Auction Academy finished the 2013 calendar year with a very busy session in Detroit in early October.  The joint session included both current class groups – the Managers Group and the Next Generation/Sons and Daughters Group – with a combined total of 32 students.

“We had all been looking forward to the Detroit Session and it proved to be every bit as valuable as we had anticipated,” said Richard Curtis, president of Auction Academy. “All participants had an opportunity for great exposure in each segment of the joint session.”

Leading the Detroit Session agenda was a group dinner and discussion with Bill Williams, co-owner of Flint Auto Auction. Williams reviewed the history of the auction and how he and John Luce became second generation owners of the operation, which is currently one of the largest auctions in the ServNet group. The group met early the next day for a hands-on tour of the entire Flint Auto Auction operation. 

“Every time I get an opportunity to visit another auction facility, I pick up something in the operation to bring back home and try out at our auction.  One of the biggest pluses of the Academy has been seeing how the business is done differently at auctions around the country," noted Emily Barber of State Line Auto Auction, a member of the Next Generation Group.

Following the Flint Auto Auction tour, the group traveled back to Detroit for lunch at the Renaissance Center with guest speaker Joe White, the automotive editor for the Wall Street Journal, who is based in Detroit. White’s discussion included insights derived from the auto shows he has attended around the world.

Dan Kennedy of General Motors discusses remarketing with a joint session of Auction Academy, which met in Detroit in October.

Dan Kennedy of General Motors discusses remarketing with a joint session of Auction Academy, which met in Detroit in October.

After lunch, the group visited General Motors’ World Headquarters offices for a presentation by Dan Kennedy, Manger-Remarketing for General Motors Fleet & Commercial, on manufacturer remarketing programs as well as a tour of ONSTAR, which has operations offices within the Ren Center complex. The final academic session for the day was a presentation by Keith Whann of WhannTech on auto auction technologies. That evening, the group was hosted for dinner and a tour at Ford’s Rouge Plant by United Road Services, hosted by Scott Kolb, CAI, CAR and United Road executives. 

“It was a pleasure to host Auction Academy in Detroit, and there is certainly no better factory tour in the country than the one provided by Ford at the legendary Rouge manufacturing plant where the best-selling F-150 truck is assembled,” said Scott Kolb, CAI, CAR of United Road.

United Road has been a long time sponsor of Auction Academy and has made presentations on transportation logistics to the group in the past.

The joint session in Detroit concluded the next morning with presentations by Pierre Pons of TPC Management on Leadership, and by Doug Holland of Direct Auction Services on OSHA safety standards, addressing the physical hazards that can be found in the auto auction environment.

Auction Academy looks ahead to a full slate  in the first quarter of 2014, with a February Session planned for the Managers Group  in Birmingham , Alabama, hosted by Auction Insurance Agency.  In March, Auction Academy’s first graduating class, the Sons and Daughters Group, meets and graduates at the CAR/IARA/NAAA conference in Las Vegas. Lastly the Academy will soon be opening registration for its next (third overall) Class Group which will kick off its first Session Nashville, TN in mid April of 2014.

The Auction Academy is a continuing education program developed by TPC Management Company (TPC) for professionals in the auction industry.  Structured like an Executive MBA program, Auction Academy has tracks for the next generation of auction leaders as well as for current auction leadership and is designed to enhance essential skill sets, promote best practices, and yield better auction performance.

For additional information about Auction Academy, contact Randall McCathren by e-mail:, or by telephone: (615) 383-1930; or visit the website