Over 100 Years of Combined Automotive Expertise
Northstar Dealer Solutions Inc is a Minnesota-owned boutique Finance and Insurance agency with one goal: to provide Midwest car dealerships with customizable agreements that maximize profits. As a small organization, we take pride in our ability to listen & understand dealer needs – and then quickly make impactful decisions. When you work with Northstar Dealer Solutions, you have access to our full roster of partners – hand-selected by our team from years of relationship-building and constant industry evaluation. Your dealership, and your customer, will always be informed, safe, and protected – while you simultaneously maximize all revenue streams.
The Northstar Team
Owner and PresidentAfter Mark Anthony graduated from Drake University, he began work for Universal Underwriters Group in Peoria, Illinois, in 1989. He was an Account Executive for seven years providing finance and insurance and subprime lending products to new franchised automobile dealers. In 1994 Mark achieved #1 Account Executive in the nation, and then as a Regional Sales Manager led his entire office to #1 in 2002, after moving to Bloomington, MN. In 2004, Mark started a F&I Agency that provides aftermarket products to dealerships. In 2012, he expanded his product offering to include AUL Service Contracts, connecting him with Tod Ference of Northstar Dealer Solutions. Mark & Paul Schmelz purchased Northstar from the Ference family in 2017
Owner and Vice-PresidentPaul Schmelz, a true Minnesota native and auto-industry veteran. Paul purchased Northstar Dealer Solutions with Mark Anthony in 2017, after over 30 years with P&L Automotive. Paul’s career began early, working for his father Doug Schmelz at Schmelz Volkswagen in Bloomington, and then with InterCom providing interior & exterior protection to vehicles. Paul is a founding partner of P&L Automotive in Edina, now the premier provider of aftermarket products in the Midwest area for interior/exterior, 3M, window tinting, and rust inhibitors. Paul brings with him one of the most impressive dealer client lists in the nation, and his reputation proceeds him in exceeding customer expectations.
CFOPaul Pendleton provides financial leadership for both Northstar Dealer Solutions as well as P&L Automotive. Paul has been with Northstar since 2017, after leading P&L Automotive as their CFO for 17 years. Paul has a longstanding history excelling in financial planning, beginning his career with Tuition Aid Services, managing financial aid for over 1,000 elementary and high schools in our nation’s education system. He is the current leader in exterior & interior coverages for automobiles – and his expertise in P&L continues to help Northstar grow & succeed today.
Managing Director Insurance Brokerage and Asset Accumulation ConsultingTom Cullen successfully built two companies that served the Automotive/Insurance and Fleet verticals. He is a recognized platform speaker and trainer, as well as thought leader in the constantly changing Connected Vehicle industry. He has an established track record of success, and deep industry relationships at the OEM, Insurance Carrier, TPA, General Agency, and Automotive Dealership levels.
Tom is an experienced executive with over 30 years of management, product development, and product implementation experience. Within this highly competitive auto industry, Tom’s vast knowledge in concept design and project planning make him an invaluable asset to the Northstar team. He brings with him a broad expertise in all aspects of “The Connected Vehicle”. Adept at Concept Origination, Process management, Team Building and Goal Realization.