2019 Speakers

Master of Ceremonies
Bob Harkins

Bob Harkins

Vice President of Training
American Guardian Warranty Services (AGWS)

Bob Harkins’ background in the automotive industry includes consumer finance, sales and F&I management. He once served as vice president and director of training for an international credit insurance and vehicle service contract administrator and also has worked with Northwood University, NADA’s Dealer Candidate Academy, NCM Associates Inc., manufacturers’ dealer development programs, state dealer associations and AFIP.

Harkins designs and presents Finance and Insurance, Compliance and Ethics seminars and workshops for dealerships, dealer groups, administrators and general agents.

Keynotes

Cindy Allen

Cindy Allen

CEO
StoneEagle F&I

Core Professional Purpose: Building companies that people LOVE to work at, that people and companies LOVE to do business with, and that make a healthy profit for their owners/investors.

Cindy has held various entrepreneurial and career roles, ranging from startup technical design and development to leading an organization through significant growth and acquisition and even C-level leadership at a Fortune 500 company as the Chief Marketing Officer at American Express Global Business Travel.

Cindy got her start in the F&I world back in the mid 1990’s as she helped architect and develop our industry’s first internet integrations directly into a TPA administration system, enabling real-time online product rating, lookups, and cancellation quotes directly from administrative systems to an end user.  She was instrumental in developing and launching StoneEagle F&I’s Metrics solution, which is currently supporting 5500 dealerships across the country. During this time, she had the privilege of leading the StoneEagle.com team for almost 15 years.

After a 10-year stint in the business travel technology sector, Cindy is back home in the Automotive industry and serves as the Chief Executive Officer of StoneEagle F&I, after its creation from the merger of StoneEagle Inc. and F&I Admin in February of 2019.

Cindy has a passion for starting and scaling up businesses, customer service, building partnerships, and challenging the status quo through innovative thinking and strategic execution.

George Dans

George Dans

The World’s Greatest Closer

Motivational speaker George Dans is fired up with passion and drive to help everyone he meets develop themselves to success. George speaks to companies who are looking for real world training solutions, backed with the motivational training to implement what they learn. George has studied human improvement for over 25 years and has read thousands of books on the subject. A published author himself, George has written many articles and books on what it takes to succeed in this market. He is a master of humor and powerful storytelling, bringing unparalleled energy and principals to every audience he speaks for.

George had the privilege of serving our country as a ‘Fire Fighter’ and was honored as the ‘Academy Chief’ at the 62nd basic fire academy n Orange County, California. He has the ability to generate contagious energy, which results from his own rich life experiences.

Lt. General Russel L. Honoré (Ret.)

Lt. General Russel L. Honoré (Ret.)

Commander of Joint Task Force Katrina, Leadership Expert, Safety & Global Preparedness Authority

Gen. Honoré has 37 years of decorated military leadership—including the crucial role in managing New Orleans’ relief efforts post Hurricane Katrina.

Prior to his command of Joint Task Force-Katrina – leading the Department of Defense response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana – General Honoré served in a variety of command and staff positions which focused on Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense.

As Vice Director for Operations, J-3, The Joint Staff, Washington, D.C., and, as the Commander, Standing Joint Force Headquarters-Homeland Security, United States Northern Command, General Honoré’s focus was Defense Support to Civil Authorities and Homeland Defense.

General Honoré also planned and supported the United States military response to the devastating flooding which swept Venezuela 1999 and Mozambique in 2000. As Vice Director for Operations, he led the Defense Department’s planning and preparation for the anticipated Y2K Millennium anomaly. As Commander of SJFHQ-HLS under NORTHCOM direction, he planned and oversaw the military response to the Space Shuttle Columbia Tragedy and the DC Sniper Shootings. Additionally, General Honoré participated in three TOPOFF (Top Officials) exercises as well as the United Endeavor series of Homeland Defense exercises.

Speakers & Panelists
Arden Hetland

Arden Hetland

President & CEO
American Financial & Automotive Services, Inc. and American Financial Warranty Corporation

Arden Hetland is President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of American Financial & Automotive Services, Inc. and American Financial Warranty Corporation. The American Financial companies provide comprehensive F&I development, first class administrative services, and a full portfolio of F&I products to maximize dealership profits. The Automotive Training Academy (ATA), a division of American Financial, complements these offerings by preparing automotive professionals for the demands of the industry. Recognized for having the highest standards of integrity and ethics, American Financial has received multiple Dealers’ Choice Awards and other industry awards.

