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Lonnie & Joyce Blackburn started Academy Cars way back in 1982. Lonnie has been the owner since day 1. No one in the business works harder to purchase the right vehicles at the right price to re-sell to his customers. His business philosophy has always been, "Treat everyone the way you would want to be treated." As a man of faith, it is not suprising that The Golden Rule is the basis for his success.


If Lonnie is the heartbeat of Academy Cars, then Joyce is truly the brains of the operation. She is the Business Manager, and so much more. She manages to keep track of everything and everyone and somehow does it all with a smile.

Shane Varner View

F&I Director
Born and raised in Topeka, Ks. I enjoy watching college basketball and spending time with my family. I look forward to helping you find a nicer, newer vehicle you have been looking for!

Debbie Nitsch View

Solutions Provider
Another 20+ years veteran of the auto sales and finance industry, Debbie has excelled in a field traditionally dominated by her male counterparts. She has done so with style, grace, and an easy demeanor that lets her customers know that they are at the right place, doing business with the right person.

Lenn Robinson View

Solutions Provider
I have been in the car business for 18 years now , a majority of those years in the special finance part of the auto industry. Born in Southern California, I moved to Topeka at age 15 and have lived here ever since. I have two beautiful children that are my whole world. NOBODY will work harder for you than I will !

Tashana Blackburn View

Title & Billing Manager
Being a life long residence of "Lovely Lawrence, Kansas". You will always see a smile on my face. I was previously the Title Clerk and have been with the Academy family now for 7 plus years and love it! I am also Joyce's right hand gal. I love helping people get their nicer, newer cars and seeing the smile on their faces and how excited they are!

Michelle Glavin View

Assistant Office Manager
I was born and raised in the Kansas City area and currently live in Topeka. The best part of my job is assisting the Solutions Providers with making your dreams of a nicer, newer car a reality every day. In my free time time I enjoy spending time with my family and volunteering at various community based nonprofit organizations.

Randy Ledbetter View

Service Manager
Randy has been in the automotive business for 30+ years, starting out at a very young age in a small repair facility. Randy went to work in a General Motors Department at the age of 18 and began building a career from there. He worked for GM for 19 years before joining Academy Cars. Randy is dedicated to serving you, our customers, with the highest quality of service.

Ben Broky View

A life long resident of Lawrence, Ben has been "bending wrenches" most of his life. Tired of the franchise game, Ben decided to work at an independent shop where he could be more autonomous.

Josh Hartranft View

I was born in Oregon, and raised in Pennsylvania and Missouri. I went to college in Springfield and then made my way to Lawrence. I love the music scene here. I have been playing music and working on cars since I was a youngster, and I have become good at both.

Bea Waller View

Call Center Representative
When I am not helping people get the car of their dreams, my husband and I enjoy taking our son to the zoo or park. After spending time studying theatre at Ottawa University, I found I have a nerdy side...I love to read about different cultures and religions.

Johnny Snow View

Porter/Lot Attendant
Married to the best gal around for 25 years. My wife, Brenda, keeps me in life along with Jesus, He is my main man. Other than being the best "go to" guy, I enjoy riding my Harley Davidson every chance I get, and watching WWE wrestling.

Dan Smith View

Administrative assistant and Social Media correspondent
As one of the newest members of the Academy cars team, I'm proud to serve with some of the best in the business! I hail from southern California, but I graduated from KU with the class of 2016 and I liked Lawrence so much I decided to stay!

Jon Gross View

Service Writer
Born and raised in Baldwin Kansas, Jon loves working with people and cars!
As a service adviser he does his best to keep your cars running like new!

Tanner Graf View

Solution Provider
Another Lawrence local Tanner works his hardest to make sure that you drive home in a car that's right for your lifestyle and budget!

Ron Hiatt View

Service technician
Ron was born and raised in Kansas, he learned his work ethic on a dairy farm and his trade in Wichita. He has been in the Automotive industry for 32 years and enjoys spending time with his son watching movies.
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