CIECA Connex 2023 Conference Speakers Announced

CIECA has announced the speakers for its Connex 2023 conference, to be held in Bloomington, Illinois, USA from 12 to 13 September 2023. As well as a line-up of thought leaders, the conference will offer networking opportunities, a vehicle gifting ceremony by the National Auto Body Council (NABC) as part of its Recycled Rides programme, CIECA’s open annual meeting, and a tour of electric vehicle company Rivian’s manufacturing facility.

This year’s theme is ‘Connected Car, Connected Industry’. The event will be hosted by industry veteran Bill Garoutte and feature representatives from Audi, Lucid Motors and Rivian, while a panel discussion focused on digital claims will feature speakers from Allstate, Kemper Insurance and State Farm. Information on a range of other topics will also be shared, looking at how they will impact the collision industry and CIECA Standards in the future. These include artificial intelligence (AI), augmented / virtual reality, electric vehicles, information privacy and security, OEM repair procedures, smart cities, and telematics.

“As vehicle technology increases, there is a growing interconnection between vehicles, the cities and streets they drive on, first responders, manufacturers, repairers, insurers and every other segment of the automotive ecosystem,” said Paul Barry, Executive Director of CIECA. “As an industry, we need to be prepared to repair and service vehicles that are quickly becoming nodes on a complex network. It is imperative that we understand what changes are coming and how they will affect the industry and CIECA Standards in the future.”

Frank Phillips, Senior Manager at Rivian Certified Collision Network (RCCN), said that as a CIECA member, the network recognises the value of the CIECA organisation and welcomes attending members to enjoy the tour. “We believe what we are doing in the area of OEM collision programmes is certainly an industry disruption, and we are proud to continue our effort in establishing an industry-leading RCCN,” he added.

Greg Best, Senior Business Analyst at California Causality and CIECA Chair, said Connex is an opportunity to network with industry stakeholders and expand knowledge of the issues impacting the industry. “There will be informative presentations and panel discussions about emerging technologies, and you will also gain insight into how CIECA is positioning itself to keep us all connected in our ever-evolving marketplace, now and into the future,” said Best.

Debby Robinson, Executive Director at NABC, said: “We’re honoured to be part of the CIECA conference again this year and share the inspiring presentation of NABC Recycled Rides vehicles. We are thankful to all our NABC members who make these vehicle presentations possible, many of whom are CIECA members, and look forward to having the CIECA attendees join us for this event.”

Conference speakers include:

  • EVs and Rivian Tour: Frank Phillips, Rivian
  • Augmented / Virtual Reality: Jake Rodenroth, Lucid Motors
  • Industry Updates: Sean Carey, SCG Management Consultants; Marty Ellingsworth, JD Power; Tanya Sweetland, OEConnection
  • Telematics: Cornelius Young, Cambridge Mobile Telematics; Michael Neuber and Chad Witt, State Farm
  • Connected Vehicles / Smart Cities: Damon Aldrich, Enterprise Holdings; Brandon Branham, Peachtree Corners / Curiosity Lab
  • Learning Technologies and Redefining Skillsets: Jeff Peevy, I-CAR
  • Digital Claims Insurance Panel: Moderator Bill Brower, Solera; Craig Edmonds, Allstate; Brianne Jones, State Farm; Scott Kohl, Kemper Insurance
  • Information Privacy and Security Panel: Moderator Brandon Laur, CCi Global Technologies; Indiana Department of Insurance Commissioner Amy Beard; Sumit Chauhan, CerebrumX; Pete Tagliapietra, DataTouch
  • OEM Repair Procedures Panel: Moderator Mark Allen, Audi; Chuck Olsen, AirPro Diagnostics; Frank Terlep, Opus IVS
  • CAPIS Technical Updates: Paul Barry, CIECA; Jeff Schroder,; Pete Sheehan, Mountaineer Business Technology

All industry stakeholders are invited to attend the conference, with attendees eligible to receive credit toward a professional designation from the Automotive Management Institute (AMi).

For more information about CIECA CONNEX, including the agenda, visit