International Women’s Day: Helping give others a voice

March 10, 2022

Sabrina Thring, COO for Driven Brands U.S. Collision started her career in finance – spending most of her early career in accounting where she held roles as controller and in FP&A. She “didn’t know anything about automotive” when she was recruited to join CARSTAR as VP of Finance. Today, she is COO for Driven Brand’s U.S. Collision group.

After time in Finance, where she also served as the CFO of the Paint and Collision group, she was asked to lead multi-site operations for Maaco. This change “completely flipped my career upside down,” she said, and gave her the opportunity to learn and drive the business. In that role, she visited more than 200 Maaco locations, which was “tricky for a mom of three.”

She credits her husband, a “superstar” and “her anchor” to help. Their partnership has allowed each of them to focus on their careers at different times.

During the pandemic, Sabrina was named the COO of FixAuto, where she managed and built the team virtually. Now, she is COO for all of Driven’s U.S. Collision segment, which includes FixAuto, ABRA, and CARSTAR U.S.

“She has never backed down from a challenge and is determined and action oriented,” said Michael Macaluso, EVP and Group Head of Paint, Collision & Glass.

At this point in her career, she feels like it’s time to “pay it forward.” She spends time mentoring employees and franchisees, and estimates she spends about 60% of her time each day talking to people. Each day, she asks herself, “did I help anyone?” – and if not, she gets on the phone. “It’s so easy to get caught up in the day-to-day business, you can lose sight of what we do and why we do it. We must remember who we are ultimately serving – customers.”

Big on inclusiveness, Sabrina is “very much about the people” and giving others a voice. With her mentees, she stresses that it’s not only what’s on your resume. What’s important is focus and drive and embracing a challenge. Then, there is no limit to what you can accomplish. She reminds people to “embrace every challenge that comes your way.”

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