Georgia Collision Iindustry Association

In Memory of Gene L. Hamilton: Arrangements

Gene L. Hamilton
June 17, 1946 – October 22, 2017

Gene Lee Hamilton, age 71, of Duluth, passed away on Oct 22, 2017. Gene was born on June 17, 1946 in Indianola, Iowa. He graduated in 1965 from George Washington High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He moved his family to Atlanta in 1969.

There, he started his career in the automobile industry; first in sales then later opened Sports and Imports Inc. a used car and wholesale vehicle business until the late 80’s. Shortly thereafter he founded his first collision repair facility, Sports and Imports Collision which is to this day, Industry renowned. Throughout his time in the collision repair industry, Gene led the charge in shaping the face of collision repair. He also served in many leadership positions, Boards and Committees. Gene didn’t just enjoy working in his business but thrived upon it. With all his involvements and activities, his most cherished time was spent with his daughters, grandchildren and friends both new and old.

Giving back was no stranger to Gene as he was actively involved and participated in several charities. Including, but not exclusive to; the Jerry Lewis Telethon and the Ronald McDonald House which is an on-going benefactor through his family’s support.

Preceded in death by his father, Kenneth Hamilton and granddaughter Morgan M. Popejoy. Survivors include his mother, Norma Hamilton, daughters Michelle Coombs and Jeanette Hamilton, sons in law Bobby Coombs and Andrew Langmaid, grandsons Joshua Harvey and Jacob Coombs, and great grandchildren Taylor Harvey and Riley Popejoy.

A Memorial Service, followed by a Celebration of Life will be held Thursday, October 26, 2017 at 12:00 PM. at Ashton Gardens located at 260 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Sugar Hill, GA 30518

In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial gifts to either Alzheimer’s Association at or The Atlanta Ronald McDonald House at

Gene Hamilton, co-founder of the GCIA, Died Sunday

Gene Hamilton, co-founder of the Georgia Collision Industry Association and past chairman of both the Society of Collision Repair Specialists and I-CAR, died Sunday, 22 October 2017.

“He was a hugely successful shop owner and got involved in trying to better the industry on behalf of everyone who toiled in it,” Collision Industry Conference organizer and SCRS co-founder Jeff Hendler said Monday.

Hamilton owned Sports & Imports Collision in Georgia and became active in the collision repair industry in the 1990s. By 1998, he had made enough of an impact to be inducted into the Hall of Eagles, the industry’s “hall of fame.” By 2000, he had been elected chairman of SCRS, after already having won the industry’s “Green Shop Award” and “Industry Achievement Award” — the latter for urging manufacturers and vendors to donate money they had been earmarking for industry parties to auto body repair nonprofits.

In 2003, Hamilton was named chairman of I-CAR. He also was a board member of the I-CAR Education Foundation and Gold Class Steering Committee. In 2015, SCRS honored Hamilton with the Lifetime Honorary Membership award — one of only four ever bestowed by the more than 30-year-old organization. Sports & Imports general manager Michelle Coombs, speaking on behalf of her father, said then that he would probably tell the audience that the industry has given him more than he’s given it.

“Gene Hamilton is one of the most respected and recognized people in the collision repair industry today,” the GCIA wrote in 2013. “This is not only because of his many accomplishments, awards, and business successes; but also because in 1997 Gene helped start the Georgia Collision Industry Association that has helped local, regional and national repairers as well. From the beginning of his career he has held a passion for our industry. For Gene, it has never been enough to turn out high quality repairs in his facilities. He has always believed that anything he can do to improve the reputation and respect of the collision repair industry at large would not only make his business model sustainable but would assist his many friends, peers, and yes, even competitors provide safer and more reliable repairs for the consumer. In the end, it has always been about ensuring that friends and families can feel confident that their vehicle was repaired to pre-accident condition and by a true collision repair professional. Gene knows that collision professionals working together is the only way to make improvements in and to better our industry.”

OEM Collision Position Statements Added to

Contact: Chris Caris

OEM Collision Position Statements Added to

Major refresh of the popular website gives repairers easier access to key automaker position statements and other important repair information

Dearborn, Mich. – August 11, 2016 – The popular OEM repair information website has been improved and relaunched, now including for the first time automaker position statements on important collision repair issues.

The site, which is operated by a coalition of automakers known as the OEM Collision Repair Roundtable, Inc., was introduced in 2008 in response to collision industry calls for easier access to important OEM collision repair information. Since then, the site has provided repairers a “one-stop” source for that information by offering direct links to the collision and mechanical repair websites of close to 40 automaker brands; and it’s been a hit with the industry, with just under 80,000 visits in 2015, an increase of 70 percent since 2010.

