Auction Veteran Leads Independent Group Featured

By Jeffrey Bellant March 12, 2018

Auction industry veteran Lynn Weaver will focus on policy initiatives and other issues for the Independent Auction Group as its new executive director.

The new position marks the next phase in Weaver’s career as well as a more active role for the IAG.

Weaver, who recently retired from America’s Auto Auction – Harrisburg, had been a partner and
then owner of the sale before selling it to America’s Auto Auction in 2014.

He remained as general manager until January of this year. Now his son, Clint, manages the sale.

Prior to the restructuring of IAG, Weaver served as volunteer co-chair of the group and also sits on NAAA’s Membership and PAC committees.

“I’ve been chairman and then co-chair with Charlotte Pyle and David Blake for about the past five years,” Weaver said.

Originally known as the Independent Auctions Advisory Committee, the IAG was established in the mid-1980s to promote independent auctions.

“We came to realize that the industry was changing and we were changing,” Weaver said. “This (group) needed the attention from someone who would get up in the morning thinking about the independent group.

“We didn’t want to (keep) it as a volunteer-type of position that we would only worry about when a convention or meeting came up.”

He said companies like Manheim and ADESA already have staffers in corporate positions dedicated to policy and other issues within the NAAA and outside it.

While the IAG committee tried to do the same work, it was difficult to do without a position dedicated to that job.

“We just weren’t getting the job done,” Weaver said. “We needed to change from a PR-type organization to a more policy-driven organization.

“We needed a point person, a liaison to the national association and to the industry.”

He said the industry could be broken into three groups – ADESA and Manheim, with the third leg being “everyone else.”

That would include the traditional independents, ServNet, America’s Auto Auction, Xlerate, Dealer’s Auto Auctions and family owned groups like McConkey Auction Group and the auctions owned by Joe and Charlotte Pyle, for example.

Weaver said the interesting challenge is that his new position will be “ever-changing” because of all the issues and initiatives that come up along with the evolution of technology.

Weaver said the group remains within the National Auto Auction Association.

“We want to work closely with the NAAA while reaching out to the independents; making sure they are involved in everything and being communicated to properly,” Weaver said.

“Right now, the issue of safety is probably the No. 1 issue or part of the top three industry issues.”

The deadly accident at Lynnway Auto Auction a year ago made the issue the center of discussion.

“The problem is you can’t have a one-size-fits-all policy,” Weaver said.

“(Auctions) have different sizes, different facilities and different structures, so we definitely have to figure out better ways to address that.”

Weaver said IAG has created a group of committee representatives to “be our eyes and ears.” on certain issues.

These include a standards committee, a safety committee, legislative committee, technology committee, etc.

There will also be a representative for ServNet and IASC (Independent Auto Auctions Services Group).

This will allow information to flow to the group and from IAG to the 195 independent members, Weaver said.

“We’ve got some challenges,” he said.

This next job continues Weaver’s lifelong involvement in the automotive industry.

“Right out of college almost, I was at the N.A.D.A. Used Car Guide, back in its heyday,” Weaver said. “I worked there for something like 18 years, becoming editor-in-chief of the guide.

“In that position, I helped create AuctionNet, which was (developed) to enhance the data collection capabilities of the National Automobile Dealers Association.

This would separate us and our guidebook from the competition.”

During those years, Weaver and the group worked closely with auctions since they were the primary source of information for the

“We started out collecting by hand and entering it by hand and graduated from that to AuctionNet. Now it’s grown and grown, becoming more important to the industry.”

Weaver’s career has come full circle since AuctionNet is a top issue as he enters his new post.

One of the immediate challenges is getting more independents to provide data for AuctionNet because the independent side of the equation is only at about 50 percent, Weaver said.

“We’d like to get that up to 100 percent,” he said.

Pyle explained the decision to appoint Weaver in the new position.

“We felt that Lynn was the perfect person for this new executive leadership role because he has been involved with both NAAA and IAG for more than two decades,” Pyle said.

“He helped build the group to represent and promote the interests of independent auctions and has been instrumental in planning this change of direction for us.”

Fellow committee member Blake explained the change.

Blake said a restructuring has been in the planning stages for about two years to shift IAG from a public relations and resource function to a greater emphasis on policy and issues.

Last modified on Monday, 12 March 2018 19:21