Jason Stahl is the editor at BodyShop Business, a magazine committed to helping collision repair shop owners improve their efficiency, profitability and repair quality by empowering shop owners with the knowledge they need to run successful businesses.
What’s the top story you’re working on now?
We are producing a lot of content on COVID-19. To say that COVID-19 has thrown a monkey wrench into the inner workings of the economy is an understatement, to say the least. Body shop owners and managers are hungry for information and advice on how to get through this pandemic without permanently damaging their businesses. They want to know how to retain their employees, what financial help is out there, how they can streamline their businesses, and how to prepare for when things get back to normal.
Tell us about your dream assignment.
My dream assignment would probably be to cover the Masters golf tournament. And, of course, have the chance to play the course as credentialed media.
Describe the craziest or most fun story you’ve written?
That’s easy! I covered a doggie birthday party in my early days at a community newspaper. A local lady REALLY loved her dogs and went all-out with a party every year. There were hundreds of attendees, some from out of state and even a local weatherman! I was advised to wear shoes I didn’t care about. There was a huge cake, 50 lbs. of sloppy joe and even a plywood cutout where you could get your photo taken. And believe it or not, a local high school jazz band was there too! You should have seen when the band started up – distressed dogs darting every which direction! In writing the story, I think I exhausted every dog-related play on words you could conceive of: a “doggone good time was had,” “bone of contention,” “four-legged strut,” “howling fun,” etc.
What is your top pet peeve with PR people?
Not knowing my magazine and my readers. Sometimes I wish they would research and educate themselves on my industry before pitching me an idea. If they do, the likelihood of me running with their idea increases tenfold.
What is the top trend you’re covering or interested in right now?
I would say vehicle technology. Cars are becoming computers on wheels with more lines of code than Facebook, and it’s fascinating to see what they can do, the occupant safety they can achieve, and shops’ learning curve as they train on these vehicles and master the process of scanning and recalibration.
Tell us a little about yourself (family, interests, favorites, background, etc.)
My biggest passion is my kids! I have a 24-year-old daughter named Brittany and a 20-year-old son named Jacob who will be a junior at Ohio University this fall. They are my best friends, and I know time spent with them is the best time. My second biggest passion is golf. I wanted to be a pro when I was younger but never came close to that level of play! After a lot of blood, sweat and tears, I’m a pretty decent player today.
Finish this sentence: People would be surprised to know that I….
Am 48. If you know how long I’ve been in the collision industry or know how old my kids are, the math makes sense, but strangers usually guess I’m 10 years younger. Good genes, what can I say? I’ll take it.
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