Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC
Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions
Dominion Dealer Solutions
Chase Auto Finance, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Tiff Arcella serves as vice president of sales for Automotive Finance Corporation leading the North American field sales team and bdc. She is a sales leader and strategic management expert with 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and management. During her 16+ years in the auto industry she has held roles with franchise dealers and vendors who service franchise and independent dealers.
Andrea is truly a “lifer” with over 25 years in the automotive business, beginning in high school as a nighttime receptionist at a Honda dealership in Houston. Her past titles have included sales advisor, sales manager, finance manager, general sales manager, general manager, and owner/operator. Andrea is truly honored and thrilled to use her years of hard work and development to help others.
Who’s your Danny?
Danny Benites first began in the Automobile Industry in 1985 after attending Texas Tech University where he studied Public Relations and Advertising. He is currently the General Manager of The Joey Accardi Auto Group in Pompano Beach, FL. Danny has written for major publications such as Automotive News and Auto Success Magazine, and has been a keynote speaker at conferences from coast to coast . His automotive career has gone from working as a lot porter to owning three franchises. As a General Manager, Dealer Principal, and Automotive Industry Consultant, h e has transformed numerous companies with his unconventional ideas and unique leadership style. Danny spent two and a half years as a stand-up comic and has performed with several nationally renowned comedians and travelled with several improv groups. He has been called the 28th funniest person in the car business by Dealer Knows Magazine (Joe Webb – Editor)
Having held almost every position in the dealership, Danny brings a wealth of knowledge as well as humorous perspective. Don’t let the sense of humor fool you, when it comes to rebuilding a dealership ’s culture and profitability , he means business.
Brian Benstock is the General Manager and Vice President of Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura. Located just outside of New York City in Woodside, Queens, Paragon Honda and Paragon Acura are the no. 1 Certified Honda and Acura dealers in the world, delivering an average of 950 cars per month and 32 cars per day, every day.
Mary Bicknell, LCSW focuses on teaching business owners and entrepreneurs how to become the BIG, BOLD leaders they need (and want) to be in life and in business.
Mary embraces candor as a form of respect, never wanting to waste people’s time. Her clients tell her that she gives them a kick in the a** while giving them a hug.
With 16 years’ experience in Retail Management, Jennifer has received 3 National Awards for innovative digital sales, marketing, and management strategy, including Automotive News 40 Under 40 Retail.
Briggs is passionate about Digital Marketing, BDC, and Sales & Operational Strategy in the Retail Automotive industry, but if you ask her what she does, she will tell you, “I just sell cars.”
Cassie Broemmer is the Executive Vice President of Business Development for Car Wars.Cassie joined Car Wars full time in May, 2016. Her responsibilities include building partner reseller, dealer group, and OEM relationships.
Cassie ran the Marketing and CRM divisions for Van Tuyl Group, the nations largest privately held automotive group, for 11 years. She then led the marketing efforts to rebrand the group to Berkshire Hathaway Automotive when it was acquired in 2015. With eighteen years in the automotive industry, she served as a district sales manager with AutoTrader.com and held positions as a regional sales manager, national sales trainer, national accounts director, and director of CRM sales at Who’s Calling, Inc.
Justin began his automotive career 18 years ago with Chrysler. He is a strong leader who thrives on high energy and enthusiasm. He is a graduate of Morris Brown College and has an MBA from Michigan State University. Today, he is the President of Team Velocity a technology firm that automates omni-channel communications for the automotive industry.
Evelyn Cardenas is the CEO of the Central Florida Auto Dealers Association and the CFADA Foundation. Ms. Cardenas is an international management professional who is experienced at leading multi-million-dollar initiatives across the globe. Her experience includes consulting with startups and public and private businesses in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Denise K. Casagrande is the Social Media Director for PCG Digital at PCG Companies. Starting in influencer marketing and ecommerce in 2013, Denise has made a career out of testing and writing about social advertising advancements as they’re put into place.
Her current passion is leading her social team through these advancements to better help the automotive industry understand why they need social marketing.
She currently resides at the Jersey Shore, where she co-wrote her first book, Can You See Me Now?, and published a white paper on The Automotive Social Media Sales Funnel.
In addition to speaking out on the road, her day-to-day at PCG is spent leading the PCG digital team, growing the company’s reach, and occasionally walking her peers through a nice yoga practice.
Evelyn, co-owner of Freedom Auto Group & General Manager, is celebrating her 36th year the automotive industry. Her story is not typical, she and her family escaped Cuba when she was three. This drives her. She is inspired to play an instrumental role in the success of the company’s “Life Improvement Business”. Evelyn & her team participate in non-profit fundraisers to support the community.
