Tag Archive | "Agent Summit 2012"

Twice As Nice

In its second year, Agent Summit doubled in size and attendance.

Agent Summit 2012 closed with a final headcount of 358, more than double the number of attendees the event attracted in its inaugural year. The industry’s only agent-only conference and expo was held at Las Vegas’ Caesars Palace and was presented in partnership by Agent Entrepreneur and F&I and Showroom magazines.

David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of F&I and Showroom, said he was pleased at the turnout and grateful for the hard work turned in by the speakers and staff. “Agent Summit’s success is no accident,” Gesualdo said. “It’s the result of the years of experience behind it, from those who organized the show to all the speakers and, of course the agents who made the trip.”

The show kicked off on Monday evening with a welcome from Gerry Gould, director of training for United Development Systems (UDS), who served as this year’s master of ceremonies. “I thought this year’s Agent Summit was a slam dunk for having only been in its second year,” Gould said. “The information exchange along with the wealth of knowledge provided by each speaker in just a day and a half was a pleasant surprise!”

Gould introduced John Braganini, a veteran “superagent” and founder of Great Lakes Companies, who delivered the event’s evening keynote address. “Outstanding event!” Braganini said. “I’m looking forward to next year!”

The event continued on Tuesday morning, which started with an opening keynote address from trainer Paul Webb, who discussed the three ways people process information — visual, auditory and kinesthetic — and how agents can prepare dealers and F&I managers to connect with customers who favor one approach over the others.

Webb was followed by Safe-Guard Products International’s Luis Garcia, who led a workshop on role-playing in the F&I office. Garcia went the extra mile, setting the stage with a desk and chairs to demonstrate a service-contract close with an audience member.

This year’s luncheon speaker was Ron Reahard of Reahard & Associates, who delivered a stirring presentation on changes taking place in the F&I office and how dealers — and agents — are responding. “This year’s Agent Summit was the best yet,” Reahard said. “More agents, excellent workshops with great topics.”

The Tuesday schedule continued with workshops on selling products in the service drive and boosting product sales through customer-tailored F&I presentations, led by Tom Luzader of Dealership Income Development and GSFSGroup’s Bart Carpenter, respectively. Carpenter was followed by perhaps the most interactive session: a primer on reinsurance that was led by Randy Crisorio of UDS and Greg Petrowski of GPW and Associates. The pair began with a one-on-one interview format before fielding a long list of questions from agents in the crowd.

“Reinsurance is a marketing device that can help capture dealers. If an agent is knowledgeable, that gives them an edge,” Crisorio said. “The topic is always dominant in meetings, and Agent Summit gave us the opportunity to discuss it in an open forum.”

Reahard & Associates’ Rick McCormick closed the Tuesday schedule with “5 Ways to Take Your Agency From Provider Rep to Partner,” a panel discussion that included Protective Asset Protection’s Tim Blochowiak, David Duncan of Safe-Guard Products International, Garret Lacour of RoadVantage, Resource Dealer Group’s John Luckett and Ricky Wolfe of Interstate National Corp.

The show continued with a workshop and a second panel on Wednesday morning. First up was Great Lakes Companies’ director of training, Steve Veldkamp, who stirred the crowd with a pointed and often humorous presentation on identifying low-performing products and improving penetration levels. Veldkamp, a proponent of using video as a training tool, included several examples from his dealer clients.

“I received a lot of positive feedback,” Veldkamp said. “But the most gratifying part was getting the opportunity to take agents inside the F&I office and show them why some customers walk out with the products they need to protect their vehicles while others leave empty-handed.”

Wednesday’s final educational session was led by F&I Administration Solution’s David Trinder, who convened a panel comprised of Patrick DeMarco of Ristken Software Services, Open Dealer Exchange’s Ron Greer, American Guardian Warranty Services’ Daniel Lievrouw and Matt Nowicki of Innovative Aftermarket Solutions. The group tackled the issues affecting connectivity between dealers, lenders and product providers and fielded several pointed questions from the crowd.

The show closed with a moving address from famed NFL referee Jim Tunney, who drew on his experience on the field as well as his career as a high-school principal and volunteer with the Special Olympics.

“Jim Tunney alone made it all worthwhile,” Reahard said. “A great person, amazing life and a truly gifted and inspirational speaker. Thank you, Agent Entreprenuer, for your continued contribution to our industry!”

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Agent Summit Releases Full Agenda

LAS VEGAS — Organizers of next week’s Agent Summit have released the event’s full agenda. The complete program includes details for each of the three day event’s keynote speeches, panels and workshops.

