Maria Acuna, the comptroller at Big Valley Auto Auction, passed away on Aug. 14. She was 47.

Acuna, a breast cancer and COVID survivor, was a 13-year employee of Big Valley, based in Donna, Texas. She was an active member of the wholesale auto auction industry and was a Certified Automotive Remarketer (CAR) by the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance (IARA). Acuna was also NAAA Safe T. Sam certified and NAAA Arbitration Certified by the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA). She was also a graduate of the Auction Academy’s two-year program, Class 5.

Maria Acuna

Maria Acuna

Credit: Acuna Family

“Maria was the soul of Class 5 of the Auction Academy,” said Penny Wanna, president of the Auction Academy. “She lead her class in participation, contribution, and overall excitement to learn and be exposed to every part of our industry. She never missed a session or an opportunity to learn. Because of this she was one of our class speakers/valedictorians during their formal graduation dinner.”

Since graduating from the Auction Academy, Acuna was a strong advocate and loudest cheerleader for the Auction Academy. She has volunteered to work the Auction Academy exhibit booth during industry conferences. 

While working at Big Valley Auto Auction, Acuna had a reputation of delivering a superior quality of customer service and leadership to her team, customers, and vendors. In addition, Acuna was a firm believer that educating one’s self is never done. She believed that you must learn something new every day. While at Big Valley Auto Auction, Acuna created the Big Valley Book club which meets weekly to discuss different books that create not only a better work environment but future leadership.

When not at work, Acuna loved to read about cryptocurrency, different leadership strategies, and BBQ. 

Acuna is survived by her husband Jorge of 24 years and her son Jorgie.

Viewing will be Thursday, Aug. 19, 5 pm-9 pm; Rosary 8 pm at Legacy Funeral Home, 4610 S. Jackson Road, Edinburg, TX 78539. The funeral service will be held on Friday, Aug. 20.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet

About the author
Mike Antich

Mike Antich

Former Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike Antich covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Global Fleet of Hal in 2022. He also won the Industry Icon Award, presented jointly by the IARA and NAAA industry associations.

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