The Crash Champions leadership team is a collection of some of the most experienced operators and leaders from across the industry. Combined, the leadership team boasts more than 140 years of automotive and collision repair industry experience.
Founder & Chief Executive Officer
Matt Ebert is the visionary founder and Chief Executive Officer of Crash Champions. A passionate industry entrepreneur, Ebert founded the company in 1999 as a single local repair center and has grown the brand into the third largest multi-shop operator (MSO) in the U.S.
Today, Crash Champions serves customers at more than 600 locations in 36 states as the largest founder-led MSO in the country and has attracted investment from some of the world’s leading equity firms, including a recent growth investment by Clearlake Capital Group in 2022.
Since founding the company as New Lennox Auto Body and rebranding to Crash Champions in 2014, Ebert has remained steadfast in building a fiercely independent and operationally-centric business that promotes ownership and opportunity for its team members and operators.
In 2022, Crash Champions experienced a transformational year of growth in which the organization added more than 400 locations to the organization’s footprint – including the historic acquisition of Service King Collision. That same year, Ebert was named the MSO Executive of the year by leading industry publication Bodyshop Business.
Ebert is passionate about building the industry’s Employer of Choice and has implemented several innovative internal programs to promote a dynamic culture, team member success, and professional development.
Chief Financial Officer
Eric Pitt is a versatile and experienced executive leader and CPA with an accomplished background across a variety of corporate finance, investor relations and treasury roles. He joined Crash Champions in 2023 as Chief Financial Officer after previously serving as CFO at HGreg, a new and used vehicle dealership group with more than 30 locations across the U.S. and Canada.
Throughout his career, Pitt has led large-scale accounting and finance teams through the successful acquisition and integration of more than 150 automotive dealerships accounting for more than $15 billion in revenue. He has also led international accounting and consultant teams spanning the U.S., Canada, South Korea, and China.
Prior to his role with HGreg, Eric served six years as Vice President of Investor Relations and Treasurer at Lithia Motors, Inc., a Fortune 500 company and the largest automotive retailer by new vehicle sales. In the role, he was a primary point of contact with external investors and analysts, while also providing oversight to the corporate finance, treasury, and financial shared services functions of the organization.
He is a licensed CPA and holds a B.S. in Business Administration as well as an MBA from Southern Oregon University.
Chief Operating Officer
Alan Saviano serves as Chief Operating Officer of Crash Champions. A seasoned executive leader with nearly 20 years of experience in the collision repair industry, Saviano joined Crash Champions in 2020. He previously served as senior vice president of operations at a national collision repair company where he oversaw more than 2,000 team members that produced $450 million in annual revenue.
Since joining Crash Champions, Saviano has played a key role in fueling the organization into one of the fastest-growing collision repair providers in the U.S. while also maintaining operational excellence. In 2022, Crash Champions also secured transformational investment from Clearlake Capital Group, which also funded the strategic acquisition of Service King Collision – operator of more than 300 repair centers in 35 states.
Today, Saviano oversees the operations of more than 600 high-quality collision repair centers in 36 states and the District of Columbia. He works closely with cross-functional senior leadership to solve complex issues with a focus on improving the lives of operators through proven processes. He oversees all phases of operations, from strategy to execution.
Throughout Saviano’s career, his attention to detail and a passion for the process, he developed a proven track record of producing results and increasing value for organizations.
A 10-year Navy SEAL, Saviano is passionate about infusing an operationally-centric culture across Crash Champions that promotes ownership and entrepreneurship. That distinct vision has added value to the Crash Champions brand while distinguishing its culture in the industry.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Bill Davidson is an action-oriented leader with more than 20 years of human capital experience across multiple industries. He joined the Crash Champions team in 2023 in the role of Chief Human Resources Officer, with the charge of overseeing the organization’s people strategy while supporting the overall business plan during a period of accelerated growth.
Prior to Crash Champions, Davidson served as Senior Vice President and Chief People Officer at Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA), NYSE: IAA, a leading global digital marketplace connecting vehicle buyers and sellers. In the role, his team oversaw and led the strategic execution of succession planning, talent, organizational and performance management, employee engagement, training, career development, compensation, and benefits.
Davidson earned an MBA from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue University, a Master’s Certificate in Human Resources Management from Villanova University and a Bachelor of Business Administration at Strayer University. Additionally, he is certified in Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, ROI Methodology, Myers Briggs Type Indicator, and Situational Leadership.
Davidson is a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and currently resides in the Chicagoland area with his wife Kendra and three sons, Brennen (an Active-Duty Marine), Keegan and Cullen.
Chief Marketing Officer
An innovative industry leader, Daniel Briones is the Chief Marketing Officer at Crash Champions where he leads a team that oversees marketing, advertising, branding, and communications of the third-largest collision repair operator in the U.S.
Briones joined the Crash Champions team in 2021 and played a key role in developing the organization’s brand identity and creative messaging strategy during a period of exponential national growth - including the strategic acquisition of one of the nation’s largest operators.
