ATLANTA – Several veteran Manheim team members have been promoted to Market Center leadership positions, where they will work cooperatively across locations that share management and support functions. Created last year, Market Centers group multiple auction locations under a central leader, enabling greater collaboration and efficiencies for clients.
These Market Center promotions followed Manheim bidding farewell to two if its most accomplished and admired leaders in early March. Manheim Statesville GM Ellie Johnson and Manheim Orlando VP and GM Butch Herdegen, Sr. retired from the company following a combined 65 years of dedicated service.
“While these moves were planned before the industry faced its toughest challenge yet, we know that having strong, seasoned leaders in our locations is critical to navigating the ups and downs of the industry,” said Patrick Brennan, senior vice president, Marketplace, Manheim. "Working closely with clients, we developed Market Centers to give our teams more ways to streamline processes and find shared solutions to better serve our clients.”
JD Daniels has been promoted to vice president and general manager of the Manheim Orlando-Central Florida Market Center. Since 2014, he has served as GM of Manheim Phoenix where he increased both volume and profits, earning the location recognition including back-to-back Auction of the Year awards in 2018 and 2019. Previously, Daniels spent three years successfully leading Manheim Detroit through business changes and growth.
A 23-year member of the Manheim family, Emily Decker has been promoted to the role of Arizona Market Center leader and general manager of Manheim Phoenix. Decker will oversee the Phoenix operating location, Manheim Tucson and support Cox Automotive Mobility’s Pivet brand as it grows in the Phoenix market. Most recently, Decker oversaw operations for Manheim Indianapolis and Manheim Cincinnati. Previously, she was an assistant general manager at Manheim Statesville. Her career also includes both commercial and dealer experience in Florida.
Mandy Savage has been named general manager of the North Carolina Market Center that includes Manheim Statesville and Manheim Charlotte. Savage began her automotive career learning the business from the dealer’s perspective before joining Manheim as a manager trainee in 2003. Since then, she has served in a variety of corporate and operational roles, including sales manager for one of the first OVE sales teams, director of digital best practices and assistant general manager of Manheim Palm Beach. Most recently, she spent the past six years as general manager of Manheim Detroit.
Now serving the Detroit market is Noel Kitsch, who has been promoted to general manager of Manheim Detroit and leader of the Manheim Detroit-Flint Market Center. A 20-year plus veteran of Manheim, Kitsch began his career at Manheim Orlando in Dealer Sales before transitioning into his first assistant general manager role in 2013. He also served as senior assistant general manager at Manheim Central Florida before becoming the general manager of Manheim Georgia in 2017.
Honoring Ellie Johnson and Butch Herdegen, Sr.
A second-generation Manheim leader, Johnson started in the front office of her father’s auction, Manheim North Carolina, in 1986, working her way up to general manager in 1997 before transitioning to GM of Manheim Statesville in 2016. Throughout her career, Johnson has served the industry in a variety of leadership roles, including National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) President from 2014-2015. In 2019, she was inducted into the NAAA Hall of Fame and is a Barbara Cox Woman of the Year award recipient.
Manheim Orlando was Herdegen, Sr.’s home for nearly three decades. He joined the auction location in 1991 as lot operations manager, rising through the ranks to general manager in 2011, where he grew Manheim Orlando into the second largest wholesale auto auction site for the company. Herdegen, Sr. was honored in 2014 as the Florida Independent Automobile Dealers Association’s “Auction Man of the Year” and has also earned awards and recognition from Manheim and its clients.
“Ellie and Butch have had truly remarkable careers. Their impact on the industry, our organization and the thousands of team members they have worked with and mentored over the years cannot be overstated,” Brennan added. “These extraordinary individuals will be greatly missed at Manheim as they begin the new chapters of their lives.”