NIADA Convention & Expo

Monday August 23-26, 2021

San Antonio

Winning at the Game of Google

Ronald Heider

President at HMA

Ronald A. Heider is the President of HMA – an automotive ad and marketing agency serving both retail & BHPH dealerships. Since selling his first ad to a car dealer for the college radio station back in 1985, Heider has worked to develop marketing campaigns that will drive traffic, leads and selling opportunities. What motivates Heider the most is crafting campaigns that are simultaneously effective, cost-efficient and affordable. Anybody can make the phone ring if you spend enough money. Delivering customers when budgets are tight (and maybe even non-existent) is a challenge he thoroughly enjoys.

Heider’s mission is simple – help dealers sell more cars while spending less on their ads. While the industry at-large continues to tout the “build your brand and they will come” message, Heider believes in a strategy that focuses on generating qualified leads, traffic and selling opportunities first.

With 30 years of experience in automotive marketing, Heider believes that best route to success is a comprehensive & integrated campaign that utilizes digital & social marketing mediums allowing dealers to reach potential customers where they’re at and when they’re ready to buy.

Heider grew up in Buffalo, NY and has pledged lifelong support for the Buffalo Bills & Sabres, regardless of their records. While attending Liberty University, Heider helped start the men’s ice hockey program. Soon after moving to Virginia Beach, he traded in his snowblower for a surfboard. Without question, the surfboard is far more enjoyable. Ron and his wife are actively engaged with their church and enjoy volunteering and supporting local Christian charities. Ron also has the privilege of being on the leadership team for Christian Surfers of Virginia Beach. When not developing campaigns for clients, you’ll find Ron with his family; enjoying anything near, on, or in the water; or somewhere on the Atlantic coast searching for the perfect wave.

Transparency: Not a Four Letter Word – How Sharing Conditioning Data Fuels Sales Velocity

Sean Peoples

Vice President of Sales at SureSale

Sean Peoples is Vice President of Sales at SureSale, the award-winning company that, through its SureSale vehicle quality report offers used vehicle buyers peace of mind, while enabling franchise and independent dealers to validate, and merchandise, the quality of their used vehicle inventory.   

Peoples has a deep and successful footprint in the auto industry, working with some of its most cutting-edge, and established, service-providers. Prior to joining SureSale, Peoples served as Chief Revenue Officer at LotLinx, where he built, managed, and led their sales and customer support organization, doubling customer initial contract value and reducing revenue churn by 75%. Previously, he served as Vice President of Sales for CarGurus, Executive Director of Business Development and Dealer Initiatives for Edmunds, and as Director of Product Management for Chrome Systems Corporation.

Competing in 2021 and beyond: Embracing a digital-first experience strategy

Travis Bickham

VP of Marketing at Birdeye

Travis Bickham is currently the VP of Marketing at Birdeye. He’s  led go-to-market at companies ranging from hyper-growth startups to mature global businesses. He’s experienced in engineering new market categories, building brands to dominate said categories, and executing operationally to build pipeline.

Used car market update, a view from the independent dealers’ perspective

Rene Abdalah

SVP of Business Development at Blackbook

Travis Bickham is currently the VP of Marketing at Birdeye. He’s  led go-to-market at companies ranging from hyper-growth startups to mature global businesses. He’s experienced in engineering new market categories, building brands to dominate said categories, and executing operationally to build pipeline.

25 Proven Opportunities to Reduce Costs and Improve Profits

Doug Austini

President at Strategic Source

Doug is a four-year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and a graduate of St. Thomas College.  He professional experience includes sixteen years with Northwest Airlines as Director of Purchasing and System Stores.   He also served as Director Purchasing, and Logistics for Wilsons Leather Experts and Vice President of Operations for Ergotron.  In 1992, Doug started StrategicSource, a consulting practice in spend management and purchasing.  Doug is currently the President of StrategicSource, the industry leading expense management consulting company for many vertical markets.

How To Source the Right Cars, Right Now, Right from your Phone or Computer

Doug Hadden

VP of Field Operations at ACV Auctions

Doug Hadden is Vice President of Field Operations for ACV Auctions, the leading dealer to dealer, online, wholesale automotive marketplace. In his current role, Hadden manages field operations initiatives, training, strategic dealer group development, and dealer association partnerships. Hadden began his career in the industry as a lot porter gradually making his way through every dealership department. He has worked as a line mechanic, service writer, new and used car salesman, finance manager, sales manager, and general manager. Hadden is excited to assist his dealer partners in the growth of their businesses. As an auto industry veteran with more than 35 years of experience and veteran auto conference speaker, Hadden understands what it takes to make dealers successful and passionate about sharing best practices.