Joe Chura has been in the automotive industry for over 17 years. He began his career on the Ford assembly line at age 20, reading his college textbooks seconds at a time in between building cars. After graduating Magna Cum Laude in Business with a minor in Marketing, he worked his way from the line to the product development team, and then into Ford’s marketing and sales division. He continued to pursue his education and was accepted into the master’s program at Illinois Institute of Technology.
Joe left Ford after 10 years to pursue an opportunity to run a dealership. He became GM of Fairway Ford in Freeport, Illinois, and then moved up to run the largest store in the group, Lake Geneva GM. After 2 years, Joe decided to pursue his passion in digital and started a BDC for a group of Ford stores in the Chicago area. He was able to draw from both his knowledge of the automotive space and his experience as a life-long programmer to find his niche in digital marketing. By developing new processes and aligning strategic marketing efforts, Joe led the effort to increase River View Ford’s sales by over 300%, placing them among the top 100 Ford dealers in the country for Internet sales.
Combining his passion for computer programming and innovation, Joe co-founded Dealer Inspire (DI) to bring new retail technology and better online experiences to both car dealers and shoppers. DI has since become a certified advertising and technology provider for 19 OEM brands and expanded to over 400 employees and 2,000 clients.
Joe is also on the board of One for the Kids, a Chicagoland charity helping less fortunate children, where he serves as the marketing chairman. He has three children, a very understanding wife, and a crazy dog named Harley.
Claire Coder is the 20-year-old founder and CEO of Aunt Flow. (goauntflow.com) In just 1 year, she grew the company to stock over 100 businesses with freely accessible menstrual products. Coder starred on TLC’s Girl Starter, has been featured in Forbes, TeenVogue, and named Columbus’s youngest 40Under40.
Sheryl Connelly has served as Ford Motor Company’s futurist for more than a decade. She is responsible for identifying global trends, exploring potential implications and cascading these insights on futuring to organizations throughout the company, including design, product development and corporate strategy. She is a member of the Global Advisory Council on transportation for the World Economic Forum. Fast Company magazine named her one of the Most Creative People in Business in 2013 and 2015. Connelly has been a featured speaker at TED Global, appeared on CBS This Morning , CNBC’s Fast Money and NPR’s All Things Considered with Robert Siegel. Before working for Ford, she practiced law. In addition to a juris doctorate, Connelly holds a bachelor’s degree in finance and a master’s in business administration. When her schedule permits, she teaches design research at Center for Creative Studies in Detroit.
With over 25 years of proven success, Lisa is a dedicated pioneer in the field of automotive sales and brand strategy. She has been a trailblazer to revolutionize the automotive industry and has received many awards and recognitions along the way.
Copeland sold her award-winning dealership in 2016 to share her knowledge and expertise as a leading female consumer advocate, brand strategist and Keynote Speaker.
Lisa founded Cars Her Way in 2014. Lisa and her team through technology help dealers and OEMs authentically market to in-market female shoppers as well as help their clients create female-centric strategies and platforms.
She is also the co-author of Crushing Mediocrity: 10 Ways to Rise Above the Status Quo. Her new book “The Art of The Big Sell is set to release in December 2018
Candice Crane has 15 years of sales and operations experience in a variety of markets. As the Organizational Development Director of a large automotive group in the Midwest, Candice designed and led a transformational change that improved the customer experience and reduced employee turnover by replacing the F&I silo with cross-functionally trained recent college graduates. Candice created a Management Training Program and defined a career path for future leaders and high volume sales people. Candice has extensive experience in Talent Management and is considered a SME in recruiting and retention strategies for high turnover environments. Candice completed her Undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a Masters Degree in Organizational Development.
Molly Curry has been working in the automotive/advertising industries since 1979. Her first job out of college was taking classified liner ads for car dealers. She has worked at Autotrader.com, CarsDirect, Comcast Spotlight, CDK Global (previously Cobalt). While at CDK she was a multiple President’s Award Winner. Her current project, vendorDBauto, is building vendor classifieds for car dealers.
Tamara (Tammy) Darvish joined Capital Automotive Real Estate Services, Inc in April 2018 as Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Capital Automotive, she served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at PenFed Credit Union, which manages $23 Billion in assets, and her leadership included global oversight of all Operations, Branches, Marketing Member Experience, Sales, Government & Community Relations. Tammy has proven herself a change agent having successfully executed PenFed’s most important strategic objectives. Her unwavering dedication and laser focus in bringing superior member service to PenFed’s 1.6 + Million members delivered record growth of over $6 billion. During her tenure, she was also appointed President of the PenFed Foundation, which is committed to supporting our nation’s defenders, veterans and their families with emergency assistance and financial well being.
Prior to joining PenFed, Tammy was the Executive Vice President of DARCARS Automotive Group from 1984 – 2015, a privately owned group of 30+ franchises throughout Greater Washington. She also served as a Director on the Board of the National Automobile Dealers Association, representing over 17,000 franchised automobile dealerships across the country for seven years. Tammy often consults for companies and media outlets on issues regarding the Automotive Industry and has received numerous industry awards, including being named nu Automotive News as one of the “100 Leading Women in North American Auto Industry”.
