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NADA Engage Offers Connections for Recent Academy Graduates



Sheryll Poe, Profile Picture, 175x175

Sheryll Poe


Consider it the silver lining of the pandemic: Organizations and people became familiar and even comfortable with learning and sharing through virtual platforms.

Now, NADA is listening to members and using virtual technology to help recent Academy graduates stay engaged not only with their peers, but with the organization through NADA Engage, a peer-to-peer professional development program.

“With NADA Engage, we were answering a request from our Academy graduates who were asking for a peer networking group,” Steve Park, SVP of Dealership Operations at NADA, said during his Live Stage session at NADA Show 2023. “NADA Engage fits in between Academy graduate and joining a 20 Group, with the flexibility of Zoom and Teams.”

Most Academy graduates aren’t looking to join a 20 Group right away, but want to continue to nurture the connections they made during Academy, Park said. NADA Engage seeks to fill the gap for the next generation of dealership leaders.

Unlike a 20 Group, which meets approximately three times a year, usually away from the dealership, NADA Engage members decide the frequency and topics for meetings. Meetings can be held virtually and will be moderated by an Academy instructor or 20 Group moderator.

Many of the recent Academy graduates attended the program online, which opened up the NADA Academy to a whole new group of students, Park explained. “Engage is a little bit of Academy review and a little bit of 20 Group discussion. We are letting our members decide how they want these meetings to run,” Park said.

All of the resources and tools that are available to NADA members can be used in the Engage format, including NADA leadership and experts, as well as Academy instructors. “Another thing we heard from members, we want access to NADA leadership and resources without having to travel to NADA headquarters or asking those leaders to join them at the dealership,” Park noted.

So far, there are three pilot programs in the works, two of which grew organically out of Academy classes that just graduated. “At the end of the day, what they were looking for is a way to stay connected,” Park explained. “They may not be dealer principals or general managers, they may be somewhere in the middle, but they still feel like they need to learn from others.”

Catch more of Park’s session covering NADA Engage and watch the Livestream from the Live Stage all week at NADA Show 2023.

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