Among the highlights is “Reinsurance: Painting the Right Picture for Your Dealers,” a workshop that will be presented by a two-man team of Randy Crisorio, a “superagent” and founder of United Development Systems, and reinsurance expert Greg Petrowski, principal of GPW and Associates.

“I am really looking forward to this year’s Agent Summit,” Crisorio said. “Many who did not attend last year have asked me if it was worthwhile, and my answer is always the same: ‘This is the only dedicated agent forum available to us, and the agenda is built to enhance every aspect of our operations.'”

The workshop was designed to help agents sell their dealer clients on true value proposition of a reinsurance program. Crisorio and Petrowski plan to expand upon the basic value proposition with details on managing dealer expectations, painting a realistic picture of how reinsurance works, and deciding whether a particular dealer is a good candidate.

“Partnering with Randy offers the best possible format,” Petrowski said. “I work with the reinsurance providers to set up companies for dealers, and Randy’s perspective is that of the audience. So when I’m talking about potential changes on the tax front, domicile and structure issues, he’ll be asking the right questions to relate it back to the agents in attendance.”

“I am sure that every agent out there would like to become more knowledgeable in this space and sign up more dealers,” Crisorio added. “If you want to grow, you have to go!”

Agent Summit 2012 will commence on Monday, March 12 and conclude on March 14. Registration closes Wednesday, March 7, so visit www.agentsummit.com to secure your pass and peruse the agenda.

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Agent Summit Panels to Tackle Key Issues

LAS VEGAS — Organizers of next month’s second annual Agent Summit built the event’s agenda with an eye toward training. But the program also includes panels designed to open a dialogue regarding two key issues: the role of agents in dealerships and the role technology plays in the F&I office.

The first, “5 Ways to Take Your Agency From Provider Rep to Partner,” will commence at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 13. Reahard & Associates’ Rick McCormick will moderate the panel, which will include David Duncan of Safe-Guard Products International, Protective Asset Protection’s Tim Blochowiak, RoadVantage’s Garret Lacour, John Luckett of Resource Dealer Group and Interstate National Corp.’s Ricky Wolfe. The group will debate and discuss the evolving role that agents and agencies play in today’s dealerships, including business planning, ongoing training and more.

On Wednesday at 10 a.m., F&I Administration Solutions’ David Trinder will lead “Technology: Capturing the F&I Transaction Electronically,” a panel that includes Ristken Software Services’ Patrick DeMarco, Ron Greer of Open Dealer Exchange, Daniel Lievrouw of American Guardian Warranty Services and Innovative Aftermarket Services’ Matt Nowicki. Organizers say this group of experts, each of whom operates on the frontlines of the drive toward e-commerce, is uniquely qualified to get agents up to speed on this pressing issue.

“These are broad topics,” said David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of F&I and Showroom. “We know that, unlike the workshops, these sessions can create more questions than answers. But we also know that there’s no point in convening a group of agents this size if we’re not willing to confront the issues that affect us all.”

Agent Summit 2012 will be held March 12–14, 2012, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. To register, view the agenda or for more information, visit www.agentsummit.com.

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Braganini Joins Agent Summit Roster

LAS VEGAS — Organizers of Agent Summit 2012 have announced that John Braganini, principal of Great Lakes Companies, will deliver the event’s evening keynote address. The second annual Agent Summit, scheduled for March 12-14 at Caesars Palace Las Vegas is organized by Agent Entrepreneur and presented in partnership with F&I and Showroom.

The event will kick off on the evening of March 12, 2012, and continue with educational sessions, panel discussions and exhibits for the next two days. David Gesualdo, show chair and publisher of F&I and Showroom, said that Braganini fits the bill perfectly.

“We look for two strengths in our speakers: success, and a willingness to share their secrets for it,” Gesualdo said. “Brags has both of those in spades.”

Braganini told F&I and Showroom that his address, titled “Smart Today, Success Tomorrow,” will focus on long-term strategies for success. “I will identify 10 agency operations and management strategies that we have used to build and develop the Great Lakes Companies over a 25-year period,” he said.

For more information or to register for Agent Summit 2012, visit www.agentsummit.com. For exhibition or sponsorship opportunities, contact show chair David Gesualdo at 727.947.4027 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

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2020 Advisory Board

Randy Crisorio
President & CEO
United Development Systems (Brown & Brown Dealer Services)
and Advisory Board Chair

Dylan Doran
Western Fidelity Insured Services Inc.

John Lutman
Vice President of Sales, Head of Agent Channel
Innovative Aftermarket Solutions

Jim Maxim Jr. 
Chief Executive Officer

Bruce Osborne
Chief Revenue Officer

Jay Sharpnack
Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Smart Autocare

Lee Workum
Agency Principal
Specialty Underwriters Group