Tammy serves her communities through several corporate and philanthropic initiatives, as philanthropy and community service have always been a constant high priority for her. She was recognized by Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot with the 2015 William Donald Schaefer Helping people award, and in 2014, and was awarded the Philanthropist of the Year Award not only for her contributions to the communities she serves, but also her passionate engagement in many activities. Promoting and educating communities on financial readiness is a personal passion. Tammy believes that it is through proper understanding and education of basic financial matters that can change lives for the better. She keynotes several corporate and philanthropic events. Tammy was also awarded the James L. Eichberg Lifetime Achievement Award, as she continues to meet her personal goals in serving her communities.
Jody DeVere is a internationally recognized speaker, trainer, often quoted industry pundit and spokesperson for the automotive industry on the women’s market. She has been featured by the New York Times, NPR, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox Business, Forbes Women, Oprah Magazine and Parenting Magazine to name a few. As CEO of AskPatty.com, she provides automotive education to women consumers and an interactive online Certified Female Friendly® certification training program for automotive retailers on how to attract, sell, retain and market to women.
In her role as marketing to women expert, automotive journalist, car care expert and safety spokesperson her goal is to educate women car buyers and owners, the automotive industry at large and promote, mentor and support careers for women in the automotive industry.
Jody DeVere is a champion for women in the automotive industry, and her company AskPatty.com, Inc. serves as the first point of contact for many women who are seeking the very best experience to buy a car and service by visiting Certified Female Friendly® automotive retail locations across the United States and Canada.
Diane Diaz is a Certified Personal Brand Strategist and Social Branding Analyst, university educator, workshop facilitator, and speaker who uses her over 25 years of marketing, branding, and teaching experience to teach professionals and entrepreneurs how to unleash the power of their personal brands to attract their dream jobs or clients and build careers and businesses they love.
Tony D. is considered the industry’s most forward-thinking F&I and sales trainer creating The Academy’s Y.E.S. Processes. Tony leads the 10 certified trainers at The Academy, based in Austin, TX. Tony earned a degree in Communications from Sam Houston State University and has since become a 28+ year veteran of the automotive industry, speaking at numerous events and every WIA convention.
Joan Edwards, Senior Manager of Design Quality at Tesla, knows a thing or two about risk and reward. As part of Tesla’s Design Studio, Joan leads the design quality team connecting design, engineering, and supplier execution and acts as the “eyes of the customer.” As an industry veteran with over 30 years in the automotive industry, she started in Michigan at a plastics supplier supporting the Big 3 and then worked at Ford in product development in design quality. In early 2011 she took the largest risk of her career and made the commitment to join the fast-paced start up world of Silicon Valley at Tesla where she was on the original launch team for the Model S.
Dan Flynn is the leader of our North America business. Since joining us in 2016, he has been leading our successful business transformation efforts focused on putting our Customers First. “One of our top priorities is to Always Get Better. This is exciting to me as I am always looking for ways to continuously improve and exceed expectations. Doing more than what is expected is a true differentiator for us in the marketplace and we are making our customers’ businesses more efficient, with increased sales and profitability.” Prior to CDK, Dan spent several years at The Hertz Corporation where he had extensive process and operational management experience and led company-wide Lean Six Sigma-based process improvement initiatives. Most recently he served as senior vice president, North America Rent a Car Operations, where he oversaw more than $6.5 billion in revenue, 23,000 employees and 500,000 cars across 3,000+ locations. Dan earned a bachelor’s degree from Western Connecticut State University and has attained a Six Sigma Green Belt certification. He has also received executive education from IMD located in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Kimberley Gardiner is the Director, Marketing Communications at Kia Motors America (KMA). In her role, she leads and oversees all consumer and industry trade communications programs, including business development strategy; product marketing and branding; third-party partnerships; digital marketing; sports marketing; social media and SEO strategy; CRM and public relations
In addition, Gardiner manages creative and production agencies and leads innovative partnership activations as well as consumer-facing experiential marketing initiatives to generate awareness of KMA and the brand’s model line-up.
Prior to joining KMA in 2016, Gardiner spent more than 15 years with Toyota USA, where she worked on a variety of consumer and industry facing initiatives across the Toyota, Lexus and Scion brands. During her tenure, Ms. Gardiner led a complete re-imagination of the Toyota digital experience and helped spearhead the ground-breaking launch of the Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle.
Ms. Gardiner is a graduate of Indiana University, Bloomington; and Mills College in Oakland, California.
