Beyond simply staying connected with clients via surveys and anecdotal feedback, NextGear Capital is furthering its commitment to dealer growth and success with the creation of the DRIVE Dealer Advisory Board (“DRIVE” or “Advisory Board”). The purpose of the group is to provide a platform for open and direct dialogue between NextGear Capital leadership and dealers to help identify ways to best address their business needs and drive NextGear Capital’s future planning and investments.
Over the past two years, informal dealer feedback contributed to many of the recent enhancements to Account Portal, NextGear Capital’s account management platform, reinforcing the value of creating of a more structured approach. The inaugural meeting took place virtually in April with NextGear Capital President Scott Maybee and members of his leadership team in attendance. Going forward, the Advisory Board will continue to meet monthly in a virtual setting.
“Our goal is to gain first-hand perspectives from this Advisory Board about what matters the most to our dealers,” explained Maybee. “Through collaborative interaction, DRIVE will help us better serve our 20,000-plus independent dealers, creating new solutions to reduce their pain points and providing a client experience that delivers value every day.”
To obtain varied viewpoints and wide-ranging feedback, NextGear Capital selected a diverse group of dealer clients based on the following criteria: varying lines of credit; minority and female-owned dealership representation; those who are quick technology adopters, as well as slow adopters; Manheim and non-Manheim buyers; and both long-term and new NextGear Capital clients. The 10-person Advisory Board also represents a cross-section of NextGear Capital’s national footprint from Florida to California. The Advisory Board members are:
- Imran Ahmed, A.I. Monroe LLC in Bountiful, Utah
- Chris Tingler, Car Shop, Inc. in Covington, Virginia
- Alex Balk, CARite LLC in Fort Pierce, Florida
- Nicole Kogan, Cosmo Motors, Inc. in Hickory, North Carolina
- Marcos Esquivel, Esquivel Auto Depot, Inc. in Rialto, California
- Heather Moreno, Lightning Motorsports, Inc. in Grand Prairie, Texas
- Garrick Hatfield, Motor Trends of Houston in Alvin, Texas
- Michael Rudman, Scottsdale Wholesale Direct LLC in Phoenix, Arizona
- Kathy Ward, Ward Motor Co., Inc. in Amarillo, Texas
- Angel Wright, Wright Car Sales LLC in Lake Worth, Florida
“I have worked in the automotive industry for 35 years and appreciate the importance of learning to grow and evolve an independent dealership,” explained Ward Motor Co.’s Kathy Ward. “It’s an honor to be part of the DRIVE Dealer Advisory Board and pay it forward by providing up-and-coming dealers with solutions to make their day-to-day operations easier, through insights and strategic planning with the other board members on how to best advance us into the new age of doing business.”