PartsCheck, which sponsors Women in Collision and specifically the Parts Manager Award, has been out on the road promoting the program and interviewing women in the industry and encouraging customers to nominate.
The first featured woman is last year's Women in Collision Awards Winner from the Owner/Manager category Kathy Brahims of Brahims Bodyworks in Queensland.
How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the smash repair industry for 29 years this November.
What made you join the industry?
My husband at the time was a panelbeater by trade. He left the industry to start assessing for FAI Insurance, now better known as Allianz Insurance. The opportunity arose for us to purchase a panel shop, which at the time was called Beachmere Body Works. This was located behind Beecham Motors Holden dealership.
What do you like most about the industry?
We purchased a block of land in the Corporate Park Estate in 1994 and built our new workshop and moved in 1995.
I have always enjoyed the industry, and my job role is more the engine room. I do the accounts and also book and plan the work for the workshop. I very much enjoy working with my staff who are very loyal and supportive. My business partner Dean takes care of front line quoting and our son Joel, is the workshop Foreman.
I have two young office receptionists. Customer service is a very high priority for us. Neither of these young ladies had any previous experience working in the automotive industry or receptionist work, but their presentation and manners were impeccable and this got them in the front door. They both indicated an interest in office work, were prepared to listen and learn and are extremely professional and helpful at all times. If you are prepared to work hard you can excel in anything you do and if you enjoy what you do it makes the work environment a happier place.
What do you do for fun outside of work?
In my leisure time, I enjoy reformer pilates, reading, watching the rugby league and spending time with family.
What is your favourite car?
My favourite car is a BMW. Got one quite a few years ago for a birthday present and have never looked back. Always a Beemer!!