Eckenrode began his career with CREF in 2009 and for the last two years has served as the foundation’s managing director
Hoffman Estates, Ill.—Brandon Eckenrode is the newly named executive director of the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF).
“I am excited about CREF’s recent team growth which will help the organization execute its goals,” said Eckenrode, who assumes the role after former executive director, Clark Plucinski . “I look forward to focusing on how I can be supportive of the full CREF team and ensuring that they have the tools and resources for the organization to be successful moving forward.”
While Eckenrode’s collision industry career began in 2002 in I-CAR’s marketing department, he joined the foundation’s team as associate director of Development in 2009 while the organization was “transitioning from distributing curriculum to collision school programs to becoming the philanthropic focused organization it is today,” he said, identifying his early responsibilities as “educating the industry on the new focus and showcasing how CREF is uniquely positioned to facilitate industry support to collision programs in need.”
As director of Development from 2012 through 2021, Eckenrode was heavily involved with CREF’s growth through his management of various projects and events that helped the organization gain visibility within the industry and beyond. For the past two years, he has served as the foundation’s managing director, a role that has required him to work closely with CREF’s Board of Trustees, staff and its partners to execute the organizational goals and strategic mission.
“On behalf of the CREF Board of Trustees, we are thrilled to have Brandon promoted to the Executive Director position,” said CREF Chair Steve Schmidt, of State Farm. “Brandon’s performance over the past two years, his thoughtful leadership and his support of the CREF staff all contributed to this decision. With Brandon leading CREF’s efforts, we look forward to the future and to supporting the fantastic CREF team’s focus on continued growth and success within its mission to ‘support collision repair educational programs, schools and students to create qualified, entry-level employees and connect them with an array of career opportunities.’”
Industry members interested in getting involved and supporting the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s efforts to assist secondary and post-secondary collision repair training programs can Contact Us to learn about the many ways to get involved. Monetary donations can be made online.