Over the last few years, however, as vehicles—and the materials and technologies used to make them—have become more complex, automakers have released a great deal of additional collision repair information, such as position statements on key repair questions. Repair technicians set on following OEM repair recommendations and procedures, along with the industry associations representing them, have continued to seek out and utilize the new information to help make proper repairs the first time, but it had once again become difficult to find at times.

OEM Roundtable members are hoping the new will help resolve that problem. The site now features a page dedicated specifically to OEM position statements, with common parts- and repair procedure-related topics called out—such as structural parts, salvage airbags, clip repairs, wheel reconditioning and vehicle repair scanning—and each OEM statement in that category listed for easy access.

In addition, most of the OEMs now have their own dedicated page on the site as well, allowing each a place to list their collision repair positions and offer other important repair-related materials. Ford, for instance, in addition to its position statements, has included its F-150 repair instruction sheets, and current and back issues of its On Target collision repair newsletter.

“OEM1Stop has proven to be a tremendous resource for repairers seeking the latest OEM collision and mechanical repair information, but the addition of automaker position statements is something the industry has asked for, and we think it’s an important enhancement that will make the site that much more valuable for shops intent on fixing collision-damaged vehicles right the first time,” said Gary Ledoux, assistant national manager of wholesale parts marketing at American Honda and current chairman of the OEM Roundtable.

New OEM positions and other information will be added to the site as they are made
available, so repairers are urged to check back often. Meanwhile, the OEM Roundtable’s other website——continues to be an easy-to-use resource shops can make available to their customers, offering collision repair basics and other information intended to help guide them through the often challenging and frustrating collision repair process.

# # #

About OEM Collision Repair Roundtable, Inc.
Formed in 1998, OEM Collision Repair Roundtable, Inc., is a non-profit collision repair industry
association composed of representatives from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vehicle
manufacturers. Member companies include Audi of America, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US LLC, Ford
Motor Company, General Motors, American Honda Motor Co., Hyundai Motor America, Mazda North
American Operations, Nissan North America, Subaru of America, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.,
Volkswagen of America, Volvo Car USA, LLC and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers.

Collision Repair Education Foundation Awards over $250,000 in Grants

Congratulations Athens Technical College (Athens, GA)

From CollisionWeek News

The Collision Repair Education Foundation’s 2015 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover school grant winners were announced at the organization’s annual industry reception held during the SEMA show in Las Vegas where over $250,000 in grants were awarded.

Over 140 high school and college collision school programs from across the country applied for this grant and each of the 2015 winning schools will have their $50,000 wish list fulfilled through the Collision Repair Education Foundation and industry donors/supporters. The Makeover program has given out over $3 million in donations to applicant schools since 2009.

Grants Awarded included:

2015 Secondary Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Grant made possible by Allstate Insurance
East Valley Institute of Technology (Mesa, AZ)

2015 Post-Secondary Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Grant made possible by State Farm Insurance
Saint Cloud Technical and Community College (Saint Cloud, MN)

In addition to the secondary and post-secondary awards, there were two $50,000 grants that were awarded to specific regions of the country.
2015 Dallas Makeover Grant
Texas State Technical College (Waco, TX)

The Dallas Makeover Grant was sponsored by Berkshire Hathaway Automotive, Caliber Collision, GEICO, Herb’s Collision and Nationwide Insurance.

2015 Atlanta I-CAR Committee Makeover Grant in Conjunction with Industry Partners
Athens Technical College (Athens, GA)

The award in Atlanta was sponsored by ABRA Auto Body & Glass; Allstate; American Family Insurance; Axalta; Caliber Collision; CCC Information Services; Classic Collision; Enterprise; Farmers Insurance; Finishmaster; Georgia Farm Bureau; Hendrick Automotive; IAAI; I-CAR; Liberty Mutual Insurance; LKQ/Keystone; Nalley Group; Rimkus; Progressive Insurance; Safeco; Service King; Sherwin Williams; and Sports and Imports.

