Celebrate the Best of 2014

Next Practices: Innovate, Motivate, Compensate.

Register Now »

Join us in Chicago on October 15, 2014 when we celebrate the achievements of all the dealerships recognized in the annual list of Best Dealerships To Work For.

The day will kick off with a program titled Next Practices: Innovate, Motivate, Compensate, where we’ll focus on what dealerships must do to drive sales, satisfaction and innovation. The afternoon will feature a special presentation by Jason Dorsey, the “Gen Y Guy”(®).

Known for his data-driven approach to strategy, Jason has spoken or consulted with many of the largest dealer groups in the country. He is the authority on Gen Y and Millennials in the automotive industry. His newest books include Y-Size Your Business and My Reality Check Bounced!

“Jason Dorsey is one of the most compelling and engaging speakers I’ve come across in my career. In fact, ‘speaker’ does not adequately describe Jason, who is equal parts researcher, social anthropologist and entertainer.” Stephen Cannon,
President & CEO Mercedes-Benz USA

The event will culminate in a gala awards celebration where the rankings of the Best Dealerships To Work For will be revealed.

  • Full Registration: Program AND Awards Gala
  • $395 (save $125)
  • Next Practices Program only
  • $225
  • Awards Gala only
  • $295

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact:
Phone:(313) 446-0420
E-mail: lirwin@autonews.com

Register Now »

Next Practices: Innovate. Motivate. Compensate.

Register for the Oct. 15 event »

  • Noon
  • Strolling lunch
  • 1:00pm
  • Welcome
  • 1:15pm
  • Dave Mondragon,
    General Sales Manager for Ford & Lincoln, Ford Motor Company
    Dave Zuchowski,
    President & CEO, Hyundai Motor America
  • 2:15pm
  • Panel Session: Compensation
    A discussion concerning employee compensation, benefits, retention and turnover. An overall analysis with data from all regions of the U.S., based on 350,000 payroll records submitted by 2,500 dealerships.
    • Bill Berman, President, Western Region, AutoNation
    • Dean Fitzpatrick, President, Larry H. Miller Dealerships
    • Andrew Shaver, President, Shaver Auto Group
  • 3:00pm
  • Break
  • 3:15pm
  • Panel Session: The Workplace Skill Set
    How do you retain employees in an ultra-competitive world? A lesson in retention from some of the best dealers in the country.
    • Greg May, Dealer Principal, Greg May Chevrolet
    • Mitch Walters, President, Friendship Enterprises
    • John Yark, President, Yark Automotive Group
  • 4:00pm
  • Jason Dorsey, Gen Y Guy(r)
    Known for his data-driven approach to strategy, Jason has spoken or consulted with many of the largest dealer groups in the country. He is the authority on Gen Y and Millennials in the automotive industry. His newest books include Y-Size Your Business and My Reality Check Bounced!
  • 5:00pm
  • Conclusion of afternoon program. Networking reception begins.
  • 6:30pm
  • Dinner
  • 7:45pm
  • Gala Awards Presentation
  • 9:00pm
  • Afterglow celebration
  • 10:00pm
  • Conclusion

Register for the Oct. 15 event »

  • Bill Berman,
    President, Western Region, AutoNation

    Read more

    Bill Berman currently serves as the president of the Western Region where he currently oversees all dealership and collision center operations in Arizona, California, Nevada and Washington. Mr. Berman is the best example of AutoNation's commitment to rewarding high performance and developing from within the organization. Mr. Berman joined the company in 1999 through an acquisition and has spent more than a decade developing associates and himself.

    Prior to his current role, Mr. Berman served as the president of Western Market 5, which includes the company's operations in both the Bay Area and Roseville, California. Mr. Berman continues to serve a strategic role in growing manufacturer relationships and driving common processes across all stores. His commitment to personal development and industry leading performance has allowed him to develop highly successful dealership executives who are highly sought after throughout the industry. Additionally, Mr. Berman's working knowledge of every key dealership position has added to his ability to effectively mentor and grow talent.

  • Jason Dorsey,
    Gen Y Guy(®)

    Read more

    Jason Dorsey is the authority on Gen Y and Millennials in the automotive industry.

    He's been featured on 60 Minutes, 20/20, The Today Show, The View, The Early Show and many more. His passion is bridging generations to drive sales, satisfaction and innovation.

    Jason believes generations are not a box, but data-driven clues to connect with and influence automotive customers and employees. Known for his data-driven approach to strategy, Jason has spoken or consulted with many of the largest dealer groups.

    In his role as chief strategy officer at The Center for Generational Kinetics, he gets to review data from companies around the world to identify trends early so you can, too.

