What Are You Passionate About

Collision Repair

Producing Champions In The Collision Repair Industry

Did you know cars were repaired and painted before tape was invented?  It wasn’t until two tone became in demand to see the need for it.  Painters were using glue and paper.  Then 3m invented tape…..Aren’t you glad we have tape today?

One of the first things you want to do before jumping into a career is to make certain you are a fit for it. The first step is to follow what you are passionate about. Let’s face it, if you are not happy with your job, you are going to hate getting up everyday to get up to the same routine over and over. Life is too short for that, look into a career that you are interested in.

While you think about this, take a look at others that are passionate about collision repair. If you discover you are not interested in what this career has to offer, then I recommend you go find what you are interested in.

Patrick Sampoll, Elite Auto Body – His Story and Start

I’ve always had a strong passion for vehicles.  Anything with a motor and wheels grasped my attention right away. When my brother and I were young we would always help my grandpa with his 1963 Mercury Comet. Anytime a car show approached we were the ones that helped wash and wax the car out in the yard. We spent hours detailing every inch of that car before we took it down to show. Often times bringing home some kind of award. I knew then my blood was enriched with the love for vehicles. As I grew up, I watched my older brother work on his vehicles, and I was always wanting to help. Handing tools was as far as I was qualified at the time. I always knew I would end up making a career out of the auto industry somehow. While in high school, I took two years of Auto Technology at Butler Community College. I learned a lot that I never even imagined happened with cars. Throughout the two year course I learned that I enjoyed working on motors and diagnosing problems but that going home everyday with grease and oil in your hair just wasn’t for me. That is when I decided to get into the auto body side of cars and trucks. After graduating high school and the Auto Tech course I enrolled in Collision Repair at Butler. I took the two year course and knew this was what I wanted to do. Everyday we learned more and more about it.  I began to enjoy it as time went on. I’ve now graduated both courses and love what I do, which is why I have started Elite Auto Body. I believe the possibilities are endless and you never know what will happen until you try.

I invite you to come visit me for all of your collision repair, auto painting, and detailing needs.  Your business will be appreciated and I look forward to serving you.

Danielle Hildenbrand – Auto Passion Story

My passion for anything having to do with any kind of art form has always been in my bones.No matter what it was i wanted to try it and master it.I would have to say that the passion for auto painting and airbrush work came a little later in my life, around my junior year of high school.Thats when my art teacher introduced the class to an airbrush set.I played with it and loved it.I mentioned it to my uncle Bill and he told me about he thinks i might be good at doing airbrush work on cars.My uncle rebuilds old hot rods from the body to the last bolt. He showed me an old truck he had recently finished and had gotten painted.I was amazed at the great work on his car.That initially got me hooked on painting cars.I have been learning ever sense.Even though i have just started, I plan on making this my career.I love it!  And I plan to keep working at it and becoming great.  Everyday its a new challenge but i keep learning.

Connecting With Champions in the Collision Repair Industry

Skills USA National Winners. From Left is Jennifer, Kayla, Rachel

I had the pleasure of meeting some of the National SkillsUSA winners while at NACE. Collision repair has been a male dominated industry, but more women are showing an interest and becoming recognized as champions in the collision industry.

I asked Gold Medal winner, Kayla E. Toncik to tell me a little about herself while at NACE 2009. Kayla was born and raised in Nazareth, Pennsylvania. She recently graduated from Nazareth Area High School and The Career Institute of Technology. While at CIT, Kayla studied Automotive Refinish Technology for the three years that she was there. Kayla participated in SkillsUSA placing second in all of the competitions she competed in. That is until her senior year. She had one last shot at trying to place first. This time she made it through local competition, which allowed her to move on to district competition, where she took first as well. Kayla was named the first female in the state of Pennsylvania to take first in the Automotive Refinish Technology competition in SkillsUSA history. This allowed Kayla to move on to National where she competed with students from all 50 states in America and 3 US territories. There Kayla took first place in the nation and the first female in the history of SkillsUSA to take first in non-traditional auto refinish competition.

Kayla plans to compete in SkillsWorld, 2011 in London, England, where she will be representing the USA. That is awesome and I wish Kayla the best of luck at this competition.

I asked Kayla what her future career goals were. She replied that having a family is important to her and she wants to become a Collision/Refinish teacher so she can help others succeed in life.

After meeting Kayla, I believe that her sincerity and desire to help others will allow her to reach any goal that she set for herself.

The Passion Story From The Man Himself – Chip Foose

The transition between high school and college may leave some students unclear or struggling with direction in life. Therefore, I thought it would be a good opportunity for you to hear how Chip Foose got his start. Chip is one of the most respected individuals in the automotive industries. His talents and skills are unbelievable and I sincerely believe that Foose is a person anyone would be proud to consider as a mentor. Watch this video, absorb his advice, stay focused on your goals, persevere, and don’t look up until you’re there. Life is going to throw some obstacles in your way. However, go around them and keep moving forward.

I agree with Foose. You’re going to spend a long time doing whatever career you choose. So you might as well do what you’re passionate about. Life is too short not to be happy. I also commend Chip for following the advise that his father gave him. “If you’re going to do something, do your absolute best and do it right, or don’t do it at all.” I’ve personally seen a few of the vehicles that they’ve done on the TV show Overhaulin’ and I can testify that he lives by the words of wisdom his father taught him.

