About Us

expertThe Auto Connective Group, is a networking group of automotive industry professionals.  Connected by our passion for developing and encouraging excellence within the industry, our partners represent the who’s who in consulting, professional service and technology disciplines.

We focus on products and services that are particularly innovative, that have an extremely high return on investment, and are supported by only top experts…no call center filtering, or junior staff, or slick sales guys followed by rookie trainers…your only contact is with a top pro.

This particular site is focused on fixed operations…the heartbeat of any dealership…and from our experience, the department with the greatest potential for dramatic and rapid improvements at minimal time and money investments.

We have not yet seen a 500+ RO dealership that can’t quickly improve their profit by at least $1,000 per day…well over a $200,000 profit increase per year.

Contact us to find out how 

All of our programs are supported by top industry experts. 

Mike Bowers

Mike.Bowers.PhotoMike Bowers is the Executive Director of  The Auto Connective Group.

Mike has a deep background in developing and presenting training materials to support auto retailers in their implementation and management of professional service lane selling systems.

For many years, Mike was Executive Editor for DealersEdge/WD&S Publishing, which produces the automotive industry newsletter Car Dealer Insider, along with a series of online training workshops for managers in all dealership departments. Mike also edited the popular Pay Plans for Dealership Fixed Operations Staff and Pay Plans for Sales and Administrative Staff series.

Prior to joining DealersEdge, Mike was a senior consultant with Woehr Associates, a management-consulting firm engaged in Organizational Development, Quality Improvement, and Compensation Planning for auto retailers

Mike earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA from Widener University.



The Industry Experts of the Auto Connective Group


Greg Criss

Greg crissGreg Criss is President of Criss Consulting.

Mr. Criss has managed large metro facilities in various cities as a Fixed Operations Director, earning and maintaining titles such as Cadillac Masters, Nissans Presidents Club, Pontiac Masters.

Mr. Criss worked as a consultant for MSX Corporation in the late nineties, and soon started his own Fixed Operations Consulting Firm with a partner in the Pittsburgh Area.

He has been a featured writer with Fixed Operations Magazine.  In January of 2006, Mr. Criss began consulting with Dealer Service Corporation and NCM Associates.

Through his presentations and consulting, he has improved fixed operations results for Dealers in net profit and consumer happiness all over the United States. Mr. Criss has spoken before large association groups and has performed dozens of weekly training workshops such as “Service Advisors Bootcamps,” “Service Manager’s Bootcamps,” and On-Site Seminars.

website:http://www.crissconsulting.net     email: GCriss@zoominternet.net


Chuck Hartle

chuck hartleChuck Hartlé is president of PartsEdge, a dealership parts department consulting firm in Poway, CA.

PartsEdge offers innovative inventory management services to help dealers maximize parts department profits.

    • Chuck spent more than 30 years as a parts manager then parts and service director for a multi-franchise dealership group, and was one of the founders of the Mopar Master Parts Guild.

He has been a featured speaker at NADA’s Annual Convention and Dealer Academy as well as at dealer Twenty Groups, regional parts manager meetings, and factory-sponsored training seminars.

website: http://partsedge.com email: operations@partsedge.com

Sandi Jerome

Sandi JeromeSandi launched her DMS system, DealerStar (www.DealerStar.com) in 2012.

Sandi has over 30 years experience in the automobile business.

She is a CPA with a degree in accounting, but also has the unusual combination of 3 years in F&I and another 2 years as an assistant general manager. She has been the fixed operations manager for parts and service and the controller and CFO for the largest Chevrolet and Dodge dealer in a 5-state area.

Sandi consults and lectures on automotive business management, internal controls, and computer utilization for NADA Management Education, CPA firms, AICPA, 20 groups, manufacturers, and three of the major computer companies.

She has been a highly rated speaker at NADA in the past few years. Her NADA seminars, “40 Valuable Things to Do with Your Computer System” and “How to Create a Super Controller” were ranked in the top 10.

She also provides in-dealership computer training for dealers and evaluations of their existing systems and processes.

website: sandijerome.com     www.DealerStar.com     email: sandi@sandijerome.com

Ed Kovalchick

ed kovalchickEd Kovalchick founded Net Profit Inc in 1979, and since then he has presented fixed operations workshops and speeches worldwide, including innumerable Dealer and Distributor Associations and Conventions.

