Welcome to DealerRefresh Forums!

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking thelink above. You may have to Register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

VinSolutions and Wolfington Fallout?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Jeff Kershner, Feb 28, 2011.

  1. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

    First Name:
    Jeff
    Twitter:
    dealerrefresh
    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Posts
    2,320
    Likes Received:
    469
    Location:
    Maryland
    From February 14th, 2010 (a day of :heart:):

    From the comment string from February 2010 at Sean Wolfington Joins Chairman of the Board of VinSolutions | DealerRefresh

    -------------------

    This was posted Friday the 25th, 2011 of February on VinSolutions' facebook page and by a VinSolutions employee on ADM.


    What do you think happened?
  2. Alex Snyder

    Alex Snyder Administrator Staff Member

    First Name:
    Alex
    Twitter:
    axsnyder
    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Posts
    1,825
    Likes Received:
    336
    Location:
    Vermont
    Just curious after rereading that press release from February 2010....what happened to Doug Kinney?
  3. kevinfrye

    kevinfrye New Member

    First Name:
    Kevin
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2009
    Posts
    224
    Likes Received:
    114
    I saw this exchange on the ADM forums on Saturday and it appears that the post was removed. I am uncertain as to what exactly is going on, but I did see the original press release last year as well.
  4. nallen

    nallen New Member

    First Name:
    nicki
    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Posts
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Didn't anyone else think it was somewhat strange that Wolfington joined With VIN last year and then several other companies that were competing with VIN and never promoted VIN one second??? He sure did put a lot of energy into those other companies though....

    I give VIN a thumbs upon that choice!
  5. Jerry Thibeau

    Jerry Thibeau New Member

    First Name:
    Jerry
    Twitter:
    thephoneninja
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2009
    Posts
    1,090
    Likes Received:
    315
  6. Chip Grueter

    Chip Grueter New Member

    First Name:
    Chip
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Posts
    93
    Likes Received:
    33
  7. philipzelinger

    philipzelinger New Member

    First Name:
    Philip
    Twitter:
    philipzelinger
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Posts
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Whenever I see a post that suggests a conflict between two friends -- in this case Sean Wolfington and my many friends at Vinsolutions -- I am hesitant to take sides. That said, sometimes it is necessary since our only true asset on sites like DealerElite and ADM is our reputation and shared friends so I will limit my reply to personal observations and experiences to eliminate any potential for passing on half truths. I will also support my opinion of the issue by listing the "facts" as I know them -- here I go:

    1) I was witness to the multiple press releases that supported the appointment of Sean as the Chairman of Vinsolutions along with highly complimentary comments by people within the organization at the time that I know and trust. (See the samples included in this post supporting my memory of the event.)
    2) I know Sean Wolfington to be a person of impeccable character who I respect on many levels both personally and professionally.
    3) I have often deferred my opinion to Sean's and I would not hesitate to do it again should he accept a position on the board for any of the companies that I own or have an interest in -- including those of my most valued vendor clients.
    4) I have a similar respect for Vinsolutions as a company and I know and respect most of their management team. (That is not to say that I don't respect them all, simply that I only know most!)
    5) Life experiences have taught me that many relationships change over time and only the strongest survive the challenges of today's economy.
    6)The Internet and social media sites like this one are often used to vent frustrations that reflect a moment in time vs. the reality of a long term relationship that has a beginnning a middle and and end; often viewed from conflicting perspectives.
    7) The issues raised in this post and the subsequent comments will survive long after the resolutions that they surface.
    8) When a post like this surfaces there is often a tendency to take sides with the only "winners" being the ones who didn't take them; sides that is!

    In summary, it is my personal observation and opinion that Sean Wolfington is a valued and trusted friend and associate who absolutely understood that he was accepting the role of Chairman at Vinsolutions at some point in time that apparantly may have come and passed; although I am basing that assumption of the comments from the CEO of Vinsolutions that sparked this post vs. any first hand knowledge of that conclusion. Any suggestion that Sean intentionally abused his understanding of his relationship with Vinsolutions for a self serving agenda is unfounded and in my opinion should be addressed off line to avoid further confusion or comments that have no constructive benefits for any of the involved parties; includiing Vinsolutions.
  8. Chris Saraceno

    Chris Saraceno New Member

    First Name:
    Chris
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Posts
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Our Dealership's have worked with the Wollfington family and Sean Wolfington for many years. I have ALWAYS found Sean to be a person of the highest character ,he is respected by all leader's in our company.
    I have also been very impressed with the leadership at VinSolutions everytime I have had contact with them.

    This entire situation should be handle offline
  9. brianbenstock

    brianbenstock New Member

    First Name:
    Brian
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Posts
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    In the world we live in no one is safe from slander-

    I read with great interest the comments made on this blog regarding VinSolutions and Sean W. While I do not know of the specific relation between Sean and VIN, what I do know is that Sean makes any company that he does business with better.

    Sean is not the first business leader to be slandered by VIN Solutions, and it is now apparent that this is a part of their business manner.