Virtually Kick the Tires: How Vehicle Information Can Help You Make Better Buying Decisions in the Digital Wholesale Marketplace

Brad Burns

AVP of Vehicle Information at Manheim

Brad Burns has spent the majority of his nearly two-decade-long career working closely with clients across several Manheim operating locations. He first served in various client-facing roles throughout Florida, ultimately being tapped to lead Manheim St. Pete as general manager in 2017. Now as AVP of Vehicle Information at Manheim, Burns will be instrumental in leading the transformation of Manheim’s vehicle information, helping to drive client confidence across the Manheim Marketplace.

How To Increase Your Leads & Sales Without Spending A Penny More On Marketing

Lyamen Savy

CEO/Founder of 321 Ignition

Ms. Lyamen Savy is the CEO and founder of 321 Ignition, the Seattle-based mobile-first website provider focused on helping car dealerships evolve to meet the next generation of car buyers’ demands online and in the showroom. Previously she was the Senior Global Marketing Manager at Microsoft, where she exceeded the company sales goals by 80% and scaled the footprint of Office 365 SMB Direct channel from 12 countries to 41 in one year’s time.   This earned her the company’s coveted internal award of “Customer Obsessed Employee.” She brings nearly 20 years of sales and marketing expertise and her vast knowledge in the digital space coupled with her focus on customer experience to the automotive industry.  Her unique background has steered 321 Ignition’s mission to enhance the car buying journey for the next generation, while identifying ways to increase profitability and efficiency for car dealerships. With her business partner and 321 Ignition Co-Founder, DJ Haddad, they have decades of combined experience leading successful campaigns for Fortune 100 brands and fast-growing retail and technology companies.  They now bring these insights and proven approaches and analytical methodologies to car dealerships in order to help them engage millennial and Gen Z customers. The daughter of a Russian refuge, Ms. Savy came to America as a teenager in the late 80’s and quickly adapted to a new language and culture while relying on food stamps during the transition.  Her passion and drive to live fearlessly has continued be at the forefront of every decision she has made.   Ms. Savy graduated from the University of Washington with a business degree and has an associate degree from Bellevue College in Web Multimedia Authoring.  Ms. Savy came to the United States from Azerbaijan in the 1990’s with her twin sister and her mother and quickly taught herself English.  Her first car was a 1986 Pontiac Sunbird.

HR and Employee Handbooks – What and How to Communicate

Richard Hudson

Managing Partner at Ignite Consulting Partners

Richard Hudson is a Managing Partner of Ignite Consulting Partners. He is a well-known technology and business process expert in the BHPH industry and is a former Director of iDMS and Inventory Support at DealerSocket, and Former Manager of Tech Support at AutoStar Solutions. He combines compliance knowledge with operations expertise and guides his clients on technology implementation, policies and procedures, audit, and credit reporting issues and considerations.

Steve Levine

Chief Legal and Compliance Officer at Ignite Consulting Partners

As Chief Legal and Compliance Officer of Ignite, Levine helps independent car dealers and finance companies develop compliance and training initiatives, as well as provide guidance on best practices and a wide range of other matters. He has a diverse auto finance background of over 30 years, having served as General Counsel of Regional Acceptance, a subsidiary of BB&T Bank, and AutoStar Solutions, a national Dealer Management System (DMS) and technology provider for independent auto dealers. He also served similar roles with Sigma Payments and SecureClose. He is a frequent contributor to industry publications and provides compliance and legal insight through his Twitter account @LawyerLevine.

Boost Sales and Satisfaction with a CPO Program

Scot Eisenfelder

CEO at APCO Holdings

Scot joined APCO in 2020 as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Planning to grow the company in an increasingly digital and competitive auto retail environment—bringing a rich background in the automotive industry and deep expertise in selling products and services to the retail market. Prior to joining APCO, Scot held leadership positions at Affinitiv Inc., AutoNation, JM Solutions, Reynolds & Reynolds, JD Power, and Accenture. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Princeton and an MBA from Wharton Business School.

James Virgoe

SVP of Sales at GWC Warranty

James Virgoe, Senior Vice President, GWC Sales, has over 20 years of experience in the automotive industry. With a strong track record of managing top-performing territories, developing new channels of business, and building revenue-producing relationships, James leads GWC’s high-performance sales organization with a focus on creating stronger market penetration. His deep understanding of the competitive landscape helps drive organizational innovation and growth as the industry continues to evolve.

Jeremy Beck

VP of Sales Operations at APCO Holdings

Jeremy brings over 20 years of experience in the automotive industry to the EasyCare and GWC University training teams. Before joining APCO, Jeremy spent four years as a National Training Manager, leading internal and external training and development programs in the F&I space—including developing a highly-regarded dealer leadership academy. Before that, he spent over fourteen years in the retail automotive franchise space holding positions from sales to Managing Partner. He holds an AFIP Master Certification and facilitator certifications in some of the world’s leading development programs and personally believes that for an organization to move from good to great, you’ve got to focus on the development of people.

