Ignite Consulting Partners collaborating with the Association of Dealership Compliance Officers (ADCO) proved to be a winner for everyone involved.

More than 200 dealers and other industry participants attended the sixth annual Compliance Unleashed Conference in Grapevine, Texas, late last month. Ignite’s biggest event of the year had the theme “Risk Never Rests,” emphasizing the importance of taking a consistent and proactive approach to identifying risk and protecting the dealership business.

And new this year was including ADCO, which consists of compliance officers from franchised dealerships.

“We loved having the ADCO compliance officers join us,” said auto industry attorney Steve Levine, who is owner and chief legal and compliance officer of Ignite Consulting Partners.

“In my experience there is a perception that there is a wall between the franchise and independent space,” Levine continued. “But when it comes to compliance, we all have the same challenges, and there are great opportunities to learn together.”

The conference format had joint classes at the open and close of the event, with separate franchised and independent tracks for an entire day.

“Many of our attendees went back and forth between tracks based on the content being presented,” Levine said.

Presentations included sessions on hot button topics such as the proposed FTC CARS Rule, presented by Levine and Eric Johnson of Hudson Cook.

There was a separate class by Jean Noonan of Hudson Cook, while Johnson presented litigation and regulatory trends.

Levine also worked with Richard Hudson of Ignite for a session focused on dealing with regulators and plaintiff’s lawyers.

Event sponsor SecureClose led a discussion on the differences between eContracting and eSignatures, while Jay Williams of Althans presented on the rightsizing of insurance coverage.

Conference sponsor Maggie Pugesek of C&M Coaching led an interactive session on how to audit sales calls and follow-up.

Levine also presented “Moves I’d Make if I Owned the Dealership,” in which he examined business functions and practices that present heightened risk.

“We spend about six months putting our agenda together,” Levine said. “We are always on a search for the best speakers as well as subjects where we can share our unique perspectives.

Levine added that Ignite takes its obligation to provide impactful content seriously and aims to make sure its attendees return to their companies with a list of both short- and long-term action items.

“We continue to work with attendees after the conference to make sure that their attendance is an agent of change,” Levine said.

“Compliance Unleashed 2024 was our most successful event yet, with both the most attendees and first-time attendees,” Levine added, while also inviting dealers and compliance professionals to circle next May on their calendars and make plans to attend.