    Sean W. went out of his way to have me make time for a presentation by VINSolutons; I agreed to do this out of respect for Sean. During this presentation, the representative from VINSolutions made negative comments about the CRM company that I am doing business with (E-Lead CRM) and the used car pricing tool (V-Auto) that we have been using (with fantastic results) since 2007. Rudeness is better than any argument as it totally eclipses any intellect; needless to say this approach did not yield a positive result for VIN Solutions. Dale and Sean are among the two most respected business men that I know, both share many of the same qualities, and both have been the victim of needless, false attacks by VINSolutions.

    Sean does not need me to defend the outstanding reputation that he has developed, it speaks for itself; nor does he need me to speak of his integrity, that too is self evident. I write this because Sean W. is too much of a gentleman to defend himself against these attacks, and I did not want these false words to go without proper opposition.

    A thick skin and a happy life are both gifts from God, keep your chin up Sean.

    Brian Benstock
  10. ronmorrison

    ronmorrison New Member

    First Name:
    Ron
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2010
    Posts
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi all,

    since we're using this (and other automotive forums) to hash out this fracture I'd like to provide a response, some social-media-esque etiquette input if you will. I'll be brief. In the 15+ years that I've know Sean Wolfington I've only know him to do what he's said he'll do and then some. In the 6 years or so that I've know Mike, I've found him only to be a professional and forward thinking individual, I haven't worked with him at the length I've worked with Sean.

    I've read the positive comments about Sean in these posts and again, speaking from my personal experience I can only add I agree with every positive description of Sean Wolfington, his character, and his professional work ethic.

    That said: SocialMedia and "transparency/trust rules" dictate that the principals to this issue (Sean Wolfington and VIN Execs) work outside of open forums to clarify their relationship moving forward. Fairness and respect for DealerRefresh and similar forums call for those principals to produce collaborative and mutually agreed upon characteristics of their relationship(s) and share those in an informative way with the forum members for the members' benefit. Anything less then that IMO feels manipulative and heavy handed in an effort to unfairly influence forum members to one position or another. In other words - Mike: this isn't the place. Those of us that are sharing our opinions on the relationship or its fracture, I'd offer also: that this isn't the place. This is the place to educate, to edify, to build, to grow, to learn, to lead. Be Leaders. Be Builders. Grow. Learn. Edify. Make something or someone spectacular!

    Thanks!
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2011
  11. brianbenstock

    brianbenstock New Member

    First Name:
    Brian
    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2011
    Posts
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Most good resolutions start too late and end too soon. There was no need for VIN to attack Sean, period; although I do admire your tact.
    ;)
  12. DigitalRalph.com

    DigitalRalph.com New Member

    First Name:
    Ralph
    Twitter:
    RalphPaglia
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Posts
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    From DealerRefresh and Matt Watson of VinSolutions on September 10, 2010:

    Re: Is this true?

    Matt Watson: "We updated the site to reflect a couple new officers of the company (Sean Stapleton and Keith) that were already managers that got promoted. Mike Dullea was COO and is now the CEO."

    Matt Watson: "We have one of the best management teams around and Sean Wolfington is still a member of our board.

    So no trouble here!"

    __________________
    Matt Watson VinSolutions Chief Technology Officer
    Automotive CRM, Inventory and website solutions provider.
    Be One with Vin in 2011 One Solution. One Integration. One Collaboration
    Twitter @mattwatson81 @VinSolutions
    .
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  13. ArtMorris

    ArtMorris New Member

    First Name:
    Art
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2010
    Posts
    137
    Likes Received:
    25
    Did anyone else notice that the second link in the post by Mike Dullea points to:

    VinWasWarned.com

    ?
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2011
  14. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

    First Name:
    Jeff
    Twitter:
    dealerrefresh
    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Posts
    2,320
    Likes Received:
    469
    Location:
    Maryland
    Good memory Ralph - here is a link to that conversation http://forum.dealerrefresh.com/f5/true-1202.html
  15. Daymond Decker

    Daymond Decker New Member

    First Name:
    Daymond
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Posts
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    I write this commentary in response to recent posts about the integrity of Sean Wolfington.

    It has been said that there are three kinds of people in the digital automotive marketing industry: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder “What happened?” We work in an extreme fast-paced industry that demands much of us in this age of online customers, algorithms, data manipulation, branding, and social networking. More and more we find that etiquette and polite manners have sadly not kept pace with developments in technology and our ever-evolving cyber industry.

    Through my experiences in this business, I can honestly say that there are lights shining through the darkness. One such shining example that comes to mind is Sean Wolfington.

    I know Sean as both a mentor and a friend, having worked for him in the past as a novice in the industry. He never hesitated to enthusiastically share an inspirational thought. Alongside Sean’s intense commitment for striving to be a leader in providing innovative technology to dealers, Sean demonstrated for all his colleagues an unparalleled ideal for which to strive in our moral and professional life. He didn’t just train us, more importantly he formed our character for the service of others. One such example is the virtue of ‘honoring the absent’ which requires respecting others by refraining from speaking negatively about anyone who is not present to defend himself. Sean also impressed upon his colleagues the philosophy that small things have great potential. Just like an acorn that has the potential to become a majestic oak, Sean always inspired us to “grow where you are planted,” no matter of the adversity around us.

