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Bruce Bares - Master of CermoniesPresident & CEO, Certified Collision Group

Bruce’s career in Collision repair industry began in 1977 in the family’s Midwest collision repair facility.  In 1986, Bruce entered the insurance industry as a field appraiser, relocating out West. Over the next 20 years and three mergers with Colonial Penn, GE Auto and Home, and AIG, Bruce provided vision and leadership in the areas of inside and field claims operations, regional management, regional and national DRP oversight, and technology acquisitions. He eventually was appointed to the top material damage executive home office position with GE auto and Home.  After 20 years in Insurance claims management, Bruce returned to the Collision repair segment as President Chief Operating Officer of a California 10-location MSO. In 2010, Bruce founded Certified Collision Centers, an Arizona MSO that was sold to the Boyd group where Bruce spent 2 years working on process implementation.  January of 2016, Bruce joined the Board and is currently the President and CEO of Certified Collision Group, a network that represents, DRP centric OE certified collision repairers to the insurance industry while supporting business development through search engine optimization, buying power and rebate programs.

Aaron ClarkVice President, Assured Performance Network

Aaron has more than 30 years of experience in the Collision Repair industry and was raised in a family owned collision repair business. Aaron was a technician as a young adult and moved into management and shop ownership in 1994. He has served in the industry in several capacities over the years.

2013-2017    Vice President – Assured Performance Network
1998-2012    Aaron Clark was President and co-owner of Collision Solutions, Inc., a collision repair organization with 5 Indiana locations. Aaron and his brother sold the business in 2012 to ABRA Auto Body & Glass.
2011-2013    Aaron served as the Chairman of SCRS – Society of Collision Repair Specialists
2006-2011    Aaron served as Vice Chairman, Secretary, and National Director for SCRS – Society of Collision Repair Specialists
2004-2006    Mr. Clark founded the Indiana Auto Body Association (IABA) in 2004. He served as the inaugural Chairman and President of the Association.
1994-1998    Aaron was the founder and President of Autokraft Collision Centers in Indianapolis, IN. Aaron sold the business in 1998 to a local dealer in Indianapolis.
1989-1994    Aaron worked as a technician as several capacities for the family collision repair business.

Aaron has always been committed to improving the local and national collision repair industry in several ways; he has volunteered for many organizations including: CIC Committees, SCRS, I-CAR ISAC (Industry Segment Advisory Council), I-CAR Gold Class / Platinum Advisory Council member, Past Chairman of the Indianapolis I-CAR committee, Lincoln Tech advisory board member, Founder, Past Chairman and member of the Indiana Auto Body Association, CIECA member, NABC member

Susanna GotschDirector, Industry Analyst, CCC Information Services Inc.

Susanna Gotsch is Director, Industry Analyst at CCC Information Services Inc. She has been with CCC since July of 1992. Susanna brings twenty-plus years of experience within the automotive claims industry as Director, Industry Analyst.

She has authored The Crash Course, CCC’s annual publication on trends impacting collision repair and total loss costs since 1995. This publication has become a key resource for the industry in understanding how broader trends within the economy, new and used vehicle market places, and collision industry are impacting auto claim frequency and costs. Ms. Gotsch also consults with the on-going development of CCC’s industry-leading data warehouse and reporting products.

Ms. Gotsch has presented her research at numerous industry meetings and symposium. In 2011, Ms. Gotsch was awarded the annual industry honorarium Most Influential Women in the Collision Repair Industry established by AkzoNobel Automotive & Aerospace Coatings America (A&AC). She has also served on the Board for the Women?s Industry Network (WIN®) since 2011.

Jim KellerPresident, 1 Collision Network

Jim Keller opened his collision business in 1981, and opened his second in 1985. He has over 40 years of experience as a multiple-shop operator, franchise operator, partner in an early consolidator in the late 80’s, and founder and President of the 1Collision Network. Keller has been highly engaged in the industry, and is a past board member and Chairman of the Automotive Service Association (ASA), past chairman of ICAR of Wisconsin, a past Committee Chair for CIC and ICAR, past Wyoming Technical Institute, Milwaukee Area Technical College, and Waukesha Area Tech College Advisory Board member, is an inductee into the Collision Industry Hall of Eagles, and is the 2003 recipient of the Body Shop Business Magazine Executive of the Year Award. In the late 80’s Jim conducted 125 management seminars for 3M ARMS in the US and Canada, has been a featured speaker at NACE and various other Industry events. Jim is also the founder and President of the 1Collision Network, which provides corporate level  support to independent and dealer owned collision shops through increasing their performance, marketing, insurer relationships, HR  including admin, recruiting, and finance.

Michael MacalusoPresident, Carstar

Michael is a graduate from Western University in London, Ontario, where he studied business and economics.

As President at CARSTAR North America, he is the company’s leader responsible for the strategic direction and day to day operations. Based in Hamilton, CARSTAR is a network of 575+ collision centres across Canada and the United States.

