CDS Receives Prestigious Robert Author Smith Award at SEMA

Articles posted on 09/12/17

On Wednesday November 2nd during the week of SEMA, Collision Diagnostic Services’ Director of Client Services, Jake Rodenroth was awarded the prestigious Robert Author Smith award. The award was presented by I-CAR’s, Josh McFarlin.

Robert Author Smith as he was known back in the day was an instructor at the Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI. Bob taught classes, and donated generous amounts of his time to help young students learn and better understand how to fix cars the right way. He also taught I-CAR classes, gave presentations, donated meeting space and his time to I-CAR to hold and host meetings. Basically he was a selfless human being who wanted to give freely of himself to help others.

Jake Rodenroth hails from Jacksonville, FL. He began his love affair with cars at the age of three. He played/worked his best friend and mentor, his father Dave. They would work side by side for the next fifteen years. At eighteen, Rodenroth entered the automotive business as a technician for Mercedes Benz. He then spent the next 13 years honing his mechanical and collision repair expertise on high end, highly optioned vehicles with Osteen’s Auto Body. During his time at Osteen’s, Rodenroth held a variety of roles which allowed him to learn the business from the ground up. In 2004, his tireless effort to learn and research new vehicle makes, models, and technology helped the company become the first certified structural aluminum Jaguar and Land Rover repair facility in northern Florida.

2003 – 2004 was a special time for Rodenroth for another reason. In early 2003 he reached out to industry icon Mike Anderson of Collision Advice and asked him for help. According to Rodenroth, “I was a young kid, a nobody, but Mike always took my calls. It didn’t matter what time of day I called he always made time for me. He was so helpful to me early in my career. I owe him everything”. They remain great friends and business colleagues today. You don’t have to look very hard to find them on stage co-presenting to a large 20 group.

Ironically, these two friends shared a special bond at this year’s SEMA Expo. In addition to Rodenroth being named the winner of the Robert Author Smith award, I-CAR, unbeknownst to these good friends also presented Mike Anderson with the same award.

Rodenroth’s desire to explore new challenges would take him to AES and ABRA Auto Body & Glass, serving on ABRA’s integration team. His transition team trained and integrated over 100 repair centers into ABRA’s network of repair facilities in less than two years. Rodenroth also spearheaded the building and development of a new technical hotline for all ABRA locations nationally. After his time at ABRA Jake joined AES. While at AES he studied and learned a great deal about the process of diagnostic scanning, the large variety and quality differences in aftermarket scan tools, and the value of using the OEM factory scan tools. This knowledge set the table for the important work that he’s doing today.

In 2015, Rodenroth joined Collision Diagnostic Services as Director of Client Services. Rodenroth is responsible for the training, product integration, and sales of the asTech™2 device. The asTech™2 device provides its users with the ability to perform remote diagnostic scans using CDS’s Patent protected bi-directional communication interface. The process incorporates the use of master technicians to complete each scan using the appropriate OEM factory scan tool every time.

Much like Robert Author Smith, Rodenroth has spent the last year and a half doing extensive research on the ever changing vehicle technologies, repair methods, and new OEM vehicle designs. This work has positioned him as an industry leader and subject matter expert on mechanical and collision repair procedures and diagnostic scanning. Earlier this year he spent a full week in Appleton, WI working closely with the entire I-CAR training staff to build the first true curriculum on diagnostic scanning. This valuable training will be released to the industry very soon. In addition to the work he’s doing with I-CAR, he’s given much of his free time to the Society of Collision Repair Specialists to help provide critical educational sessions at NACE and SEMA. “He’s just a special kind of person. He’s willing to roll his sleeves up and help anyone at any time. We’re lucky to have him on our team.” said Dan Young, VP Sales and Marketing at CDS.

Over the last eighteen months Rodenroth has facilitated scores of training meetings, industry presentations, live demonstrations, and countless webinars. He wants to help the repair and insurance industries truly understand and embrace the important role diagnostic scanning needs to play in the repair process as all attempt to manage the proliferation of embedded technology being placed on and in the vehicles of today and tomorrow.

About asTech™:

Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Collision Diagnostic Services home of the asTech™ device, is an innovative solution provider for collision repair professionals and independent body shops. Through the patented asTech™ device, CDS uses original equipment manufacturer technology to provide accurate, high quality reporting and effective solutions for many automotive repair issues. For more information, visit

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