Hammer & Dolly July 2022

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NATIONAL

FEATURE

Remembering Sheila Loftus

Photo courtesy of Facebook

Founder, editor and publisher of Hammer & Dolly. Executive director of WMABA. Hall of Eagles inductee. Founder of CRASH Network. Co-founder

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July 2022

of the Women’s Industry Network (WIN). One of the first Most Influential Women honorees. Any auto body professional would be

proud to hold a single honorific from this list of impressive accomplishments, but Sheila Loftus never settled for mediocrity. As the executive director of WMABA and publisher of Hammer & Dolly from the early 1970s until 2007, this fearless trailblazer tirelessly advocated for the collision repair industry – even after her 2008 retirement. Her death on May 13, at age 79, struck a blow to the hearts of many industry veterans who proudly recalled cherished memories of their friend. “Sheila was a very intense woman,” shared Lou DiLisio (Automotive Industry Consulting, Inc.) who met Loftus in the mid-1980s at the Collision Industry Conference (CIC) where she was “a regular fixture. It’s tough to describe her because people saw her in a lot of different lights. Many were intimidated by Sheila because she had no problem expressing her thoughts. At the time, it was unusual for a woman to be in this industry…especially a woman who told you exactly what was on her mind! You may not have always agreed with her, but you had to respect her.” Retired collision professional Frank Krauss first met Loftus at a WMABA meeting in the 1970s. “She was very funny and smart. Through her articles and her advocacy, she helped our shop – and our industry – in many ways. Sheila was an incredibly special person.” “There was Prince and Cher, but there was also Sheila; she never really needed her last name because everyone knew exactly who Sheila was,”