    Sean Wolfington is definitely one of those who can make things happen. Forging the way in automotive marketing, Sean pioneered successful ventures like Half a Car (my catalyst at Spradley Barr Ford in Colorado), and CyberCar (my internet consultant while working at Chaparral Ford in Texas during the time when the mainstream was trying to figure out how to sell cars online…his trainers came into my dealership and even brought me templates on a 3.5 floppy). Other successful ventures include Automark, BZ Results, Wolfington Companies, Team Velocity, Tier 10 Marketing, Call Revu, Level 5, Car-Mercial, Mobil-Trak, and Digital Compass Marketing.

    And, yes, pioneers take arrows! Even the greatest of men was misunderstood and persecuted. Sean is formidably skillful in his endeavors, undoubtedly criticized by some, yet uncompromised in character. He is the most charitable person I know, someone who would give you the shirt off his back. He supports Wolfington Charitable Foundation which actively donates to charities that serve the poor, support positive causes, and promote the values that our country was founded upon, including defending the most defenseless of our brothers and sisters – unwanted unborn children.

    From dealer principals, to sales managers, to politicians, to athletes, to entertainers…Sean is there to make the world a better place! One of Sean’s most memorable phrases is, “If you want to make a positive difference in this world, you’ve got to influence the influencers!” During his period of non-compete, he delved into movie-making and produced and financed a highly acclaimed motion picture, “Bella,” with a very poignant message about the sanctity of life. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that Sean Wolfington impacts the lives of everyone he meets.

    Sean Wolfington: digital pioneer, servant leader, motivator, philanthropist, asset to our industry, and friend.
  16. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

    First Name:
    Jeff
    Twitter:
    dealerrefresh
    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Posts
    2,320
    Likes Received:
    469
    Location:
    Maryland
    :heart:

    Wow. We ask and encourage our "happy" customers to review the experience on several of the review sites but this takes it to another level. :)
  17. Jeff Kershner

    Jeff Kershner Founder Staff Member

    First Name:
    Jeff
    Twitter:
    dealerrefresh
    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    Posts
    2,320
    Likes Received:
    469
    Location:
    Maryland
    AutoTrader.com Reveals Leadership Changes for Dullea, Skutta & Jezek

    By Auto Remarketing Staff

    AutoTrader revealed late last week a new role for subsidiary VinSolutions president Mike Dullea, in addition to announcing position changes for other executives.

    Dullea has accepted a new position within the AutoTrader group of companies, where he will collaborate with AutoTrader chief executive Chip Perry and vAuto founder Dale Pollak on "a new companywide product innovation team that will explore and develop new product opportunities across the AutoTrader group of companies."

    Meanwhile, moving into a leadership role at VinSolutions is Brian Skutta, who has been named vice president and general manager of the company. Skutta is currently general manager of AutoTrader.com's Trade-In Marketplace based in Atlanta.

    His new role is effective immediately, and he will report to Keith Jezek, president of vAuto who also assumes responsibility for VinSolutions, the company shared. Keith Jezek has over 20 years of experience in executive management with high technology firms, and has held leadership positions with ADP, Digital Motorworks, LP, Travelogix and Tallard BV.

    "Keith has been very successful at running vAuto's business, and there are many natural synergies and linkages that can be replicated at VinSolutions to continue its focus on growth," said Perry, AutoTrader's president and chief executive officer.

    "Brian is a strong leader who understands the marketing and operational needs of auto dealers as well as consumer behavior in the car buying process. Keith and Brian will focus on maintaining the company's innovative drive to provide automotive dealers with products that help them operate more efficiently and tap into exciting new marketing opportunities created by the integration of dealership websites, desking tools and CRM systems. They also will champion collaboration efforts between VinSolutions and the other companies in the AutoTrader family,” he further explained.

    More on Dullea's New Post

    Commenting on Dullea's change, Perry noted, "All of us at AutoTrader.com appreciate the hard work Mike Dullea did in building VinSolutions into an innovative force in the automotive dealer software space and for bringing VinSolutions into the AutoTrader family last year. Mike led the development and rapid growth of VinSolutions into a leader and supplier of cutting edge software products that have had a major impact on the way our customers manage their dealerships.

    "We recognize Mike's passion for innovation, and at AutoTrader.com, we too, have always been focused on innovation. Mike's expanded new role will help ensure that we are exploring new product innovation opportunities across the AutoTrader group of companies,” he continued.

    Dullea chimed in, expressing his enthusiasm for his new role and responsibility: "I am very excited about this new opportunity working closely with Dale at vAuto, as well as Chip, to develop new and innovative products that ultimately benefit the automotive industry. My passion has always been to innovate and create powerful solutions for dealers.

    “I am looking forward to continuing to expand this innovation to the AutoTrader group of companies in order to create new product solutions that leverage powerful technology platforms and benefit the industry. I am leaving VinSolutions in good hands, and I will continue to be part of the AutoTrader group of companies,” he added.
    1 person likes this.

Share This Page