From Assistant Ohio Attorney General in 1984 and Founder of the law firm Whann & Associates in 1991 through today as a Member and Chief Technology Officer at TruckSuiteand Founder of The Whann Group, I have been fortunate during my career to be a nationally known author and speaker, motor vehicle industry voice on Capitol Hill, creator of financial products, compliance guru and technology developer. I have had hundreds of articles published across the country and have been a featured speaker at conventions and meetings for over 50 states, national and international groups, trade associations and regulatory agencies on a wide variety of topics, my most recent presentation being “The Future Is Now: Leveraging Technology To Create The Desired Customer Experience.”
In 2005, as co-owner and CEO of a wholesale auto auction with over 500 employees, one of my biggest challenges was to transition the auction’s brick and mortar business model to one having a significant online presence. This led to me founding The Whann Technology Group to develop technology to solve these and other related issues for auctions and other businesses in the wholesale automotive sector. By 2015 my auto auction technology was being used by 175 auctions throughout North America, South America and Europe.
In 2016, I divested the auction and WTG wholesale technology interests and formed The Whann Group to bring technology solutions to the motor vehicle, commercial trucking and financial services industries. The result was the creation of the industry and product agnostic iComplyPro platform and accompanying mobile application which is now the foundation of the TruckSuite platform. Today my technology platform and mobile applications are used by businesses in various industries to sell products and deliver services to customers remotely in a transparent, fact-based, compliant fashion with an exceptional user experience.
From 1984 to 1987 Keith served as an Assistant Attorney General in the Consumer Protection Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office handling primarily motor vehicle industry related cases, with an emphasis on odometer rollback, title fraud and other motor vehicle related violations of law, along with being responsible for the enforcement of various statutes which regulated the day-to-day sales activities and operations of entities engaging in consumer transactions. During Keith’s tenure as an Assistant Attorney General, he was a member of the National Odometer Enforcement Association and the Midwest Task Force on Odometer Alterations, serving a term as Chairman of the Organization in 1986.
Keith began the private practice of law in 1987, founding the law firm Whann & Associates in Columbus, Ohio in 1991, which he operated for over 25 years. The focus of his practice was the representation of motor vehicle dealers, national and state motor vehicle trade associations and other industry related businesses and service providers. Keith provided general counsel, litigation and legislative related services throughout the United States and in Washington, D.C., developed various training, educational and legal compliance programs for the industry and worked with Federal and State regulatory agencies. During this time Keith also served as Outside General Counsel for the Ohio Automobile Dealers Association (17 years) and the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (18 years).
After working with and representing a large independent wholesale auction with 500 employees on a wide variety of business and legal matters since 1987, in 2005 Keith became a co-owner and its Chief Executive Officer. One of his biggest challenges was to transition the auction’s business model from a traditional brick and mortar business to one having a significant online presence. The auction lacked a way to get information on vehicles, including photos, into the automated systems for sale. There was no way to do or update vehicle condition reports or have the simulcast and legacy management systems communicate in real time.
In 2011 Keith founded the Whann Technology Group (WTG) related companies to develop software products to solve these and other technology problems for auctions and other businesses in the wholesale automotive sector. By 2015, the WTG simulcast, management system, marketplace and mobile technology products were used by 175 auctions throughout North America and in South America and Europe. That year WTG conducted 24,692 simulcast auction events with 24,836 unique internet bidders and 18.01 million total bids made.
In 2016, Keith divested the auction and WTG wholesale technology interests and formed The Whann Group to bring technology solutions to the motor vehicle, commercial trucking and financial services industries, with an emphasis on business and compliance issues in the retail sales and financing processes. The result was the creation of the industry and product agnostic iComplyPro platform and accompanying mobile application.
The iComplyPro platform ensures the sales and finance processes of a business remain uniform, consistent and professional every time, resulting in a more fact driven, transparent and consumer friendly transaction. With the ability to control the presentation content, order and pace, everyone from a new hire to an experienced manager has the ability to deliver an effective, informative and more compliant presentation. The tracking and notifications components also provide an ongoing audit process that can go a long way in protecting a business from unwanted legal exposure. The platform’s features include: information delivery, training capability, point of sale presentations, ability to engage in e-commerce transactions, third party portal integration, Virtual F&I and the Live Concierge.
