John Norris, executive director of the Collision Industry Information Assistance (CIIA), died suddenly on May 28. Norris, known as a passionate champion of the both Canadian collision repair industry and the people who worked within it, Norris is also known for playing a major role in establishing the Ontario College of Trades.

“John was a defender of the collision [repair] industry. He devoted himself to its well-being and truly cared for the people involved in it,” says Collision Repair publisher Darryl Simmons. “His passing will leave a great void in our community.”

Norris founded the CIIA in the 1990s, serving as the organization’s executive director for more than 20 years until his death. The non-profit organization provides member shops with access to tools designed to improve a facility’s profitability, safety and training information. Under Norris’ tenure, the organization also provided industry-related consultancy services to regional governments in Canada, Mexico, the U.S. and Jamaica. His efforts on behalf of the Ontario College of Trades were celebrated in 2017, when Norris was awarded the college’s first Prize of Excellence.

“The CIIA’s goal is to have the most competent, skilled and competent workforce possible,” Norris said during that awards ceremony. “It is nice to be recognized by the Ontario College of Trades.” Norris is survived by his wife, Annette, his children Theresa, Richard and Jeffrey, and grandchildren Quinn and Owen. The family held an open reception on Thursday, June 6, in Hamilton, Ont. A private family funeral and cremation followed after. Memorial contributions to Diabetes Canada and Hamilton Conservation Foundation would be appreciated by the family.

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