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AGRSS Annual Conference Kicks Off with Awards Ceremony

The Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standard (AGRSS) Council kicked off its annual conference this morning at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. During the day, it honored four industry representatives who have devoted their time and efforts to the AGRSS standard, Carl Jolliff of Jolliff Glass, Dean Mieske, formerly of Performance Achievement Group, Bill Ives, who serves as legal counsel for the group, and Bob Birkhauser, president of AEGIS Tools International.

“How did we get there? We had to have a vision,” said AGRSS chairperson Cindy Ketcherside, as she introduced Jolliff.

In accepting the honor, Jolliff said he still has high hopes that the work of the AGRSS standard will go even further.

“I may not live to see it, but I hope I do and think I will, the day that every auto glass shop in the nation gets on board with the AGRSS standard,” Jolliff said.

Mieske, who no longer works in the auto glass industry, also attended the conference to accept the honor AGRSS bestowed upon him.

“He worked day and night to get our original standard drafted,” Ketcherside said of Mieske.

Mieske thanked others for their support and noted that they all had something in common that made the creation of the standard possible.

“We needed one other ingredient and that was faith--we all had faith in the process,” he said.

In honoring Ives, Ketcherside noted that his work has often been behind the scenes--and for awhile was even pro bono.

“Bill never complained when AGRSS couldn’t pay him,” chuckled Ketcherside, who noted that the group is now up to date in their payments to Ives and now is fully "in the black."

Ives, who has been involved with the standard since the beginning, said he also appreciated the others involved in the work.

“It wasn’t just the activity of those involved--it was the dedication,” he said.

In recognizing Birkhauser, Ketcherside referred to him as the “thread to link all these people,” noting that in the three previous thank-you speeches, Birkhauser’s name was mentioned.
Birkhauser also was appreciative--but said the Council still has lots of work before them.

“This industry is under a great deal of pressure to become a commodity,” he said. “We need to work with the insurance industry and we need to educate them that there is a difference.”

“Remember, we’re on a journey and the journey is not at its end,” he said.

Rocky Bleier, former Pittsburgh Steeler and Vietnam veteran, also provided a keynote motivational talk in which he advised attendees that they need to believe in themselves and work as a team in order to reach their common goal of promoting safe installations in the auto glass industry.

“Successful organizations like successful teams are made up of two parts--trust and commitment,” he said.

He also reminded attendees to remember the past when thinking about how to approach the future. “If you don’t understand your past, then how do you know where you’re going to go?” he asked.

Bleier also noted that leadership plays an important role, too.

“When put in charge, take charge, and when you’re in charge, have the courage to do what is right,” he said.

The conference continues tomorrow.

CLICK HERE for more information about the conference.

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