NIADA Convention & Expo

Monday August 23-26, 2021

San Antonio

1. Was Your Bottom-Line as Big as You Expected?

2. Manage Your Inventory to Maximize Your Investment

Joe Lescota

President, Joe Lescota Management Education & Training

Joe Lescota is a highly recognized executive level, automotive retail educator and presenter.  Joe is frequently published in national publications and has presented at international, national, state associations and automotive conventions.  His area of expertise and focus is on; dealership financial statement analysis, inventory management and controls with emphasis on teaching dealers how to control expenses leading to greater net profit and sustainability.  Joe offers in-house consulting services and on-site management training courses.

Joe Lescota served as the Chairman of the Automotive Marketing Department of Northwood University in Midland, Michigan ( 1997 – 2012) where he was recognized and awarded the prestigious

“Faculty Excellence Award (this award recognizes excellence in teaching and leadership by students and faculty)  He is also the recipient of the Association of Finance and Insurance Professional association (AFIP)  Man of the Year award for his contributions to furthering education in retail automotive. He also received the prestigious Ring of Honorfrom the National Independent Auto Dealers Association and was one of the original creators and exclusive instructor of the NIADA Certified Master Dealer program (CMD)

He has conducted workshops and educational seminars for Ford Motor Co, including design and implementation of course material for Ford’s Dealer Development program, General Motors as well as presenting to GM’s Minority Development program, Fiat -Chrysler Corp, Honda of Canada and Acura of Canada, Proton Motor Cars of Malaysia and many other manufacturers as well.  He also consults for many franchised and independent used vehicle dealerships.

Joe brings his audiences over 40 years of frontline retail automotive experience and shares real world, practical and often times controversial ideas in order for dealerships to compete in this highly competitive and efficient marketplace.  Joe’s personal business philosophy is simple; “Gross is good but net profit is better.”

The Way Forward for Independent Dealers

Scott Maybee

President at NextGear Capital

Scott Maybee is president of NextGear Capital, the industry’s leading comprehensive finance provider serving more than 22,000 independent dealer clients worldwide.

Scott brings 10 years of automotive finance experience to the position, providing strategic leadership and new opportunities for independent auto dealers to profitably operate and grow their businesses. As the industry evolves, Scott and his leadership team also are pursuing ways to optimize the digital experience to drive efficiencies in every aspect of the client relationship.

Previously, Scott was general manager of Manheim Northstar Minnesota where he was responsible for all facets of Manheim’s wholesale vehicle auction and services operation. There, he successfully established a culture of transparency and rigorous process management while positively impacting employee morale.  In addition, through his leadership, Scott drove business and revenue growth, enhanced customer retention and improved operating margins.

Before joining Manheim in 2017, Scott spent 10 years with Nissan North America and Nissan Motor Acceptance Corporation. Most recently, he served as vice president of sales operations for Nissan Canada Finance.

Scott holds a law degree from Chicago-Kent College, an MBA in Finance from DePaul University, and a Bachelor of Science in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

When not at work, Scott enjoys time with his wife and two daughters, plays recreational hockey, and is a passionate Boston Red Sox fan.

Harnessing the Power of Texting in the Sales/Service Process

Chris Leedom

CEO, Textmaxx Pro

Chris Leedom is the CEO and Founder of Textmaxx Pro, a texting platform customized for automobile dealers. Chris has helped thousands of dealers improve their operations and as a former dealer and industry leader he possesses a 360 view of the independent dealer market. Textmaxx Pro is part of the Leedom Group of companies.

Key Ways to Thrive in this New Remote Retail World

Matt Jones

Director, Corporate Marketing, TrueCar

Matt Jones is Director, Corporate Marketing at TrueCar. His automotive career spans 20 years. More than a decade of that time was spent in car dealerships, where he held a variety of sales and sales management positions. After transitioning to the third party automotive education space, he established himself in the media as an expert on today’s evolving automotive consumers and dealers, and promoted best practices for both buyers and sellers.  His insights have been published in places like New York Times, Fox Business, and Forbes. In his current role, Matt contributes to TrueCar’s Industry content marketing efforts and speaks at industry conferences.

A Roadmap to Appointment Setting & Higher Conversion Rates

Sara Hoagey

Director, Corporate Marketing, TrueCar

Sara Hoagey is founder and CEO of eliteBDC, an automotive consulting company specializing in virtual BDC training, BDC consulting, CRM customization services with clients in North and South America. Sara has 22 years of automotive experience in digital strategy, BDC, and CRM systems. She also operates an automotive call center for virtual BDC clients across the country.

Driving Short-Term and Long-Term Profitability

Peter Velau

VP of Training, Southwest Dealer Services

With 25+ years of automotive F&I and Sales experience, Mr. Velau was with Pat Ryan & Associates (Resource Automotive Group) for 9 years. First as a field rep, followed by 5 years as a trainer. After leaving Pat Ryan/Resource he became AutoNation’s National Finance & Insurance Training Manager. In 1999 Mr. Velau became a partner in SouthWest Dealer Services. As the leader of their F&I and Sales training division, he is responsible for development and implementation of all F&I and Variable Operations training solutions for SWDS’s dealer clients. His duties also include F&I software development and implementation.