Michael lives in Hamilton with his wife Daniela and three sons. He speaks English, French and Italian. Michael sits on the board of St. Joseph’s Healthcare Foundation, AIA Collision Canada, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Festitalia, and The Hamilton Tiger Cats. He is also a committee member of the Charity of Hope and sits on various fundraising committees.

Brad MewesPrincipal, Supplement Advisory

Brad helps you increase the value of your largest asset – your business. He does that by helping your company grow, helping you understand the value of your business, maximizing your value prior to a sale, and providing executive level consulting and advisory, all designed to help you answer one critical question – Where should your company invest right now?

Brad has a hands-on perspective of the automotive aftermarket industry because he literally grew up in a shop, working in and running his family’s bodyshop. But he also has an MBA from the University of California, Irvine (where he graduated top 12% of his class), an undergraduate degree in International Economics from the George Washington University, and is an instructor of Financial Analysis at UC Irvine. Prior to founding Supplement, he gained experience in equity research and management consulting, in addition to having direct P&L responsibility at his family’s business.

Supplement is an advisory firm that provides corporate finance and strategic advisory services to clients globally, with clients currently domiciled in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Brad works directly with some of the largest public and private businesses in the automotive aftermarket, including leading companies in the service and repair, distribution, and manufacturing sectors. Major institutional investors and analysts retain Supplement for answers and insights into the North American automotive aftermarket, including Raymond James Capital Markets, Nomura Holdings / Instinet, and other undisclosed investors and analysts.

David RobertsManaging Director, FOCUS Advisors, Inc.

David Roberts brings unparalleled knowledge and experience to his advisory work in the collision repair industry. He and Matthew Ohrnstein co-founded Caliber Collision, the world’s first consolidator and now its largest collision repairer. As Chairman of Caliber and leader of its initial Corporate Development team, he wrote the book on how to change, grow and thrive in this intensely competitive industry. In his 10 years at Caliber, he helped raise more than $125 million in capital and led the acquisition of 37 individual shops and Multiple Shop Operators. He is a frequent speaker at industry events and his writing appears in various industry publications.

As President of FOCUS Advisors Automotive practice, he collaborates with key bankers across the industry with deep experience in strategic advisory, capital formation and M&A transactions for entrepreneurs, acquirers and investors in collision repair, paint jobbers, dealers, mechanical services, quick-lube and retail services. As a former Managing Director at FOCUS Investment Banking, he led 12 successful transactions in the last 36 months in the collision repair and paint jobber industries.

Mr. Roberts holds a JD from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley where he has been an Adjunct Lecturer since 2003. He earned an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley and earned his undergraduate degree from Duke University.  Mr. Roberts also served as an officer in the US Navy.

Vincent RomansManaging Partner & CEO, The Romans Group, LLC

Vincent Romans is the founding principal and managing partner of The Romans Group LLC established in 1996 leveraging four decades of business operator and consulting experience with domestic and global enterprises. The Romans Group provides business, market, financial and strategic development advisory services to the collision repair, property and casualty auto insurance, and the auto physical damage aftermarket ecosystem.

He is a frequent speaker, moderator, panelist and writer on the dynamic and evolving marketplace and industry trends impacting the collision repair, property and casualty auto insurance, and numerous other adjacent segments involving the auto physical damage supply chain. Through his thought leadership and as a change agent, catalyst and facilitator of concepts and ideas, he drives the development, introduction, understanding and acceptance of new innovative and disruptive business models.

His broad base specific market experience, SME, has assisted domestic and international private equity, investment banking firms, and strategic buyers in their research, evaluation and acquisition of target assets. He has participated in developing company, market, industry and competitive due diligence knowledge and intelligence involving most segments within the auto physical damage and P & C insurance marketplace.

Vincent holds a BS degree in Management from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from Temple University.

 

John WalcherPresident, Veritas Advisors, Inc.

Mr. Walcher brings a wealth of knowledge to every engagement. During his more than 20 years in M&A, he has been involved in dozens upon dozens of collision repair transactions, including numerous MSO deals on both the buy side and the sell side. His background also includes multiple deals in health care, engineering & construction, manufacturing and various service industries, and transactions in China, Brazil, England and Canada. He provides expert witness testimony and valuation opinions, speaks on M&A trends and strategies, and has advised some of the country’s largest private equity groups on consolidation strategies.

Prior to starting Veritas Advisors nine years ago, Mr. Walcher spent many years in corporate M&A, doing deals for two Fortune© 500 corporations, as well as spending seven years at Caliber Collision Centers, departing in 2007 as its Vice President of Corporate Development and Governmental Affairs (during which time the company was ranked #9 on the INC. 500© list of Fastest Growing Private Companies).

Prior to graduate school, Mr. Walcher was a senior economist performing econometric analysis as a U.S. Department of Defense contractor. Mr. Walcher holds a Master of Science in Finance from the London Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Economics, cum laude, from the University of California.