Auction Academy’s latest class is headed for Big D.

The eighth class of the leadership training program for professionals in the vehicle remarketing industry has completed two in-person sessions and three virtual training sessions, and is now preparing for a trip this month to Dallas, where the group will attend classes and make two site visits.

Class 8 is the largest in Auction Academy’s 12-year history, with 34 students from across the nation representing auto auctions, finance companies and other entities that provide services to the auto auction industry.

The two-year program includes quarterly in-person meetings alternating with virtual classroom sessions.

“We have an outstanding group of students in Class 8 who are devoted to the industry and are eager to increase their skill and knowledge as they participate in Auction Academy’s two-year training and development experience,” Academy president Penny Wanna said.

During the upcoming Dallas session, the students will tour Metro Auto Auction of Dallas, hosted by general manager Scott Stalder, controller Rob Gorman – an Auction Academy alumnus – fleet/lease manager Mike White and director of national accounts Bill Westlake. They’ll also visit Union Pacific’s auto facility for a railyard tour with Shawn Cook of Union Pacific, coordinated by Jeff Grandstaff, president of Gold Star Resources.

Classroom presentations will be led by Mike Jones of SmartAuction, Pierre Pons of TPC Management, Doug Evans of Hyundai Capital America, Scott Mousaw of United Auto Credit, Brent Huisman of Exeter Finance, Dave Woods of Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Mark Lindenmuth of Caprock Auto Remarketing, Casey Hughes of Toyota Financial Services and David Walsh of Training Services, Inc., who will provide leadership training on “Conversation-Based Selling.”

The class will also have an “entertrainment” experience with former Navy SEAL officer Clint Bruce at his Trident facility. The co-founder and CEO of the Trident Response Group, Bruce and his team will lead the students through personal and group readiness training.

Class eight began its journey in August 2023 with a Nashville, Tenn., followed by a visit to Scottsdale, Ariz., in November that included attending Used Car Week 2023.

Coming up in 2024 will be visits to Detroit, hosted by Manheim; Spokane, Wash., hosted by McConkey Auto Auction Group’s DAA Northwest; and Baltimore, hosted by BSC America’s Bel Air Auto Auction.

Wanna said the entire class has become NAAA Safe T. Sam Certified and taken the NAAA Diversity and Inclusion Pledge since it began in August. She said all 34 students are currently working to become IARA certified automotive remarketers, and a third have already completed the certification. Beginning in the first quarter of 2024, Auction Academy will turn its attention to roll out the NAAA Privacy Pam and the IARA audit and compliance training certification.