Bill Wilson

VP of Sales, Southwest Dealer Services

Bill Wilson, VP of Sales at SouthWest Dealer Services (SWDS) is responsible for organic and new business development, working with each division to ensure customer satisfaction and advancement. He is also charged with vetting new sales programs and products. During his tenue at SWDS, he has also led many dealer client technology enhancements such as our MenuMax program. Mr. Wilson has more than 30 years of experience in the automotive industry and started with SWDS in 2003 as the founding partner for the Kansas City division.

Auto Lenders: Finding the Right Fit for Your Dealership

Navid Arefi

Senior Strategic Alliances Manager at Exeter Finance

Navid Arefi is Senior Manager of Strategic Alliances for Exeter Finance. In this role on the Business Strategy team, he manages partnerships with several key Exeter business partners. Prior to taking this role, Navid served as Sales Director for the company’s Northeast Region outside sales team. He has been with Exeter for three years. Prior to joining the company, Navid worked for two years at Santander Consumer USA. He served most recently as a Lease and Product Development Manager and before that as a Sales Analytics Manager. He also has worked previously as a Senior Dealer Operations Manager for Nissan Motor Corp. and as an Area Manager for Chrysler Group LLC.

Doug Marohn

President & CEO of Nicholas Financial, Inc.

Doug spent nearly 14 years at Nicholas (1998 -2011) in various roles but primarily as Senior Vice President and VP of Operations before returning to the Company as NFI’s CEO and President in December of 2017.  He was elected to Nicholas Financial’s Board of Directors in January of 2018. Before rejoining Nicholas Financial, Doug served as President/CEO of ML Credit Group, LLC (dba Metrolina Credit Company). Metrolina Credit Company was a branch-based indirect subprime auto finance company doing business in the Carolinas (Nicholas purchased the majority of ML Credit Group’s assets in April 2019).  Previously he was Senior Vice President at TMX Finance overseeing its consumer loan operations. Prior to TMX Doug spent 14 years with Nicholas Financial and has more than 25 years of experience in the subprime auto finance industry.

Wendy Pratt

AVP of Strategic Alliances at GWC Warranty

Pratt joined GWC Warranty in 2010 and shortly after was named GWC’s Director of Strategic Alliances. In that role, Pratt pioneered new business avenues for GWC by partnering with national and regional lenders to help them increase portfolio performance by mitigating risk caused by mechanical failure. She was named Area Vice President of Strategic Alliances in 2017, focusing on assisting dealers in securing reliable financing sources for vehicle and F&I sales, growing existing lender partnerships, and seeking out new opportunities in the financial services community. Her track record of creating and cultivating successful partnerships earned her recognition as one of Auto Remarketing’s 2016 Trailblazers, Innovators and Disruptors, which honored automotive industry leaders who have blazed new trails in the industry with innovative ideas and solutions that disrupt the status quo and improve profitability. In addition, Pratt has been active in the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) for over a decade. She is a member of the Women’s Leadership Council and Operations & Regulatory Compliance Committee (ORCC) and is a Vice-Chair of the Business Partner Board.

Advertising – The Rules of the Road

Richard Hudson

Managing Partner of 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 of 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.

The Dealership Is NOT On Life Support

Rick Brubaker

Sales, ProMax

Being an outside the box leader and equipper who thrives on not being like everyone else, which leads to mediocrity, I am committed to each individual dealer partnership, to solve problems, maximize sales goals and profit goals, through personal experience, utilization of the latest technology, and proven processes.

I have worked at ProMax since 2013, selling the best automotive CRM/desking solution in the market to prospective dealers and partnering with existing dealers to achieve their sales goals and be a valuable vendor resource.

My career in the automotive industry started in 2004 where I worked in sales at a KIA dealership. I sold 212 vehicles the first year, 304 the following year, and eventually topped off at 534 vehicles seven years later. I used ProMax software and my own personal business plan to great success before moving into management, where for more than two years, I raised the gross per copy over $400 with the ProMax desking capabilities. My dealership experience with ProMax has been the best training I could ever have to now present ProMax to prospective and current dealers. My continued success at Promax of being the best vendor partner and vendor resource that I could be, has provided me the opportunity to lead our very talented Software Sales Team as we expand our sales team and as we reach new sales goals.

Retail Miles Mean Money – Rideshare & Delivery Revenue Opportunities

Brian Allen

Senior Vice President, Strategic Partnerships, Hyre Car

Brian Allan started his automotive retail career in 1980 in Beverly Hills, California selling Lincoln, Mercury, Peugeot and Lotus vehicles while attending Cal State Northridge University. In 1985, Brian joined what became the Galpin Premier Collection, a division of Galpin Motors in Los Angeles in California. As a General Manager at Galpin, Brian opened and operated 9 of the Galpin family of brands

Brian has served on numerous manufacturer dealer councils & advisory boards for several retail and technology firms. Brian is renowned for recognizing industry trends and developing innovative solutions that leverage technology to improve the employee and customer experience for the automotive industry.

After 30 years of service as a Group General Manager & Director of Business Development at Galpin Motors, Brian retired from Galpin in 2018. He founded respective.io, a strategic advisory and investment firm focused on emerging technologies and innovation in the retail automotive industry. Additionally, Brian joined HyreCar in December 2018 and is Senior Vice-President, Strategic Partnerships. He is responsible to assist OEMs and retail dealers with strategies to profit from the carsharing, ridesharing and Transportation as a Service (TaaS) opportunities.

Brian is a Los Angeles native and lives in the Hollywood Hills with his wife Karon and Fox Terrier, Brandy Alexander.