Auction Academy’s first virtual session convened on Monday, June 22, providing an opportunity for students and staff to reconnect as a group and to discuss in depth the details of the program going forward. - Photo: Auction Academy

Auction Academy’s first virtual session convened on Monday, June 22, providing an opportunity for students and staff to reconnect as a group and to discuss in depth the details of the program going forward.

Photo: Auction Academy

The Auction Academy has executed a modified format for its course training, and its sponsors continue to play a vital role in the success of the program. 

In June, Auction Academy President Penny Wanna announced that the Academy had launched a virtual classroom for the remainder of 2020 for its current Class 6 Group. 

The group’s previously-scheduled quarterly meetings for 2020 are replaced by monthly virtual sessions, with in-person/on-site training and education sessions resuming in February  2021. 

The continued support of the Academy’s sponsors has been a prime factor in the success of the restructured program, said Wanna. 

She also makes special mention of both longtime supporters like NextGear Capital, OVE, NAAA and the Stanley/Autenreith Auctions, as well as new sponsors to the program like EBlock & Elite Transportation that have come on board in support of this year’s Virtual Series. 

 “Our sponsors’ ongoing support not only encouraged us in conceiving and carrying out the virtual classroom structure, but is safeguarding the program by underwriting speakers’ fees, materials, and software,” said Wanna. “This comes at a particularly critical time, as we have suspended student tuition for the remainder of the year as we pursue the Virtual Classroom format.”

“These sponsors have contributed to the continued success of the Auction Academy by way of hosting class groups, funding, tuition scholarships, industry expertise, industry exposure and session/event participation,” Wanna added. “They also attend and/or present to each class group. Presentations include vendor/product introductions and education, human resources, management skills and leadership training. NextGear Capital, CARS Recon, AutoIMS, OVE and Liquid Motors have been presenters since inception with others like Auction Edge, Deal Shield, and SmartAuction and joining after. The NAAA has offered tuition scholarships in conjunction with TPC Management for each class group.” 

The Auction Academy also created an extension of the virtual classroom by registering each of the students in the current class group for the 2020 IARA Virtual Summer Roundtable, which was hosted on a digital platform on Aug. 20, 2020.

To date Auction Academy has graduated 108 students from the two-year program, 50% of which also become IARA CAR Certified through our instruction and proctoring. 

“As we have pivoted the look and feel of Academy training in response to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19, our loyal and long-time sponsors were in full agreement with our fluid response to the pandemic via the Virtual Classroom,” Wanna said. 

Wanna added that although students and staff will not meet in its traditional in-person format, until 2021, Auction Academy ‘s virtual classroom is designed to continue the Class Group’s momentum, allowing all to stay connected and provide the current students with an effective learning environment. The virtual schedule includes monthly interactive video sessions through the end of the year, which will alternate between a leadership focus and an industry topic. Auction Academy will resume with quarterly in-person training next year, culminating in Class 6 Group’s graduation in September 2021 during the NAAA Convention in Chicago. 

“We sincerely appreciate the commitment of our sponsors, who share our vision for training the Next Generation of auto auction leaders,” said Pierre Pons, president of TPC Management Company, which developed the Auction Academy program. “The acceptance and support for Auction Academy from both within and outside the auto auction industry continues to be overwhelmingly positive, even in the face of the adjustment we have had to make in the wake of the COVID pandemic. This program continues to ensure the viability of the auto auction process as a cornerstone for vehicle remarketing well into the next generation. It is also key that we bring on new sponsors that represent the digital transition of our industry, and as such we welcome EBLock to the program.

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