Porsche Cars North America has appointed Frank Wiesmann as manager, product communications.

In his new role, Wiesmann will oversee all product, motorsport and brand heritage focused communications for Porsche in the United States, and report directly to Angus Fitton, vice president of public relations.

Wiesmann previously held the position of product spokesperson for the 911 and 718 model lines since September 2014, which he will continue to support until a successor is determined. Supporting him on the product communications team at PCNA are Luke Vandezande, spokesperson for Cayenne, Panamera and Macan, and Calvin Kim, spokesperson for Taycan.

Wiesmann's appointment is effective immediately.


NextGear Capital has promoted Lisa Mackie to vice president of portfolio management and Thad Sykes to associate vice president of sales.

Mackie joined NextGear Capital’s executive leadership team in 2017 as vice president of sales and brings with her 25 years of leadership experience in the automotive industry. Before joining NextGear Capital, she worked for Capital One Commercial Dealer Services, Hyundai Capital America, JP Morgan Chase and Ford Motor Credit Company.

Sykes joins the executive leadership team as associate vice president of Sales. Sykes has been at NextGear Capital since 2007, most recently serving as a division vice president. He brings more than 25 years of management and customer service experience from his previous roles at American Home Mortgages, Bank of America and Wells Fargo Financial.

Black Book announced several promotions as a result of the company’s continued expansion and success from key product launches. The announcement was made by Black Book President Tom Cross and the promotions are effective immediately.

Alex Yurchenko, Ph.D., is promoted to senior vice president, data science, with responsibility for the U.S. and Canada. Yurchenko joined Black Book in 2015 and was most recently vice president of data science, leading the company’s data science and analytics team in the U.S.  Yurchenko holds a Ph.D. in mathematics from Georgia Institute of Technology and a master’s degree in mathematics from Penn State University, both with specializations in Dynamical Systems.

Laura Wehunt is promoted to vice president, automotive valuations, with responsibility for setting wholesale and residual values in the U.S. Wehunt was most recently principal automotive analyst. Since joining Black Book eight years ago, she has led in the development of sophisticated tools and methods that are now used daily to establish Black Book’s industry-leading wholesale and residual values. Wehunt holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Applied Economics and Statistics from Clemson University.

Kyle Luck is promoted to vice president, product management, with responsibility for the U.S. and Canada. Luck has worked in the automotive industry for almost two decades. He joined Black Book in 2013 and was most recently director of product management in the U.S. He was featured in the 2019 Auto Remarketing “40 Under 40” list. Luck holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

Manheim Promotes Picard

November 13, 2019


Manheim has named Julie Picard to the new role of vice president of industry partnerships. She will be responsible for providing leadership and strategic direction for all automotive industry groups, including the National Auto Auction Association (NAAA) where she is currently the president-elect and will serve as NAAA president in 2021. In addition, she will work with Cox Automotive’s government affairs and industry relations teams to address key issues facing its partners and the industry.   

Throughout her 28-year career with Manheim, Picard has held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility, starting with controller and manager of finance and administration for Manheim Seattle in 1992. Most recently, she served as west region vice president, developing and implementing strategies for 14 auctions designed to drive business growth, market share and profitability. Before that, her leadership positions included vice president and general manager of Manheim Pennsylvania.

Holly Capps has been promoted to senior vice president of Manheim sales, reporting to Tim McKinley, chief sales officer at Cox Automotive. Since July, Capps has served as the Manheim sales leader on an interim basis. 

Under Capps’ leadership, the Manheim sales team will focus on identifying the unique needs of each client and bringing a customized approach to meet their specific business requirements. The goal is to become a business partner for clients, providing full-service inventory solutions that make it easier for clients to do business better.

Before joining Cox Automotive, Capps had a 20-year career with Cox Media, the advertising sales division of Cox Communications.

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