Archive for the ‘ARA Member Spotlight’ Category
This month’s member highlight is on Russ and Lauren DeWitt of Capital Adjusters, Inc., in Austin, Texas. Capital Adjusters was founded in 1975 and Russ, who has been with the company since 1976, is the current owner and president. They were the first company in Austin to join ARA and have been outstanding members ever since.
Russ, Lauren and their son Steven were recently awarded as Humanitarians by their church for their selfless contributions toward the betterment of mankind. Along with making sizable monetary donations to various church programs in their community and around the world, Lauren has been able to use her training as a pharmacist to act as medical director for Citizens Commission on Human Rights – a non-profit organization that exposes psychiatric abuses with the goal of cleaning up the field of mental health. Through her efforts, psychiatric abuses in Texas have been exposed and the offenders stripped of their licenses, and in some cases imprisoned. She has also been featured in two documentaries exposing these abuses.
Along with working nights and weekends at his church, Russ traveled to Berlin to help end religious discrimination in Germany, participated in disaster relief in Texas, and testified before the Texas legislature to help ban electroshock and forced drugging of children in Texas. Lauren was also part of the volunteer minister relief efforts in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans. Their son Steven does volunteer work at the Church.
“We believe we are put on this Earth to help others and a person’s value is not determined by his wallet, but by how much he is able to give to his fellow man.”
Thank you Russ and Lauren for being outstanding ARA members and for doing such amazing work in your community.
This month’s member highlight is on Cindy Smith of Heart of Texas Auto Recovery (HOTAR) in Waco, Texas.
In February 2013, Cindy bought HOTAR from her daughter, Karen Garner. She had worked for Karen for five years before buying the business, which has been in operation for thirty-three years.
In May of 2013, Cindy was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery shortly thereafter. With faith in God and the help of her employees, she kept the business going. Cindy has been cancer free for four and a half years now, and business has grown since she took it over.
Her agents and office personnel work hard to make sure every assignment they receive is handled professionally. Her husband Elmer is the yard man and sees to it that they are able to get in and out as quickly as possible.
Every year, HOTAR makes a donation to the George Meyer Scholarship Fund for local graduates at Riesel High School. The whole community comes together for a benefit run/walk with a party afterwards to generate money for the fund. They give five scholarships to the class each year at graduation.
Thank you, Cindy and everyone at HOTAR for being outstanding ARA members and wonderful people.
This month’s member highlight is on Vreeland Wood of VJ Wood Towing, Recovery & Repair, a third generation, family owned and operated towing and recovery company located in Hamburg, PA.
Vreeland and his wife Linda are very involved in their local community and have just donated land for use as a community garden. They also serve on the Board of Directors of “The Our Town Foundation,” a non- profit community economic development organization.
This foundation not only helps the city maintain its properties, but also hosts several local festivals, including the famous “HAMBURGER FESTIVAL,” which garners around 40,000 people!
Mr. Wood is the operations chairman and serves on the council at his church. He is also on a committee helping to purchase and restore their local theater, “Hamburg Strand,” an icon in their city.
For the past 12 years, Vreeland and his wife have enjoyed traveling many states with 2 of their 6 kids with their “RepoZest Drag Racing Team,” and are the proud grandparents of 7 grandchildren under the age of 3 l/2 years.
Thank you Vreeland, for being an outstanding ARA member!
This month’s member highlight is on David Landy of Universal Auto Recovery in Detroit, Michigan. David has been an ARA member since 1985 and is heavily involved in the Detroit community. He and his wife Carolyn are actively involved in their church, serving as deacon and chaplain. For the last 10 years, David has facilitated a group called Celebrate Recovery, an outreach program for those living in the inner city who are struggling with various problems, ranging from hurts and hang ups to addictions.
Outside of this ministry, David and Carolyn enjoy fishing, hunting and competitive archery. They have six children and five grandchildren, with another grandbaby on the way. Thank you, David, for being an outstanding ARA member for the past 32 years!
That’s right, our office has officially moved. The new address is: 1400 Corporate Drive, Suite 175 | Irving, TX 75038. Please take note of this address change for any of your administrative purposes, especially for any mail you plan to send us. We would like to highlight Nichole Harvill, CSR, of A.R.B. of Louisiana Inc. for being the first visitor to ARA’s new home office! We’d also like to thank Tricia Corkern and Reina Pastrana for holding down the fort at home office and for their exceptional service to ARA.
This month’s member highlight is Toni McCollister, owner of Faith Financial Group out of Fort Worth, Texas. Each year, Toni rallies her staff to participate in Relay for Life, the signature fundraiser for the American Cancer Society and an organization that is very near to her heart. Toni’s sister was diagnosed with breast cancer 15 years ago and in 2016, Toni’s other sister was also diagnosed. When asked about the fundraiser, Toni said, “I think Relay for Life is just that, living proof that we can survive not only breast cancer, but all cancer that does not know age, race, ethnicity, religion or other differences.”
Thank you Toni, for inspiring all of us and for being such an exemplary ARA member. We’d also like to give a shout out to Paul Bruce, ARA Member from Northeast Adjustment Bureau in Boston, MA, who also raced in and donated to the North Texas cancer race in September.
John Morgan is ARA’s director of compliance. If you haven’t spoken to him and/or seen him speak, you need to. As the director of compliance, he vets and ensures all documents that are put into ARA’s compliance program are validated and put in their proper spot. He also, within ARA’s Green Light program, contacts members with any issues they may have within their compliance documents. He also coordinates site inspections with Home Office. When he’s not keeping ARA members in the green, he spends his spare time making spirit signs for high school sports programs (think football, basketball, etc.) and end of the season senior gifts. Most of the money he’s paid goes back into the sports program. It’s his labor of love. His biggest project this past year was a sign for a catholic school that took him six months to complete. The school wanted to honor those who contributed to making the new floor a reality, so John took pieces from that old floor and created a 4’ X 3’ tribute. If you want to know about our compliance program or simply want to get to know John, email him at email@example.com.
American Recovery Association would like to give a shout out to Torie Baker of Baker Recovery in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Torie and her husband, Sam, were in attendance at the ARA Convention in Denver this past July. Torie, we love your enthusiasm, support and awesome attitude!
Click HERE to see what Torie thought about this year’s convention.
AJ Bruce, son of Paul Bruce, Jr., has always had a passion for weapon design and application. Even in his childhood, AJ was enthralled with the Military Channel. This fascination manifested not only in AJ’s unfolding career, but in his strong character as well.
AJ received his Master’s Degree in mechanical engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey this past spring. AJ worked his way through college, doing whatever necessary to achieve his goal. This competitive outdoorsman stunned employers when he and four other seniors from his class entered their project in a demonstration against schools from all over the country. AJ’s team won the bid and were deemed the “A team,” resulting in him obtaining three job offers from military contractors before his graduation. (more…)
Marcelle Egley-Sparks, owner of ABA Recovery, is a true inspiration. Aside from managing the daily stress and responsibilities of being a business owner, Marcelle dedicates her free time to her local Awana program. Through the Awana program, Marcelle is able to mold and influence young lives by mentoring the children and instilling strong leadership characteristics in them. Marcelle has always been a wonderful role model within our industry and the children of her Awanas group are lucky to have her as a mentor. Thank you, Marcelle, for all that you do for us and for your community.