The following list of speakers will present training sessions at the 2014 Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo, set for Oct. 16-17 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.
The Powersports Business Institute, sponsored by ADP Lightspeed and Sta-Bil, kicks off with a new Kickoff Networking Reception, sponsored by GE Capital. The reception will be held on the pool balcony of the Rosen Centre Hotel adjacent to the OCCC on Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 5-6:30 p.m. Industry members are welcome to enjoy beer, wine and appetizers as we celebrate the second annual PSB Institute @ AIMExpo.
Training seminars, free to dealers who have registered to attend AIMExpo, begin Thursday, Oct. 16, at 11 a.m. All seminars are 75 minutes and will conclude on Thursday with the 4 p.m. sessions.
On Friday, Oct. 17, sessions will start at 9:30 a.m. and continue through the last session at 3 p.m.
With 32 sessions across four tracks, dealership principals, GMs and staff members will have plenty of opportunity to participate in classes that fit their needs. The Digital Solutions Track is sponsored by Dominion Powersports Solutions, and the Powering Profits Track is sponsored by McGraw Powersports Group. Industry companies interested in sponsoring the Sales & Marketing or Service & Operations track should contact Allison Gruhn at email@example.com or 763/383-4467.
Find the entire speaker lineup by day, time, speaker and class description on Page 26. Speaker bios are as follows:
Randy Barone, NextGenAuto
Randy is a VP at NextGenAuto, which provides software solutions to powersports dealers. As president of Barone Enterprises, he speaks at NADA state and national conventions as well as to NADA 20 Groups. He performs dealership training for upper managers in both new and used auto operations. He also performs evaluations of front end operations for dealers across the country. He continues to get his sales time in on Saturdays at his car lot.
Ty Bello, American Sportworks
Ty has coached more than 1,000 businesses in his career and presented at more than 600 trade shows and events in the past 13 years. He is now serving as vice president of sales and marketing for American Sportworks, a manufacturer and distributor of off-road vehicles since 1959. He has more than 21 years of experience in sales and marketing. Ty’s experience as a sales coach has included retail sales and customer service. Ty also has a long family history of auto dealerships and has done training for some of Ford Motor Company’s 20 Groups. Ty knows what it takes to engage the customer and serve them, while increasing sales.
Amanda Blackstone, Powersports Consultant and Recruiter
Amanda operates her own powersports consulting business and serves as a powersports recruiter.
Amanda grew up in the powersports industry, as the daughter of Ray Little, an original employee and legendary flat track racer for the first Harley-Davidson dealership in the Atlanta market. Amanda started going to the Harley-Davidson dealership at age 5 to help sort parts. She was along her father’s side as he raced Formula 440 Mini Indy cars and always had a love for cars and motorcycles — anything that went fast. Her father wouldn’t allow her to race, so she came to the dealership only after going off on her own and acquiring an incredible work ethic in the retail industry, where she gained a vast amount of knowledge in retail, sales and management while still working part-time in the dealership nights and weekends.
She made the full-time transition in 1998, and her father started her in the parts department. She was to work her way up from there. Her family’s dealership was the first Polaris dealership in the state of Georgia. In the first year Amanda was there, she grew the business by more than 150 percent. She quickly went from parts to service to sales and, according to plan, general manager.
In 2003, Amanda was selected to be a representative on the Polaris Dealer Council, serving on the council for more than seven years. During that same time she designed a new building for the dealership. It came in under budget and opened in less than six months.
Amanda is presenting at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo for the second time.
A. Jason Breckenridge, The 20 LLC
If Ma Bell and Dale Carnegie had a kid, it would’ve been A. Jason Breckenridge. The fact is, Carnegie’s middle name was Breckenridge. That may explain why Jason is a both a natural and gifted trainer, especially on the phone. His approach of keeping it simple and honest with a little twist of human psychology makes it easy for everyone to learn and utilize successfully. Jason is presenting at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo for the second time.
Ron Cariker, 7 Media Group
Ron is owner/president of 7 Media Group, a mobile marketing firm in the powersports industry. With more than 15 years of experience in both traditional and non-traditional advertising and marketing, Ron has blended his strengths to help clients integrate successful mobile strategies into their current, traditional marketing plans. Through innovation, creativity, commitment and superior customer service, 7 Media Group has provided a mobile marketing strategy to more than 50 powersports dealers across the U.S. throughout the past five years.
Craig, known throughout the industry as an expert on product content, e-commerce and search, most recently was senior manager of Business Development at Edgenet, where worked with dealers, OEMs, distributors and manufacturers in a variety of product-related capacities. He is presenting at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo for the second time.
Paula Crosbie, ADP Lightspeed
Paula has been with ADP Lightspeed for 12 years. In June 2014, Paula was promoted to training consultant, where she will focus on powersports industry best practices. Prior to her promotion, she was a senior trainer and has trained hundreds of dealerships over her many years with Lightspeed. Paula is presenting at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo for the second time.
