CARSTAR Canada unites as '1' at annual industry conference

Sept. 13, 2016
CARSTAR Canada hosted its annual industry conference in historic Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Close to 600 attendees were at the conference including franchise, vendor and insurance partners.
CARSTAR Canada hosted its annual industry conference in historic Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island from August 24 to 26, 2016. Close to 600 attendees were at the conference including franchise, vendor and insurance partners. Themed ‘1’, this year’s conference focused on the continued unification of CARSTAR Canada and US into CARSTAR North America and the ongoing commitment to its brand, its business and its people. The conference kicked off on Wednesday, August 24, with the “Walk Lobster”, CARSTAR’s annual conference walk to support Cystic Fibrosis Canada. The “Walk Lobster” raised almost $8,000 for the charity and combined with other initiatives, including a silent auction and raffles, close to $35,000 was raised throughout the week. Following the walk, Michael Macaluso, President, CARSTAR North America, opened up the event outlining the theme of “1” and CARSTAR North American goals for the future. “We are one CARSTAR. We have one vision, one mission and one core set of values,” said Macaluso. “This is year one for CARSTAR North America, as we are venturing into a new beginning and a new journey, built upon the same culture of excellence and fighting spirit. For CARSTAR, it is not only about being number one in our industry, it is about being a part of one community, having one united focus and driving forward as one CARSTAR family.” Dean Fisher, COO, CARSTAR US and Laura Skinner, Director, Driven Brands Charitable Foundation, also took the stage for the opening ceremonies followed by Dr. Nick Bontis, a leading expert on intellectual capital and its impact on performance.

The second day was jam-packed with influential speakers including Artemio Garza, Chief Brand Officer, Driven Brands, Chris Moore, Director of Marketing, CARSTAR Canada, and Hannah Ross, Director of Marketing, CARSTAR US, to discuss marketing the CARSTAR brand. Customer Experience Manager Lillian Haskett took the stage to discuss Net Promoter Score (NPS), the industry standard customer loyalty measurement, as did John Harvey, Vice President, Insurance, who examined the industry-wide transformation and the importance of CARSTAR's key strategic relationships. Presentations concluded with insurance keynote speaker Etienne Berlinguet, Deputy Senior Vice President – Claims, Intact Insurance. That afternoon, CARSTAR held expert break-out sessions and an interactive vendor expo.
The closing day of conference featured Colson Cole and Melissa Miller, both Vice Presidents of Operations for CARSTAR, to discuss the six pillars of “The CARSTAR Way” for franchise partners to become “Best In Class” and Edward Blaha, Director IT, who discussed future technologies for the industry. The morning wrapped up with guest speaker Jay Papasan, bestselling author of “The One Thing”, and an intriguing insurance panel discussion.
To top it off, on Friday evening, a gala dinner and awards ceremony celebrated the best of CARSTAR and featured a ‘roaring twenties’ theme where decadence and elegance were on the menu.
“We are happy that, once again, our annual conference excited and educated our franchise partners while providing the tools, resources and contacts needed to grow their business and improve operations,” says Macaluso. “This is our largest network event of the year and was a total show-stopper.”

CARSTAR is the largest and fastest growing automotive repair franchise in North America, with nearly 500 locations in 30 American states and 10 Canadian provinces. Founded in Hamilton, Ontario in 1995, CARSTAR Canada repairs approximately 100,000 vehicles per year, with exceptionally high customer experience ratings. Through a variety of fundraising initiatives, CARSTAR Canada, its franchisees, partners and employees have raised over $3 million for Cystic Fibrosis Canada. In 2015, CARSTAR was recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies for its fourth year in a row. For more information, please visit:

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