ServNet's Next Generation Owners Build on Family Legacies as They Plan for Future

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As ServNet observes its 30th anniversary in 2018, the group plans for its future guided not only by the independent auction owners who have spent a lifetime in the business, but also by members of the next generation who work to ensure the ongoing success of some of the most successful auto auctions in the country. Those next generation owners are making their marks on the daily operations of their auction locations, and have developed into strong, capable, visionary leaders, as they continue the pattern set by their parents in building the family businesses. They are also filling leadership positions in the industry, most notably as members of ServNet's Board of Directors. Serving a two-year term as ServNet's President is second-generation owner Eric Autenrieth (Carolina Auto Auction and Indiana Auto Auction). Three next generation owners also hold seats on the Board: Beth Barber (State Line Auto Auction), Steve DeLuca (Auto Auction of New England), and Ashley Dietze (San Antonio Auto Auction). 

"If there is one theme that I can see in the independent auction community and certainly within the ServNet group of auctions, it is to maintain consistency through Transition," says Pierre Pons, ServNet's CEO. "ServNet benefits a great deal from the contributions that Eric Autenrieth, Beth Barber, Steve DeLuca, and Ashley Dietze as they serve on the board. Their participation helps ensure the vitality, longevity and strength of our organization."

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Eric Autenrieth, ServNet's President in 2018, admits that he has learned from the best, and looks with awe at the many accomplishments of his parents, Patty and Henry Stanley, both members of the NAAA Hall of Fame and both having served in numerous industry leadership positions. 

"My parents set the bar high, says Autenrieth. "They have built two great auctions, and have made tremendous contributions to the auction industry. I grew up watching them work and serve, and have been inspired by all they do. What an opportunity and a privilege it is to follow them in this great industry and in a dynamic family business." 

"It's often said that life is a race," says Autenrieth. "Some people are sprinters; some are in it for the long haul like marathon runners. But as one of the 'next generation', I look at life in this business as a relay, with traditions, experiences, and knowledge being passed from one generation to the next. That kind of process is important in any family-owned business, and is at the heart of the many multi-generational auctions that are part of ServNet." 

Beth Barber. one of the newest members of ServNet's board of Directors, grew up at the auction, accompanying her father, Jeff Barber, to State Line Auto Auction in the summers during middle school and high school to learn the various aspects of auction operations. Today, in partnership with her father Jeff, brother Paul, and sister Emily, Beth focuses on auction administration, with responsibilities in payroll, accounting and employee training. She currently serves the auction industry as a member of the NAAA Leadership Institute Committee and the NAAA Safety Committee. 

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"I love the auction business, and am excited to participate on an industry level," says Barber. "State Line Auto Auction is a founding member of ServNet, and the Barber family is extremely proud of its success and impact on the remarketing industry." 

Barber asserts that the 'next generation' brings fresh eyes and a slightly different perspective to ServNet's Board of Directors "We have witnessed first-hand the hard work and sacrifices our parents have made to build successful businesses. We are determined to carry on what they have started, to continue to prosper, to be innovative and to grow in a sustainable way." 

Steve DeLuca is the general manager at Auto Auction of New England in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Although one of the younger general managers of a major auction facility, he had already gained a lifetime of experience in auction operations, having worked at the auction part time and summers since he was twelve years old. Named one of Auto Remarketing's '40 under 40' for 2015 in recognition of industry and community leadership, DeLuca is this year's President of the Eastern Chapter of the National Auto Auction Association and also serves on the NAAA Legislative Committee 

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"When I was named General Manager at AANE, I was mindful of what an honor it was to step into running a business with such a positive reputation in the industry, and that was built by my family on such a strong foundation. I've benefited from having the backing of my family, as well as from the support of long-time employees and customers with whom I've build relationships over the years." 

"As I work to build on the legacy established by my family, I am privileged to collaborate with other auction owners on ServNet's Board of Directors," DeLuca went on. "It is an exciting opportunity to work in league with such a strong peer group on behalf of all the auctions in the ServNet group." 

Ashley Dietze is the daughter of the late Wade Walker, founder of the Walker Auction Group. She serves as Fleet/Lease Manager at San Antonio Auto Auction, and has been recognized by the remarketing industry in 2017 as a Women in Remarketing honore. She, too, began working in the family business at a young age, and she learned the ropes from her father at the Corpus Christi Auto Auction. She made her mark, however, when the Walker Auction Group opened a greenfield operation in San Antonio in 2010, which, thanks to her tireless energy and contribution, has experienced unrelenting growth since the day it opened its doors. 

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"Working in a family owned business is an absolute blessing," says Dietze. "I get to work with my husband, my brother and my sister, along with countless employees that I consider family as well. While some might think working in a family business to be a walk in the park, I demand a lot from myself because it's so much more than just a job. I want to do my absolute best to build on my parents' legacy, to honor their ethics and values, and ensure the continued success of our auctions." 

"There is so much to be learned from the other ServNet Auction owners, and I think that this collaboration is a huge advantage in today's business climate," said Dietze. "I consider it a privilege sit on ServNet's Board of Directors, and to continue the work started by those who have served in this capacity before me to build on ServNet's reputation for unmatched service and industry leadership." 

"The active involvement of ServNet's owners is another indication of ServNet's strength and leadership," said Pons. "We are excited to see the standard set by the ServNet auction founders being passed on to succeeding generations, as they follow in their parents' footsteps in giving their time and energy on behalf of ServNet and the auction industry. The continued leadership of the ServNet auction owners will ensure the continued success of the independent auction community."

The ServNet Auction Group is a network of America's best strategically located independently-owned wholesale auto auctions. Since 1988, ServNet member auctions have been working together to provide a full range of remarketing services to its customers, including the best auctioneers, inspections, reconditioning, transportation assistance and inventory financing. The ServNet Auction Group is managed by TPC Management with headquarters in Franklin, Tennessee