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Auto Dealer Offers Advice to Maximize Educational Workshop Experience at NADA Show

Published December 8, 2017


Charles Cyrill

When it comes to continuing education for managers at new-car dealerships, Shirley Quinn has experienced numerous training programs over her 43-year career working in the retail-automobile industry.

After attending the NADA Show (formerly the NADA Convention & Expo) for the past nine years, she gives high marks to the educational workshops offered at the NADA Show.

“Whether you are a seasoned manager or a new manager, my advice is to attend the NADA Show,” said Quinn, who has worked as the fixed operations director at Laurel Toyota in Johnstown, Pa., for the past 10 years. “The workshop topics are new year to year. The topics are current and based on the ever-changing automotive world we live in.”

NADA Show 2018 returns to Las Vegas from Thursday, March 22, to Sunday, March 25, offering 60 new educational workshop topics, which include the six traditional workshop tracks, plus the new Distinguished Speaker Series, Super Sessions and a Specialty Workshop. In all, there are 102 workshop sessions from which attendees may choose.

“My co-managers and I attend as many workshops as the time slots allow,” added Quinn. “Where else could you cover that many sessions within a few days?”

Michael Smith, president of Laurel Auto Group in Johnstown, Pa., will be sending 12 dealership employees from his management team to the NADA Show next March.

“The educational workshops are the No. 1 reason, among my employees, to attend the NADA Show year after year after year,” said Smith, who became a dealer in 1984 and today operates seven dealerships with BMW, Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge-Ram, Ford-Lincoln, Hyundai, Nissan and Toyota franchises.

“The workshops are a tremendous continuing education opportunity available to managers and dealers alike, and you can do it for an incredibly low price under one roof,” added Smith, a NADA board member who is currently serving as chairman of NADA’s Dealership Operations Committee, which selects the workshop speakers and topics. “It’s hard to get those kinds of opportunities. At our own dealerships we sometimes pay thousands of dollars to bring a speaker in and they are less than great.”

At a recent NADA Show, riding down an escalator to meet up with her management team, Quinn recalls a moment of feeling “rejuvenated” after attending her first workshop that day.

“Even though I have attended the NADA Show for many years, I still leave with several new ideas each and every year,” Quinn added. “I feel the educational workshops are the highlight of the NADA Show.”

Click here for the full workshop schedule. Click here to register and book your hotel stay.