Meet the Team

Tony Dupaquier, Director of Training & The Academy

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Tony Dupaquier has more than 25 years of automotive experience and is considered the industry’s most forward-thinking F&I and sales trainer and consultant.

He has held nearly every position in variable operations and is a former Nissan National Walk-Around Champion. Tony has been a featured NADA presenter for several years, including this year’s convention, has addressed international dealer groups on F&I and sales techniques, and has spoken at numerous 20 Groups and dealer associations. He also contributes F&I articles to many industry publications.

As director of training & The Academy, Tony leads the training team and is responsible for curriculum, training material, and marketing.

Cyndi Guillot, Training & Development Field Manager

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Cyndi began her nearly 20 years in the automotive industry as a dealership receptionist while studying Business Management at the University of Texas-Pan American. Her emphasis on communication skills and strong relationships helped her move quickly into the role of finance assistant and later, finance director. This put her in the unique position of working at the only dealership in the area whose general manager and finance director were both female.

Since joining The Academy in 2008, Cyndi has trained dealership personnel on the F&I process, product knowledge, and compliance. With her bilingual background, she has the ability to teach the courses in both English and Spanish. In her current role as training & development field manager, she contributes to the development of the dealership training program, mentors the trainers, and assists with workshops.

Dave Perriton, Training & Development Specialist

Dave Perriton

Dave comes from a long line of automobile dealers and professionals. Before transitioning into the automotive industry, he had eight years of experience in finance. His diverse background led him to great success on the retail side of the business, which led to his career with The Academy.

Since joining the team in February of 2015, Dave has excelled as a training & development specialist, rising to the role of The Academy’s lead F&I trainer. Like, Cyndi, he is bilingual, allowing him to teach the course in Portugese. Dave now travels nationwide, teaching and training F&I producers how to maximize their potential and increase dealership profitability.

Kevin Quinn, Training & Development Specialist

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Kevin’s seven years of automotive experience began in Albuquerque, New Mexico, as a salesperson for Acura, and ended with F&I in Austin, Texas. He has held multiple management and training roles at several dealerships across the country.

As a training & development specialist for The Academy, Kevin uses his experience and knowledge from classroom teaching to draw students in to maximize their results in a fun, hands-on, and semi-competitive learning atmosphere.

Jeff Gabbert, Training & Development Specialist

Jeff Gabbert

Jeff has over 10 years of automotive industry experience, having served in positions ranging from parts all the way up to vice president of sales. He has had extensive training in sales and leadership development, and attended NADA University in Virginia. In addition to his automotive background, Jeff has served faithfully in various roles with non-profits, which gives him a unique perspective in the automotive arena.

As a training & development specialist for The Academy, Jeff works closely with dealership sales teams to help them realize their potential and increase dealership sales. He values leadership and guiding sales professionals in delivering an exceptional customer experience. Jeff is one of The Academy’s many bilingual trainers, giving him the ability to teach courses in Spanish.

Mike Lower, Training & Development Specialist

Mike Lower

Mike has over 37 years of experience in the auto industry. He received a degree in Business & Finance from Texas State University in San Marcos.

Mike’s automotive background includes holding various retail positions, including finance director and general manager. He has also worked with major car companies such as Toyota, GMC, and Mercedes Benz, to name only a few. During his retail career, he received multiple top manager awards, and he has been a presenter at NADA 20 Group meetings.

Duane Gilder, Training & Development Specialist

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Duane is a leading performance consultant and accomplished trainer with over 17 years of automotive experience. He graduated as class president of the Sonic Automotive Dealer Academy while serving as general manager of one of the nation’s largest BMW dealerships, and he has held various positions within the automotive arena, including sales, service & parts, and F&I. His experience has gained him extensive CRM knowledge, process development, and human resource skills, all of which he relies on to support his dealer partners. Duane has also been a featured workshop presenter at the NADA Convention.

Scott Story, Powersports Training & Development Specialist

Scott Story

Scott has built a reputation as a trusted and successful powersports sales and F&I trainer. He began his career in the powersports industry in 1994, working in sales at a high volume dealership.

In his more than 20 years of industry experience, Scott held several key dealership positions, eventually becoming general manager. He is currently Master AFIP certified and was the first person in the powersports industry to obtain AFIP certification.

In his role as a training & development specialist, Scott serves as The Academy’s liaison with powersports clients. He works closely with dealership personnel to ensure sales growth, increases in F&I production, compliance, and higher customer retention.

Monica Ferguson, Marketing Specialist / Academy Contact

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Having worked for The Academy’s parent company Service Group for 15 years, Monica now works on The Academy team. She is the hotel liaison, on-site workshop coordinator, and training material coordinator. Her responsibilities also extend to assisting attendees with course registration.