Cyndi began her 20+ year career in the automotive industry as a dealership receptionist while studying Business Management at The University of Texas Pan American. Her emphasis on communication skills and strong relationships helped her move quickly up the ranks. Since joining The Academy in 2008, Cyndi has been instrumental in the development of dealership personnel nationwide. In her current role as Training and Development Field Manager, she contributes to the development of curriculum, mentors the trainers and teaches workshops.
Kristen Hadeed imagines a world in which all organizations have cultures that empower people to keep climbing toward the best version of themselves every day. As the young leader of Student Maid, a successful cleaning company that hires students, Kristen has fostered a unique perspective on leadership, organizational culture and engaging the next generation. Her optimistic, energetic and insightful keynotes and workshops unleash potential in others to exceed their wildest expectations. She is an expert in developing and teaching practical, readymade tools that inspire people to take action.
Over the last eight years, Kristen has challenged the millennial status quo. From her first leadership disaster, which resulted in three-quarters of her workforce quitting on the spot, to handing over day-to-day operations to a leadership team comprised of millennials, Kristen has learned what it takes to create a work environment that brings out the best in people of all ages. Student Maid has employed hundreds of people and is known for its culture of trust, accountability and empowerment. Many of the students who have worked with Student Maid have gone on to run their own businesses and receive highly sought-after positions in companies around the world.
Today, Kristen helps organizations make a lasting, meaningful impact on people by creating environments in which they thrive. She has worked with organizations in a variety of industries including healthcare, education, retail, real estate, nonprofit, hospitality, aviation and consumer products. In October 2017, she published her first book, “Permission To Screw Up,” in which she tells the stories of her biggest mistakes in leadership. She hopes to inspire other leaders to share their “perfectly imperfect” stories of success to empower people with the knowledge that even if they screw up, they can still make it. Kristen and Student Maid have been featured in news outlets including PBS, FOX Inc., TIME and Forbes. Her first TED Talk has received more than two million hits on YouTube
At AutoNation, the country’s largest automotive retailer, William currently serves as Region Training Manager for the Western Region. Currently recognized as a leader in training and development, William holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech from Georgia State University and a Master’s Degree in Technical Communication from Minnesota State University-Mankato.
Rebecca Jenkins started out in automotive at age 19 as an F&I manager of a small Ford dealership in southern Indiana. Since then, she has become an accomplished sales leader with a history of success. Throughout her career, she has built a reputation as a highly effective communicator with 10+ years of automobile retail management experience and 10+ years of leadership experience as a regional sales manager in automotive finance and digital media. Her automotive journey includes various positions in retail automotive and eight years at Cars.com, where she is currently director of sales. She is a results-oriented self-starter with a proven ability to develop and lead high-performing teams. Rebecca is the proud mother of a son, Trevor, who graduated from high school in 2018 and is going on to play lacrosse at Otterbein University.
Tania Katan is an award-winning author, creative consultant, and inspirational speaker who believes in storytelling at all costs! She has been a featured speaker at CiscoLive!, Expedia, Etsy, S.H.E. Summit, NPR, Comedy Central Stage, TEDx, and more. As the former brand evangelist for Axosoft she co-created the internationally viral campaign #ItWasNeverADress. Now, Katan empowers people and companies to be a little unruly, disrupt the status quo, and embrace their inner cape crusaders. Katan’s new book, Creative Trespassing, about sneaking more creativity into less overtly creative spaces like cubicles, bathrooms and boardrooms will be published by Penguin Random House in 2019. For more info: www.taniakatan.com
Julie Knakal has spent the past 9 years on JD Power’s PIN Consulting team. Using proprietary predictive modeling techniques, she advises OEM clients on the efficient, effective deployment of billion dollar incentive budgets. A graduate of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and College of Engineering, she eagerly applies her technical skills by day and teaches ballet by night.
Eve Knudtsen is President of Knudtsen Chevrolet Co. in Post Falls, Idaho, to learn more about her path to success She is the third generation to own and operate the dealership her grandfather started in 1939.
Eve grew up in Coeur d’Alene, graduating from Coeur d’Alene High School. She attended North Idaho College and Northwood University. She has an Associate of Arts degree in Automotive Marketing and a Bachelors of Business Administration with majors in Economics and Management that she received from Northwood University. She completed that National Dealers Association Dealer Candidate Academy and is currently pursuing a Master Degree of Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.
Eve has a long-standing passion for serving the community. She has served on numerous board and committees including past president of Concerned Businesses of North Idaho, and past chairman of the Post Falls Chamber of Commerce. She is currently the vice chairman of Jobs Plus Coeur d’Alene Area Economic Development Corporation and is the current Guardian of Bethel #7 Jobs Daughters International of Coeur d’Alene.
Eve is a past recipient of Soroptomist Woman of Distinction for Business and Professional and 2006 recipient of Time Magazine’s Quality Dealer of the Year for Idaho. She is committed to educational initiatives throughout North Idaho including having been one of the individuals that purchased the land for KTEC, a career technical high school serving three school districts.