Briones has 25 years of experience in the collision repair industry, 15 of which have been in marketing and advertising management where he has spearheaded innovative brand strategy campaigns for some of the industry’s largest and most successful organizations. His creative and strategic instinct have led to the successful launch of multiple national brand awareness campaigns, strategic partnerships with national non-profit organizations, and the successful pivot to a digital-first advertising strategy - including the launch of a first-of-its-kind mobile self scheduling solution.
Since joining Crash Champions, he has built a robust brand framework that primes the organization for future growth and sustainability. Meanwhile, he has overseen the implementation of data-driven and experiential marketing campaigns that drive brand awareness, showcase the unique Crash Champions culture, and shares its purpose statement as the company continues to execute upon its key business objectives.
As a longtime industry veteran, Briones is passionate about developing innovative campaigns that creatively share the story of Crash Champions, its team members, and customers.
Chief Information Officer
Mark Miller is an experienced industry leader and serves as the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Crash Champions, where he leads the organization’s technology and security infrastructure. Miller joined Crash Champions in 2022, and previously served as vice president of Information Technology. He was appointed CIO in 2023.
An accomplished executive leader, Miller brings a wealth of experience to the Crash Champions senior executive team spanning more than three decades in the digital technology space – including prior experience as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at a national collision repair organization as well as CTO and CIO roles at Party City. He was also the founder and CEO of Precocity, a leading digital technology and cloud services company.
Miller has a proven track record of building dynamic teams that creatively leverage technology to achieve key business results. He currently holds three patents.
At Crash Champions, Miller is driven to support an operationally-centric organization by developing and deploying streamlined digital solutions.
He holds a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Syracuse University Whitman School of Management.
Chief Client Officer
An innovative, experienced, and creative executive leader, Rachel Hutfless serves as Crash Champions’ Chief Client Officer (CCO). In the role, she oversees a team that secures and fosters strategic stakeholder partnerships, while also leading the organization’s call center operations and central review.
Since joining Crash Champions in 2020, Hutfless has played a key role in the organization’s transformative growth, which has seen the company expand by more than 500 locations in 35+ states, and close on the strategic acquisition of one of the nation’s largest operators.
Hutfless has nearly 15 years of experience in the collision repair industry, primarily in business development and marketing, account management, as well as securing and implementing strategic revenue-producing partnerships with several of the nation’s leading insurance carriers. As Chief Client Officer, Hutfless and her team also serve as a critical liaison that ensures a best-in-class experience and customer-centric culture.
Prior to joining Crash Champions in 2020, Hutfless held the role of Associate Vice President of National Accounts at a major national collision repair provider.
Throughout her career, she has developed a reputation for driving value, promoting brand awareness, and developing teams that achieve results while fostering key B2B relationships. Hutfless holds a Master of Science in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Grand Canyon University, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Arizona State University.
Chief Strategic Officer
Ryan Downs is an innovative and creative executive leader that serves as Chief Strategy Officer at Crash Champions. An industry veteran, Downs leads the organization’s strategic operations with a vision to position the organization as an industry leader for customers, business partners and team members. He joined the Crash Champions team as CSO in 2022.
Downs has more than two decades of experience in the collision repair industry – primarily in management and senior leadership positions where he has been instrumental in the development of innovative processes and technology that has significantly improved overall operations.
Throughout his career, Downs has played a central role in the development of Crash Champions' best-in-class proprietary scheduling system. He has also spearheaded multiple enterprise-level implementations and integrations in organizational process and software deployment to streamline key business functions including CCC ONE, OPS parts, scheduling, front-of-shop operating model and one of the largest acquisitions in industry history.
Previously, Downs served as vice president of centralized operations at a national MSO. Throughout his career, Downs has also served in a variety of operations leadership roles including market vice president and director of operations. He is also a member of the CCC ONE Advisory Council.
He holds a B.S. from Arizona State University.
Chief Operations Officer (ATE)
John Panagopoulos serves as Chief Operating Officer of Automotive Technology Experts (ATE). He was appointed to the role in 2022 after serving three years as Executive Vice President (EVP) of Corporate Operations for Crash Champions.
As COO of ATE, Panagopoulos oversees operations strategy for the business, which delivers industry-leading diagnostics and scanning solutions to collision repair providers across the U.S.
While at Crash Champions, he led the organization’s training team, integrations, ATE division, business systems (CCC) and administration departments, including call center operations and IT.
Panagopoulos joined Crash Champions in 2016 as the organization’s first CFO, playing an important role in the company’s rapid and historic growth into a coast-to-coast industry leader.
An industry veteran of more than 30 years, Panagopoulos brings a wealth of experience in both the automotive services sector and as an operations and administrative leader at regional and national multi-shop collision repair operators (MSOs). He has held previous roles as District Manager for Tire America, Manager of Manpower for Sears Auto Centers and National Tire & Battery (NTB), as well as Area Manager for Service King Collision.
Panagopoulos holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting. He resides in his native Illinois with his wife, Mimi, their two boys, Madden and Ander, as well as their goldendoodle, Benny.