The Collision Repair Education Foundation also awarded several runner-up Makeover grants and each of these schools will have $5,000-$12,500 of their collision program wish lists fulfilled:

2015 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Secondary Runner-Up School Recipients
$10,000 Silicon Valley Career Technical Education (San Jose, CA)
$10,000 Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School (South Easton, MA)

2015 Ultimate Collision Education Makeover Post-Secondary Runner-Up School Recipients
$12,500 College of Lake County (Grayslake, IL)
$7,500 Pulaski Tech (North Little Rock, AR)

The goal of the Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant is to honor a school that has been doing an outstanding job in educating students in collision repair, but needs some financial assistance to improve their program’s teaching materials and equipment. With strained school budgets, the Education Foundation and industry supporters have the opportunity to bridge the program’s financial gap and to make a difference in the lives of the students studying collision repair.

CCC Classrooom Enhancement Grant
The Collision Repair Education Foundation is proud to announce United Technical Center as the recipient of the CCC Information Services Inc. (CCC) Classroom Enhancement Grant.

United Technical Center in Clarksburg, WV, will receive a $12,000 grant that will assist the school with collision-related classroom materials such as electronics, classroom furniture, and other items to ensure students have a professional learning environment. United Technical Center was eligible for this award by applying for the 2015 Collision Repair Education Foundation’s Ultimate Collision Education Makeover grant. CCC has been a supporter of the Collision Repair Education Foundation since 1993.

“Today’s students will become important members of the collision repair community,” said Mary Jo Prigge, President, Service Operations for CCC. “Equipping them with the technology, tools and environment needed to learn and hone their skills will help them be successful and confident as they enter the workforce. CCC is proud to support the Collision Repair Education Foundation and invest in programs like the one at United Technical Center.”

GEICO Grants
The Collision Repair Education Foundation announced the winners of GEICO’s collision school grants for 2015:

Cuesta College (San Luis Obispo, Calif.)
Eastfield College (Mesquite, Texas)
Monroe Tech Center (Leesburg, Va.)
Tidewater Community College (Chesapeake, Va.)
Each of the winning schools applied for a grant from the Ultimate Collision Education Makeover program, and each will receive $5,500 to purchase items off their collision tool, equipment and supply wish list from their application.

3rd Quarter Collision Advice Survey “Who Pays For What? Available


FOR MORE INFORMATION: John Yoswick,, (503) 335-0393

Third survey now open, asking ‘who pays for what’ in terms of aluminum repair, other items

The third of Collision Advice’s quarterly “Who Pays For What? surveys is taking place throughout October, asking shops about their billing practices (and insurer payment practices) related to aluminum repair, shop materials (like panel bonding adhesive) and shop (or sublet) services and fees.

“Our previous two surveys earlier this year, looking at refinish and structural repair operations, had great participation and are providing the industry with what I think is the most comprehensive data ever on ‘who pays for what,’” Mike Anderson of Collision Advice said. “This latest one looks at a variety of important topics, so while I’m intrigued to see what we learn about aluminum repair rates, there are also just as many questions in the survey for shops not yet offering aluminum repair.”

Every shop that completes the survey (and provide optional contact information) receives the survey findings at no charge.

Shops can take the survey (during the month of October) by clicking here:

Anderson said the survey, which will take about 15-30 minutes, should be completed by the shop owner, manager or estimator who is most familiar with the shop’s billing practices and the payment practices of the largest national insurers. Each individual shop location (whether a stand-alone business or part of a multi-shop operation) may submit one response to the survey. Each shop’s individual responses are held in the strictest confidence and are not released in any way; only cumulative data is released.

More details about the quarterly “Who Pays for What?” surveys, including the findings of the previous two surveys, are available here (

A 62-page report on the first survey, for example, details shop billing and insurer payment practices related to 26 refinish-related “not-included” items. The most-recently published report focuses on 20 “not-included” repair procedures related to structural/frame and mechanical operations. The results are broken down by insurance company and region. The reports also each include a set of resources shops can use to help put the data to use in their shop.

“The surveys will help shops understand what these operations are, and whether other shops seek and receive compensation for them – or if they truly are ‘the only one,’” Anderson said.

Collision Advice ( is an independent training and consulting firm featuring some of the most respected and experienced experts in the collision repair industry. Mike Anderson and his team offer real-world, cutting edge training and guidance both in the classroom and one-on-one in the shop.


Registration for RDE at SEMA is Open

From CollisionWeek News

Registration for the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) education programs at the SEMA Show is open. The 2015 Repairer Driven Education (RDE) series and OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit will feature more than 30 educational sessions delivered November 3-6 during show hours. Each session has been individually selected or suggested by SCRS for content that specifically focuses on issues and information of relevance to collision repair professionals operating in today’s marketplace.

