As the collision industry mourned the passing of Jeff Silver, who was instrumental creating both I-CAR and the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), his family immediately recognized an ideal way to honor his memory and continue his long-lasting legacy on the industry he loved: by creating the “Jeff Silver Memorial Scholarship.” It is designed to help remove financial barriers for students studying collision repair, and the perfect way to continue the legacy he left behind, according to the family.
A respected trailblazer and leader in industry repair standards, Silver became involved with I-CAR at its founding, and, beginning in 1986, he served as executive vice president for 11 years where he helped establish I-CAR’s Gold Class program. During his tenure with I-CAR, Jeff’s concern with the lack of workers entering the skilled trades led to the establishing of the Foundation in 1991 in an effort to attract young people to the collision repair industry and to support the training institutions providing their educations, the association says.
“Jeff was passionate about helping collision school programs and their students, which is why he had an active role in establishing the Collision Repair Education Foundation back in 1991,” shares Jeanne Silver, his wife and soulmate of 36 years. “This memorial scholarship will allow his vision to carry on in supporting these students. Thank you in advance for considering helping honor Jeff’s legacy by supporting this scholarship!”
Following his departure from I-CAR in 1996, Jeff and Jeanne partnered as owners and operators of Butterfield Bodyworks CARSTAR in Mundelein, IL, until their retirement in 2021. During their 25 years in business, the couple remained engaged with the industry and its future. Jeanne was elected to CREF’s Board of Directors in 2013 and served three terms; she also guided the organization as Chair of the Board, from 2018-2020, according to I-CAR.
Silver’s dedication to the industry was rewarded in 1993 when he was inducted into the Hall of Eagles, the collision industry’s “Hall of Fame.” Jeanne’s induction in 2015 made them the second husband and wife duo to receive the honor. Since 2009, I-CAR says it has recognized Jeff’s dedication and service by awarding the annual “Jeff Silver Award” to a select I-CAR Platinum designee who actively promotes the Platinum designation and training and works to bolster the collision repair industry’s positive image.
Born in 1942, Jeff passed away on September 23, 2022, shortly after his 80th birthday. A loving father to four children and Pop Pop to five grandchildren, I-CAR says he left a lasting impact on many outside his family as well through his dedication to the collision repair community.
Scholarship applications will open in January, and the inaugural Jeff Silver Memorial Scholarship will be awarded in 2023.
To donate, visit collisioneducationfoundation.org.