Meet the Team

Tony Dupaquier, Director of Training & The Academy


Tony 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, 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.

Dave Perriton, Training & Development Specialist


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


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 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, with the ability to teach courses in Spanish.

Mike Lower, Training & Development Specialist


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

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.

On The Academy team, Mike specializes in sales training and development, helping sales teams adapt to a changing industry and maximize their profit growth.

Scott Story, Powersports Training & Development Specialist


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.

​Charlton M. Shelby, Training & Development Specialist


Charlton “Chuck” Shelby began his career in the auto industry at a high-volume import dealership in a major metro market. After breaking sales and CSI records, he moved to the business office to start his management career. Handpicked by one of the industry’s premier dealer groups, Chuck brought his knowledge and experience to the high-end luxury market before being invited to join the team at The Academy.   

As a Training & Development specialist with The Academy, Chuck specializes in F&I development, sales, internet, and BDC strategies. He supports dealership personnel growth with increased sales volume, profitability, and customer experience.

Cisco Linares, Training & Development Specialist


Cisco first joined The Academy in 2014 after more than 14 years of industry experience. As a top performing AFIP certified F&I manager, he served in various sales, F&I, and leadership roles throughout his career, including new vehicle director for two high-volume dealerships.

As one of The Academy’s bilingual training & development specialists, Cisco often conducts sales and F&I training in Spanish throughout the country. He is responsible for dealership personnel training and strengthening team success through skills development.

Laura Black, Training & Development Specialist

Laura-Black-tnLaura’s career in the automotive industry started eight years ago at First Texas Honda in Austin. After being promoted from receptionist to sales in her first month, she went on to find great success in both sales and F&I. Her strengths include customer experience, selling and managing installations of aftermarket accessories, compliance accountability, and F&I profitability.

As a training & development specialist with The Academy, Laura’s focus is on developing finance managers and other dealership employees to be successful and fulfilled. She works to understand individual needs and personalizes her approach based on their unique set of challenges and talents.

Monica Ferguson, Marketing Specialist & Academy Coordinator


Monica has worked for The Academy’s parent company, Service Group, for more than 15 years and has been a valuable member of The Academy team for more than 10 years.

As coordinator for training materials, on-site workshops, and course registration, her skills are utilized in close coordination with The Academy leadership team to ensure operations run smoothly and efficiently for all clients. She is the point of contact for dealer partners and staff, as well as hotel liaison and catering manager.