Registering early not only ensures that you have your week planned out and a spot reserved in all education classes, but it can save you money on both the pass into the show as well as the cost of the educational programs. Badges for approved on-line registration begin mailing in this month.

The education sessions can be selected individually, or accessed with a $375 Full Series Pass which includes admission to one regular RDE session in each available time slot, access to all three segments of the OEM Collision Repair Technology Summit, and admission for one to the SCRS Sky Villa After-party on Thursday night in the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.

More information is available online.

SCRS Releases Pulsed Synergic MIG Welding for Aluminum and Collision Repair Video

Prosser, Washington, August 21, 2015 – On Thursday, July 23rd, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) held an open board meeting in Detroit, Michigan featuring a technical presentation by SCRS Education Committee member Toby Chess focused on important aspects collision repairers should know about Pulsed Synergic MIG Welding for Aluminum. In addition to a detailed look at the science behind the unique welding process, and why more auto manufacturers are relying on it, Chess reported on a comparison of current welders available to the market and how they performed in a 1mm butt weld with a backer field test that was conducted in June 2015. A video recap of the presentation is available here:

Based on the field research, a spreadsheet outlining features from each company can be found here:

On Wednesday, November 4th, during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Toby Chess will be leading a Repairer Driven Education (RDE) session entitled, “Welding Technologies – A Comprehensive Tutorial on Modern Equipment.” One of the most frequent questions posed by collision repair businesses looking to adapt to the changing landscape of automotive repairs is, “what do I need, and where do I start?” The equipment necessary to repair the modern fleet continues to evolve as quickly as the vehicle architecture does, and understanding tool and equipment options that provide the most capability can save repair businesses from unnecessary investments in wrong or outdated repair technology. Anyone looking to expand their understanding of the options available to the industry can register directly for this session by clicking here, or pasting this URL into their browser:

For more information about SCRS, or to join as a member, please visit, call toll free 1-877-841-0660 or email us at


About SCRS: Through its direct members and 45 affiliate associations, SCRS is comprised of 6,000 collision repair businesses and 58,500 specialized professionals who work with consumers and insurance companies to repair collision-damaged vehicles. Additional information about SCRS including other news releases is available at the SCRS website: You can e-mail SCRS at the following address:

What You See, Is Not Necessarily What You Get

American Honda consumer safety video: “What You See, Is Not Necessarily What You Get.”

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

The nearly 5-minute video follows a 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid, damaged in a collision, and then improperly repaired leaving it in an unsafe, un-roadworthy condition. It points out the importance of having a collision-damaged vehicle repaired in a safe and proper manner using the correct tools, equipment, and repair standards. It emphasizes to consumers, not only is it important to find a quality repair shop, but to be involved and engaged when making decisions about how the repair is made.

SCRS honors recent, lifetime efforts for collision repair industry

Former Society of Collision Repair Specialists Chairman Barry Dorn, left, poses with SCRS Lifetime Member Gene Hamilton and Hamilton's daughter, Michelle Coombs on Wednesday at a luncheon ahead of the Collision Industry Conference in Atlanta. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

The Society of Collision Repair Specialists on Wednesday honored two recent acts and three lifetimes of service to collision repair — including giving out only the fourth lifetime membership in its history.

Sports & Imports Collision owner Gene Hamilton, who had already won the SCRS industry and lifetime achievement awards, completed the Triple Crown with the Lifetime Honorary Membership.

Former SCRS Chairman Barry Dorn — recognized as well Wednesday– observed that only three lifetime membership had been given out in the past by the more than 30-year-old organization.

Sports & Imports general manager Michelle Coombs, speaking on behalf of her father, said he would probably tell the audience that the industry has given him more than he’s given it.

Dorn won the National Lifetime Achievement Award, and SCRS Executive Director Aaron Schulenburg said the honor showed that one person could make a difference. Schulenburg also noted that Dorn served as a contributing creator to some of the most beneficial and meaningful resources to the industry including the database task force, the Database Enhancement Gateway (DEG), SCRS’ Guide to Complete Repair Planning, The Repairer Driven Education series at the SEMA show and this very news source, Repairer Driven News.

The recognition was one of the highlights of his life, Dorn said.

“I sincerely appreciate it,” he said.

Dorn said Friday he was caught off guard by the announcement — and he’s even on the awards committee.

“I wanted to thank all of my mentors over the years that have helped me become who I am and guide me down a path that I couldn’t venture down without their help,” he said in a statement Friday. “”People like Lou Dilisio, Jeff Hendler, March Taylor, Toby Chess and Gary Wano. Men who helped me understand that I can’t do what I do for SCRS for my own personal gain but I do what do for the betterment of the industry and at the will of our membership.

