The Conference of Automotive Remarketing tends to attract more successful remarketing leaders than you can keep track of or recognize.
That’s why its annual industry awards present a solid sample of the industry talent out there.
Each year CAR and its parent company Bobit, a business media, events and data company, hands out two complementary awards that highlight well-rounded remarketing leadership while its CAR partner, the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance, widens its circle of achievement.
2023 Remarketer of the Year Award
Cam Hitchcock, the recently retired CEO of America’s Auto Auction and Axle Funding, received the 2023 Remarketer of the Year Award on March 30. The award recognizes professionals in the remarketing industry who work to advance the industry, participate in industry associations and groups, and collaborate with colleagues and industry members in developing the next generation of remarketers.
During an introduction, awards presenter Charlie Vogelheim recounted Hitchcock’s varied background and career. He grew up in Detroit and attended a military academy before enrolling at Wabash College and moving on to graduate work at Indiana University at the Kelley School of Business.
He then succeeded for decades in finance- and treasurer-related executive positions at companies like Chicago Corporation, Deutsche Oregon, Dean Foods, Lear Corporation, EMCON Technologies, and as CEO of dealer services at ADESA.
However, he is most known for being CEO and board member of America’s Auto Auction, which later merged with XLerate Group in December 2021. AAA is a leading provider of vehicle auction and alternative liquidation channels to auto dealers, institutional consignors, and other industry participants. The company operates 39+ Simulcast-enabled physical auction locations, six mobile auctions, and multi-seller platform digital sales. He also has served on the boards of several other organizations.
“This guy is a finance wizard,” Vogelheim said. “I want to remind everyone that he's got over 25 years of operational financial investment banking experience and served as chairman, CEO, and president. Most importantly, he and his wife Becky reside in Indianapolis, and they have five elite lacrosse players. So congratulations Cam and I forgot to mention about your car collecting and your wrestling career in college.”
Upon accepting the award, Hitchcock said, “I'm honored to receive this award. But let's face it, any CEO at the end of the day knows that in this industry on the auction side it's all about the operators, sales staff, and all the other consignors in the room today. I accept this award on behalf of America’s Group and all the men and women in this room who get it done, and I’m proud of what the group is. It's going to be a lot of fun to watch what [CEO] Chuck [Tapp] and the rest of the team does to take it forward.”
CAR Consignor of the Year Award
Colleagues of Jim Jackson, recipient of the 2023 Consignor of the Year Award, say he is highly skilled and collegial in developing strong industry relationships and connections, which he handles with integrity.
As the North American remarketing asset manager at Holman Fleet Management & Solutions, Jackson since 2004 has risen through the company as he showed a deep understanding of the market landscape and the needs of his customers.
With more than 25 years of experience in the remarketing industry, he now oversees remarketing venues, programs, and third-party remarketing throughout North America.
This executive previously held many positions in the sector, including roles with IAA and ADESA Impact.
Among notable accomplishments, Jackson is an IARA Lifetime Certified Remarketer, also certified in I-CAR Automotive Collision Repair, Audit & Compliance Training certified, and he serves as a co-chair on the IARA Conference and Events committee and as a guest educator at the Auction Academy.
Jackson also served in the U.S. Army as a combat engineer.
“I want to recognize the people in the audience who clear transportation problems for our vendors, who send titles out to us so we can complete the sale, and remarketers who are online and in lane wrapping cars,” Jackson said. “It’s a team event in remarketing. I see a lot of our business partners out here. Thank you for what you do every day to make Holman a success. I'll share this award with the entire team next week,” he added as he looked out at a table full of fellow employees.
IARA Circle of Excellence Award
The IARA created this award to recognize people in the industry who make an impact and influence the industry outside of their job description. At a luncheon March 29 during CAR, alliance leaders gave the 2022 IARA Circle of Excellence Award to Bob McConkey, CEO of McConkey Auction Group in Spokane, Washington.
The award is dated 2022 because McConkey was supposed to receive it last August at the IARA Summer Roundtable, except his flight to Nashville was delayed to the point he never made it in time. So he waited for the right moment at CAR.
IARA Chairman Paul Seger relayed how McConkey started his career at South Seattle Auto Auction and moved on to general manager of the Southern California Auto Auction. He doubled its size in less than three years making it the world's largest auto auction by 1992.
McConkey also co-founded DAA Northwest in Spokane with his partner Greg Mayer. Today, DAA is one of the largest and most respected independent auto auctions in the nation. As CEO and president of the McConkey Auto Group, Bob oversees wholesale auto auctions, specialty auto auctions in Spokane, Seattle, and Las Vegas, as well as MAG now. The group's Pacific Northwest digital auction is powered by Eblock.
McConkey also works as an auctioneer and an active member of the wholesale remarketing industry. McConkey co-founded Auction Pipeline in 2006, now known as Auction Edge. And he also served as National Auto Auction Association president in 2009.
“In addition, with all this industry stuff that Bob does, and he's a very modest guy, he won't tell you about what a giving heart he has, which he does, and he wears it on his sleeve,” Seger said. “Bob has done so much for his community and for others. He has invested in charities through donations and fundraisers, raising nearly $3 million to date for these charities.”
IARA President Jeff Bescher added, “Not only has he been an incredibly successful, industry, independent, successful independent auction owner, but he's a long been an intelligent and straightforward voice for all independent auctions, especially during his stint as president of the America’s Auto Auction.”
Upon receiving the award, McConkey said, “I can tell you over the years that the IARA has probably been one of the most influential organizations that our industry has. If you look at the amount of training and how influential it’s been, it's amazing.
“The relationships during the last 40 years I have formed are deep, strong friendships. That by far is the most important part of this whole ride that I've been on for the last 40 years. As a business, we're well into the next generation as we continue to innovate. As I ride off into the sunset, I used to be one of the young guys at these things. I was on the board when I was 25 years old. And it doesn't seem like it was that long ago. You know how time flies, but our organizations are committed to the future and the next generation. With that, I'll bid you farewell and thank you for honoring me today.”
In a change of schedule, the 2023 Ed Bobit Industry Icon Award, which recognizes leaders who shaped the industry, will be presented during the IARA Summer Roundtable to be held Aug. 22-24 in Chicago.