The National Auto Body Council (NABC) has announced that Bill Garoutte, a veteran business development, marketing and collision industry executive, has been selected to take the helm at the organization, succeeding Chuck Sulkala, NABC’s Founder and Executive Director who retired at the end of 2017.
In his new position, Garoutte will be responsible for developing and executing NABC’s strategic plans and fiscal objectives, membership development, marketing and administration.
“We are thrilled to have Bill take the lead to continue the tremendous legacy and positive impact that Chuck Sulkala and many of our colleagues have made in our collision industry through the National Auto Body Council,” said Darren Huggins, NABC Board Chairman. “As our collision industry continues its explosive growth, Bill’s strategic leadership skills will be an invaluable asset to guide NABC and its members to serve as the driving force to change and save lives in local communities across the country.”
Garoutte brings to the National Auto Body Council more than years of experience in the areas of strategic business building, market development, marketing communications and advertising. As Founder and President of BDGA, LLC, he provided management and consulting expertise for clients in a variety of industries including the collision repair industry. Within the collision industry, Garoutte was a vice president and senior marketing executive for CARSTAR Franchise Systems, responsible for global brand and marketing initiatives. He served on the Board of Directors of NABC from 2007-2012 and the Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) from 2005-2009. He has served as a business and marketing consultant for Collision Industry Electronic Commerce Association (CIECA) for the past four years.
Garoutte’s leadership on the Board of Directors of national and local community service organizations include Big Brothers Big Sisters, Junior Achievement of the Ozarks, St. Agnes Home and School, Lake Country (MO) Soccer, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Missouri, Catholic Business Network Organization and University of Alabama Parent Advisory Council.
“I have always had the highest respect for NABC, for what the organization has accomplished by shining a positive light on the collision industry. I look forward to continuing these efforts to help make NABC even more relevant to all our stakeholders,” said Garoutte.
Chuck Sulkala NABC Appreciation Scholarship Fund Established
The NABC also announced it has established the Chuck Sulkala NABC Appreciation Scholarship Fund through the Collision Repair Education Foundation to honor the 50-year career and legacy of the retiring Founder and Executive Director of the National Auto Body Council (NABC).
“We know of no better way to thank and immortalize Chuck’s significant contributions and impact than to help ensure that a future generation of collision repair professionals will benefit from the many opportunities created during Chuck’s labor of love to transition the image of body shops into today’s respected collision repair industry,” said Huggins.
Individuals and companies who wish to contribute to the Sulkala scholarship fund can:
- Donate online on the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF) website and select the Sulkala scholarship.
- Text SULKALA to 91999.
- Mail check to CREF at 5125 Trillium Blvd., Hoffman Estates, IL 60192.
- Contact Director of Development Brandon Eckenrode at 847-463-5244.