodwin
1994 - 1995
 
Bill Eveland
1995 - 1996
 
Darrell Malott
1996 - 1997
 
Bill Bailey
1997 - 1998
 
Don Long
1998 - 1999
 
Phillip Bradshaw
1999 - 2000
 
Gene Hamilton
2000 - 2001
 
Don Keenan
2001 - 2002
 
Joel Lofton
2002 - 2003
 
Lou DiLisio
2003 - 2005
 
Tom Moreland
2005 - 2007
 
Farzam Afshar
2007 - 2008
 
Gary Wano
2008 - 2009
 
Barry Dorn
2009 - 2011
 
Aaron Clark
2011 - 2013
 

Ronald Reichen
2013-2015
Immediate Past Chairman

Founders of SCRS

Louis Altazen Dave Baltz
Bob Burns Don Caldwell
Jeff Cowan Jack Cowan
John Daniel Lloyd Diveley
Bill Eveland Jack Fallucca
Connie Fandino Mike Fonzone
Jerry Frese Ed Garneau
Fred Hamilton Paul Hutton
Dave Keilholtz John King
Chuck Lamme Steve Lau
Terry McDonald Gene Park
Ivan Perkovic Ben Radsma
David Rouse Jack Smith
Bruce Smith Dan Sommerhauser
Bob Swain Bill Wicklund
Rex Womble John Woodard

Charter Members of SCRS
John Arnold Doug Boazman
Owen Boedeker Phillip Bradshaw
Linda Brock Dick Brockway
Phil Brown Ron Butler
Walt Chaney Sharon Dalrymple
Frank Demeke Brian Dittmer
James Doran, Jr. Dan Fleming
Wayne Fordham Richard Ginther
Leonard Glantz Nick Gojmeric
Joe Greenberger Bob Hancock
Bill Hill Lirel Holt
Preston Honea Fred Hyde
Mark Jordan Jack Key
Chick Koski Sam Kovacevich
Bob Lasheff George Looper
Gary Mahnke Mark Martino
Ian McIntosh George Mosley
Richard Nathan Donald Peers
Manual Perez Marvin Puck
Cleve Ray Ronny Ray
Rony Read Tom Rogers
Bob Richards David St. Amour
Russ Rosenthal Don Schmidt
Buddy Salazar Ben Steinman
Arthur Selectman Jim Terry
Don Siraka L.R. Van Paris
Van Takemoto Randy Wiersma
George Toler Ralph Wills
Darrell Williamson Chad White