Tag Archive | "Tony Wanderon"

National Auto Care names Steve Verney as Chief Financial Officer


WESTERVILLE, Ohio – National Auto Care today announced the appointment of Steve Verney as the company’s Chief Financial Officer, leading the finance, accounting and reinsurance teams. In this new role, he will work to help National Auto Care amplify its recent profitable growth and build an even stronger foundation for the next level of success.

Steve retired from Allstate Insurance in 2015 after a distinguished 34-year career. He held multiple senior- level roles in Finance and Risk Management, including CFO of both property-casualty and life divisions, Treasurer, and head of strategy and M&A. He completed his career at Allstate as Executive Vice President and Chief Risk Officer. In each of these roles, he helped improve growth, profitability and financial strength as well as drive transformative change while developing strong financial talent and organizations.

“I am thrilled to join National Auto Care as we work together to build on the great work the team has done to achieve even greater success for our agents, employees, business partners and ultimately our shareholders,” said Verney.

“Steve’s strong qualifications and strategic mindset make him the perfect fit to take our financial management to the next level,” said CEO Tony Wanderon. “With his expertise in all facets of financial operations, insurance and M&A, Steve brings a balanced ability to develop and execute strategies that will drive growth and competitive advantage for the company on a national level.”

Steve earned his bachelor’s degree and MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Corporate Directors.

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National Auto Care Named to Auto Remarketing Magazine’s Power 300


WESTERVILLE, OH – Westerville OH-based National Auto Care Corp. announced today that the company has been named to Auto Remarketing Magazine’s Power 300, a list of the most influential companies in the pre-owned automotive industry.

The magazine refers to the Power 300 as a “collection of the industry’s heavy hitters,” and it includes companies from nearly every aspect of the pre-owned and remarketing business.

“National Auto Care is proud to be included in this prestigious group, which includes OEM’s, financial institutions, technology providers and more,” said Tony Wanderon, CEO. “National Auto Care has a long history of service to the pre-owned business, and we strive daily to provide the best products and services to our agent partners and their dealers nationwide.”

National Auto Care offers a broad assortment of F&I products for both the new and pre-owned markets, including VSAs, GAP, ancillary products, limited warranties, certified programs and more.

The Power 300 was announced in the August issue of Auto Remarketing magazine.

National Auto Care also was also honored with a Gold Award for F&I products by the readers of Auto Dealer Today in June 2016.

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Matthew Osborn Joins Ponte Vedra’s National Auto Care Corp. as Chief Information Officer


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – National Auto Care Corp., a leading national administrator of vehicle service contract and ancillary products, has named insurance and TPA industry veteran Matthew Osborn to the newly-created position of Chief Information Officer. Osborn will be a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Osborn brings more than 25 years of technology and business development experience to his new position at National Auto Care. He has served in various areas of the industry, including agency management, training, and most notably, as a technology leader for Allstate and Allstate Benefits. His new role will lead the IT, Project Management, and Process Improvement teams with the goal of improving and optimizing the business experience of agents and dealers working with National Auto Care through several transformative projects currently under way.

“I am very happy to welcome Matt to National Auto Care,” said Tony Wanderon, CEO. “He brings a wealth of experience as well as a positive management style that will further our efforts to offer the most responsive and effective service in the F&I industry.”

Osborn holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Barry University in Miami, FL, an MBA from Jacksonville University, and is a candidate for Doctor of Business Administration at Jacksonville University. He and his family live in Jacksonville, FL.

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An Interview with Tony Wanderon


Tony Wanderon is a serial entrepreneur, a former agent, current chief executive of National Auto Care and a private pilot. Agent Entrepreneur caught up with Wanderon to discuss his automotive industry career, what it takes to be a great agent and why parachutes are overrated.

AE: Tony, where are you from and how did you get into the car business?

Wanderon: I was born in Miami. I grew up there, went to school there, met my wife, Christine, there, had kids there, built a company there and then sold that company to American Heritage Life. My dad and grandparents were in the car business. I started when I was 12, in the used-car get-ready department, washing cars and starting them up.

AE: Did you take over your family’s operation?

Wanderon: I worked there through high school and then went to college for two years. I didn’t finish. I started bartending and making good money and it was hard to make it to class. So I worked in restaurants until I was 22, then I got back into F&I at the Chevy dealership that my father was the GM at.

