TAMPA, Fla. — “Created by and for F&I pros” is how organizers of Dealer Summit 2016 described F&I Think Tank, a preshow event for F&I managers and directors scheduled for Tuesday, May 3, at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel. The one-day program will be staffed by the industry’s top F&I trainers, producers and compliance experts.

F&I Think Tank was created in partnership with Ethical F&I Managers (EFI), a more than 5,000-member Facebook group created by F&I and Showroom’s “Mad” Marv Eleazer. The goal was to recreate the information exchange that happens daily in EFI by offering several open forum-type sessions that will allow attendees to share ideas and techniques, pose tough-to-handle customer objections or situations to top trainers, and have access to the industry’s leading compliance experts.

“I’m very excited about what we’ve put together,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director for F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today. “With Marv’s assistance, I think we’ve created an event that F&I managers have been waiting for. It will blend F&I training and compliance education in a 20 Group-like setting.”

The preshow event will feature some of the top F&I producers in the country, including past F&Idol winners G.P. Anderson of Park Rapids, Minn.-based Thielen Motors and Dina Wilson of Cumberland, Md.-based Timbrook Automotive. The latter will moderate an all-female panel of F&I producers, who will share their stories of success and frustration in a male-dominated industry.

One of the open forum-type sessions includes “Shark Tank,” which will allow attendees to test the skills of the industry’s top trainers while learning about the latest objection-handling and closing techniques. The same setting will be applied to “Busting Compliance Myths,” a session that will allow attendees to get their top compliance questions answered by the industry’s top legal minds.

F&I Think Tank, which opens at 9 a.m., will feature eight sessions in all, and will be followed by a special reception at The Tampa Club, an exclusive club located in the heart of downtown Tampa.

“I created Ethical F&I Managers as not only a resource for the men and women manning the F&I office, but also a place where F&I managers can connect with other pros who face the same daily challenges and stresses of the job,” said Eleazer, who also serves as F&I director at Langdale Ford in Valdosta, Ga. “When the team at F&I and Showroom magazine said they wanted to create an event for EFI members and other F&I pros to connect, I was all for it. And I think we’ve put together one heck of a program.”

F&I Think Tank is included in the price of a full show pass to Dealer Summit 2016, a three-day event offering sessions dedicated to sales, F&I, special finance and compliance. For more information or to register, click here.