Eve lives in Coeur d’Alene with her husband, Wayne Cofield, and daughters, Lauren Benedict and Kendra Cofield.
Nicole Koesling is the Senior Vice President responsible for Human Resources at Volkswagen Group of America Chattanooga Operations, LLC (Volkswagen Chattanooga). Koesling has 26 years’ experience in the manufacturing industry, with 20 years in Human Resources and nearly 15 years working for Volkswagen. Prior to beginning her assignment at Volkswagen Chattanooga in March 2017, she led the Human Resources team at Sitech, a major supplier of car seats for Volkswagen with an employee base of more than 4,000. Nicole holds a German diploma in Economics concentrating in the areas of Human Resources, Organization, and Law from AKAD Pinneberg / Hamburg. In addition, she holds a German master’s degree in International Business and Human Resources from Euro FH in Hamburg, a distance program she completed alongside her full-time work in Human Resources.
Susan Lane, Director of Public Relations & Community Engagement for Hoffman Auto Group, oversees corporate reputation, community outreach/partnership program and corporate social responsibility, emphasizing brand awareness and business retention. Fueled with passion to serve, Susan brings people together to strengthen communities while increasing revenue.
Ashley Lepczyk is the Retail Development Manager on Google’s Auto Retail team. She collaborates with dealers, dealer groups, OEMs and agency partner to consult to develop effective and scalable programs using Google solutions that drive results for her clients. She co-leads Women@Google in Detroit, & has a particular soft spot for connecting with and empowering other women.
Ronda Lewis is Vice President of Dealer Relations at automotiveMastermind where she leads a world-class partnership team supporting dealers, dealer groups, and OEMs with multi-level training and support. Prior to joining Mastermind, Ronda spent nine years with Cox Automotive. Ronda’s career progressed through various leadership roles.
Dionne Mack is senior director of global diversity and inclusion for Cox Automotive. In this role, Dionne is responsible for leading the design and execution of business specific diversity and inclusion strategies and solutions. These strategies and solutions are aimed at building the diversity of the workforce and promoting a culture of inclusion and respect with an end goal of promoting innovation, creativity, increased productivity and improved business performance. She seeks to enhance Cox Automotive’s brand as an employer of choice and inclusion thought leader in the Automotive & Technology industry.
Dionne brings more than 20 years of varied HR experience to Cox Automotive. For the past four (4) years, she led the diversity and inclusion teams for Lockheed Martin’s IT and Space businesses. Prior to joining Lockheed Martin, Dionne spent almost ten years of her career at MetLife where she led the diversity, inclusion and HR compliance program for the Americas in her role as Diversity Director. She also has a background in Employee Relations and EEO/Affirmative Action compliance across various industries including finance, academia and local government.
Dionne has studied at Pace University, State University of New York and the University of Phoenix, and obtained her degrees in Business Administration and Management. More importantly, her passions include fishing, dog training and French fries. In her free time, she serves at the beck and call of her daughter, Felicity, granddaughter Kennedy and six younger siblings who all believe she only exists to be their entertainment and life coach.
Laura is a former top car salesperson best known for her use of automotive social media. She has been featured in Automotive News for her unique marketing and self-promotion efforts. As the Vice President of Sales and Training for Alan Ram’s Proactive Training Solutions, Laura works with dealerships to convert more traffic to the showroom, and hosts the popular Management By Fire training event.
Katie knows the challenges organizations encounter as they strive to design a sustainable customer service program.She also knows that developing a program is just one small step to success; it is the tools & implementation plan that makes a program take flight.Using her experiences as a COO & designing CX programs, Katie is now a leading voice inspiring positive, actionable change globally.
Carol has more than 20 years of automotive industry experience. She has held executive in-store positions such as General Sales Manager, a regional position with Mazda N.A., and eCommerce Field Operations Manager with Autonation. Carol brings a unique blend of real world practicality with a constant drive to help others achieve more.
Linda Meade Barnette
She is known to “reach the unreachable” developing relationships the top 125 dealer groups. Her power of presence enabled her to become a compelling nationally recognized keynote speaker at Automotive Conferences. Her success with AutoBuilders and pioneering the Barnette Automotive Strategic Roundtable, Linda has shown that she is a strong ally and generates revenue for her inner circle.
Michelle Melecio Taylor
Michelle Melecio Taylor is a Dealer Relations Manager in Texas at automotiveMastermind (Mastermind), where she works with dealerships to both implement and optimize the company’s behavior prediction technology and predictive marketing campaigns. She also trains and mentors the dealership sales staff she supports, offering them consultation, process recommendations and tools to help enhance customer experience and increase loyalty.
