Automotive Industries of Canada vice president Beverlie Cook has been named as one of the Akzo Nobel Most Influential Women in the Collision Repair Industry. The award makes Cook part of an elite group of women honoured for excelling in their communities, their industry, and their business. The award made collision repair history when it was created in 1999, being the only industry award to recognize the achievements of women in a business traditionally dominated by men. Cook was one of seven recipients of this year’s award and was the only Canadian. "This award is grounded in two very simple objectives,” says Bill Orr, communication manager for Akzo Nobel Car Refinishes in North America. “First, is tearing down stereotypes as we recognize the evolution that is occurring in this industry. And, the second aspect, and possibly the most important, is that this award is about recognizing leaders and leadership. Or as Mark Twain put it, ‘Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.'” A 13-year veteran of AIA, Cook has been the AIA staff liaison for the Paint, Body, and Equipment (PBE) Council for a dozen years. She has played a pivotal role in enhancing the professionalism of the collision repair industry and led a major study of the human resources issues affecting the Canadian industry. The resulting report, Prep for the Future, was published in 1999, outlining the steps required to ensure the growth and enhancement of the industry. “Bev has done a remarkable job of promoting the interests of the paint, body and equipment sector in the Canadian aftermarket,” says AIA President Ray Datt. “It comes as no surprise to the AIA that she has earned this award. Her expertise and knowledge, particularly in the areas of skills requirements and training for the sector, provide enormous benefit and value to our members. On behalf of all of the AIA members, we congratulate Bev on being presented such a prestigious award.” “I am deeply honoured and humbled by this award,” said Cook. “Congratulations are also to be extended to Akzo Nobel for taking the initiative and showing their commitment to the industry by creating this award. I am also incredibly excited by the fact that, thanks to Akzo Nobel, funds will now be made available to women pursuing a career in the collision repair industry.” Akzo Nobel is donating $10,000 in scholarship money, which will be earmarked for programs that empower women in the industry, to the I-CAR Education Foundation to pave the way for the next generation of women in the collision repair industry. In addition to her responsibilities at AIA, Cook has worked as a volunteer for several organizations. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of Operation Go Home, an organization dedicated to re-uniting runaway teens with their families. She is a former President of the Ottawa Chapter of the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE), as well as a former national director of CSAE. Cook has a Master of Business Administration from Athabasca University and is a Certified Association Executive.