The iComply Pro platform allows a business to deliver products and services in a best-in-class fashion with information, including video and audio streaming, being presented in a live connected session to a customer on their phone. Once finished, the presentation materials along with any related transactional documents are all date and time stamped and delivered to the customer while uploaded at the same time to the businesses CRM system.
In late 2016 Keith also began advising Insurian on strategy and legal matters. Keith assisted Insurian in bringing its’ stand-alone vehicle return products to the motor vehicle, commercial trucking, RV and powersports markets, was the co-creator and author of the LifeGap product and in 2020 worked with Hyundai to create its' COVID-19 Job Loss Program.
In 2019 Keith began working with TruckSuite, assisting with the development of its’ comprehensive suite of products and services that bring value and security to commercial truckers and the trucking industry as a whole. In 2022, Keith joined TruckSuite as its’ Chief Technology Officer when it licensed The Whann Group’s iComply Pro technology and created a customized version of the platform and mobile app with dedicated content for the trucking industry. TruckSuite powered by iComplyPro enables seamless third party portal integrations, along with the ability to engage in e-commerce transactions, Virtual F&I and Live Concierge services in a mobile environment.
Keith has been a featured speaker on legal, business, regulatory compliance, consumer protection, technology and other topics related to the motor vehicle industry at conventions and meetings for over 50 International, National and State industry related trade associations and regulatory agencies. He has authored hundreds of articles on the above topics that have been published in blogs, trade publications and magazines throughout the country.
Created various Motor Vehicle Dealership Review, Audit and Training Programs to increase motor vehicle dealership profitability and customer satisfaction while reducing legal and regulatory exposure by making dealership sales, F&I and other processes, systems and paperwork more compliant, transparent and consumer friendly.
Worked on legislative and regulatory matters with Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Justice, Customs, the Office of the Comptroller of Currency and The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection at a hearing titled, “Consumer Protection in the Used and Subprime Car Market” in March of 2009.
Met with the Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy in 2011 to discuss issues related to the impact and effectiveness of the Administration’s actions related to the Federal TARP program and Dodd-Frank Legislation.
Conducted several tutorial meetings and provided background information to the Federal Trade Commission in connection with the establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act Implementation. Topics covered included: The retail and wholesale automobile industry; Motor vehicle dealership operations; Documents in a car deal; Differences between new and used, purchase and lease and traditional, subprime and buy here - pay here transactions; F & I practices and Consumer disclosures.
Was the only industry representative to be asked to participate in two sessions at each of the three 2011 FTC Roundtables entitled “The Road Ahead: Selling And Financing Vehicles” as they gathered information from across the country in preparation for the development and formation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Created and conducted “The Car Counselor’s T.A.R.P” (Together Automotive Retailing Prospers) regional seminar series focused on bringing lenders and capital to the motor vehicle industry, held throughout the country in 2009 and 2010 and at the NIADA Annual Convention.
Created and conducted “The Car Counselor’s T.A.R.P 2.0 Dealer Tech Series” (Together Automotive Retailing Prospers) regional seminars focused on the changing technological landscape in the motor vehicle industry and how dealers can leverage new technology, held throughout the country in 2010 and 2011 and at the NIADA Annual Convention.
Created and hosted the all-day 2005 and 2006 National Dealer Compliance and Profitability Expos broadcast live on NIADA.TV. Worked with the IRS to resolve various taxation issues pertaining to subprime lending and related finance companies, including drafting of revisions to the IRS Audit Technique Guide for the used motor vehicle industry released in 2002 and amended in 2005. Worked with the FTC in producing the 1998 Edition of the FTC Publication “A Dealer’s Guide to the Used Car Rule” and conducted seminars with the FTC on the Rule and related warranty and sales issues. I also worked with the FTC to obtain a Letter of Opinion dated December 31, 2002, regarding anti-trust tying issues in Limited Warranties and to update the FTC’s Dealer’s Guide to the Used Car Rule, published in June, 2004.
Was involved in the drafting process with the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws to revise Articles 2, 2A and 9 of the Uniform Commercial Code, and the Uniform Computer Information Transactions Act, Uniform Consumer Leases Acts and the Uniform Certificate of Title Law Project.
Co-developed and conducted a training seminar on Salvage and Title Fraud for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the Inaugural Meeting of the Federal Task Force formed pursuant to the Anti-Car Theft Act of 1992.
Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington & West Virginia