Every year, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) honors an outstanding shop for their contribution to the association and the industry at large. At their 2015 Annual Meeting, the Stan Wilson Body Shop of the Year award was bestowed to Anthony Lake of Exclusive Auto Collision in Ramsey for his certifications, dedication to shop improvement and his consistent battles in the court systems to challenge some of the everyday obstacles that shops face from insurers. The award was named in honor of the late longtime AASP/NJ Board Member Stan Wilson.
“I was honored to be chosen to be the Body Shop of the Year this year,” Lake says. “It means a lot to me and my employees for their dedication and the hard work that we put into repairing vehicles safely and properly.”
Lake’s shop is constantly working to stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing industry by making significant investments in tooling, equipment and training.
“I’ve invested a lot in equipment and training in the last 10 years so I can stay ahead of the game as far as the new technology,” he explains. “I think I was chosen for this award because of that and because of my ongoing commitment to the industry as far as dealing with the insurance industry’s stranglehold on us. I’m fighting back against that every day to try and show them that you can no longer repair cars for the Labor Rates that they’re offering. I look forward to continuing my fight with the insurance industry until this gets corrected.”
AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant noted these reasons and more as examples of why Lake deserved this distinction.
“This man has stood up and stood strong,” Bryant stated in his presentation of the award to Lake. “This industry is grateful and we are here to support you.”
AASP/NJ President Jeff McDowell was also pleased to be able to give this award to such a deserving recipient.
“Tony is one of those guys that stands up when other people can’t,” McDowell expressed. “The association has been supportive of his efforts and we’re glad he’s on our side, because he’s a fighter. That’s what you need to make a difference.”
Registration for the 39th Annual NORTHEAST® Automotive Services Show – held March 18-20, 2016 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in Secaucus – is now open at tinyurl.com/NE16reg. To find out more about the show, go to aaspnjnortheast.com.