For the first time at its annual conference, CARSTAR North America recognized both United States and Canadian CARSTAR owners and business groups throughout its network for their leadership and performance.
In the categories for top system award winners, Michael Macaluso, President, CARSTAR North America, and Dean Fisher, Chief Operations Officer, CARSTAR Auto Body Repair Experts, presented three awards to CARSTAR stores for their achievements. The winners included:
Franchisee of the Year
Franchisee of the Year is the highest award given in the CARSTAR system, and it represents the best of the best that is CARSTAR. These two winners were chosen on criteria such as using all vendors possible, attending the annual conference, commitment to the EDGE program, being image compliant, submitting reports on time online, and delivering consistently high CSI for the month and quarterly periods.
For Canada, the 2017 Franchisee of the Year is Jeff Labanovich, owner of CARSTAR Oshawa Drake Street. He is a longtime franchisee with two locations, chair of the CARSTAR Canada advisory board, has delivered double-digit growth over the past several years, is very engaged in the community and has an excellent brand presence in the marketplace.
In the U.S., the 2017 Franchisee of the Year is Sheila Samuels and her brother Jeff Samuels of CARSTAR Ideal and CARSTAR Arvada. They are recognized as a leader in the market on systems and processes and an integral part of the Denver business group. They operate what is considered a world-class facility, they have embraced a scheduling program, they have engaged in the advanced EDGE process and they are getting ready for eco-lean. They have created a great shop culture with long-term employees, and are always a leader in the market on charitable donations.
Rookie of the Year
The Rookie of the Year award is given in recognition to a new CARSTAR franchisee as it gets “up and running” with CARSTAR. To qualify for the award, a franchisee must be in their first year with CARSTAR, has completed CARSTAR immersion and enthusiastically embrace the CARSTAR culture with active participation.
For Canada, the 2017 Rookie of the Year is Ron Alberts / CARSTAR St. Stephen, New Brunswick. He has proven to be a very progressive thinker. He is a best in class location, is a true ambassador of the CARSTAR Brand, and is very integrated in the community.
In the U.S., the 2017 Rookie of the Year is Kevin Raines, with CARSTAR Centre City and CARSTAR West Chester. Raines opened two stores in the Cincinnati area late last year, becoming our 500th location, and is on track to open two more this year.
Next Generation Award
The Next Generation Award honors a second or third generation CARSTAR owner who is excelling at leading a family business, continues to meet high performance standards, participates in key CARSTAR programs like the EDGE Performance platform, attends conference and is image compliant.
The 2017 Next Generation Award for Canada is presented to Joe and Paul Saputo, owners of CARSTAR Ancaster. These recipients were one of the first CARSTAR Franchise locations in Canada. They have been very successful in transitioning the business from their father and mother and have grown sales by 25 percent since they have taken over the business. They have just recently opened their second location in Ancaster, Ontario.
For the U.S., the 2017 Next Generation Award is presented to Jamie White, owner of CARSTAR Ken’s North and CARSTAR Dalton South. White purchased both locations from his Uncle Ken White in January 2017 and is now staged for additional growth.
“It is an incredible honour to be able to recognize the achievements of these great shops, owners, and executives,” said Macaluso. “Our North American award recipients not only set a great example for other shops to follow, they also spread their knowledge experience throughout the entire CARSTAR network to help each and every one of our shops grow.”