Taylor has more than 18 years of experience in the automotive industry, with a wealth of knowledge and expertise in Dealership Sales and Service Operations, Digital Marketing, Advertising, and Consultative Sales. With first-hand retail experience and a partner to dealers, she is driven by a desire to build teams and relationships. She is skilled at breaking down communication silos to deliver consistent results while increasing market share and company value.
Taylor joined automotiveMastermind in February 2018 and is based out of Houston, TX.
Cheryl Miller serves as Vice President and General Manager for Dealertrack’s F&I Solutions. Cheryl joined the business in October 2016 as Vice President and General Manager of Lender Solutions. She now has responsibility for leading our F&I business within Retail Solutions, including dealer and lender F&I teams.
Her expertise stems from a distinguished 25+ year management career leading successful high-growth multifaceted organizations. Prior to joining Cox Automotive, Cheryl was CEO of a
specialized indirect consumer finance company engaged in acquiring and servicing retail installment sales contracts primarily for used vehicles. She has also served as Collections and Recovery Segment Leader for FICO, Chief Servicing Officer for Sixth Gear, Inc. and Executive Vice President at AmeriCredit Corp.
Cheryl is a proud Aggie, earning her Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A&M University. She also completed the Executive Leader Development Program at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Michelle Morris helps clients and agencies use Facebook to develop strategies and innovative marketing campaigns to build brands, drive sales/acquisition and increase owner/customer advocacy. Prior to Facebook, Michelle built Google’s North American automotive manufacturing and dealerships business as Managing Director responsible for creative, direct response and strategic brand activation.
Chelsea offers more than 10 years of experience in digital marketing, which she now leverages the acquired knowledge and skills to help clients excel. As leader of the SEO Strategy Department, she continues to craft strategies that contribute to achieving milestones in website traffic, conversions, and, ultimately, sales for dealerships and small businesses in other competitive verticals.
Tiffany Peeler is the Director of the Success Management team at Proactive Dealer Solutions. Tiffany began her career in medical sales and made her move to Automotive in early 2014. Quickly rising through the ranks at PDS, Tiffany became a facilitator of the organizations widely recognized Business Development Boot Camp and has had her hand in the growth and success of 1,000 + Dealerships.
Adriana has more than 10 years of experience working as a tax accountant for high-net worth individuals. Through her career, she has gained experience interacting with business owner’s and families. Before joining The Rawls Group, Adriana spent several years working in estate tax, building on her knowledge and importance of planning. Adriana is passionate about helping business owners realize their vision for growth, community impact and achieve long-term goals.
Gloria Purdy, Director of the Talent Engagement Center @ Hoffman Auto Group, leads systems development to ensure talent acquisition, professional development, performance management, employment relations, and retention systems are working in strategic alignment with organizational leaders and cultural objectives. Gloria is fueled by her passion to match talent with culture that cultivates development ultimately increasing both employee satisfaction and bottom line results.
Julie Rodgers is the Chief Operating Officer at Hireology and is responsible for the company’s sales, customer support, and product development.
In her role, Julie leads the teams responsible for attracting new customers, delighting current customers with award winning support, and developing the products that help Hireology customers build great teams.
Julie honed her revenue management and operations experience at Groupon, spending roughly three years at the coupon giant. Prior to that time, Julie worked as a valuation consultant at Deloitte for over nine years, focusing on developing and enhancing value added relationships with Fortune 500 clients. She combines this sales and operations experience with the client-service mindedness to focus her teams on helping Hireology’s customers make great hiring decisions.
She hails from the University of Michigan’s Stephen A. Ross School of Business, with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, and from the looks of her Excel obsession, she focused on Finance and Accounting during her time there. This Wolverine lives in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago with her adorable kids, Edie and Max.
Steve Roessler is the VP of Sales at DriveCentric. In working with over 100 dealers, his passion is helping dealers change their communication strategies at dealerships to improve the customer’s overall experience. Steve’s infectious personality provides a motivational approach for dealers to bring a change their culture on how every customer should be treated.
Jessica has more than ten years of auto industry experience. She is currently the VP of Product for Clarivoy. Previously she served as Digital Program Manager at Dominion Dealer Solutions, and as Brand Manager with DealerFire. Jessica managed brand presence across all digital platforms and secured multiple company awards each year.
Jennifer joined Dominion Dealer Solutions in 2009 and in that time, has created the OEM business development team as well as developed the architecture for a Dominion brand from multiple product brands. Prior to joining the Dominion Dealer Solutions division, Jennifer built the Key Account and Marketing departments for The Employment Guide®, a national multimedia recruitment platform and former division of Dominion Enterprises. Jennifer’s experience covers a broad variety of technology and media. She has written articles for numerous volunteer organizations as well as industry-specific publications. Additionally, she has spoken at many events both inside and outside of the industry to include the Automotive Leadership Roundtable. Jennifer earned her B.A.and M.B.A. from the College of William and Mary.