“My wife Jordan and my kids to deal with my frequent travel and hectic schedule along with the numerous phone calls at night and during weekends. My co-workers at Dorn’s who make it possible for me to be gone and do what I do to help the industry. My mother, who I lost last year. She forged me into who I am. She taught me to stand up for what was right, work hard at whatever I do, to be honorable, humble and to never give up.

“Lastly, I want to thank Aaron Schulenburg and the boards both present and past. All of you make it possible for me to learn what I do, each day. I am truly blessed to know and work with all of you and I can’t thank you enough for all that you do for this industry. All of you are like my brothers and special to me in many ways.”

Former Society of Collision Repair Specialists Chairman Barry Dorn received the SCRS National Lifetime Achievement Award on Wednesday. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

Bob Jones took the Regional Lifetime Achievement Award, and he thanked his brother who kept the shop running while he was out working for the collision repair industry.

“I’ll cherish this industry forever,” Jones said. “… I love this industry. It’s been my life.”

Georgia Collision Industry Association Executive Director Howard Batchelor received the Collision Achievement Award for his detailed research into paint and materials taxes — and double taxation — across the country.

The Nonindividual Award went to I-CAR for the Repairability Technical Support portal launched last year.

The awards were presented ahead of the Collision Industry Conference in Atlanta, Ga. — Hamilton and Batchelor’s home state.

Featured image: Former Society of Collision Repair Specialists Chairman Barry Dorn, left, poses with SCRS Lifetime Member Gene Hamilton and Hamilton’s daughter, Michelle Coombs on Wednesday at a luncheon ahead of the Collision Industry Conference in Atlanta. (John Huetter/Repairer Driven News)

Atlanta, GA to Host SCRS Week Events in April

Prosser, Washington, March 5, 2015 – On Tuesday, April 7th, the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) will hold an Open Board Meeting from 3:00 – 5:00pm at the Crown Plaza Ravina (hotel reservations phone 877-270-1393) in Atlanta, Georgia. Everyone wishing to learn more about the association’s industry work is encouraged to attend. The two hour meeting will include updates from SCRS staff, committees, and guests from our local Affiliate Associations outlining current and future work initiatives each group has undertaken on behalf of the membership.

The open meeting will be immediately followed by SCRS’ annual election for open seats on the board of directors, promptly beginning at 5:15pm. The election is open to current designated voting representatives of SCRS member businesses. Members must be present to vote. To join as a member of SCRS to participate in the upcoming election, contact the association office at The election will fill four (4) open board seats, and candidates running for the seats will be announced shortly.

On Wednesday, SCRS will be hosting a Repairer Roundtable meeting from 8:30am – 11:00am focused on safety and preventative measures collision repairers should be taking as the vehicles and materials found in the repair process evolve. The morning will feature a panel and live audience discussion. SCRS has opened up this event to invite anyone in the industry that wishes to learn from and support initiatives that foster a better informed industry.

At 11:15am on Wednesday, just prior to the start of the Collision Industry Conference (CIC), SCRS will host the annual Corporate Member & Industry Awards recognition lunch. Members of the industry are welcomed and encouraged to attend this great event designed to recognize great work taking place in the industry. RSVP is absolutely required.

There is no fee to attend any of the events, but SCRS does request you please RSVP for one or both, Repairer Roundtable and the Awards Luncheon (click on  title for RSVP access or email Please register no later than Friday, April 3rd, 2015.

SCRS events daily schedule:

Tuesday, April 7th

3:00 – 5:00pm      SCRS Open Meeting

5:15 – 5:30pm      SCRS Annual Election

Wednesday, April 8th

8:30 – 11:00am    Repairer Roundtable*

11:15 – 12:45pm  SCRS Corporate Member & Industry Awards Lunch*

*RSVP now to for each event as specified or email
For more information about SCRS, or to join as a member, please visit, call toll free 1-877-841-0660 or email us at


About SCRS: Through its direct members and 45 affiliate associations, SCRS is comprised of 6,000 collision repair businesses and 58,500 specialized professionals who work with consumers and insurance companies to repair collision-damaged vehicles. Additional information about SCRS including other news releases is available at the SCRS website: You can e-mail SCRS at the following address:

SCRS Admin Office


877.851.0660 Fax

Aaron Schulenburg

Executive Director | Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)


877.435.6028 Fax