Ed has also conducted hundreds of workshops in dealer fixed operations management here and abroad.

He has trained field and regional management, as well as dealer personnel for Briggs & Stratton, Honda, Acura, Isuzu, Nissan, General Motors, Toyota, Ford, Kia, Hyundai, BMW, Porsche, Mitsubishi, and Chrysler.

Ed writes fixed operation columns for Dealer Magazine and Fixed Ops, and he has authored hundreds of other magazine and Internet articles through the years.  He is a graduate of the University of Louisiana and past president of the Independent Garage Owners Association.

website: http://www.npinc.com      email:  ed@netprofitgroup.com

Steve Kwiatkowski


Steve Kwiatkowski, is an international Subject Matter Expert in automotive sales and service processes and training technologies. He has been developing and creating virtual sales presentation and training programs since 1984.

Steve was the creator of the first talking Virtual F&I programs in auto dealerships in 1995, and shortly after that, the first talking Virtual Service Drive programs, coupled with an online, interactive, model specific service menu-selling program.

Since 2002, he and his group have focused on Automotive and RV fixed operations.

website: www.liqqid.com     email:stevekw@liqqid.com




Erik Nachbahr

erik nachbahrErik Nachbahr is President and Founder of Helion.

He functions as Chief Information Officer to Helion’s clients and brings over 14 years of information technology systems management experience.

Erik provides technology direction and vision to the Helion team and to client partners.

website: http://heliontechnologies.com     email: ENachbahr@heliontechnologies.com




Mike Nicholes

Mike NicholesMike was the founder of Mike Nicholes, Inc.,  and has earned international recognition as a consultant and seminar speaker.

He has conducted hundreds of seminars during the past 35 years for more than 42 major vehicle manufacturers.

Mr. Nicholes has functioned as an in-dealership consultant/trainer (in a seminar mode) to over 10,000 automobile, truck, agricultural, and construction equipment dealerships and distributorships.

He has been directly involved in fixed operations consulting and training for over 35 years. In 2004 with Mike started Nicholes Capital Management LLC to pursue a course on non-endorsing, neutral inventory management training and consulting.

website: http://www.partsconsulting.com     email: miknik@aol.com

Mark J. Payne

mark payneMark J. Payne is President and CEO of Total Dealer Solutions.

His father, Leo Payne, owned 17 car dealerships in the Denver area for over 30 years. Mark grew up in the car business and learned it literally “from the ground up.”

Mark managed a Honda dealership in South Florida. Under his management, the dealership was catapulted into the top 2% for sales and customer satisfaction of all Honda dealers nationwide. At the age of thirty, Mark had accomplished his goal of owning a dealership by becoming the new owner of Mark Payne Mazda of Miami.  After being a dealer operator he decided to begin consulting and developed products geared towards the fixed ops side. He wanted to highlight the enormous potential for profitability and efficiency as the Fixed Ops “Doc.” Mark is now President/Owner of three distinct yet complimentary companies:

        • Total Dealer Solutions, an Automotive Parts Physical Inventory Company, Zipcode Target Marketing, a Service Department Retention and Retrieval Program; and Partsfisher, an Automated Parts Obsolescence Avoidance & Reduction Tool

website: http://markjpayne.com     email: mark@markjpayne.com

Paul Potratz

Paul PotratzPaul Potratz is the COO of Potratz Advertising, headquartered in Schenectady, NY. Potratz is a full service automotive advertising agency that specializes in integrating the power of digital marketing strategies for retail automotive dealers and dealer groups across the United States.

Paul opened Potratz in 2003. Paul’s love for technology, willingness to embrace new ideas, and unique philosophy about how to communicate with consumers all have driven a constant growth for Potratz and their dealers, even during the economic downturn in 2008.

Paul has been interviewed on digital marketing and automotive trends by multiple national and regional newspapers and radio talk shows.

Paul also speaks in a variety of venues and writes and blogs daily for several automotive publications and forums.

In addition, you can see Paul every Tuesday on the Think Tank Tuesday series, which is also on iTunes.

website: http://exclusivelyautomotive.com     email: paul@ppadv.com


Jim Radogna

Jim RadognaJim Radogna is a nationally-recognized auto industry consultant specializing in dealership legal compliance.

