Driven Brands Honors Members with Awards Gala

Driven Brands Honors Members with Awards Gala

Driven Brands capped off its 2023 Evolution Conference with an awards gala that celebrated individual owners' achievements.

Abra, CARSTAR and Fix Auto USA franchise partners continued their collective celebration Friday in Florida as part of the inaugural Driven Brands U.S. collision repair joint conference, along with Driven Brands team members, vendors, and industry leaders from across the U.S.

Franchise partners, team members and guests gathered for the festivities on Friday including keynote speaker Matt Mayberry, retired Chicago Bears linebacker and a thought leader on leadership development and culture. He spoke on personal motivation, overcoming adversity, achieving audacious goals and turning circumstantial hardships into opportunities for growth, Driven Brands said.

Following the keynote, Dirk Fuchs, director, technical programs and services, I-CAR, facilitated an OE panel with representatives from Nissan, Lucid and Rivian. The panelists discussed EV strategy, the evolving role of certifications, and the changes collision repair providers should be making to stay ahead of the curve to meet consumer demand for EV repair processes.

Driven Brands staff also shared updates with attendees. Blake Kidwell, vice president of sales for the DrivenAdvantage procurement program, shared remarks on the company’s new marketplace portal as well as category coverage from its vendor partners. Melissa Kwiatkowski, vice president of collision marketing, explained how the marketing team is readying the brands for every economic environment. In the afternoon, attendees were treated to a vendor trade show where owners were able to learn about new products and services available for various segments of their business.

Driven Brands capped off The 2023 Evolution Conference with an awards gala where the guests celebrated indivudal owners and their collective achievements. Award winners included:

  • Abra Rookie of the Year: Jeremy and Matt Buller, owners of Abra Bismarck, Abra Mandan and Abra Minot in North Dakota;
  • CARSTAR Rookie of the Year: Carlos Guzman, owner of CARSTAR Superior Collision in San Antonio, Texas;
  • Fix Auto USA Rookie of the Year: John Banh, owners of Fix Auto Rancho Cucamonga, Fix Auto Fontana, Fix Auto Garden Grove and Fix Auto Huntington Beach in Southern California;
  • NPS Award: Richard Fish, owner of Fix Auto San Clemente in California;
  • Length of Rental Award: Mike Chilton, CARSTAR Chilton’s San Bruno in Northern California;
  • CARSTAR Community Champion: Rose and Pickering Group in Wichita, Kansas;
  • Abra Community Champion: Kedrick and Louann Johnson, KLST Inc., MSO owners of Abra Cloquet, Abra Duluth, Abra Elk River, Abra Princeton and Abra St. Cloud in Minnesota;
  • Fix Auto USA Community Champion: Dan Stander, Fix Auto Highlands Ranch in Colorado;
  • Top Gun Award: Mike Brown, Doug Sharp and Chet Lockwood, MSO owners of Abra Brookings in South Dakota;
  • Arrow Award: Jesse Hord, owner of Fix Auto Orangeville, Fix Auto Roseville and Fix Auto Sacramento in California;
  • Ironman Award: CARSTAR Fred Beans Group, CARSTAR MSO with locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey;
  • Fix Auto USA Franchisee of the Year: Vatche Derdian, Owner of Fix Auto Pasadena, Fix Auto Santa Ana, Fix Auto Montrose and Fix Auto Express – Anaheim North;
  • Franchisee of the Year: Geri and Jerry Kottschade, owner of Jerry’s Abra in Mankato, Minnesota;
  • CARSTAR Franchisee of the Year: CARSTAR Rowcroft Group, Owners of CARSTAR Collision of Amherst, POW Collision CARSTAR and CARSTAR Eastern Hills.

The final day will feature the Fenders and Fairways golf fundraiser to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

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