Dan Schneider specializes in working with dealer principals to increase human and financial capital and dealership value. Since 1996, Dan has been involved in cultural development, succession planning, mergers and acquisitions, and community development. Dan is a recurring speaker and published succession planning expert in various dealership publications.
Kendrick Shope is the creator of the #1 online sales training for women entrepreneurs: Authentic Selling® and has helped thousands of clients and students generate millions of dollars in revenue. As the host of the live talk show, The Kendrick Shope Show and popular podcast, Sell Like a Woman, her audience of 100K stretches over 6 continents.
A regular feature on The Steve Harvey Show, Kendrick’s sales expertise has been highlighted in Forbes, Inc., Infusionsoft, The Advocate, The Daily Times, Women’s Toolbox, on NBC and many more. A former sales rep for Fortune 500 companies, Kendrick has won high praise from business icons like Ali Brown and Marie Forleo.
Kendrick’s mission is to take the sleaze out of selling by prioritizing authenticity through the belief that selling is helping. She is dedicated to teaching her signature integrity-based approach to women everywhere. Her commitment to serving your business will help you create revenue, leverage partnerships, motivate success, and increase your impact
After spending 15 years as a top-performing Fortune 500 sales rep, she left her corporate job and had to make the TOUGHEST sell of her life to herself and loved ones: she was going to create a sales process that impacted millions.
Authentic Selling® is the first of its kind focusing on the differences in what drives men and women to create unmatched success. Authentic Selling® has been called sweet as pie and tough as nails because it’s a no-nonsense, whiskey in a teacup, direct approach to teaching you how to get anything you want.
The results speak for themselves women are shattering their past performance goals and quotas using Authentic Selling®, doubling or tripling revenues.
Kendrick is the author of the forthcoming book “Sell Like a Woman”. This book will redefine the status quo for women in business, shattering the glass ceiling of what is “acceptable” by embodying authenticity and mindfulness.
Her southern drawl may draw you in, but don’t judge this belle on appearance alone. Kendrick’s sweet as pie, but she’s tough as nails and she’s ready to teach you how to become a powerhouse seller!
I want to live in a world where people get paid to do what they love every day. A world where little girls get to see their moms following their dreams every day.
Kynzie Sims is Compli’s Legal Content Product Manager. She ensures their solution includes accurate and relevant policies, online training, and more to keep customers compliant. Her credentials as an attorney and Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional coupled with HR and employment law experience make her effective in her role as a workforce programs and compliance expert to advance compliance knowledge
Ted L. Smith
– Lobbyist – Formerly in Virginia and now in Florida Legislature, mana team of seven government affairs professionals
– Represents 850 new car franchised automobile dealerships in Florida
– Shapes the direction of this $70 billion industry
– Teaches auto execs and professionals on regulations and laws impacting dealers
– Serves as industry consultant to members
– Manages consumers and media outlets
– Avid reader and golfer
– Dog lover – Mulligan and Bella
With nearly 30 years of industry experience, Joni is recognized as one of the most trusted and relied-upon experts in the automotive business. As the President and Founder of Owner Connect, her team has revolutionized the role and impact Business Development Centers now play among dealerships throughout North America and Europe. In addition to her years as the face of Owner Connect, Joni has gained a wonderful reputation for her corporate speaking experience and workshop series. Focusing on delivering results and improving efficiency, Joni has built an organization and strategy to ensure every client realizes its full potential.
A Senior Director within JD Power’s Data & Analytics division, Charity Taylor is charged with turning transaction data into real-time market intelligence. Leveraging OEM experience and a finance background, she acts as the curator/architect of PIN’s unique retail sales and pricing data that serves automakers and the industry at large. She is rarely bored and inordinately fond of vintage pickups.
Mary Beth Vander Schaaf
Mary Beth Vander Schaaf joined Automotive News after earning a journalism degree from Marquette University. She became managing editor of the newspaper in 2013. Her favorite project is “100 Leading Women in the North American Auto Industry,” which she has led since its inception in 2000. The list of top female auto executives comes out every five years; it will be published next in 2020.
Magda Vargas Battle
Magda Vargas Battle, SPHR, SHRM-SCP is the creator of The Art of Matchmaking: A New Approach to Human Resources, a signature-program dedicated to impact engagement, retention and profits by
attracting, assessing and developing people with a customized intelligence platform meeting the unique needs and requirements of modern organizations. Mrs. Vargas is Certified High Performance
Coach and Human Capital Development Specialist in Change and Transformation by at Harvard Medical School. For the past sixteen years, Mrs. Vargas has specialized in the areas of Human Resources
Development and Workforce Planning & Employment in various organizations in Puerto Rico, LATAM and USA. One of her greatest contributions had been her experience implementing needs assessment strategies providing employees with the skills to meet current and future job demands. Mrs. Vargas held a Director position at the Board of Directors of the Chamber of Commerce of Puerto Rico. She is active member of SHRM Puerto Rico and Miami, Florida, Doral Chamber of Commerce, Doral, FL and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Metro Orlando, Orlando, FL.
