The National Auto Auction Association has a new chief executive officer. Replacing Frank Hackett, who is retiring from the position after 17 years as CEO, is Tricia Heon, who was previously NAAA’s chief operating officer.

Heon will be the first woman CEO in NAAA’s 73-year history.

“This marks a milestone for NAAA and for the growing number of women who have chosen to build careers in our traditionally male industry,” said NAAA board chairperson and past president Laura Taylor. “Tricia has been a valued part of this organization for 10 years. She will bring that experience and knowledge with a fresh perspective and new ideas to her CEO role.”

Auto Remarketing reported in April that Hackett would be retiring and that search firm Spencer Stuart would guide the selection process. Heon has been with NAAA since 2011, when she joined as legislative director and operations manager. She became COO in 2019.

Heon led the creation of NAAA’s Political Action Committee and its annual Day On The Hill in Washington, D.C.  She has also headed up NAAA’s efforts to monitor federal and state regulations and helped developed such initiatives as a study to address technician shortages and a report on the industry’s future. Heon has also been involved in planning NAAA meetings, programs and conventions.

Prior to her time with NAAA, Heon’s experience includes time as a local government budget analyst and a consultant regarding the impact of the federal budget.

Heon was also among the honorees in Auto Remarketing’s 2020 Women in Remarketing.

“We’re thrilled and could not be happier with the choice,” NAAA president Julie Picard said in a news release. “Tricia’s strong organizational and communication skills, along with her outstanding professionalism, industry awareness, and dedication, has demonstrated she is up to that task.”

Added NAAA president-elect Charles Nichols: “After reviewing a long list of qualified candidates, we are certain we chose the person who is the right leader for the future of the association. Tricia’s commitment to the industry and vision stood out among all.”

NAAA said in the release that Heon aims to evaluate and bolster the group’s benefits and services, expand the advocacy program and help NAAA benefit from “digital transformation the industry underwent during the pandemic by applying those lessons to chart the course for tomorrow’s wholesale auto auctions.”

Heon said: “I want to continue building on the accomplishments and advancements we’ve made under Frank’s tenure while collaborating with other industry leaders to find new ways of enhancing NAAA’s ongoing mission to protect, promote, and progress the interests of our members and the remarketing community.”

She added: “I’m extremely proud of the team at NAAA. They’re a small band of dedicated individuals who do the work of staff twice its size to provide the membership daily with the best service possible. I know that with their support, we can take what we do for our members and the industry to the next level. And it will be an honor to lead such a team.”

Heon will host the association’s annual convention this fall in Chicago, which is returning live this year.

“After its cancellation last year due to COVID, the staff and I are truly excited to welcome our members to ‘The Reconnection Event’ where we can once again enjoy our long tradition of coming together to exchange ideas, meet new colleagues and renew old friendships,” she said.