    Jason wrote his first bestselling book at age 18. His newest books are Y-Size Your Business and My Reality Check Bounced!

    Known for his unique speaking style, Jason has received over 1,000 standing ovations from audiences as large as 16,000. His secret: no PowerPoint. Instead, he delivers new strategy and tactics you can use immediately.

    Jason won the Austin Under 40 Entrepreneur of the Year Award at age 25 - one of the youngest winners ever. And, yes, he text messages his mom every day.

  • Dean Fitzpatrick,
    President, Larry H. Miller Dealerships

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    Dean Fitzpatrick joined the Larry H. Miller Group in 1988. In March 2012, he was named president of Miller Automotive Operations. In this capacity, he manages a staff of dedicated employees and oversees automotive operations for 54 dealerships in seven states, which represent 20 automotive brands. Mr. Fitzpatrick also serves as a member of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies Leadership Council.

    Mr. Fitzpatrick has held many executive management positions with the group. From 1997 to 2010, he was the general manager of Larry H. Miller Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Sandy. From 2006 to 2009, he also served as general manager of LHM Subaru Sandy and assumed oversight of LHM Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram Bountiful. In August of 2010, he was promoted to regional performance manager for Provo, Utah when the group acquired Brent Brown Dealerships. Mr. Fitzpatrick became the general manager of all three dealerships, in addition to assuming responsibilities for the LHM Collision Center Orem and the LHM Used Car Supermarket Orem.

    Dean Fitzpatrick attended the University of Utah, where he earned a bachelor's degree in marketing. He currently serves on several boards related to the automotive industry.

  • Greg May,
    Dealer Principal, Greg May Honda

    Read more

    Greg May is the dealer principal for Greg May Honda in Waco, TX and Greg May Chevrolet in West, TX.

    Mr. May began his career with the Orr Auto Group in 1991 as a sales associate for Orr Honda in Texarkana, TX. He went on to work as the F&I manager, sales manager and eventually became the general sales manager.

    In 1995, Mr. May purchased the Honda dealership in Waco, TX with his partner, Keith Orr. Greg May Honda has since been the recipient 3 times for the President's Award for customer experience and sales and 8 times for the Honda Finance Council of Excellence.

    In 2008, Mr. May and Mr. Orr purchased the Chevrolet dealership in West, TX. Greg May Chevrolet has since received the Mark of Excellence Award for two consecutive years for outstanding sales and customer service.

    Mr. May maintains active involvement in the community as a member of the board of directors Ridgewood Country Club, past member of the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce board of directors, past member of the Heart of Texas Red Cross Board of Directors and for the past 3 years he has served on the Honda National Dealer Advisory Board.

    Mr. May holds an associate degree in business from Texarkana Junior College and a bachelor's degree in management/marketing from Texas A&M University Texarkana.

  • Dave Mondragon,
    Executive Director, U.S. Sales, Ford and Lincoln

    Read more

    David J. Mondragon is executive director, U.S. Sales, Ford and Lincoln, effective Nov. 1, 2013.

    In this capacity, he is responsible for all field sales and distribution related matters for Ford and Lincoln, working to strengthen the distribution channel and improve dealer profitability while also improving employee and dealer satisfaction.

    Prior to this role, Mr. Mondragon was the general marketing manager for Ford and Lincoln, and previously served as president and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Canada. Under his leadership, Ford of Canada became the top-selling automaker in the country for the first time in more than 50 years.

    Mr. Mondragon began his Ford career in an entry-level administrative job at the Edison (N.J.) Assembly Plant and during his successful 25 years with Ford has held a variety of leadership roles within sales and marketing. For two years prior to joining Ford of Canada, Mr. Mondragon served as general manager for Ford's largest market in the U.S., the Southwest Region.

    Between 2003 and 2006, Mr. Mondragon served as manager of marketing programs and strategy where he directed national incentive initiatives and led the approach for more than 80 auto shows across the U.S. Responsible for events with the potential to reach millions, Mr. Mondragon re-vamped Ford's presence at U.S. auto shows to fully showcase all aspects of the business.

    David Mondragon attended California State University and holds a master's degree in business administration from Northeastern University in Boston.

  • Andrew Shaver,
    President, Shaver Auto Group

    Read more

    The Shaver family of new car dealerships began on October 6th, 1935 when E.L. Shaver opened Shaver Pontiac in Hammond, Indiana. Four generations later, Andrew Shaver is the president of the Shaver Auto Group located in Thousand Oaks, California.

    After growing up in the business, Mr. Shaver purchased a small percentage of Shaver Pontiac Jeep in 2006. In 2008, when the auto industry was in a downturn, Mr. Shaver seized the opportunity and added Chrysler Dodge Ram and FIAT to its Jeep line, creating a full line Chrysler dealership for the Thousand Oaks community.

