TAMPA, Fla. — Organizers of F&I Think Tank confirmed this week that F&I and Showroom’s 2014 F&I Dealer of the Year will be holding court at the F&I manager-geared event, which precedes Dealer Summit 2016 on Tuesday, May 3, at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel.

Jane Vaden Thacher is president and dealer operator for Savannah, Ga.-based Vaden Automotive Group, a nearly five-decade-old dealer group founded by her late father, Dan Vaden. This June will mark 22 years since Thacher left a successful marketing career to rejoin the family business.

“I’ve interviewed a lot of people from all walks of life in my 19-year career as a journalist, and my interview with Jane two years ago still sticks with me today,” said Gregory Arroyo, editorial director for F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today magazines. “She’s passionate about the business, her people and especially F&I. And I just feel fortunate that she’s agreed to speak at F&I Think Tank.”

Thacher will share her story during “Breaking Down the Walls,” which is slated for 4 p.m. the day of the event. She will explain why she chose to start in F&I when she returned to the dealer group in 1994, and how that decision prepared her for the day she officially took the reins of the nine-store dealer group.

Vaden will also take F&I Think Tank attendees inside Vaden Automotive’s F&I operations, where the minimum expectation for F&I manager production is $1,400 per copy. More importantly, she will break down the process, which starts with the first pencil, that ensures F&I managers can meet those expectations.

“I guarantee attendees will walk away from this session just as inspired as I felt when I spoke to Jane back in 2014,” Arroyo added. “She has high expectations for her F&I producers, but she also makes sure they have what they need to be successful.”

F&I Think Tank was created in partnership with Ethical F&I Managers, a more than 5,000-member Facebook group founded by F&I and Showroom’s “Mad” Marv Eleazer. The preshow event is included in the price of a full show pass to Dealer Summit 2016. For more information or to register, click here.