Berta Phelps, vice president of best practices at Manheim, has been inducted into the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) Hall of Fame.
Phelps, who joined Manheim in 1970, oversees both the development of auction programs to enhance customer satisfaction and professional development training classes for auction employees in every auction discipline. Manheim’s Best Practices Division has initiated such industry innovations as electronic condition reporting, the Auction Access/kiosk program, and a five-minute vehicle registration guarantee.
“Being inducted into the NAAA Hall of Fame is a great honor,” Phelps said. “The first thing that crossed my mind was that my peers have put me in the same league with people like Warren Young, Darryll Ceccoli, and Mike Richardson. It is so hard for me to believe, and I am so honored.”
Since joining Manheim, Phelps has served as office manager at Atlanta Auto Auction, assistant general manager, vice president of business operations, regional vice president of operations, and vice president of special operations.
During her 34 years with the company, Phelps has received numerous awards. In 2003, she received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA). Phelps was also presented the 1998 Chairman’s Award from the National Odometer and Title Fraud Enforcement Association (NOTFEA).
Phelps has played an instrumental role in defeating proposed laws in several states including the $100 fee per car sold at an auction law in Tennessee, an impact fee at auctions in Texas, and Nebraska law that would have required auctions to secure and keep on file for five years prior transfer information.
Throughout her career, Phelps has seen several changes in the auto auction industry.
“The biggest change has been the impact of computers and technology,” Phelps said. “We’ve gone from a tire-kicking, clipboard business when I started to the age of computerization, and I think that has changed our business more than anything else.”
Phelps is affiliated with several industry organizations including the NAAA (where she chairs the legislative committee), International Association of Auto Theft Investigators, NOTFEA, Florida Tax Association, National Insurance Crime Bureau, International Association of Anti-theft Investigators, and National Conference of Commissioners for Uniform State Laws. She chairs the Florida Automobile Dealer Industry Advisory Board (IAB).
She also works with the AAMVA and serves as an IAB member and liaison to AAMVA’s Vehicle Registration-Title Steering Committee. Phelps assists with the design of the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System and has served on the FTC Lemon Law Committee and the Georgia Hoc Committee to write the state’s Salvage Law.