(L to R) Jason Nichols, John Swofford, Laura Taylor, and Brian Thomas were recently appointed as...

(L to R) Jason Nichols, John Swofford, Laura Taylor, and Brian Thomas were recently appointed as senior VPs at America's Auto Auction, which was recently bought by XLerate Group.

Photo collage: America's Auto Auction / Bobit

XLerate Group (XLerate), the parent company of America’s Auto Auction (AAA), Auction Credit Enterprises (ACE), XLerate Auctions and XL Funding (XLF), has named Laura Taylor, John Swofford, Jason Nichols and Brian Thomas as senior vice presidents, the company announced March 2.

The four new SVPs will join the leadership of the executive team: Cam Hitchcock, CEO; Chuck Tapp, executive vice president; and Charles Kunkel, executive vice president/chief financial officer.  

“There is great talent in the America’s organization, and we are thrilled to welcome John, Brian, and Jason to the combined senior team," CEO Cam Hitchcock said in a news release. "We are also happy to announce the promotion of Laura Taylor, former general manager of Charleston Auto Auction, to senior vice president as she joins Brian and John in oversight of our auction operations.”

  • Laura Taylor joined Charleston Auto Auction in 2004 and has been general manager since 2009. Her years of commitment to the auto auction industry have led to an impressive array of achievements, including her tenure as 2020 NAAA President and her current roles on the executive boards of the International Automotive Remarketers Alliance and HOME (a regional charity for displaced male youths). Taylor is a 2012 CAR and Northwood University graduate, a Warren Young recipient, and has served on numerous IARA and National Auto Auction Association committees.
  • John Swofford joined AAA in 2009 and served as a senior vice president through 2021. He has been responsible for co-managing and overseeing the performance of the company’s auction locations, managing auction GMs, and developing greenfield auction locations. Before joining AAA, Swofford spent 16 years in various management-level positions with Manheim and ADT Automotive. He was part of a Manheim management team responsible for opening its first location in China. Swofford is a licensed auctioneer and has been in the industry for over 30 years.
  • Brian Thomas, who also served as a senior vice president with AAA through 2021, was responsible for directing auction operations across AAA’s locations. Thomas’ purview included customer service, management, sales, performance, new business, auction operations, management, and overall performance of the auction locations. He began his career in the auto auction industry as an operations manager at Tri-State Auto Auction (PA) in 2000. He served as general manager of Capital City Auto Auction (West Virginia) before coming to AAA in 2008.  
  • Jason Nichols joined AAA in 2012 and quickly became instrumental in executing their strategy of growth through acquisitions. Along with managing the due diligence process for purchases, Nichols was responsible for financial modeling, analytics, capital expenditure planning, and managing a team of analysts. While at AAA, he was involved in over $270 million in acquisitions and handled the issues surrounding numerous financings and compliance reporting.

"XLerate Group’s acquisition of America’s Auto Auction in December 2021 creates an extensive group of 39 auction sites across 19 states," Hitchcock said. "We are expanding and strengthening our executive team to meet the needs of our company and our customers.” 

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