Sam Dantzler, Sam’s Powersports Garage
Sam was the kid who grew up down the road from you who was never, ever allowed to sit on a motorcycle. It was an image thing, not a safety thing, so motorcycles and tattoos were forbidden. So, he’d hide issues of Cycle World under his mattress for late-night perusing. Taking off to college in the late ’80s, he had secured both a motorcycle and a tattoo by the end of his first day on campus. That’s where it started, and he’s currently on motorcycle number 58.
Sam began working in retail at a sporting goods store as a kid, selling motorcycles in college, and eventually found his way into a job as a retail sales trainer. He found out about LEMCO (Ed Lemco’s company) in 1999, and Ed brought him on in 2000. Sam became the director of training for Lemco in 2003, running the nine-month long Management Development Programs. With financing support from Mark Tkach and Bill Coulter (RideNow), the three bought the company from Ed in 2005, and named Sam as the new CEO. The name changed one year later to RPM Group (named after one of the training modules, Retail Powersports Management). Sam made an attempt to form alliances with OEMs, a constant source of friction for many dealers. While RPMG continued to add new members, Sam created an exclusive program with Michael Lock and Ducati. This was the first genuine attempt he had seen of an OEM truly wanting to help its dealer base through a private 20-Club group (four of them, actually). Assurant then purchased RPMG in 2007 in an attempt to launch their products through RPMG venues.
When Assurant exited the 20-Club business in 2009, leaving Sam a free agent, he decided it was a good opportunity to go independent. Since that time, he’s done work with Triumph, Harley-Davidson, Arctic Cat and Polaris, as well as hundreds of independent dealers. Sam started to work on the creation of, and then launched Sam’s Powersports Garage on March 1, 2012. Sam “fuels” the site with his experience in the powersports industry and content from the seven 20-Clubs he currently moderates.
Sam has been a columnist for Powersports Business since 2012 and is presenting at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo for the second time.
Steve Jones, Gart Sutton & Associates
Steve has been in the powersports industry for nearly 40 years. An avid rider, he raced motorcycles for many years. Steve has worked as a technician, service manager, parts manager and sales manager. He spent more than 20 years with major powersports manufacturers as a field service advisor and as a DSM. Since 2003, Steve has been a consultant, instructional designer, GM and projects manager for GSA. He has helped develop training solutions for many major manufacturers and conducted numerous dealership on-site consulting sessions. An experienced facilitator, he has spoken on topics such as sales management, parts department management and service department management.
Steve is a columnist for Powersports Business and is presenting at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo for the second time.
Mike Lee, GE Capital
Mike is the IT Leader for Customer Experience and Collaboration technologies for GE Capital Americas. His team focuses on developing online customer solutions and social media initiatives across 12 businesses. Mike has been with GE Capital for 17 years and has held multiple roles within Information Technology. Prior to his current role, Mike was the IT Leader for GE Capital Healthcare Financial Services. Mike has a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Distribution from Clarkson University in Potsdam, N.Y.
Laura Lemco, Motorcycle Industry Consulting Services, LLC
Laura Lemco grew up in her parents’ Honda, Suzuki, Harley-Davidson, and Husqvarna dealership. She worked with Ed Lemco throughout the years in the motorcycle consulting business, taking it over in 2010 as Ed returned to his passion of retailing.
Laura focuses on using analytics to improve the decisions dealer principals make every day. She provides certified business appraisals and loves the challenges of helping both buyers and sellers in transitions. Laura is presenting at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo for the second time.
Dave McMahon, Powersports Business
Dave joined Powersports Business as senior editor in 2011, and was named editor in chief in 2012. He manages and facilitates the training session speakers for the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo, as well editorial content for the PSB media platforms, including the magazine, website, e-newsletters and webinars. Dave is presenting at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo for the second time.
Mark Mooney, Pied Piper Management Company
Mark has been in the motorcycle industry for more years than he wants to admit. He has worked in and run every department in a dealership as well as owning his own multi-line dealership. He’s experienced the same type of issues we all have had on a daily basis, and there’s not much that has happened to you that hasn’t happened to him. Currently Mark consults nationally for Pied Piper Management Company, working with dealerships to maximize performance and profitability. Mark is also a blogger for PowersportsBusiness.com.
Tim Parsons, Interstate National Corp.
Tim is a corporate trainer with Interstate National and brings more than 25 years of industry experience. He is responsible for the creation, development and instruction of training curriculum and new education programs for automobile, marine, RV and powersports dealerships nationwide. Tim is known for pioneering new forms of sales and F&I education and training delivery based on current and cutting edge technology.
