FREDERICK, MD – Bob McConkey’s term as president of the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) culminates in the Association’s annual conference in San Francisco at the end of the month, when the industry gathers in the City by the Bay to review one of the most turbulent years the industry has ever faced and to plan for the future.
McConkey, co-owner and president of DAA Northwest, is part of a distinguished group of industry leaders who have directed the activities of the NAAA, including a striking number of ServNet’s own who have set a precedent for industry leadership: Frank Brasher, Larry Brasher, Henry Stanley, Ray Nichols, and McConkey’s immediate predecessor, John Rea. At the conference in San Francisco, McConkey will pass the presidential gavel on to yet another ServNet auction owne, Dave Angelicchio, owner and general manager of Pittsburgh Independent Auto Auction.
McConkey’s term as NAAA president has been shaped by his determination to develop synergy among the various NAAA members in order to more efficiently accomplish goals that will ultimately benefit all members of the association. He acknowledges the hard work and determination of his predecessor, John Rea.
“During his term as NAAA president, John set a high bar,” McConkey emphasized. “He established a new potential for what is possible in terms of straight-forward communication between the entities of the NAAA membership.”
McConkey spent an enormous amount of time on the road during his year as NAAA president, visiting auctions and calling on national remarketers to determine how the NAAA could best serve the industry. Those conversations resulted in significant changes to the Association’s meeting structure, and helped focus attention on industry standardization, which has been an important part of McConkey’s presidential agenda.
“Working to revise the NAAA in the eyes of the customer has been significant to me,” said McConkey. “”I have been a strong advocate for strategic cooperation between the various competing entities, and believe we have gained some significant traction in this regard, resulting in some long-lasting changes that signal the beginning of a new era for the NAAA.”
One important change has been in the look and feel of the NAAA’s meetings. Responding to the a common request for more meaningful subject matter, the NAAA’s annual meeting, beginning with the gathering in San Francisco, will include more workshops and added content, lending itself to the change in the name from “Convention” to “Conference.” In addition, a new and improved conference schedule is in the works for 2010, with plans for a joint meeting of the NAAA Business and Quad Zone Meeting and Bobit’s Conference of Auto Remarketing (CAR) in March in Las Vegas.
“The economic instability we’ve all witnessed over the past year has cause our industry to pull together in order to seek efficiencies in a number of ways,” said McConkey. “The timing is right for us to make changes that will make the best use of our time and resources while attending to the vital work of NAAA’s rapidly-evolving agenda. Providing a single gathering place will best serve the auction and remarketing industries by providing expanded training and networking opportunities while conserving travel costs and time away from the office.”
An important item for discussion at this year’s NAAA Conference in San Francisco will be standardized auction procedures. As a result of the work handled by the standards committee over the past year, McConkey expects that the NAAA is well on its way to rolling out a new standard on electronic condition reports and completing a revision of arbitration standards.
“Standardizing auction procedures and policies makes doing business across the board seamless for auction customers,” said McConkey. “It improves the buyers’ experience at the auction, streamlines processes for remarketers and thereby reduces costs, and makes the exchange of data easier. We’ve made some outstanding progress over the past year, and I expect the NAAA’s focus on standardization will continue.”
“I feel as if this is the dawn of a new era for the auction industry and the NAAA," concluded McConkey. "The Association is a crucial component of the industry, acting as a catalyst in bringing together the various auctions and their corporate entities. There is a growing spirit of cooperation and a more free-flowing dialogue as to what may be possible. It is an exciting time indeed."