Marked by a credit crisis of unprecedented proportions and a new consumer-protection rule (Red Flags Rules), 2008 has turned out to be one of the most challenging years in recent history. It has also once again shined a spotlight on the importance of the F&I profession, which is what F&I Management and Technology magazine would like to recognize with the 2009 F&I Pacesetter of the Year award.

The magazine is now accepting nominations for the annual award. Nominators have until Nov. 14 to complete and return the submission form.

"Saying 2008 has been a challenging year might be the understatement of the year," said Gregory Arroyo, executive editor of the magazine. "However, there are dealers who have viewed this environment as an opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to the industry, whether it be taking a lead role in getting their dealership compliant with the Red Flags Rules or going out in the community to educate consumers about credit. And those are the dealers we want to hear from."

The award recognizes five dealers who set the pace in running a finance department marked by professionalism, ethics and profitability. These dealers not only have a highly profitable F&I department, but also earn these profits by employing compliant, ethical and customer-centered processes that allow them to maintain a high CSI rating.

Qualified judges will evaluate all entries on the following criteria:

• Success/profitability in the finance department

• Sustaining a compliance culture

• Ethical employees and practices, regular employee training

• Community support and involvement

• Other programs, processes and initiatives that contribute to a top-notch F&I operation

The five winners will be honored with plaques and featured in the January 2008 issue of the magazine. One winner will be named the 2009 F&I Dealer of the Year Award, which will be announced during a ceremony at the 2009 NADA convention.

To nominate a dealer, click on the following link to fill out the nomination form:

All entries must be received by no later than Nov. 14, 2008. Nomination forms can be returned one of three ways.

By mail:

F&I Management and Technology

Attn: Gregory Arroyo

3520 Challenger Street

Torrance, CA 90503

By fax: (310) 533-2503

By e-mail: [email protected]