TPC Management Co. is hitting “re-set.”
While remaining in his post at TPC, chief executive and co-founder Pierre Pons is stepping down from one of his other roles — that of being ServNet Auctions CEO — at the end of 2019 after 12 years at the helm.
The move, essentially, gives Pons and his team the ability to “re-establish” the TPC brand and expand its Auction Academy program.
The company is also moving its corporate office to a larger space in its home in the Nashville suburb of Franklin, Tenn., and continues to increase its support staff.
In 1996, Pons and his wife, Pauline Pons, launched the TPC consulting and recruiting firm, which has worked with remarketing, technology and finance companies over the years, in addition to independent auto auctions and ancillary service providers.
“To borrow a phrase from Mark Twain, ‘the reports of my retirement are greatly exaggerated,’” Pierre Pons said in a news release. “Over the past 12 years, as CEO of ServNet Auctions, it has been my privilege to work directly with the owners of some of the best family-run auto auctions in the business. And at the same time to continue to operate our consulting, recruiting and advisory services firm: TPC Management.
“During this time, I felt it best to move TPC to the background and promote the ServNet brand in the forefront. I am confident that the industry feels we have been successful bringing the ServNet brand back to prominence, and I am very comfortable turning over the organization to two long-time auto auction operators, both former ServNet members,” Pons said.
Those two are John Brasher and Robert Sullivan, who will head up ServNet’s executive team and assume leadership of the auction group on Jan. 1.
Brasher has been named executive director, while Sullivan will serve as administrative director. Both are former owners of ServNet auction members.
And many ServNet auctions are represented by TPC.
“What started as an initial three-year commitment will finish with a 12-year run, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” Pierre Pons said of his tenure as ServNet CEO. “But much of our work will remain in place as TPC will continue to directly represent a majority of the individual ServNet member auctions to the national account community and the remarketing industry, in addition to our Advisory Services on buy/sells of auto auctions and related industry companies.”
In the same news release, TPC vice president and co-founder Pauline Pons added: “In 1996, Pierre and I set out to create a firm that catered to independent auto auctions and that could provide the multiple functions that corporate staffs provide the chain auctions. That lead us to consulting in commercial account business development, management recruiting and working with business owners as they looked to either expand or exit their businesses through buy/sells of auto auctions and related companies.
“Twelve years ago, in the middle of a recruiting assignment for their next executive director, ServNet Auctions approached us about providing many of these same services to their 18 (at the time) member auctions and taking over the entire range of corporate office responsibilities,” she said. “Now over a decade later as we transition out of the ServNet role, we look to re-establish the TPC brand and continue to also expand what has become the very successful Auction Academy program.”
The senior leadership teams at TPC and Auction Academy will remain in place. Penny Wanna is the president of Auction Academy and the vice president of administration for TPC. Jiles Wanna is the VP of client services for TPC and Auction Academy. The leadership also includes Charlie Vogelheim and Mike Langhorne.
The company maintains all of its auction relationships and consulting activities, it said, along with the third division of TPC, Interstate Automotive Services. That business provides branding, marketing, public relations and meeting and event planning services.
As for the flagship TPC, Pierre Pons emphasized that its advisory services in auto auction buy/sell activity continues. That includes Indiana Auto Auction’s recent purchase of Ft. Wayne Auto & Truck Auction.
There are also a “handful of others” in the works that have not been made public, Pons said.
“I expect this transition of auto auction businesses from the Independent community to continue at an even faster pace, and we have witnessed at least two additional major changes in just recent weeks,” said Pons. “Coinciding with these projects, our management recruiting engagements have scaled up considerably over the past six months, and we are very excited to see Penny Wanna taking the Academy program to an even higher level, which next year will include a European field trip with CARS Recon and some of the Academy alumni.”
Pons added: “As we complete the ServNet transition, our other brands remain very active, and you’ll see our presence in a big way at the upcoming NRC conference during Used Car Week at the Red Rock hotel in Las Vegas. We remain committed to working with an even broader group of independent auto auctions across the country, and with a variety of other companies that revolve in and around the wholesale automotive segment, focusing on the strategic success of their businesses now and in the future.”