Hetland began his automotive career after graduating from North Dakota State University. He held multiple positions in the retail automotive business, and later continued his career with World Service Life. During his eight years at World Service Life, he was promoted to Vice President and Director of the Auto Services Group and then to Senior Vice President of Credit Insurance Services. He also won various distinguish sales awards during his tenure at World Service Life. Through a merger in 1986, Hetland proceeded to become the Vice President of Insurance Marketing for American National Insurance Company, the third largest insurance company in the country.

In 1992, Hetland incorporated American Financial & Automotive Services, Inc. Since then, he has led the company to be an industry leader, receiving multiple endorsements from state and metro dealer associations.

Carl Ciaramitaro

Carl Ciaramitaro

Managing Director
Provider Exchange Network

As Managing Director of Provider Exchange Network (PEN), Carl Ciaramitaro built up and innovated the aftermarket product technology market by spearheading revolutionary product changes, enabling millions of electronic transactions per year. Carl joined PEN’s parent company, Open Dealer Exchange in its infancy in 2010. Open Dealer Exchange is focused on minimizing and streamlining the automotive Finance & Insurance workflow.

Before becoming an industry expert in Aftermarket product technology, Carl attained early leadership success in the Healthcare Information Technology field. Carl holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University and an MBA from Oakland University.

Daniel Lievrouw

Daniel Lievrouw

Executive Vice President and CIO
American Guardian Warranty Services, Inc.

Daniel has overseen IT operations since he joined in 2008. Dan also serves as the President of American Guardian Systems, Inc.

He was promoted to Vice President of IT and Operations in 2011. Dan continues to create opportunities and technology tools that are key to the growth of AGWS.

Dave Duncan

Dave Duncan

President
Safe-Guard Products International LLC

Dave Duncan is part of the founding team of Safe-Guard.  He brings to the company over three decades of F&I experience at both the dealership level and in the automotive protection products arena. Duncan has direct responsibility with the company’s sales, marketing and business development efforts.  Instrumental in growing the OEM and National Account business for Safe-Guard, he manages the deployment of turn-key programs for F&I business units.  Prior to joining the Safe-Guard team in 1992, Duncan was President and CEO of Diversified Automotive Group, a national general agency, and held numerous management positions in automotive retail.

Gerry Gould

Gerry Gould

President
Gerry Gould & Associates

Gerry has over three decades of automotive sales, and management experience. He began his automotive career as a sales consultant at Fitzgerald Hicks Dodge in Salem, NH where his father was the general manager. Soon after, Gerry and his father opened Gould Auto Sales as an independent pre-owned dealership in Lawrence, MA which they later sold. After the sale, Gerry was hired at Ira Oldsmobile-Toyota in Danvers, MA as a sales consultant where he swiftly moved through the ranks of virtually all front-end management positions.

In 1996 Gerry joined the team of David Lewis & Associates where he dedicated his knowledge and experience to training others. Following a successful tenure with David Lewis & Associates he relocated to Florida in 2002 where he held the position of Florida’s Regional F&I Director for AutoNation the nation’s largest automotive retailer until 2009 when he accepted the position of Director of Training for United Development Systems, a well-established general agent focused on F&I performance and development. Through the years Gerry has spoken at and held numerous workshops for groups and conferences related to automotive front-end operations. He has also crafted several Sales, Sales and F&I Management training programs and published numerous articles in industry journals.

Gina Cocking

Gina Cocking

Managing Director and Partner
Colonnade Securities LLC

Gina Cocking is a managing director and Partner at Colonnade Securities, a boutique investment banking firm that specializes in mergers and acquisition and capital raising advisory services for clients in business services and financial services. She leads the firm’s efforts in advising automotive business services companies. She is the lead writer on numerous whitepapers, including multiple publications on the automotive F&I industry.

Cocking’s career has included not only investment banking, but also executive leadership roles in business and financial services companies. She began her career in investment banking at Kidder Peabody, was an analyst at Madison Dearborn Partners, a private equity firm, and an associate at J.P. Morgan & Co. She was a vice president at Colonnade from 1999 to 2003 and left to gain operating experience as the chief financial officer of Cobalt Finance, a specialty finance company and Healthcare Laundry Systems, a private-equity backed company for which she oversaw the successful sale to a strategic acquirer. Cocking served as the line of business CFO for Consumer Banking and Lending at Discover Financial Services which included its $29 billion bank, $3.5 billion personal loan business.

