WAVERLY, NY – Two more veteran employees have joined State Line Auto Auction's 20-Year Club, an ever-growing group which now includes 18 employees, with the recent addition of Bernie Andrews and Steve Olmsted. Auction owner Jeff Barber recently recognized the pair, presenting both with the traditional brass clocks and praising them for their years of service at the auction.
"Both Bernie and Steve have been instrumental to our success at State Line Auto Auction," said Barber. "As two key members of my staff, they have helped build this facility, quite literally, and their contributions are part of the very fabric of our business, helping to shape the experience our customers have every time they buy or sell at the auction."
Before joining State Line's staff in 1989, Bernie Andrews had worked for a local Dodge dealership and often sold cars through the auction. When the dealership closed, Andrews had planned to move away, and called a friend at the auction to say goodbye.
"It wasn't fifteen minutes later that the phone rang again; this time, it was Jeff, who asked me to come by and see him before I left town," Andrews remembers. "I went to see him, and started work in the fleet/lease department. I was honestly surprised that Jeff called me, but coming to work at the auction was one of the best moves I've ever made!"
Andrews has since worn many hats for State Line Auto Auction. He has supervised the body shop, helped out in the mechanical shop, and for many years served as the auction's Marketing Manager. Since 2007 he has served as the auction's Dealer Relations Manager. Andrews is also in charge of the arbitration process at State Line, having developed into the resident expert over the past 15 years.
"Actually, I don't call it 'arbitration'," notes Andrews. "I call it 'opportunity'; if a dealer has an issue with a vehicle, that's our 'opportunity' to show how good we really are at State Line Auto Auction!"
"Bernie is masterful at analyzing what needs to be done in the fairest way possible, and then he follows through with all customers to be sure that their needs are met," said Barber, noting that Andrews was an instrumental member of the NAAA Committee that crafted the standardized arbitration rules for the auction industry. "Because of his skill and expertise, we're known to have one of the fairest and most well-respected arbitration departments in the business."
"I've worked for new car stores and sold wholesale vehicles, but this is the best part of the business I've ever been involved with," said Andrews. "Working with Jeff Barber and the staff at State Line has been a dream come true, and I'm proud to have that 21 clock on my desk!"
Steve Olmsted started working for State Line as a prime contractor, when the auction was constructing the body shop and reconditioning shop, buildings that were required by the GM contract that the auction landed in the Fall of 1989. Prior to that project, he had built other structures and additions for Jeff Barber and his family. Soon thereafter, he was on-staff full time, handling dual responsibilities as GM Factory Manager and Systems and Facilities Manager. He managed the GM factory sale for 11 years before relinquishing the title, although he still oversees factory operations.
During his twenty years with the auction, Olmsted has overseen a tremendous expansion in both the physical facility and the technology involved in day to day operations.
"Getting the General Motors account started a time of huge growth at State Line," said Olmsted. "When I started working here, there were no computers and we were running everything out of a 2,500 square foot office. Since then, we've developed an amazingly sophisticated computer system, and replaced our old office with the 25,000 square foot facility that we built in 1995. I never thought we'd need more room, but now we're looking to expand again. It has been a great opportunity for me to learn and grow along the way, and I've enjoyed every minute of it!"
"There's not a better, more knowledgeable person in this business than Steve," said Barber. "He's smart, incredibly capable, and can handle anything, and his reputation extends far beyond our facility. As a matter of fact, even GM has been known to call Steve on occasion when a question comes up on auction procedure."
"My biggest challenge with Steve is getting him to take a day off; he almost NEVER takes a vacation!" Barber said. "It's our tradition at State Line to reward our twenty-five year employees with an extra month off. In Steve's case, we've got five years to figure out how to get him to cooperate - and the pressure is on!"