The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

In Memoriam: Matt Marks, 1942-2012

October 29, 2012

MT. ARLINGTON, NJ - Matt Marks, long-time executive director of IARA, passed away on his birthday, Sunday, Oct. 28 from a heart attack. He was 70. He is survived by his wife, Rita. 

UPDATED 10/31/12, The memorial has been rescheduled due to Hurricane Sandy: A memorial will be held by his wife, Rita, Wed., Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Goble Funeral Home, 22 Main Street, in Sparta, N.J. The memorial will be a military style service. 



"It's a shock and a tragic loss for the industry, and, for the IARA in particular. Matt was truly the glue that held the Alliance together," said Mike Antich, editor of Automotive Fleet and Vehicle Remarketing, and IARA long-time secretary, officer, and member of the Board of Directors. "He will be sorely missed, and we extend our condolences and sympathy to his wife Rita and to his family."

Additional voices from the IARA and remarketing industry reached out after the news or Marks' passing originally broke. 

Rob Wagner, CAR, president of the IARA and director, asset remarketing, Hyundai Motors America, said: "It is with sad emotions that I share the news of Matt Marks passing. Matt was the living example of professionalism and personability. His commitment to excellence was seen by everyone. His thoughtfulness felt by everyone. Words are hard to find for individuals such as Matt. Let it be that Matt was the best of all that any of us could ever expect. SOLID – solid like Granite, absolute reliability. Few men know how to act without direction, Matt KNEW! From your friends at IARA, all the BEST, we will be thinking and praying for you and your family, now and for many years to come." 

Scott Kolb, CAI of United Road Services and director for the IARA continued: "Matt was the true voice of the IARA, overseeing not only the organization’s growth and expansion, but establishing it as the most critical alliance of experts in the remarketing industry. Earlier in his career, Matt was the President of ITS (the inspection company now known as SGS), and had served our country as a pilot in the Navy."

According to Jack Rennels, VP of Vehicle Remarketing for Emkay, "I had only known Matt for about 15 months, having joined the IARA Board in August of 2011.  However he reached out to me and made me feel welcome from the beginning. He was a genuinely nice person. He was very hands on, always willing to lend a hand to make things work. It was obvious that he loved working with the IARA and all its members. He will be sorely missed." 

Les Lynott, director of strategic account management for Emkay, said: "It is with great sadness and heavy heart that I write to you, Mike. It is unbelievable to me that one of our dear friends, Matt Marks, passed so unexpectedly. Matt was a great advocate for IARA. Frankly, Matt was the glue of the organization. He was instrumental in putting IARA on the map through his networking and ability to reach out to anyone and everyone to chat about the organization. He had great passion for the remarketing industry and was a plethora of knowledge about its history and where it might go. I shared many laughs and had many good conversations with Matt. I am shocked that one of our dear friends has moved on to the other side. His efforts will be deeply missed by IARA but that pales in comparison to how much Matt, the man, will be missed."

Dave Alfonso, remarketing manager for KIA USA said: "Rarely, when someone touches our lives, do they leave an imprint on our hearts the size of which Matt has left. His overwhelming passion and love for both the IARA, and all of those who are a part of it, have been an inspiration that will live on within us forever in his memory. God bless you Matt! We’ll see you upstairs."

Don Fowler, director, business development for DataScan Field Services said, "Matt was a true business friend and a consummate business executive. He brought a professional dedication to his responsibilities as Executive Director to the IARA and will be sorely missed.  Matt always made himself available, I leaned on him many, many times as we worked to build the membership of the IARA. A personal friend and a business partner, he will always have a warm place in my heart."

Layne Weber, past president of the IARA, said, "I am truly saddened by the sudden loss of one of our colleagues. During my term as President of IARA I had the privilege of working very closely with Matt for over two years. He was a man of integrity and deeply cared about the remarketing industry and IARA. Matt’s leadership allowed the organization to develop from an afterthought to the preeminent organization of remarketing professionals. He will be greatly missed by all of us that had the pleasure of knowing him." 

"Matt’s leadership, commitment, and resolve will be truly missed.  He was a man of great character, a real patriot, and one of the most honorable men I have ever known," Kolb said.

Bob Graham, VP of Vehicle Remarketing for ARI, said: "Matt will be sorely missed, not only as the face of the IARA, but also as a friend to many of us. Matt and I worked closely together for several years and he was the real strength behind the IARA and the glue that held the executive committee together. Always the professional, Matt was patient and thoughtful as he guided the Alliance from its infancy to its current position as the voice of the remarketing industry."

To share your comments on Matt Marks, please e-mail Mike Antich at or Lauren Fletcher at

To read about Marks' past, click to the next page. 

By Lauren Fletcher

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  1. 1. Alan Marks [ October 30, 2012 @ 07:57PM ]

    For those of you who may not know, Matt is the oldest of 7. There is not only a wide diversity of personalities that make up his younger siblings, there is also a wide range in ages. I will never be able to say that I was fortunate to work with Matt, and what a great experience that was, but I can say that he was my brother. Words would fall short if I were to try to convey the type of pride that I take in being able to say those exact words, but those who truly knew the person that Matt was, will most definitely understand the type of influence he leveraged with his presence. As many people will describe him, as being the consummate professional that he was, and talk to his superior intellect, his drive, and his business acumen, they are all merely confirming that my admiration and respect for him was shared by his colleagues as well. The worst part about being his brother, is that I was the youngest of the 7, and never had an opportunity to spend any real time with Matt, due to being 16 years younger. I will miss him immensely, and will always try to follow his example. I thank you all for your kind words on Matt's behalf.

  2. 2. Laura Taylor [ October 31, 2012 @ 09:47AM ]

    Matt Marks was not only a mentor but a friend. He always helped and was patient even when he was probably too busy to stop what he was doing; but he always did. My life has been blessed by knowing Matt Marks. He will be missed.

  3. 3. Greg J Janik [ November 01, 2012 @ 08:26AM ]

    The news about Matt Marks passing was a shock and a personal tragedy to me. It was my priviledge to work directly for Matt at ITS (SGS) in the 90's. Matt had a unique management style that is extremely rare. First of all, he was always very upbeat and treated everyone around him with dignity and respect. He always found something good about every employee and loved to share what he found with his staff. After I left ITS, Matt and I remained friends and saw each other at various industry conferences. It was always great to get together. When he took on the task of building IARA, I knew it would become a leading organization in the industry and it did. Having retired from the automotive industry several years ago has not stopped me from attending some industry conferences. I have seen and chatted with Matt every year at CAR and IARA meetings where we caught up with each others activities. He was truly a great man, fantastic leader, real personal friend and will be forever missed.

  4. 4. ethel ferry dempsey [ November 09, 2012 @ 10:26AM ]

    i have talked with matthew a lot the last two years; he never changed since high school-he was a year ahead of me. he was my favorite person in all the world to talk to. his mind was constantly reaching and he had more information on any subject than i could hope to absorb. his honesty, integrity, kindness, empathy and love knew no bounds. who shall i talk to? i guess it will just be a continuing quiet conversation.


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