Manheim Auctions has announced several management changes at both the corporate and auction levels.

At the corporate level, Bob Gartin, senior vice president of administration, will retire Jan. 31, 2002; John Stower, vice president of operations - Southeast, retired as of Dec. 31, 2001; and Dean Echols, director of Manheim Auctions Government Services (MAGS), retired as of Jan. 1, 2002.

When Gartin retires at the end of January, it will mark the close of a nearly 19-year career with Manheim and a 23-year career with Cox Enterprises.

“Bob is one of the small group of Manheim senior executives who grew a small business into an auction giant,” said Dennis Berry, president and chief operating officer of Cox Enterprises. Berry formerly served as president and chief executive officer of Manheim Auctions. “He served as chief financial officer from the time when tiny Manheim didn’t even merit a separate entry on the Cox financial statement to its current status as a $2-billion-plus-annual revenue business and as the second largest Cox business. He has been a wise counselor and a tireless worker on behalf of the company, and his contributions over a long period of time provided Manheim with a strong foundation.”

“Bob played a critical role in the transformation of our business, helping Manheim acquire and integrate three auction chains and several individual auctions over the years,” said Darryll Ceccoli, Manheim’s chief operating officer. “For nearly two decades, Manheim has benefited from his ability to recognize the potential in people and then give them the power to get the job done.”

“Bob leaves a positive mark that will significantly influence our company for years to come,” said Dean Eisner, Manheim’s president and chief executive officer. “We want to thank Bob for his dedicated service, and we know everyone will join us in wishing Bob all the best in his retirement.”

Gartin joined Manheim in April 1983 as vice president and controller. In April 1991, he was promoted to vice president and chief financial officer. Gartin was named senior vice president and chief financial officer in January 1995, and in October 1996 he assumed the title of senior vice president - finance and administration.

In June 2001, he took on his most recent position as senior vice president - administration. Prior to joining Manheim, Gartin worked for four years in the internal audit department of Cox Enterprises, Manheim’s parent company.

Stower’s retirement marked the end of a 23-year career with the company. Stower joined Manheim in 1978 as operations manager of Manheim Auto Auction in Manheim, Pa. In 1980, he was promoted to assistant general manager of the auction. In 1985, he was named general manager of Atlanta Auto Auction, a position he held for three years before being promoted to eastern regional vice president of operations.

Prior to joining Manheim, Stower served as a trooper and an auto theft investigator with the Pennsylvania State Police for 12 years. He also is a Marine Vietnam combat veteran, having served from 1965 to 1966.

Echols will continue to work with Manheim as a consultant. He joined Manheim in May 1970 when Jake Ruhl, one of the founders of Manheim, hired him as an auctioneer. At the time, Echols’ father owned Bishop Brothers Auto Auction in Atlanta. In 1988, Echols sold that auction to Manheim. In 1990, Echols joined the corporate staff, taking on the newly created position of director of MAGS. He held that position until his retirement.

In addition, Diane Barton, executive director of marketing, has been promoted to vice president of marketing. Barton joined Manheim in August 1990 as a marketing communications coordinator. In July 1991, she was promoted to manager of corporate communications. In October 1999, she was named director of marketing, a position she held for six months before being promoted to executive director of marketing.

Prior to joining Manheim, Barton worked in the corporate communications department of Cox Enterprises for one-and-a-half years, and as a copywriter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a sister company, for two years.

Scott Stephens, formerly manager of financial systems for Manheim, has joined the marketing department as manager of marketing analysis. Stephens joined Manheim in 1997 as a senior accountant. In 1999, he was promoted to manager of financial systems.

Jon Schrock has joined Manheim’s national sales team as national accounts director. Schrock formerly was president of Cox Logoed Apparel. He founded the company in 1981 as SCM Marketing and built the business into one of the leading custom logo apparel companies. In 1996, Manheim acquired a majority interest in SCM Marketing, and the company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises in 1999.

