James W. Bass, founder, CEO and chairman of the board of Auto One Acceptance Corp., Arlington, TX, was presented the Industry Excellence Award by the National Automotive Finance (NAF) Association at its annual conference in Fort Worth. The award recognizes Bass's contributions and commitment to the below-prime auto financing industry. Bass is a founding member and current treasurer and chairman emeritus of the NAF Association that was organized in 1996 to bring stability to and create standards for a growing category of auto finance.

The NAF Association serves a membership of more than 100 below-prime automobile finance and service organizations with programs and education. Among its accomplishments are standards of financial reporting, a code of responsibility for members, the Annual Below-Prime Automotive Financing Survey that provides the industry's only measurements of growth and changes, policy statements and an annual conference, workshops and webinars.

"Jim recognized the need for this association 15 years ago," said Jack Tracey, executive director of the NAF Association, "and was the driving force behind forming the organization. His foresight and leadership over the years have been invaluable."

Tom Hudson, Hudson Cook, LLP and general counsel for the NAF Association, presented the award at a special dinner last evening. Hudson remarked, "There is no better representative of the industry than Jim Bass."

Prior to his positions with Auto One Acceptance Corp., Bass served as chief financial officer and director of lender relations for driversselect, an independent automobile retailer and finance specialist with six locations in Texas.  During this period, he also provided consulting services to a wide range of investment bankers, auto finance companies and dealership groups.

From 1999 to 2003, Bass was the founder and chief executive officer for autoeloan.com, Inc., an early pioneer in moving the delivery of application information, credit decision notification and dealer correspondence from the fax machine to the internet.  During his tenure, autoeloan.com, Inc. produced and sold thousands of automobile finance contracts.

From 1989 to 1999, Bass was the founder, president and chief operating officer of AutoOne Acceptance Corporation.  During this period, the firm grew to a rate of $50 million in monthly loan production, 425 employees in two production offices and was licensed in all 50 US states.  Under his leadership, AutoOne Acceptance was the first nonprime auto finance company to securitize its contracts with an S&P rating, successfully accomplished nine private and public securitizations of automobile contracts in the aggregate amount of $700 million, all of which performed as expected without any defaults or downgrades.

Bass holds a BS Industrial Management Degree from the University of Arkansas and is a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the State of Texas.