In 1986, I was approached by Rick McMahon, who owned an F&I development company called ERJ Insurance Group. The dealership where I worked sold his warranty and credit life products. As Rick was growing his F&I business, he offered me a job to help him with a new relationship he started with Avis Car Sales, which required him to help open and train F&I in over 200 locations around the country.

AE: What did McMahon see in a young Tony Wanderon?

Wanderon: I think it was probably my desire, my understanding of and love for the business and how I presented myself. And I think he got me at a pretty fair price.

AE: Did you enjoy training?

Wanderon: The training part was fun. That went on for my first three years. In 1989, my son, Spencer, was born. I flew home from a two-week training trip in L.A., Hawaii and Seattle, and Christine had Spencer the night I got home — a month early, by the way. That’s when I came to the decision it was time to start building a business in South Florida, so I could be with my family more.

From 1990 to ’96, we focused on the South Florida market and, over time, we pretty much owned the market. We grew so fast. We soon had over 100 dealers, both big and small. In addition, I found a product that no one really had ever marketed and we put a lot of focus on developing and offering GAP under our ERJ brand. Around that same time, one of my first and best dealers, Dick Assmar, promoted us to his fellow Nissan dealers, which allowed us to grow that market. He also introduced me to the regional VP at Nissan and told them they should hire us to help them with Security+Plus, which we started in the early ’90s and continues today. I still feel that I owe much of my success to Dick for the way he supported me and our company.

That Nissan relationship brought us into national growth mode. We were writing 15,000 to 20,000 GAP policies a year as an administrator. In addition, our development business was growing at over 30% per year. At the peak of that growth, we became an American Heritage Life (AHL) agent. After a presentation I did for a large dealer group, the chairman of AHL, who had attended, came to me and said he wanted to acquire ERJ. Selling was not something that we were looking to do, but in 1997, it was the right time with the right company, so we sold.

Two years later, Allstate Insurance Company bought AHL for its workplace products. I really do not think that our division had any influence, one way or another, when they bought AHL, but I thought it was a great opportunity to prove that our business was a great one for them as well. For the first two years after Allstate, I remained in Miami, running ERJ. In 2001, I was asked to become president of the division. I accepted and relocated to Jacksonville.

AE: I remember when you left Allstate. It was a big surprise.

Wanderon: I like to say I’ve been married for 29 years and that was my only divorce. It was great to have a brand and I built that division and that company with a great team. I learned a lot and met some great people, but I would never go back to working in that type of environment again. I’m into an entrepreneurial, fast-moving organization.

AE: So you started Family First Dealer Services.

Wanderon: My sister, Courtney, and I started it in the dining room of my house. We hired our first employee and pretty soon there were five of us. We were doing a lot of consulting work and generating a lot of business, but our goal was to get back into being an agent-centric product provider. With my long history and clear success with GAP, we focused on that first and introduced our FFDS GAP in 2012. That year, I think we did less than $15 million in sales — which we were pound of — but in 2015, we exceeded $100 million and we now employ more than 100 people.

AE: How did the merger with National Auto Care come about?

Wanderon: In 2013, an opportunity presented itself with Trivest Partners. They had acquired National Auto Care, then known as NAC, and asked if I would go up to Ohio and give them my opinion of the organization. My opinion was this: Here was this company with some great people that really made me feel at home when I was there. They were also a very solid, customer-focused team, and that excited me. Finally, it opened my eyes to the fact that FFDS was missing an important product segment in vehicle service agreements.

NAC was missing some key things as well, but I knew that FFDS could fill in those blanks and that, together, we could both grow and support our agents better, now and into the future. So in November of 2013, we merged our two companies. As I said previously, our growth has been great and our agents have been amazing in supporting us the past few years.

Now, coming from where I came from, this isn’t “big.” It still feels like a family deal, but it is much more than that. And part of that is we have great agents who have been instrumental in our success. Our culture here is to not have as many agents as possible; it’s about having 50 great agents, one in each state and maybe two in the larger states. Unlike many of our competitors, we don’t compete directly with our agents. We’re here to build those partnerships. Having worked as an agent myself, providing that commitment and support probably means more to me than most.