She received her BA in Economics with Honors and MBA from the University of Chicago. Additionally, Cocking holds the Series 24, 28, 79, and 99 securities licenses.

Jonah Cole

Jonah Cole

Product Owner
Dealer Inspire

Jonah Cole is the Product Owner for Dealer Inspire’s Online Shopper. Jonah is responsible for the constant evolution of the Digital Retailing products. Jonah has been working in the Automotive Industry since 2010, serving in many different roles including marketing coordination, strategic accounts management, product management and product ownership.

Prior to working in the Automotive Industry, Jonah was the director of training for a national emergency alarm company where he built the training department from the ground up. Early in his career, Jonah spent time working with at-risk youth in a therapeutic setting. He serves as a Special Olympics young athletes coach, and co-founded Southern Berkshire C.A.R.E. a family support group out of Great Barrington, MA. Jonah has spoken alongside Google at Automotive News and other industry events, educating dealers on various topics from Digital Advertising, Reputation Management, and more.

Kristen Gruber

Kristen Gruber

President
Dealers Assurance Company

Kristen is the President of Dealers Assurance Company (DAC), and has worked in the insurance arena for 25 years, mainly in roles specific to the F&I industry. Over the course of her career, she has focused on developing insurance solutions for agents, dealers, and OEMs. Today, Kristen and her management team of industry experts work to provide DAC’s clients with the exceptional regulatory, compliance, and analytical support they need to grow their business.

 

Matt Weinberg

Matt Weinberg

SVP of Consumer Experience
Drive Motors

Matt Weinberg is the SVP of Consumer Experience at Drive Motors.

With 20 years of leadership experience in the automotive industry, he has consulted for more than 100 dealer groups on internet sales processes and e-commerce and is a trusted advisor for Wards Auto Top 10 dealer groups, including Asbury, Group 1, Penske, Larry H. Miller, Flow, and Atlantic Auto Group.

Roger Hilterbrandt

Roger Hilterbrandt

Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing
F&I Express

Roger brings 25+ years of executive-level automotive marketing, sales, and business development experience to F&I Express. As Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Roger spearheads ongoing efforts rolling out F&I Express to thousands of dealerships across the United States.

Previously he served as Vice President of Sales for AutoTrader.com, where he directed a team of over 600 sales personnel and was instrumental in growing the online car-shopping powerhouse’s revenues from $170 million to over $700 million. Prior to AutoTrader.com, Roger was President and CEO of a major, Internet-based finance lead partner of LendingTree.com and E-LOAN. He also served as National Sales Manager at Reynolds and Reynolds, directing over 175 sales and service professionals and the company’s OEM relationships.

Stephen McDaniel

Stephen McDaniel

F&I Sentinel, PLLC

Stephen K. McDaniel focuses his legal practice on the areas of service contract, warranty, motor vehicle ancillary product, health care, and insurance industries. As a former Certified Public Accountant, Stephen has the unique ability to understand his client’s business and finances in order to more effectively represent the client’s interests. Stephen assists companies with structuring their business operations to ensure compliance with existing law and securing registrations or licensure where required. This includes helping administrators and providers of service contract and ancillary product offerings build their programs from the ground up, including formation, contract drafting, and national licensure. Stephen also assists finance companies with the development and implementation of processes to review F&I products to ensure compliance with state and federal law prior to the finance companies buying those products.

Stephen serves as the Assistant Executive Director and Assistant General Counsel to the Service Contract Industry Council (“SCIC”), a national trade association representing the interests of the service contract industry. Stephen oversees SCIC’s efforts to enact and monitor legislative, regulatory and administrative activity throughout the United States, and lobbies both state and federal legislators and regulators regarding various service contract and related issues. He also sits on the Advisory Council for the California Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings, and Thermal Insulation.

2019 Advisory Board

David Trinder 
StoneEagle F&I
Advisory Board Chair

Lee Bowron
Kerper and Bowron

Dave Duncan
Safe-Guard Products International

Ron Greer
Provider Exchange Network

Kristen Gruber 
Dealers Assurance Company

Lori Hallissey 
Portfolio

Arden Hetland
American Financial & Automotive Services

Daniel Jones
EckBond

Daniel Lievrouw
American Guardian Warranty Services

Kelly Price
NAE/NWAN

Mitch Rand
C&K Auto Parts

Michael Reth
Axiom Product Administration

Michael Tuno 
World Class Dealer Services

Tony Wanderon
National Auto Care