January CIC to become virtual, free; new chair challenges industry to create someone

Incoming Collision Industry Conference Chairman Darrell Amberson challenged the Nov. 10-11, 2021, virtual CIC audience to create someone new to the upcoming inter-industry summit.

Circumstances since that time make it easier still to meet his call.

Originally, the January 2021 CIC ended up being to be held in the Phoenix, Ariz., Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort. After one cancelled and two virtual 2021 CICs, it might happen to be “one hell of the joyous reunion,” as CIC Administrator Jeff Hendler put it Nov. 11.

But the COVID-19 coronavirus has further delayed an in-person gathering.

“Because of the advancements of restrictions from COVID-19, we have made the decision to postpone meeting in-person and proceed to our virtual platform for that January 20/21 meeting,” the CIC wrote last month.

“We thank you for understanding in this hard time for those and appear forward to ‘seeing’ you the following month!”

The virtual CIC will instead operate on Zoom 11 a.m. to three p.m. ET Jan. 20 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Jan. 21. The events are interactive, with comments and questions feasible for all participants during the individual sessions or open mic period.

Losing the physical event might have been a disappointment with a, but it also presents an opportunity for everyone. A virtual CIC carries no travel costs, and the generosity of industry sponsors has once again for January provided a promo code free of charge entry.

This accessibility and affordability paves the way wide for participation over the many industries with an intention in the act of auto body repair. Body shops, insurers, suppliers, automakers, information providers, software companies, educators and any other stakeholders are all welcome and encouraged to attend.

The CIC website describes the summits as follows:

Amberson challenged the Nov. 11 audience to introduce somebody new to CIC, previously noting that many of the current attendees, “including me,” were nearer to retirement. He suggested bringing a co-worker or perhaps a mentee.

He asserted from his perspective as a collision repairer, the gatherings draw not enough repairers. “I’d like to see us focus on that,” he said.

Amberson also noted the lack of insurers on the Nov. 10, 2021, Governmental Affairs panel discussing OEM repair procedure legislation. While acknowledging the opportunity of speaking at CIC to have a “volatile nature,” he challenged insurers and committee chairs to provide greater participation from that segment.

“I truly want to see that part of the industry more,” he explained, calling it this kind of “influential” segment.

Automaker influence also offers grown, and “I believe we have to learn more from their store,” Anderson said.

The January CIC might be more newcomer-friendly than in previous years. Typically, the winter gathering is focused more about planning than the other three quarterly summits. Amberson said he’d prefer to scale back the planning and offer more “compelling content” in the January 2021 CIC.

Amberson’s two-year term began Nov. 11 and officially kicks off using the January meeting. In November, he offered a feeling of his philosophy for the 2021-22 CICs.

The CIC vision statement involves “A collision industry in which all segments work together to enable a complete, safe, and quality repair.” Its mission statement describes “A forum where collision industry stakeholders combined efforts to discuss issues, enhance understanding, find common ground and communicate possible solutions to the.”

Amberson said the mission statement conveys equal importance to any or all industry segments. However, with regards to experienceing this results described in the vision statement, “those’re determined around the shop floor.”

That could advice the CIC’s focus, he said. “Will it really improve the repair process?” he said. Could it be affecting the store floor?

Amberson said he also would continue outgoing Chairman Jeff Peevy’s practice of displaying a clear chair to represent consumers and also the public.

Peevy earlier within the Nov. 11 CIC said he hoped this would be the case. “I think it’s vital for our industry” to help keep consumers along with other motorists at the “very forefront of our discussions.”

Amberson called himself flattered and humble in the opportunity.

“I feel as if you are my people, and that i seem like I am yours,” he said.

“… I'm here for everyone you.”

For his part, Peevy told his final CIC meeting Nov. 11 that “it’s really been an honor” to serve as chairman and provide back to a business that had provided to him. He said he felt CIC was “as important today because it ever has been.”

Register for the virtual Jan. 20-21 CIC here after first visiting the sponsor page and picking up your free-entry promo code here.