ALS - Pursuing the Cure

In memory of Thomas Edward Coleman, our co-founder, partner, and friend.

After 19 years in the collision repair business, many as an industry leader, Tom co-founded our collision repair business in 2004. Tom was self-educated in information technology, finance and management. His collision repair experience and his insatiable desire for knowledge were the foundation for building our successful collision repair business. In April 2013, at the age of 46, Tom was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Immediately, Tom became active in both research targeting neurodegenerative diseases and in fund raising to support this research. Tom’s support of the University of Michigan’s Program for Neurology Research & Discovery stem cell research initiative included his undergoing an experimental 7-hour operation in September 2013 in which 2 million stem cells were implanted directly into his spine. On May 28, 2014 Tom hosted an evening fundraiser that generated over $125,000.00 for stem cell research. This event was well supported by family, friends and the collision repair inter-industry.

Thomas Edward Coleman

Tom was a family oriented person with a big personality, a big smile and an even bigger heart. His many friendships spanned from his youth to those he met more recently as he fought ALS. Tom graduated from La Quinta High School in Westminster and soon afterward was a highly productive body technician. In a relatively short time, Tom experienced virtually every position our industry has to offer from technician to parts manager to service writer to center manager. In 1998 Tom joined Caliber Collision Centers, advancing to VP Operations, overseeing Caliber’s over thirty California centers. Tom left Caliber in 2004 to cofound our current collision repair business. In spite of the physical limitations imposed by ALS, Tom continued to manage many aspects of our business until his passing on November 14, 2014.

Tom is greatly missed by his family, many friends and business associates. In memory of Tom, 1stCertified has committed to an annual grant to the Collision Repair Industry Education Foundation ( for the support of Southern California secondary and post-secondary schools teaching collision repair related courses.

Shawn Hezar, Bill Lawrence, Tim Collin and Tom

Tom with spouse Ronnette and their Children

Tom and Dr. Eva Feldman, University of Michigan


Additionally, we support:

University of Michigan
Program for Neurology Research & Discovery Fund 366275
University of Michigan Office of Development
Attn: Katy Kaliszewski, 1000 Oakbrook, Suite 100, Ann Arbor, MI 48014

ALS Association – Orange County Chapter

Each of the above organizations is worthy of our continued support.

First in Service First in Quality