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March/April 2002

Repair Techs Unite
by PENNY BEVERAGE 
NWRA Holds Annual Conference in Orlando, Fla.

After holding its last two conferences in Las Vegas, the National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) will again head to a city of magic for this year’s event: Orlando, Fla. The conference will be held April 5-7 at the Renaissance Worldgate Hotel, on the heels of the 2002 Independents’ Days National Convention and Glass Show (see "Independents' Day"  for related story). The conference will kick off on Friday with a free shuttle to the IGA show—just a few short miles away—and a cocktail party before the group gets down to business on Saturday morning.

All in a Day’s Work
NWRA members will rise early on Saturday for a continental breakfast, followed by an official opening of the conference and the presentation of the association’s latest board member candidates. Then Dave Casey, president of Orlando-based Superglass Windshield Repair, will take center stage with his presentation of the new NWRA windshield repair CD. The association developed the CD to offer its members an easy way to educate insurance companies and customers alike on the advantages and methods of windshield repair. The CD is based on an idea Casey had to develop a similar product for his own company. Early birds will receive an added bonus, as the first 100 registered at the conference will receive a free copy of this marketing tool.

In addition to this new way of educating customers, Roger Pickett, vice president of Cindy Rowe Auto Glass in Harrisburg, Pa., will lead “Continuing Education for Insurance Agents.” He will provide tips on educating insurance agents on windshield repair, as well as marketing its particular advantages to them. Dee Berge-Morse, president of Dee’s Windshield Repair in Westminster, Calif., will follow with a discussion of direct billing, “Direct Collect,” with a focus on its benefits to windshield repair technicians.

After a short break for lunch, conference attendees will be treated to a lecture by Paul Syfko of Glass Medic America, which is based in Columbus, Ohio. Syfko will discuss “The Effect of Temperature on Your Windshield Repair”—a problem that plagues windshield repair technicians throughout the year. He will focus on both how to handle extreme temperatures and what long-term effects these temperatures could have on the repair.

Finally, the group will wind down with an “NWRA Open Town Meeting” to take care of some of its business for the coming year.

Fun For All
While most of the NWRA conference will focus on business and education for the association’s members, Sunday will offer attendees a more relaxed day of education, including a game show for the industry: “The NWRA’s Weakest Link.” The show will test attendees’ knowledge on the association, windshield repair and the certification process.

The NWRA will also elect its new board members for 2002 and will hold its first board meeting of the year. The board meeting will be open to all in attendance at the conference. Three board seats will be open at the time of the election.

The group will spend its afternoon in a number of roundtable discussions on a variety of topics—many of which will be discussed in the earlier seminars—such as direct billing, educational CD’s, marketing aids and tips, teaching insurance courses, short payment from insurance companies and temperatures and resins. This will give everyone a chance to team up, share tips with one another and learn how to improve their businesses.

After Hours
The 2002 NWRA Conference promises to offer something for all of its participants, including a day of education and several opportunities to learn from fellow windshield repair technicians on the latest methods, newest products and other tips. In addition, the conference will be held in an ideal location for bringing family along for a true spring break after the conference. The Renaissance Worldgate Hotel is located within a mile of Magic Kingdom itself and offers a free shuttle to Disney World to its guests.

 


Penny Beverage is the editor of AGRR magazine.

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