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Special Preview of the 2024 Non-Prime Auto Financing Conference


Jim Bass, Agora Data
Paul Gillespie, GM Financial/AmeriCredit
Eric Johnson, Hudson Cook,LLP
Frank McKenna, Point Predictive  
Daniel Parry, TruDecision
Claudia Plascencia, Resolvion
Marguerite Watanabe, Connections Insights
Micky Watts, Anderson Brothers Bank  

Welcome, Readers, to this special preview of the 2024 Non-Prime Auto Financing Conference! As we gear up for our 28th annual gathering, I am delighted to provide you with a behind-the-scenes look at what’s in store for this year’s event.

The NAF team of professional staff and the Conference Planning Committee have collaborated to curate an unparalleled experience designed to inform, inspire, and connect professionals across the non-prime auto financing sector. Together, we’ve meticulously planned an agenda packed with engaging sessions, dynamic networking opportunities, and exciting celebrations that reflect the vibrant spirit of our industry. From insightful roundtable discussions to innovative speed networking sessions, this year’s conference promises to be an event like no other.

Now, let’s get the scoop from the planning committee members themselves!

Tell us about this year’s annual conference. What’s in store for attendees?

MICKY WATTS: “This year’s conference features sessions with many leaders from the industry discussing the state of the non-prime auto finance market. One of the highlights of the conference is the roundtable and deep dive session, where attendees can delve into specific topics in a more intimate setting. Led by experts, these sessions offer a unique opportunity for auto finance companies to send multiple team members from different departments to gain valuable insights, share best practices, and brainstorm solutions to common challenges. And this isn’t just a one and done conversation at the conference; the NAF Networks is an ongoing program that offers regular meetups, both virtual and in-person, and a dedicated online community forum where members can stay connected. BE THERE!”

Are there any new features or additions to this year’s conference program that attendees should look forward to?

PAUL GILLESPIE: “This conference is all about fostering connections and building relationships that drive success. In addition to the stellar educational content and new speed networking Power Hour session, this year’s conference features a reimagined design to showcase the latest products, services, and solutions from leading providers in the non-prime auto financing space. With a blend of education, networking, and innovation, attendees can expect to leave feeling inspired, informed, and equipped to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.”

What are you most excited about for our attendees to experience?

CLAUDIA PLASCENCIA: “Attendees will see a higher rate of attendance with more networking opportunities like the rooftop Dessert Reception and the Collaboration Corridor, along with a broader selection of programs and sessions than ever before. The 2024 NAF Conference is geared to provide each attendee value as we navigate through this ever-changing industry.  There is sure to be a learning experience for everyone and we are super excited about it.”

Can you share details about any exciting keynote speakers or special guests lined up for the event?

JIM BASS: “There are a broad range of excellent presentations scheduled, covering risk control topics, industry reports, economic forecasts, and a very special conversation with Kathy Kraniger, the former Director of the CFPB! In addition to Ms. Kraniger, there are other incredible speakers lined up who will bring great insights from their broad experience that will be informative. The sessions concerning legal matters and compliance challenges are always up-to-date and loaded with information to take back to your colleagues at work. This is your opportunity to dig into what’s happening across the subprime auto finance industry!”

There are so many elements to consider when organizing an event. Which primary factors did the committee deem most significant during the planning process?

MARGUERITE WATANABE: “The Planning Committee focused on topics that are specific to and most important to non-prime auto financing sources and their business partners. Our goals were to create sessions that will allow participants to explore critical issues in an educational and interactive format. We want all to be able to improve their businesses and work together to take the industry to the next level.” 

What do you hope attendees take away from this conference?

ERIC JOHNSON: “My hope is that attendees walk away from the conference with a greater understanding of the legal and compliance risks and challenges that their organizations face on a daily basis as well as some practical solutions to these challenges.”

Participants make an investment when they attend an industry conference. What makes the NAF event worth it?

FRANK MCKENNA: “The NAF Event is worth every minute of my time. From networking with my peers and industry executives to discovering new and emerging trends from key thought leaders, I not only come away each year more knowledgeable but also re-energized and inspired to pursue new ideas. And, the fact that I can schedule 8-10 face-to-face meetings with people I usually would have to travel all over the US to see is an enormous time and cost savings for me!”

How does the conference promote networking and collaboration among attendees?

DANIEL PARRY: “There are three reasons why auto lenders attend industry conferences.  The first is to hear great perspectives from leading executives – great content.  The second is for networking, which requires attracting many other leaders by offering great content.  The third is a great location. With this year’s lineup of industry veterans, strong early interest from lenders and a fantastic venue in historic Fort Worth, the NAF will be providing all three elements, which is certain to foster a tremendous environment for both networking and collaboration among industry peers.”

As we conclude this special preview of the 2024 Non-Prime Auto Financing Conference, I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our esteemed conference committee members and all those who have contributed to the planning of this exceptional event.

Overall, this year’s conference offers attendees a comprehensive experience that combines education, networking, and celebration. Whether you’re looking to deepen your industry knowledge, expand your network, or simply be inspired, this event has something for everyone.

As you prepare to join us for the main event, I encourage you to approach the conference with an open mind, a spirit of collaboration, and a commitment to driving positive change within our industry. Collectively, we have the power to shape the future of non-prime auto financing and create a lasting impact for years to come.

We look forward to seeing you at the 28th annual Non-Prime Auto Financing Conference!

Jennifer Martin
Jennifer Martin
Jennifer Martin is the Executive Director of the NAF Association. [email protected]
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