Effective Marketing For Dealers in 2021

Tracy Myers

President of Frank Myers Auto Group, Co-Moderator Unfair Advantage Automotive Mastermind Group

Tracy Myers is an award-winning small business marketing & branding solutions specialist, car dealership owner, best-selling author, Emmy-winning movie producer, speaker, business coach, wrestling promoter and entrepreneur. He is commonly referred to as The Nation’s Premier Automotive Solutions Provider while Best-Selling author and legendary speaker Brian Tracy called him “a visionary… a Walt Disney for a new generation.” Tracy has been the co-moderator of the Unfair Advantage Automotive Mastermind Group since 2013.

Troy Spring

CEO of Dealer World, Co-Moderator Unfair Advantage Automotive Mastermind Group

Troy Spring is the CEO of Dealer World, an in-house full service Advertising Agency devoted to helping dealers SELL MORE NOW. He is also a best-selling author and has been the co-moderator of the Unfair Advantage Automotive Mastermind Group since 2013.

How to Protect Your Dealership (and Yourself) in Uncertain Times

Mark Burkholder

National Director of Auto Dealer Services Group LLC

Mark Burkholder is a nationally recognized speaker and financial specialist, who works primarily with automobile dealers and business owners. He helps in the areas of wealth protection, business succession, and estate planning. Mark has been successfully helping business owners plan for their future by helping them think about what they want, then building strategies, in a team-based planning environment, to help accomplish their goals. As a speaker, Mark brings a relaxed and conversational tone to the complex family and financial issues. He is an expert at helping families navigate these important decisions. Mark has spoken at numerous events in the automobile industry. He is also a noted expert in helping auto dealers with their complex planning issues. Mark has been a featured speaker at the NIADA Convention, as well as, 11 different state conventions. He proudly serves as a board member of the AIADA.

The NIADA Certified Pre-Owned Program

Carlton Lancaster

Director of National Sales Division at GSFSGroup

Carlton Lancaster has been the Director of the National Sales Division at GSFSGroup for more than three years where he oversees the organization’s US sales and growth initiatives.  Carlton leads a team of sales and support professionals who work with Agent Partners, Direct Accounts and Corporate/Organization-led programs.  As a 22 year veteran of the automotive industry, Carlton started his career working in Finance at an Acura dealership in the Dallas area.  He then went on to hold executive level positions in Sales and Business Development with Interstate National Dealer Services, EFG and AON.  Carlton has a B.A. in Business Administration and Management from Texas Wesleyan University.

Mike Sims

National Sales Manager at GSFSGroup

Mike Sims joined the GSFSGroup team as a National Sales Manager in January 2020 specifically to bring his experience with the NIADA CPO program and maintain his relationships with key independent dealers and influential agent partners.  He was a contributor to the development of the original NIADA CPO initiative working closely with its NIADA program founders.   Mike works directly with Carlton Lancaster and is charged with growing the NIADA CPO business by increasing the number of participating dealerships and ensuring dealers are prepared to make the program a success once installed.  Mike also takes point on managing the organization’s relationships with several agent partners.  Mike Sims attended Prairie View A&M University and spent much of his previous career in sales, training and business development with AFSI.

Providing Independent Dealers with a New, Unique Competitive Sales Advantage

Jonathan Dawson

Founder/President of Sellchology Sales Training

Jonathan Dawson is an automotive consultant, sales trainer, author, speaker and coach. He helps dealerships improve sales, reduce turnover and implement effective marketing strategies. His core teaching philosophy is known as Sellchology – Selling through Psychology. This approach is a combination of customer-focused selling, community-driven marketing and impact-focused leadership. In addition to consulting with dealer clients, Jonathan frequently speaks at conferences, state association and 20 group meetings. He is a best-selling published author and a contributing writer for industry publications. Jonathan’s content is fresh and based on real-world situations because he is in dealerships every month and still sells cars.

Art and Science of Selling

Paul Webb

Sales & Management Trainer at Brandeis Training Solutions

Paul Webb began his training career in 1988 and has presented training and consulting to automotive OEM’s, NADA Dealer 20 Groups, NIADA Management and Sales Seminars, NADA Convention Speaker, Certified Collision Repair Centers, associations and individual dealerships.  As Director of Training for leading private and publicly owned Dealership Groups, he has delivered customized sales and management training programs to increase profits as much as $54K in 5-weeks.  One client selling 435 used vehicles a month switched to using Brandeis Training Solutions and increased to a store record of 719 used vehicles in one month.  Testing his techniques, Mr. Webb sold 77-vehicles – a 1-month personal best.