Board Member Spotlight: Scott Kolb
As a founding member of IARA, Scott Kolb, CAI, CAR, remembers the alliance starting out with a goal of promoting best practices in areas such as education and technology. Implementing training and certification programs was an early goal of the founding members.
Kolb went on to serve as the long-time chair of IARA’s Education and Conference Committee. “My real passion for the organization has always been education,” Kolb said. “I was deeply involved in helping the alliance get started and in helping build out our education and certification programs.” He took a leading role in producing the IARA online “Introduction to Remarketing” course content in conjunction with Northwood University, and he was a key contributor toward IARA’s development of the Certified Automotive Remarketer (CAR) designation.
Kolb stepped down as chair of the Education and Conference Committee more than a year ago, but he is working with other board members on various strategic initiatives, one being an IARA Foundation that would provide scholarship opportunities for people entering the industry.
Planning for the foundation is in its beginning stages, but Kolb said helping industry executives and newcomers earn the CAR certification would be a main goal. “It would give back to the future of our industry and those coming into the business to help educate them and to provide more opportunities for them to have success, not only for them but for their teams and portfolios of vehicles,” said Kolb, who holds a CAR certification and is also a Certified Auctioneer.
Helping to start an IARA Foundation would be a way for Kolb to give back to an industry that he has served since 1986. His father, Don Kolb, spent most of his career in the automotive industry, and Scott has served in various sectors of the vehicle remarketing industry. Scott Kolb started out on the finance side as a management trainee for Chrysler Credit. He went on to work for Don Fowler’s at Performance Remarketing, but he wanted to work at an auction, so he moved on to oversee business development for Dyer Auto Auction in the Chicagoland market. He would go on to run the field remarketing operation for Honda Finance and then to oversee fleet and remarketing for American Isuzu Motors before being hired to run sales and marketing for Auction Broadcasting Co. (ABC).
Around 2004, he started his own auction marketing consulting company, SKI Group, and he ran that business for six years before becoming a senior vice president for repossession and recovery firm, Renovo. He moved to his current company, United Road, seven years ago. Kolb describes United Road as “the largest integrated carrier in the finished vehicle logistics industry,” providing transportation and logistics solutions for new, pre-owned, and specialty vehicles. “We move roughly 3.7 million cars a year and serve all end segments of the industry,” he said.
He focuses on the pre-owned side of the business, directing business development and the national remarketing team efforts. The team works with OEMs and captives, banks, fleet lease companies, dealers, and auctions.
Kolb’s wide range of experience in the remarketing sector makes him well equipped to help lead that effort, and he sees a bright future for the industry. “Vehicle remarketing continues to evolve,” he said. “I think we’re in a good cycle right now.”
He noted that conversion rates have been strong, and market valuations have been steady. The healthy U.S. economy has been good for the car industry, he added. “I think the vehicle remarketing industry is healthy and always trending on the technology side, specifically as it relates to selling cars dynamically live, in-lane and online, both for the wholesale and retail markets.”
Federal electronic logging device mandates have been a challenge for the vehicle transport industry, and many transport companies are struggling to keep up with technology, which means fewer available transport trucks overall cause challenges to keep up with demand.
But Kolb plans to help his company take advantage of organic growth, alliance, and acquisition opportunities, and he will continue serving the IARA as his career path evolves. Education programs and hopefully an IARA Foundation will be part of that. He notes that the foundation would be a fundraising arm to give back to charity and create educational opportunities for the remarketing industry.
“I would really like to see our membership give back in support of noble causes. I’m thankful for being able to support and serve the IARA.”