Rachel Fonseca’s Collision Repair Passion Story

Rachel’s Passion

I’ve loved cars for as long as I can remember and working on them is my life. I graduated from Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational High School, in New Bedford, MA. and majored in Collision Repair. While at Voc I participated in SkillsUSA, becoming the first female in the 34 year MA state history to win gold in Collision Repair. And the only student ever to win double gold in Collision Repair & Automotive Refinishing. Moving on to place second in Collision at the SkillsUSA 2008 Nationals. I was lucky enough to be the recipient of the Women’s Industry Network’s 2008 NACE Scholarship.  Currently, I am employed as an Adult Education Instructor (teaching Collision Repair and Small Engine Repair) at Voc and as an assistant manager at an ice rink. Most of my free time is spent volunteering with Voc’s Collision program on the Curriculum Advisory Board and training current students for the SkillsUSA competition. I am currently attending the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth for my Business Degree and looking forward to finding my place in the Industry.

BoldFacers Interview

Fall River Herald Article

Body Shop Business Article

Tomorrow’s Technician

Jenni’s Passion Story

Jennifer Engelbrecht

Butler Community College Collision Repair Technology Program

Automotive Collision Repair fulfills a dream for me and provides a way for me to grow in my passion. My story isn’t typical. I didn’t grow up with all my family being car people, although my dad did teach me use my hands and to find solutions. It really started as a silly hobby when I was ten to identify cars on the road by their headlights/tail lights, and body lines etc., and people’s fascination of this only encouraged me more. When it came time to go to college, I couldn’t decide. I really hated the thought of continuing education in just general studies until i figured out a degree choice, of which none of them I could see myself doing for any length of time. I wanted to pursue something that was more a part of me that I could do for the rest of my life. I consider myself artistic and my dad encouraged me to combine that with my love of cars and pursue Auto Body. I had doubts that I’d like the repair part of it, but my drive to do custom paint and the thought of being around cars, and car people all the time was enough for me to enroll at Butler. The first year was a bit awkward, I was the only girl in the class and having my own set of tools was new to me.   During the program I gained a lot of confidence in what I’m doing, and actually love the repair part too. I’ve found out that there are many different jobs you can have within the industry; many different choices of what you can be good at.

Ashley Varga, A Girl With A Bright Future Ahead Of Her

Ashely Varga, a senior high school student, is a straight “A” student in addition to many other positive things that she has going for her.  Ashely, is also a teacher assistant to the auto body collision repair program at Vic High School, where she is restoring her 1973 VW Beatle.

As mentioned in the video, Ashely is a black belt in karate, which is a good indication that when Ashley sets her mind to doing something, she is dedicated to make it happen and seeing it through to the end.

Ashley is going to use her auto body experience and mechanical talent to ours a degree in mechanical engineering.  We wish Ashley a successful career pathway and hope her story encourages other students to discover and pursue what they are passionate about.

Father and Daughter Time Results In Lifelong Love For Cars and a Career

In this video Megan Hall is interviewed to tell her story about her passion for cars and plans for the future. Megan decided to give the Collision Repair program a try at Indiana County Technical Center, and as she says, “I loved It.”

Megan is now employed at a collision center and expressed the importance of having good reading, writing, and communication skills to be an auto estimator. She also explains many of the career pathways this leading can lead to.

The challenges Megan faces as a female in non-traditional male dominated career are: comments from customers, such as preferring to speak with a male at the business because they believe men know more about cars than women. However, Megan conveys that if you are passionate about something, you must persevere and keep going. She also encourage other females to pursue this career training if that is what they want to do as a profession.

Megan’s favorite part of the job is he satisfied customer. When she returns the car and sees the customer is pleased is her favorite part she states. Megan’s last but of advice for other students is to do their best while in school.

It sounds like Megan has a good grasp on her career goals and knows what she wants. I wish her the best in her career and I am sure she will go great.

I would also like to mention that I have had female students just as competent as male students. Therefore, I believe we should not stereotype this as a mans career. We need to look at them as individuals in this career. I have seen stellar male and female students and I also seen male and female students were not. Sex has nothing to do about it. It is the willingness to learn, motivation and drive that is going to produce the champions in the collision repair industry.

Andrew Cline from Corning Community College in Corning, New York.

Andrew Cline Wins The Collision Blast Contest

Winner Andrew Cline – Corning Community College

I have worked on cars my whole life my dad had always let me help him. I did a two year program at coopers education center boces my junior and senior year at high school doing auto body collision work I was awarded the most outstanding student award for the highest grade in class with a 98 average and high grade on nocti test. I decided to continue my career at Corning Community college for a two year program do auto body collision repair. I am a first year student my first simester I got a 3.27 GPA. I love working on cars it what i want to do for a career and a hobbie thats how much I love it I have a 73 nova that im putting together on my free time with a 454 big block with throttle body ingection. I competed in skills usa for auto body collision repair in 2010 at reginals at alfred state college i placed 4th I moved on to the state level and placed fifth placeing the 1st in metal work, 1st in priming and paint prep, and a tie for finishing. The reason I lost I bombed the test because we did not study electronics at my boces. I plan to open my own shop some day and work on everything from handas to chevys. I go to all the local car shows to see peoples work and I even travel to go to car shows I go to Carlile spring and fall shows and chevy nationals. I go to Syracuse Nationals as well. I go to a drag strip almost every weekend called skyview. I plan to take my education even furture by keeping up on laws and regulatons all the time I plan to become I-Car certified in as many things as I can.”

Do you have a collision repair story that you would like featured on here? E-mail me your story to [email protected]



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