DALLAS — Organizers of F&I Think Tank, which is being held as part of Industry Summit 2017, confirmed this week that five of the industry’s top F&I trainers will be swimming the aisles during Shark Tank, a stump the pro-like session that will allow attendees to get answers to their most troublesome customer objections, deal situations and departmental issues.
The session kicks off at 2:10 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 14, inside the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center. Popular with audience members during F&I Think Tank’s groundbreaking 2016 debut, Shark Tank is one of several open forum-type sessions designed to serve as an information exchange between attendees, F&I trainers, compliance experts and industry insiders.
“Shark Tank was one of the first sessions ‘Mad’ Marv [Eleazer] and I came up with when we created F&I Think Tank last year — a session that would supplement Industry Summit’s great F&I training workshops by allowing attendees to get answers to their true questions and issues,” said Gregory Arroyo, show chair and editorial director of F&I and Showroom and Auto Dealer Today. “Last year’s sharks definitely delivered, and I expect the same from this year’s F&I trainers.”
This year’s sharks include Shaka Dyson, founder and CEO at Dealer F&I University; Carl Grane, director of training at EasyCare; Jay Lawrence, training director for National Auto Care; Rick McCormick, national account development manager for Reahard & Associates, and John Vecchioni, a trainer with American Financial & Automotive Services’ F&I University.
Dyson, who began selling cars in 1999 at age 21, describes himself as a “national record-breaking F&I trainer” with more than 17 years of “true in-dealership experience.” Prior to founding his training firm in March 2016, he served as corporate finance director and trainer for Chicago’s Napleton Automotive Group — where he oversaw 26 finance departments and 58 finance managers during his three-year tenure with the group.
Grane joined EasyCare this past November after a three-year stint as dealership development manager for American Financial & Automotive Services. The more than 28-year industry veteran also served as director of associate development for World Class Automotive Group, and manager of training and development for GSFSGroup.
Lawrence joined National Auto Care in 2015 with the specific goal of leading the company’s training efforts. His 30-year industry career, which began as a loan officer for a nationwide consumer finance company, includes stints with Pay Ryan & Associates, Toyota Motor Insurance Services, where he served as district manager and training and business development manager, and Toyota Motor Sales Australia Ltd. He also founded his own consulting firm, Lawrence Customer Training & Consulting, prior to joining National Auto Care.
McCormick returns to Shark Tank after stellar performance in 2016. The ordained minister is an in-demand trainer, speaker, and author with more than 26 years of sales experience, including six in the automotive retail business. A proponent of effective listening, he’s also a regular contributor to F&I and Showroom, Auto Dealer Today, and Agent Entrepreneur, and is a regular presenter at Agent Summit and Industry Summit.
Also known as the “The F&I Professor,” Vecchioni joined American Financial American Financial in July 2016. He is a 25-year industry veteran with expertise in sales, F&I, and compliance. Known for his engaging, conversational style, Vecchioni has served in numerous roles at Industry Summit, delivering presentations, joining panels, and emceeing past events. He’s also a regular contributor to F&I and Showroom.
“On top of all this talent, we’re going to have our emcee, F&I trainer Tony ‘Stapler Close’ Dupaquier of The Academy, facilitating the 65-minute discussion,” Arroyo said. “So we’re going to have the who’s who of F&I training tackling attendee questions and offering their take on a host of hot-button issues facing the F&I office. I expect this to be a lively discussion.”