AE: Is the industry’s perception of agents changing? When the magazine and Agent Summit launched, there was a lot of talk about shaking off the image of the guy driving from store to store with a trunk full of products. You don’t really hear about that anymore. The focus is on business development, F&I training, compliance and reinsurance.

Wanderon: There have always been great, good and not-so-good agents. I think that one of the qualities of a great agent is clearly understanding who they work for and that profits are reciprocal. Dealers rely on their agents to help them keep their businesses growing. A lot of the guys who worked for Pat Ryan are super-successful agents because they were part of a very professional training and support organization, and that is how we ran our agency as well.

In addition to training, back when I started, there used to be two or three products and maybe 10 to 15 companies marketing them. Now there are 50 or more products from which dealers can choose and hundreds of administrators and providers. Great agents understand the value that each product has to the dealer, the customer and the agency. Those not-so good agents frustrate me because all they do is sell price, which just hurts everything we have done to advance the industry’s reputation.

But we have to hold people and each other accountable. At the conference, we — and I mean everyone — is training and educating each other. That, I think, has been the greatest benefit of the conference. We really started to bring people together to share good, quality information. When you see other agents outside of the competitive environment, you see them in a different light.

Look at Joel Kansanback and Bill Kelly at Automotive Development Group. In 2015, they were our agency of the year. They were also my agent of the year with my prior company seven years before. Today, they are 10 or 20 times bigger, but they’re still providing quality service, that’s something special when you grow that much and keep up that high level of service. At the conference, other agents can go up to them and say, “How did you get here? How can I do that?” And they will tell you. That’s progress. It was not as open as it is today.

AE: Those are good guys. I think they would be helpful, and I think they would say it’s a good time to be in the industry.

Wanderon: It’s a challenging time. You have to do something to separate yourself. How do you compete against corporate jets, private yachts and big brand names? You show the dealers why all of that costs them money without any return. From my perspective, you can separate yourself by providing great service that fits the dealer’s needs and being persistent.

I once called on a dealer who said, “All you guys are pestering me to buy something. Come back after a year. If you’re still around, I’ll buy something from you.” I did go back. He didn’t remember me, but he kept his word. I signed him up for our warranty business. Persistence pays.

AE: You mentioned there used to be only two or three F&I products, one of which was credit insurance. In our last issue, we interviewed agents and providers who are still having a lot of success with it. The voice of dissent was Brian Crisorio at UDS. He agreed it could be valuable but said there are too many other good products out there to make a hard push for credit insurance.

Wanderon: Credit life and disability can be a great deal for the customer, particularly at a certain point in your life. But for dealers, licensing is an issue, and it is expensive, at least compared to other products. It makes a massive impact on customers’ payments. And I think it was regulated down to the point of being a challenge.

We wrote a lot of credit insurance, but personally, I’m more on Crisorio’s side. There are a lot of options outside the F&I office for customers who are underinsured. But some customers need it, and that’s why you have the menu. You don’t have to force them to buy anything.

That’s what excited me about GAP. I saw a product that would take care of the bank’s negative equity position, keep the customer from going upside-down and protect the dealer’s brand. Which one would I like to have personally? Clearly, GAP, and that’s what it often comes down to.

AE: Do you believe Millennial car buyers make good F&I customers?

Wanderon: I don’t look at someone and say, “You’re 20 years old. You’re different.” I say, “Are you smart or not so smart?” Our job is to offer the products that are going to help them. The service contract is a good example. How can a young customer afford a $2,000 or $3,000 repair when they’re struggling to make their monthly payments? And it has to be affordable. Can they afford another $10 a month? Probably. Could they afford $60 a month? Maybe not.

I don’t know why anyone would be afraid of an educated younger person who has questions. You need to offer products not for your own commission, but because the customer really needs them. If you can explain why, you have an opportunity.

AE: Indeed. Last question, Tony: What do you like to do in your spare time?

Wanderon: I fly. I’ve been working on it for a while. I got my license and bought the plane two years ago. We use it for short trips to visit family. I’ll fly up to Ohio once in a while, too. I like flying because it teaches you discipline. You have to go through your checklists and make sure everything’s right.

AE: What kind of plane did you buy?

