Everyone’s Thoughts Matter

by Burl Richards, ABAT President

One of the things that makes ABAT such a successful association is recognizing that the many is greater than the few, so it’s important that we stay organized in order to represent the interests of all our members throughout the great state of Texas. During our annual Board meeting, held February 9 in Waco, we focused on the best ways to accomplish our many goals related to bettering the auto body industry for all shops.

Because our organization has members in so many different markets which face their own unique challenges, our Board members’ input is invaluable, since each of them represent these various regions. The majority of our leadership team attended the recent meeting, along with ABAT Lobbyist Jacob Smith who updated everyone on the current legislative races and our intended initiatives going into next year. Although the Texas legislative session only takes place every other year, time goes by pretty dang fast, so we’re gearing up for the 2025 session now to maximize our impact!

We’re also doing something new. Because we want every Board member to have a voice so they can best address each market’s specific agendas, we formed subcommittees to enable us to give closer attention to the causes that may be nearest and dearest to certain individuals in hopes that it will allow us to effect an even greater impact on those endeavors. For example, we created legislative, membership and marketing subcommittees; having small groups invest greater energy into specific topics on the overall agenda improves our ability to really dive into these issues, single things out and be more effective. Then, those subcommittees will update the entire Board on the specifics.

Of course, we also discussed ABAT’s upcoming Texas Auto Body Trade Show, scheduled for July 12-13 at the Irving Convention Center, and we’re all excited to see how the show gets even bigger and better this year as we continue finding new ways to support auto body businesses in our market. 

Overall, the meeting was really productive, and I feel like we accomplished a lot, but I think the most important thing we discussed was our membership because, after all, ABAT is comprised of auto body shops working for the collision repair industry! It’s not about one person’s vision or objectives; it’s about how we can work together to benefit all of our members. Our Board is very committed to ABAT’s vision of improving the industry for every auto body professional in the Lone Star State, so it’s vital that we know if there’s an important mission we need to focus on so we can better support you, our members. 

Over the next few months, our Board members will be reaching out to the shops in the markets they represent to find out what’s most important to YOU. We want our members to get the most value possible from their involvement with ABAT, but we need your help! Send your suggestions to your local representatives (you can find their names and contact information on page 3 or at abat.us/abat-board), or feel free to reach out to me directly.

Together, we can keep making our industry stronger and better for all of us!

Want more? Check out the March 2024 issue of Texas Automotive!