At the auction level, John Geiger has been promoted to general manager of Fresno Auto Dealers Auction in Fresno, Calif.; Keith Coats to general manager of El Paso Auto Auction in El Paso, Texas; Dale Stone to general manager of Colorado Auto Auction in Commerce City, Colo.; Jerry Branham, to auction manager of Texas Hobby Auto Auction in Houston; Jim Akins, to assistant general manager of Kansas City Auto Auction in Kansas City, Mo.; Jon Eisenmann to assistant general manager of Minneapolis Auto Auction in Maple Grove, Minn.; and Tim Reynolds, assistant general manager of Greater Chicago Auto Auction in Chicago.

Geiger joined Manheim in March 1987 when he began working in the lot at Los Angeles Dealers Auto Auction in Rosemead, Calif. During a nine-year tenure at the auction, he held several positions, including arbitration manager, sales and marketing manager and operations manager. In September 1996, he was promoted to assistant general manager of Riverside Auto Auction in Riverside, Calif., and in January 1998 he transferred back to Los Angeles Dealers Auto Auction as assistant general manager. In July 1999, he was promoted to auction manager of Fresno Auto Dealers Auction, a position he held until being promoted to general manager.

Coats joined Manheim in April 1995 when the company purchased El Paso Auto Auction. At the time, Coats served as a condition report writer. During the next three years, Coats held various positions throughout the auction, including vehicle registration and fleet/lease manager. In late 1998, he was promoted to office manager. By mid-year 1999, Coats was named business manager. In April 2001, Coats was promoted to auction manager, a position he held until being named general manager.

Stone joined Manheim in August 1986 as a detailer at Denver Auto Auction in Aurora, Colo. Over the next eight years, he held a variety of positions throughout the auction, including detailer supervisor, parts manager and maintenance manager. In 1994, Stone was promoted to operations manager. Three years later, he was named assistant general manager. In November 2000, he was promoted to auction manager of Colorado Auto Auction, a position he held until being named general manager.

Branham, formerly assistant general manager of Texas Hobby, joined Manheim Auctions in 1990 as reconditioning manager of Big H Auto Auction in Houston, bringing with him eight years of experience working at independent auctions. In 1995, he transferred to Denver Auto Auction, where he served as reconditioning manager for five years. In January 2000, he was promoted to assistant general manager of Texas Hobby.

Akins joined Manheim five years ago as recon manager at Kansas City Auto Auction. He also has served as operations manager at the auction. In being named assistant general manager, Akins succeeds Mark Griffith, who has joined Manheim’s corporate best practices team.

Eisenmann joined Manheim in 1994 as part of the management trainee program at Fort Worth Auto Auction in Fort Worth, Texas. Within six months, he was promoted to dealer sales manager. In 1996, he was named dealer sales manager at Minneapolis Auto Auction.

Reynolds joined the company in March 1990 as fleet/lease account representative at Greater Chicago Auto Auction. In June 1991, he was named assistant fleet/lease manager of Metro Milwaukee Auto Auction in Caledonia, Wis. Reynolds transferred back to Greater Chicago in November 1995 as fleet/lease manager. In January 1999, he was promoted to operations manager, a position he held until being named assistant general manager.

About Manheim Auctions

Manheim Auctions has been in the wholesale automobile auction industry for more than 55 years.

With 84 auction locations in North America, as well as operations in Puerto Rico, France, the United Kingdom and Australia, the company says it is dedicated to helping dealers succeed and to assisting auto manufacturers, fleet and lease companies, banks, and other financial institutions, to sell their used car inventories efficiently and effectively.

The company also offers transaction, reconditioning and certification services, managed remarketing, end-of-lease term management services, vehicle transportation, dealer floor planning, retail inspection, and government auction services.

Manheim Auctions is a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, Inc., with more than 35,000 employees at its 126 auctions and related businesses; in the year 2000, the company auctioned more than 7 million vehicles. It also handles wholesale and retail used-car transactions on the Internet through its Manheim Interactive and lines of business.

Manheim Auctions’ corporate headquarters is in Atlanta, and its Web site is at