    Since opening in 2011, Shaver ranks in the top 10 in sales and customer satisfaction within Chrysler California and top 50 Chrysler national. Shaver is a Five Star Elite dealership and has been awarded the highly coveted Pentastar Award of Excellence in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

    Mr. Shaver and the Shaver Dealerships have strong ties to the community and various charitable affairs including the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the Magic Johnson Foundation. Mr. Shaver graduated San Diego State University in 1996 with a BS in industrial psychology and graduated from the NADA Dealer Academy in 2003.

  • Mitch Walters,
    President, Friendship Enterprises

    Read more

    Mitch Walters is the president of Friendship Enterprises, and a third-generation car dealer. He has been active in the automobile business virtually all of his life. His father and grandfather owned Walters Chevrolet in Hebron, Ohio. After working there for several years in most every department, he moved to Bristol, Tennessee to further his experience in the automotive industry. He started in sales at the local Chevrolet/Cadillac dealership and worked his way up to vice president/general manager and partner of the local Honda/Mazda/Nissan/Suzuki dealerships. In 2007, he sold his interest and focused entirely on building the Friendship brand.

    After nearly one and a half years pursuing Ford Motor Company to award him the Campbell Ford dealership which closed in 1991, Mr. Walters opened Friendship Ford of Bristol in 1993. From there, he began to build the Friendship Family of Dealerships. To date, there are 16 Friendship franchises with 14 locations in 5 cities.

    The Friendship Family of Dealerships has been recognized among Automotive News' Best Dealerships To Work For since 2012. Friendship has developed a world class team over the years and will continue to grow because of the efforts of Team Friendship.

    Mr. Walters has been very active in community and civic affairs in Bristol over the years, and continues to support various charitable organizations.

    Mitch Walters earned a business degree from The Ohio State University and a BBA in business management along with an associate degree in automotive marketing from Northwood University.

  • John Yark,
    President, Yark Automotive Group

    Read more

    John Yark is president of Yark Automotive Group in Toledo, Ohio.

    Mr. Yark's automotive career began in 1973, when he started working as a porter for Papenhagen Oldsmobile. With his older brother, the two worked through all positions of the dealership including sales, service, body shop, and accounting. In 1981, Jim Yark purchased the Oldsmobile dealership, which at the time had just 50 employees. Together, over the years, the brothers grew the business into 10 franchises, with 6 stores in the Toledo market area. Jim Yark remained an active partner in the business until 2008 when the early onset of Alzheimer's Disease prevented him from daily tasks. He passed at the age of 62.

    Under John Yark's direction, the stores currently employ over 350 employees representing 10 franchises including Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram, FIAT, Chevrolet, Subaru, Nissan, BMW, and Alfa Romeo. Yark Automotive Group has been the highest new and used sales volume car dealer in NW Ohio and SE Michigan for 19 years running selling over 8,900 vehicles in 2013 and poised to sell over 10,000 vehicles in 2014.

    The dealership group have won several accolades over the years including: Time Quality Dealer nominee, Better Business Bureau Torch Award Winner, Toledo' City Paper's Best Place to Buy a Car in Toledo, Best Places to Work in Toledo, and a 3 year winner of Automotive News Best Places to Work awards.

    Mr. Yark earned a degree in accounting and business from The Ohio State University in 1979.

  • Dave Zuchowski,
    President & CEO, Hyundai Motor America

    Read more

    David Zuchowski, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Motor America, is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the company's operations in the United States.

    A 33-year veteran of the automotive industry, he joined Hyundai Motor America in February 2007 as vice president of sales and was promoted to executive vice president, national sales in 2010. He was promoted to his current role as president and chief executive officer in January 2014.

    Mr. Zuchowski joined Hyundai from Mazda North America where he served as vice president of sales and field operations. He began his career in 1980 at Ford Motor Company. He has spent 23 years in various executive-level positions including regional manager, product marketing manager, national merchandising manager and field operations manager for the Ford and Lincoln Mercury divisions.

    Dave Zuchowski earned his bachelors of arts in communications from the University of Washington.

Speakers subject to change without notice. Additional speakers to be confirmed.

Register for the Oct. 15 event »

Special rate for 2014 Automotive News Best Dealerships To Work For attendees:

  • Deluxe King
  • $395

PLEASE NOTE: Your registration fee does NOT include overnight accommodations. Rooms fill up fast, so book early! Once the block is filled, rooms and rates will be subject to availability.

The cut-off date for the Automotive News rate is Wednesday, September 17, 2014.

Program subject to change without notice.