Tag Archive | "American Auto Guardian"

An Interview with Tim Brugh


Tim Brugh got his start in the automotive industry at age 23, selling cars in Logansport, IN, the town where he grew up. After selling cars for a couple of years, Brugh became the F&I manager at a small Ford and Chrysler/Dodge dealership. There, he was given the chance to work the desk, appraise used cars, and even do a bit of service writing. Brugh credits the store with giving him a valuable, first hand look into all of the operations within the dealership.

Eventually, Brugh moved to a company that had its own administration, direct sales force, and owned its own P&C and life insurance company. Brugh says it was his experience there that paved the way to his current career path. “The company’s focus was on signing up dealers through a direct sales force and teaching income development in the F&I office. By signing and servicing over 30 stores in the central part of Indiana and Ohio, I learned what a dealership needs to do to be successful when it comes to customer service.”

In 1997, Al Ranieri founded American Auto Guardian, Inc. (AAGI). Ranieri gave Brugh “the opportunity of a lifetime” and hired him as a national sales manager. Working for Ranieri, Brugh considers himself fortunate to have learned from the best in the business how to run a successful administration company. “Although I had no experience calling on agents, Al saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself.” Brugh has been with the company for more than 15 years. In addition to being the company president, Brugh is now an owner of AAGI.

Family Life

Dealing with the daily pressures of running a successful business is not an easy task. Brugh says spending time with his wife and three kids keep him grounded and provides much needed stress relief. His two oldest children are juniors in college and his youngest is a senior in high school. “Watching my children as they grow into young adults; I‘m always asking myself the question, ‘Are you teaching them the right things?’ Watching my children become young adults and learning to be responsible for their actions is my greatest pleasure.”

When his two older kids left for college, Brugh decided to have a tailgate trailer built so they could spend Saturdays going to college football games as a family. So far, he says their tailgate frenzy has been a big hit. They split their time between Indiana University and the University of Missouri. “Not only do our children enjoy tailgating, but their friends and friends’ families also love it. We take in eight to ten games a year and average 40-60 people a game.”

A Higher Standard

“At AAGI” says Brugh, “we pride ourselves on trying to set a higher standard for the administration of all our products, which consists of AutoGuard and Wheelz brands, as well as, Certified Limited Warranty, GAP, Etch, Excess Wear & Tear and other automotive aftermarket products. We strive to be the industry leader for agents and dealers across the United States. Our goal is to provide personalized service, superior products, and the best tools in the industry for our partners to succeed.”

Brugh is excited about the new website AAGI will soon launch for their agents and dealers. He describes it as a more intuitive system that includes single sign on to their online rating system, QR360™. “Agents and dealers sign in just once for both aagi.com and QR360™ using our newly established single sign on concept.” adds Brugh, “Our partners will be provided with features and functionality which will improve their efficiency and allow them to grow their business.”

In 2012, AAGI successfully completed an independent audit for the SSAE No. 16, Type 2 for the second year. Brugh says, “The SSAE 16 compliance designation affirms AAGI’s commitment to meet the highest industry standards for its administration of automotive aftermarket products. Maintaining this designation takes time and commitment from our entire staff and I’m proud of their continued efforts to do so.”

Over the years, Brugh says the thing that has served him well is getting up every day with a plan. When he is not sure what to do, he says he just keeps moving. “You will find opportunities are out there if you’re constantly moving. The toughest part of any job is becoming a student of the business. First and foremost, you need to make the decision: Is this a career or just a job? If it’s a career then learn everything you can about the auto industry, as well as how your company interacts with auto dealerships. Overall, I think the automotive industry is an exciting industry to be in. I am glad to be a part of it.”

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AAGI Moves Corporate Headquarters


Arlington Heights, Ill – American Auto Guardian Inc. (AAGI) moved its corporate headquarters from Arlington Heights, Ill to Schaumburg, Ill. After 10 years in its location, AAGI moved to 1700 East Golf Road, Schaumburg, Ill.

Tim Brugh, president, said, “This is an incredibly thrilling time for our business and indicates another milestone in our remarkable story. With such rapid expansion over the last three years this move will enable all business operations to remain together under one roof.”

“Our staff has worked extremely hard to achieve this success, and I am delighted that we are in a position to reward them with a state‐of‐the‐art working environment” Brugh continued. “As we continue to grow, I hope the new building acts as another factor to attract local talent to our business.”

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Tim Brugh Named President of AAGI


Arlington Heights, Ill. – American Auto Guardian Inc. (AAGI) appointed Tim Brugh president, effective May 10, 2013. Al Ranieri, the company’s previous president is now AAGI’s chairman of the board.

Ranieri said, “Tim will use his proven passion and broad‐based skills to strengthen AAGI’s market position. Tim’s wealth of experience and knowledge positions him well for this new role. I am pleased to have Tim at the helm of AAGI!”

Brugh joined the company in 1997 and during his tenure has demonstrated a dedication to the success of the company, as well as the staff. “I look forward to continuing the work Al began when he created AAGI. His pioneering work in this industry, together with the ethical manner in which the business is handled each day, provides me with a solid foundation to lead AAGI into its next phase of development,” said Brugh.

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AAGI Names New Claim and Risk Management VP


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. — American Auto Guardian (AAGI) promoted George Krnich to vice president of claim and risk management.

Krnich began his career with AAGI in 2000 and has more than 25 years of automotive service experience, including more than 20 years in VSC claims administration. He holds degrees in both automotive technology and automotive service excellence.

During his tenure with AAGI, Krnich created and maintained the company’s claims adjudication department. His staff of mechanical claim adjusters will, effective immediately, increase by the addition of the GAP/ETCH/EWT claims group.

In addition to the management of the claims group, Krnich has been heavily relied upon by AAGI’s management for underwriting analysis of products and their related claims.

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George Krnich Promoted to Vice President of Claims & Risk Management at American Auto Guardian


Arlington Heights, Ill. – American Auto Guardian Inc. (AAGI) promoted George Krnich to vice president, Claim & Risk Management.

Krnich began his career with AAGI in 2000 and has more than 25 years of automotive service experience, with more than 20 years in VSC claims administration. He holds degrees in both Automotive Technology and Automotive Service Excellence. During his tenure with AAGI, Krnich has created and maintained a department which provides outstanding service with consistent and fair claim adjudication. His staff of mechanical claim adjusters will, effective immediately, increase by the addition of the GAP/ETCH/EWT claims group.

In addition to the management of the claims group, Krnich has been heavily relied upon by AAGI’s management regarding underwriting analysis of products and their related claims.

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AAGI Announces 2013 Course Schedule


Arlington Heights, IL – American Auto Guardian Inc. announced its 2013 quarterly course schedule.

In an effort to accommodate as many participants as possible, 2013 has prompted AAGI’s Performance Services to add a fourth class. AAGI’s Performance Services department, through its partnership with United Development Systems Inc., will host quarterly courses, each lasting five days. The program will include a focus on presentation skills and techniques, lender relations and advanced management skills. Additionally, participants will engage in role playing and critiquing of their performance by UDS staff.

Jeff Teuscher, vice president of sales and head of AAGI’s Performance Services, said, “We are thrilled with the vast number of agents and F&I managers who are striving to increase their knowledge, or simply refresh what they learned in the past. Gerry Gould brings a high level of excitement and expertise to each session and enables attendees to make the most of their career.”

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