Wanderon: It’s a Cirrus SR22. You may know it as the plane that has a built-in parachute. The former CEO of Walmart made a parachute landing last year. I guess it’s nice to have if something goes wrong, but you can’t get too comfortable up there. If you like the parachute because it gives you a false sense of security, you shouldn’t have it.

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Columbus CEO Magazine Names National Auto Care a Winner of the Columbus Metro Area 2016 Top Workplace Award


COLUMBUS, OH– National Auto Care has been awarded a 2016 Top Workplaces honor by the Columbus C.E.O. Magazine. The Top Workplaces lists are based solely on the results of an employee feedback survey administered by WorkplaceDynamics, LLC, a leading research firm that specializes in organizational health and workplace improvement. Several aspects of workplace culture were measured, including Alignment, Execution, and Connection, just to name a few.

“I could not be more proud of our company and our employees,” said Tony Wanderon, President and CEO of National Auto Care. “This award confirms what I already know – that we have the best team in the industry.

“This is a great accomplishment – made even more important because we went through a merger just 2 years ago. At a time when many companies would still be struggling to combine their employee teams, we have one of the most engaged, dedicated workplaces in Columbus,” Wanderon continued.

“The Top Workplaces award is not a popularity contest, and it’s not about fancy perks and benefits.” says Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics. “To be a Top Workplace, organizations must meet our strict standards for organizational health. And who better to ask about work life than the people who live the culture every day—the employees. Time and time again, our research has proven that what’s most important to them is a strong belief in where the organization is headed, how it’s going to get there, and the feeling that everyone is in it together.”

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National Auto Care Corp. Adds to Product Portfolio to Meet Agents’, Dealers’ Business Needs


WESTERVILLE, Ohio – Westerville OH-based National Auto Care Corp. markets F&I products through its national network of independent agents. According to CEO Tony Wanderon, the company’s core focus is increasing these agent partners’ profitability by providing unique F&I product offerings and personalized sales support.

For 2016, National Auto Care Corp. has introduced several products to its expansive F&I product portfolio, including: Tire and Wheel Protection, Windshield Protection Product Limited Warranty, and Theft Deterrent Product Limited Warranty.

“National Auto Care has built this new Tire & Wheel Protection product in response to agents and dealers that have requested a program with flexible, inclusive pricing and service terms. We are proud to be able to provide a tire and wheel product that includes terms up to 84 months to accommodate the current consumer trend towards longer lease and purchase terms,” said Wanderon.

The National Auto Care Tire & Wheel product is available for new and used vehicles. Consumer-friendly benefits like Towing, Emergency Roadside and Substitute Transportation make the National Auto Care Tire & Wheel product an easy sell in the F&I office as well as a dealer loyalty and satisfaction driver.

The windshield has become an important structural element in today’s lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicles. National Auto Care has responded to this evolution in vehicle design by introducing a Windshield Protection Product Limited Warranty, available for both new and used vehicles.
The Windshield Protection program includes the application of an approved windshield protection product and a limited warranty that protects the consumer should the windshield protection product fail. The limited warranty covers windshield repair and/or replacement depending on damage size and location, with no deductible due from the consumer and no limit on services during the term of the warranty.

National Auto Care’s new Theft Deterrent Product Limited Warranty helps agents and dealers offer consumers a product recommended by consumer publications and law enforcement agencies alike. This new product offers the protection of a theft deterrent product combined with the security of a limited warranty to help the customer recover should auto theft occur. The Theft Deterrent Product Limited Warranty is available with either a 3- or 5-year term, and customers can select from 3 levels of total loss benefits as well as a partial loss benefit of up to $1,000.

Both the Windshield Protection product and Theft Deterrent product allow dealers the flexibility of choosing a relevant product of their choice, or ordering supplies from National Auto Care’s preferred provider.

“What makes each of these new products special is the service that agents and dealers can expect when they work with National Auto Care,” Wanderon said. “Our personal service and dedication to the agent relationship are well known in the industry. I look forward to seeing our agent partners and their dealer clients enjoying increased sales and profits with these new products.”

For more information on National Auto Care’s Tire & Wheel Protection product, Windshield Protection Product Limited Warranty, or Theft Deterrent Product Limited Warranty, visit NationalAutoCare.com or contact the National Auto Care client relations team at 800-548-1875, option 4.

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