For more than 20 years, the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance has been hosting an annual Summer Roundtable conference bringing together the multiple sectors of vehicle remarketing.
What has become more challenging in recent years is the escalating pace of technological change among consignors, auctions and dealers that requires the non-stop upgrades of Roundtable sessions from year to year. It has grown far beyond its signature informal committee gatherings.
Timely, Tech-Driven Programming
As IARA President Jeff Bescher recently enumerated, this year’s conference being held Aug 22-24 at The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago will span the effects of artificial intelligence on industry processes, the transition to electric vehicles, the growth of automotive buyer/seller data and marketing campaigns, and private equity and public company investments in the automotive space.
“Industry members should attend not only for the continuing networking opportunities with remarketing executives from most of the largest commercial sellers of vehicles in North America but also for the breadth and depth of topics germane to the future of automotive remarketing,” Bescher said. “We will continue to focus, as we have for the past couple of years, on providing content and perspective on topics that will drive remarketing decision making in the near term and throughout the next few years.”
While the IARA is known as the longtime “voice of consignors,” it has widely expanded its professional reach in the last two decades to include auctions, dealers, financers, auto transporters, reconditioners, and industry specialists in many other remarketing roles.
With registrations during the past week already tracking ahead of last year’s, and a rise in membership and engagement during the past year, Bescher said, “The IARA expects this to be the largest gathering to date for our organization.”
The headliners for this year’s agenda include two notable industry figures, Ann Fandozzi, CEO of RB Global, the combined company of Richie Bros. and IAA, which it purchased last year, and Steven Greenfield, CEO of Automotive Ventures and leading expert on the innovations and advances that Bescher mentioned about the agenda.
“IAA is a company many of us use to remarket salvaged and whole car vehicles,” Bescher said. “Similar to hearing from Ernie Garcia III from Carvana last year after they purchased ADESA’s U.S. physical auctions, this will give attendees a peek inside the thoughts of the top leaders of companies that are literally transforming our marketplaces.”
Before joining Ritchie Bros. as CEO in 2020, Fandozzi was CEO of ABRA Auto Body and Glass from 2016-2019, and previously from 2012-2016 served as CEO of vRide, a carpooling platform that works with private and public employers. Prior to these CEO roles, Fandozzi served in several executive positions for Whirlpool, including eBusiness, Direct-to-Consumer, and Sears/Kenmore. Fandozzi joined Whirlpool from DaimlerChrysler, where she led the Global Family Vehicle business and is credited with the invention and development of the Stow-N-Go fold flat seats.
Fandozzi will sit down for a one-on-one on-stage interview on Wednesday, August 23 at 2:15 p.m. with new IARA executive director Mark Coleman.
The next day at 3:15 p.m., Greenfield will lead a keynote session, EV Acceleration: Separating the Hype from Reality — How Does the Remarketing World Prepare?
With the auto industry quickly transitioning from internal combustion to electrification, is it moving too fast? Greenfield will attempt to separate the signal from the noise, exploring the big issues that the remarketing world needs to address to prepare for on this movement towards EVs.
“I’m excited to share with the audience a perspective on how quickly we can practically make this transition to EVs,” Greenfield said. “The path ahead is going to be fraught with many potential potholes.
"I hope the audience takes away some thought-provoking new information about how to think about and prepare for the shift from internal combustion to electrification, and most relevantly what impact this trend is going to have on their business."
Annual Traditions & New Opportunities
The Summer Roundtable also brings together the four major committees undergirding the IARA to plan strategy and approaches on the leading issues facing remarketers.
Among other agenda highlights:
- The IARA will be announcing the addition of the Global Remarketing Opportunities for Women (GROW) to the alliance. “This organization will be looking to further the advancement of women to executive positions within our industry, which is currently dominated by men, through multiple outreach, educational, scholarship, and networking initiatives,” Bescher said. “Those kinds of initiatives are perfectly aligned with our vision of the future for all areas of the IARA.”
- The alliance will hold its annual awards program, giving out high-profile honors that include the Remarketing Industry Recognition Award, Circle of Excellence Award, and the Ed Bobit Industry Icon Award, which was delayed from the Conference of Automotive Remarketing in March.
- Attendees and IARA members will get their first chance to meet Mark Coleman in his new role as IARA executive director. He joins system and communications manager Nikki Jones, hired last year, in running the alliance day-to-day.
- The IARA will see the passing of the presidential gavel from Bescher to the next president as his two-year-term expires in August.
- Social and networking functions including an early evening reception on Aug. 23, breakfasts and luncheons, and a President's Reception on Aug. 24.
- A team from Auto IMS is holding a training session where attendees can address their professional industry questions and concerns. Tech experts will be onsite to visit with participants.
“Attendees should come to see where the IARA is going next and to identify the value that membership in our organization brings to both the individual and the company they represent,” Bescher said.
Originally posted on Vehicle Remarketing