Brent Nugent

Rebuilder Ready For IAR Presidency

Brent Nugent, owner of Nugent Auto Sales in Maquoketa, Iowa, wants to increase IAR membership during his two-year presidency.


Brent Nugent is preparing to assume the role of Iowa Automotive Recyclers (IAR) president in June 2011. While the position is a big responsibility, auto recycling wasn't always in Nugent's plans. In fact, Nugent started working in the auto industry as a rebuilder in 1988.

"I fixed wrecked Ford pickups," Nugent said. "That was it."

After 10 years in the business, Nugent's collection of leftover parts from his rebuildables was considerable. He started selling them via Hollander, which opened new doors for his business. In 1998, he opened Nugent Auto Sales in Maquoketa, Iowa ( He continued to operate his rebuildable business, but he also sold parts, from all makes and models, throughout the United States.

The success Nugent found in his new business endeavor inspired him to become more involved in the auto recycling industry. He began attending IAR ( meetings and in 2004, David Hesmer of Action Auto Parts, Inc. in Marshalltown, Iowa ( nominated Nugent for a position on the IAR board.

"I actually finished out a term for one of the board members," added Nugent. "After that, I served two consecutive terms as a board member. Then I was nominated for vice president, which is another two years."

Nugent got involved with all the IAR projects, including the Iowa Certified Automotive Recyclers Environmental program (I-CARE) managed by current IAR executive director Sue Schauls. The program sets a standard of excellence for auto recycling in Iowa.

"In 2008, we set about creating our own state certification program," said Schauls. "Brent helped to make that happen and was very supportive. His facility was one of the 13 pilot yards that we initially inspected. Out of the pilot program, we developed a lot of tools to make it simpler for auto recyclers to be certified."

The certification program has established standards in four categories - general business practices, environmental compliance and stewardship, occupational health and safety practices, and licensing and regulatory requirements.

"It's important for our yards to look into getting I-CARE certified," said Nugent. "That will go a long way with the Department of Natural Resources."

Schauls noted Nugent's past experience as a rebuilder will also come in handy for IAR.

"Brent's a strong leader; he also brings something unique to the table," said Schauls. "Because of his background, we are opening up relationships with the auto body building industry and collision repair. He has been a big help in bridging the gap between our industries. We're learning how to speak their language."

Once he takes over presidency of the association, one issue Nugent hopes to help IAR improve upon is membership.

"One of my main goals is to encourage more small operations like ours to get involved," said Nugent. "I wish I had gotten involved [in IAR] before I did. There are so many environmental rules, you have to stay aware."

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