He is the Founder and President of Dealer Compliance Consultants, Inc. and works with KPA LLC, a full-spectrum automotive risk management firm.

Jim developed a strong background in dealership operations, having spent over 15 years in dealership management.

He is a sought-after speaker and frequent contributor to several automotive industry publications.

website: http://dealercomplianceconsultants.com    http://www.kpaonline.com     email:  jradogna@kpaonline.com




Tyler Robbins

tyler robbinsTyler Robbins is President of Automotive Training International.  Tyler has become one of the most sought after Automotive Facilitators in North America, for both speaking engagements and In-dealership Consultations and Training.  With a 20+ year Automotive career thus far, Tyler served as Dealer Principal of a high volume Import Dealership, and in domestic dealerships throughout his career served in all management capacities.

Over the past 5 years, as a Professional Facilitator, Consultant & Trainer, Tyler has delivered both, formal workshops and in-dealer Implementation & Training for numerous Manufacturers and a number of North America’s largest Dealer Groups and Dealers. He has also been a special guest motivational teacher/speaker at Manufacturer Conventions & National Meetings.

Tyler’s specialty is Fixed Operations; specifically, Service Management Development, Accessory Advantage, service financial analysis and dispatching methods. He is often quoted in Auto Industry Publications, writes a monthly article for Fixed Ops Magazine and is a regular contributor to several other Industry publications.

website: http://ati360.com     email: tyler@ati360.com

Mark Rodriguez

mark rodriguez

Mark Rodriguez is Founder & President of Auto Client Care, Inc, a leading automotive sales and sales management training organization. He brings a strong positive attitude and ROI to each of his clients.

Mark is also a recognized speaker for the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association, where he has been offering his advice and counsel since 2005. He provides a monthly seminar that is available to all 600 plus members of the Association.

Mark has been in the automotive industry since 1991 and today specializes in implementing total client care techniques and strategies.

When not conducting Sales & BDC training he is helping dealership maximize the use of their resources to create a better client care experience in the Service Arena. His Service Business Development training focuses on helping dealerships increased profits by improving their effectiveness when handling the inbound service calls, appointments, & scheduling opportunities by connecting with their customers better.

website: http://autoclientcare.com     email: mark@autoclientcare.com


Brooke Samples

brooke samplesBrooke Samples is President of Profit Blueprints, LLC.  She has coached and motivated hundreds of Dealership Managers in all departments across North America.

Using her monthly financial analysis, Profit Blueprints, she compares Dealers’ financial statements to key Benchmarks. She then uses her previous dealership experience plus feedback from 15 years of Coaching & Consulting her Clients to help Managers utilize over 150 Action Plans.

By implementing customized processes her clients reach their full Net Profit potential. She’s proven that with good people, consistent training, the right plans, and a little good-natured “nudging,” her Dealership clients can become very successful.

website: http://blueprintforprofits.com     email: BrookeSamples411@gmail.com



Don Tipton

don tiptonDon is a Speaker, Trainer & Consultant with over 35 years of automotive experience and has conducted training workshops addressing topics in Service, Parts and Body Shop operations.

As a Consultant, Don has worked with hundreds of dealerships from large multi-store groups to small single point stores and because of his approach and style enjoys long-term relationships with many of his clients.

Word of mouth endorsements from Dealers and Managers keeps Don in demand.

In Don’s view, his most valuable experience comes from his early days in the business. He’s checked in the parts orders, driven the delivery truck, worked the lube rack, undercoated vehicles, worked the parts counter, built wholesale parts operations, written repair orders and dispatched all the work…and the list goes on.

website: http://dtcretailconsulting.com     email: don@dtcretailconsulting.com


Sally Whitesell

Sally has spent over 2 decades providing service advisor training in service departments across the country. Her professional training products have been utilized at automotive dealerships and independent repair facilities by individuals, service teams, managers, and at the corporate level.

After spending time as a service manager herself, and working with many others, Sally found that service managers do not have time to develop service advisor training materials and implement training processes. The need for continued service advisor training, and the constant request for practical and specific information, has been the inspiration for SW Service Solutions.

Sally has created an engaging and informative online training program that will turn your service advisors into selling professionals. She is available for in-store training, seminars, and speaking engagements.

You can contact Sally Whitesell by email at sally@swservicesolutions.com or by phone at (317) 509-5615