Recognizing Our Best: Patsy Shenberger
Patsy Shenberger witnessed a dizzying amount of change over six decades spent in the automobile auction industry.
The title clerk at Manheim Auto Auction in Pennsylvania has an encyclopedic knowledge of how to process car titles from all 50 states. She also has trained countless back office clerks during her tenure — the longest on record at Cox Automotive. But it’s how she led by example when it came to developing and incorporating new technology that earned her the highest honor given to a Cox Enterprises employee: the Gov. James M. Cox Award.
Cox Enterprises President and CEO Alex Taylor bestowed the award to her in December at a meeting of the company’s board of directors.
“She’s not afraid to face challenges,” said Joey Hughes, who supervises Patsy as general manager of Manheim Pennsylvania. “I know over the past 60-plus years Pat has faced challenges, but it’s clear to me that if you love what you do and you believe in those who lead you, there’s nothing that can’t be accomplished.”
Serving with a Smile
Patsy’s career began well before Cox purchased the auction. She was hired for a part-time job by one of the auction founders in 1957 — the same year that Dwight D. Eisenhower was inaugurated for his second term as president and Elvis Presley bought Graceland.
All the auction’s business was conducted on paper then. Clerks filled out car titles by hand. A bookkeeping machine printed cards to record each transaction, which were later converted to microfilm.
Naturally precise and well-organized, Patsy was a quick study on all the technical aspects of processing car titles. However, what she enjoyed most was working at the window.
“There were lots of new people coming from all over the country,” Patsy said. “I got to be friends with them. To this day, I'm friends with quite a few of them.”
About eight years ago the auction’s title department began using computers to process transactions. The auction now features a paperless system and “gavel to gate” technology that re-engineered most of the tasks that had been manual. That was a big adjustment for Patsy, who didn’t even have a computer at home, but she faced it unflinchingly.
“I’m not very good at it, but I learned the system, and then I learned the next system,” said Patsy. “You have to move on with how the future’s going.”
Patsy took time off to have three children over the years, but always returned to her job at Manheim. Two of her three sons worked alongside her at the auction at one time or another. Her youngest, Steve, retired alongside Patsy on Dec. 31 after working for 41 years in the maintenance department.
Second Time’s the Charm
Patsy retired the first time in 1996, but returned to work part time a few months later. She thrived back at the office, especially after her husband passed away about 18 years ago.
Though Patsy still likes what she’s doing, she figures it’s “time to hang it up” so she can sleep in and travel the country with her sister, who’s also a widow.
Her last day was Dec. 31. But she won’t be a stranger at the auction.
“I’d like to keep in contact to know what’s going on at work,” Patsy said. “When you’re there that long, you’re interested in what’s still going on.”
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