Neil Pascale, Dominion Powersports Solutions
Neil is the communications manager for Dominion Powersports Solutions and works with the industry’s dealers and OEMs to improve dealer profitability through educational outreach. Dominion Powersports encompasses a full suite of dealer services that includes DX1, Cycle Trader, PowerSports Network, Traffic Log Pro and ZiiOS. Neil also moderates the industry’s largest regular webinar series called The Pulse. Neil is presenting at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo for the second time.
Leslie Prevish, Prevish Marketing
A rider for more than two decades, Leslie spent 15 years with Harley-Davidson (three retail, 12 corporate) and created Harley’s marketing to women role in 2007. She spearheaded many initiatives, including a Garage Party Campaign that drove 25,000 women to dealers. Leslie then crossed over to pedal bikes, leading Trek Bicycle’s women’s marketing program. She also managed Trek’s Town segment, which included electric bicycles. Leslie now helps companies be more strategic with current audiences and targeted with their outreach campaigns. Leslie is also a blogger for PowersportsBusiness.com.
Samantha Scott, Pushing the Envelope
Samantha Scott, APR, is the owner of Pushing the Envelope, LLC, an award-winning marketing communications firm servicing clients locally and nationally since 2006. With a team of five, the firm offers comprehensive public relations services, branding, social media strategy development and management, marketing communications, media relations, event coordination and more.
Active in the community personally, Samantha believes in giving back and has made it a part of the company credo. As a result, the firm actively supports numerous area non-profits through pro bono services.
The firm has been honored with more than 25 awards for public relations and marketing programs. Samantha has personally been recognized as an outstanding Florida Gulf Coast University alumni, inducted into the Soaring Eagles Society and chosen as a 40 under 40 honoree by Gulfshore Business Magazine for her contributions to the Southwest Florida business and community arenas. She was also recognized by Gulf Coast Business Review’s 40 under 40 awards.
Samantha is a member of the Florida Gulf Coast University Marketing Department Advisory Board, president of the Florida Public Relations Association Southwest Florida Chapter, past president of the American Advertising Federation Southwest Florida chapter, serves on the Digital Design Advisory Board for High Tech North, has served on a number of non-profit boards and is a triathlete in her spare time. Samantha is presenting at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo for the second time.
Brad Smith, ARI Network Services
Brad is vice president of Product Management at ARI Network Services. Brad has driven the development of innovative website and eCatalog software in the industry for more than seven years, with a specialized focus on helping dealers grow sales through the combination of technology and rich product information. He is an avid motorcyclist and holds an MBA in marketing and bachelor’s in web and digital media design from the University of Wisconsin.
Erik Stephens, Twisted Throttle
Erik is the founder and CEO of Twisted Throttle, a manufacturer and distributor of parts, gear and accessories for adventure riding and sport-touring. Founded in 2002 at the beginning of the adventure riding movement, Twisted Throttle now has distribution operations in both the U.S. and Canada, designs and produces several house brands of adventure accessories, employs more than 40 staff members and participates in dozens of dual sport events annually. Its Factory Store in Exeter, R.I., serves as a design lab for creating the perfect adventure riding destination, including an on-site cafe, campground, learning center, service shop, retail store, prototyping lab and host of frequent community events.
Erik’s past business lives include running a three-crew house painting company at the age of 18, moonlighting as a trombone player in Philadelphia-area rock bands during college and working as a consulting engineer in the environmental industry. After being nicknamed “The Terminator” for wearing race leathers to a law firm board meeting, Erik permanently traded in his corporate office chair for an adventure bike when his side gig of organizing group buys of V-Strom luggage grew more than he expected and turned into a full-time distribution business.
Gart Sutton, Gart Sutton & Associates
An internationally recognized speaker and educator, Gart Sutton is the president of Gart Sutton & Associates, Inc., a company he founded in 1980. His retailing background has been a family tradition since his grandfather opened a Los Angeles Ford dealership in 1921. While Gart’s expertise is in sales, he has worked in every facet of the vehicle retail business. His business acumen is built on a strong foundation of formal education (business and psychology degrees) and real-world experience (retail management).
Gart has been a powersports industry management consultant for more than 30 years. His skill set includes facilitating educational workshops, moderating dealer groups, conducting industry research, developing training solutions for powersports manufacturers and conducting on-site dealership training and consulting. He has moderated multiple powersports 20-group meetings in the U.S. and Canada for many years.
Gart has authored more than a dozen industry books and spoken to thousands of retailers, manufacturers and distributors worldwide. His featured columns have been seen in Powersports Business, Motorcycle Product News and Boating Industry magazines.
His ride exploits can be found on his blog at gartrides.com. Gart is presenting at the Powersports Business Institute @ AIMExpo for the second time.
Dr. Deborah Watts, 2400 Watts Consulting
Dr. Deborah Watts conducted training and development sessions for the America’s PowerSports dealerships from 1998-2006. Today she teaches Organizational Development and Management, as well as serving as the director of Graduate Student Services in the College of Business at Lipscomb University in Nashville. She has provided keynote speeches on a range of business-oriented topics.