In 2004, Magda embraced the entrepreneurship dream and started her business as a Management Consultant offering a variety of services including Internal and external Talent Discovery and
Development, and the opportunity to implement in their talent management processes, measuring tools that help predict behavior and ensure the success and productivity of the candidate or current
employee. In 2008, Mrs. Vargas acquired the exclusive license for the sales and distribution of Profiles International in Puerto Rico. In 2009, Profiles International, Inc. awarded her with the National Director Rookie of the Year 2008. Today Mrs. Vargas partners with Great People Inside with headquarters in Singapore with a distribution license for USA.
During the past fifteen years, Mrs. Vargas has held various business relationships with multinational and local industries. Some of the private companies that have relied on their products and solutions for the past years are: Coopervision, Baxter, Roche, GSK, Bard, Unilever, PepsiCo, Courtyard by Marriott, International Meal Company, Empresas Santana, La Concha Resort, Wendco (Wendy’s), Tabacalera USA, Caribbean Glaze Corporation (Krispy Kreme). In addition to their retail business, Great People Inside Corp. develops and grows its market with authorized channel partners in USA.
David Villa is the founder and CEO of iPD, a marketing, media and training firm based in Tampa, Florida. Since it’s inception in 1995, David has been responsible for growing IPD into one of the nation’s leading marketing companies within the automotive industry, and beyond. He is dedicated to his family, his employees, and his faith as a Christian. David has said that his passion lies in seeing others unlock their god-given potential, and utilize their talent to the fullest.
Claire Wasserman is a career coach and the founder of Ladies Get Paid, a career development platform for women. Since launching 18 months ago, the community has grown to more than 20,000 women from all 50 states and more than 60 countries.
She is on the Well + Good Council, and is the producer and host of the podcast, Lady Talk. Claire was also one of nine women chosen to represent Sally Hansen as part of their global campaign, Shetopia.
Prior to Ladies Get Paid, Claire was the Director of Marketing at Working Not Working, a curated network of creative professionals. She is a frequent speaker and instructor, leading workshops at companies such as American Express, Dropbox, and the New York Times.
For the past year, Claire has traveled the country hosting town halls for thousands of women to talk about money, work, and self-worth. She is currently writing a book about her experience.
Learn more about Claire at clairelovesyou.com and follow her on social media: @claireloves_you.
Joe Webb is the President of DealerKnows, a sales/BDC training and digital marketing consulting firm specializing in the automotive industry. Joe has been called “the funniest guy in the car business” and passionately speaks and consults internationally across multiple industries. With a history of retail success, Joe is best known for blending the lines between entertainment and education.
A fixture in the Canadian automotive digital landscape for over 15 years, Brent’s digital acumen and passion for education has him working across all three tiers as well as sitting on several automotive advisory boards. Brent is an in-demand, keynote speaker at corporate events internationally and writes on a regular basis for automotive publications in North America and England.
Melinda Welsh is the Head of Consumer Direct and Chief Marketing Officer for Chase Auto, part of JPMorgan Chase’s Consumer and Community Banking business.
In this role, Melinda leads the direct lending business, including auto purchase and refinance products, customer experience and marketing. She is responsible for the customer journey from pre-purchase to post-purchase with a focus on delivering a seamless car-buying experience.
Melinda also manages partnership co-marketing with brands such as Subaru and Land Rover, business-to-business marketing aimed at dealerships and overall brand development for Chase Auto.
Melinda’s integrated team continuously works to refine digital capabilities and leverage the power of Chase in order to help customers find and finance the vehicles they need.
Melinda also held the role of Chief Marketing Officer for Mortgage Banking for two years and worked in Chase Card Services for four years, where she was Marketing Director for Credit Card Acquisitions. Her expertise includes both direct-to-consumer and business-to-business marketing, with deep expertise in digital marketing.
Melinda came to Chase from Towers Watson, where she served as Global Director of Digital Media and Manager of Digital Marketing. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond and a master’s degree from LaSalle University.
She resides in the Philadelphia suburbs with her two teenagers and two dogs.
Robin Wilson is the co-founder of SCP Agency, located in Joplin, MO. She and her team deliver social media marketing to auto dealerships across the country. Her passion for helping small business owners get noticed spurred the thriving social media marketing agency she runs today. She began working with auto dealerships in 2014 and has now made this complex industry SCP Agency’s niche.
Kerri Wise is VP, Dealer Training and Industry at TrueCar. In her role, she leads dealer training initiatives focused on helping dealers maximize their success on TrueCar. Kerri’s automotive career spans nearly 20 years, previously working at Edmunds.com and J.D. Power and Associates in various roles across sales, marketing, training, analytics and consulting.