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Meet the Staff of ClearShift Cars

Jeff VanderWal - President


Jeff VanderWal has spent 15 years perfecting the way autos are retailed to Denver consumers. A 5th generation Coloradan, Jeff’s family owns the oldest paint company in Denver founded in 1906. He attended Highlands Ranch High School, an athletic & academic standout he was recruited to Arizona to play baseball but soon returned to Denver to work in the family business.

Always a car nut he began wholesaling cars through dealers and auctions in ’03. Seeing an opportunity to serve consumers he founded VanderWal Motorcar Company in ‘07.  He began brokering vehicles directly to consumers, cutting out the dealers and hassle that goes with a car purchase. Word spread and by ’09 he was back in baseball, this time with his own auto leasing company that catered to the pro-athlete and the demands of their unusual schedules.

By 2012 Jeff had enjoyed a 200% annual growth and was recognized by the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce as one of Denver’s Top 30 under 30, a feat never achieved prior to or since by anyone in the automotive field.

In 2014 VanderWal sales exceeded $10 million annually and he began seeking an opportunity to grow his one-man-show. Two years later coming off a record $14 million, Jeff co-founded ClearShift Leasing & Sales, bringing to life the perfect online shopping experience consumers enjoy with the person-to-person relationships they crave.

Jim Rathmann - General Manager


After decades of owning and managing dealerships in Florida and then engaging in profit improvement consulting with dealers and manufacturers, Jim relocated to Colorado and returned to selling cars. Being face to face with consumers was the only way to determine the experience they truly desire. This led him to grasp the real pain involved in an auto-transaction from the consumers perspective. With an intimate understanding of what consumers want Jim grew tired of consulting with dealers and manufacturers that lack the courage to make the hard decisions. Jim co-founded ClearShift, a company that is transforming the way vehicles are retailed. At ClearShift we complete the whole transaction financing, trade-in, and paperwork online. Finally, someone figured it out.

Jim Rathmann has spent over 40 years in automotive retail owning and operating dealerships across the southeast. Highlights include Owner and operator of six dealer franchises including Chevrolet, Cadillac, Lexus, and Toyota. Jim managed over 500 employees $50 million in inventory and achieved annual sales as high as $400 million.

Amber Parish - Controller


Amber started in the Auto Industry back 2011 in Tucson, AZ with CarMax. There she worked in the business office, completing sales transactions, funding, title/DMV work. Her work with CarMax brought her to Denver, Colorado in 2012. With plenty of knowledge and savvy, she left CarMax in 2014 and worked for an independent car dealership/auto brokerage. Clearshift customer's value her skill and expertise to get their paperwork processed fast to avoid extra charges and title problems.


Although she was born and raised in Arizona, she has grown to love the Colorado lifestyle. Though she moved here not knowing a soul, she now has a new Colorado family, Travis, a Navy veteran, currently serving in the Army National Guard and works daily at Xcel energy. They have been together almost 4 years now and have a dog named Lucy, their little baby. Some of Amber’s hobbies include being a huge football fan, and if you can believe it she’s a Bears fan! (DA Bears!) She and Travis watch all the games together. They also love brunch, can you say “Mimosas and pancakes!” 

Kyle Murphy - Buyer


Kyle started in the car industry right out of college with Carmax in '07 as a Buyer. He worked with CarMax in Indianapolis, Austin, and finally Denver. He left Carmax to grand open EchoPark in '14 and worked as a Buyer and Inventory Manager. His collective body of work in the Car Industry totals over 10 years.

Although Kyle has yet to start a family, he does have a dog. He grew up right outside of Chicago in Highland, Indiana. He's lived in Chicago, Indianapolis, and Austin before moving to Denver.

Cars are a big hobby of Kyle's. He loves staying up on the latest car trends and new vehicle releases. He revels in outdoor activities such as camping, skiing, and hiking with his dog Parker. He also enjoys working out at a CrossFit gym, going to local breweries/distilleries, detailing cars and a good rooftop patio to hang out with friends. Kyle is a huge sports fan of his alma mater Purdue and loves to binge watch a good show on TV.

Ed Safko - Leasing & Sales


Ed Safko, the most recent addition to the team, is a great salesman and a very welcome addition to the ClearShift group.  He has an impressive 31 year background in the automotive industry! That's almost as long as he's known his wife, 35 years. Ed and his wife Jaki from England, met as teenagers. Together they left upstate New York many years ago in order to raise a family somewhere a little slower paced.

They found there forever home in sunny Colorado and both of their daughters were born here. Zia (27) is still here and is an airline pilot for United Express. His second daughter, Lexi (25) who lives in Houston, gave Ed and Jaki their first grandchild, Kiya (3).

Now empty nesters, Ed and his wife, have 2 dogs, Twix a Yorkie, Cece a mini poodle and a turtle named Dennis to help occupy their time. They love to travel, especially Jaki who's worked for United for 29 years. They also share a multitude of other interests including their favorite "Thrifting." Frequenting garage sales, Goodwill and even foreign countries, they find treasures to buy, sell or keep depending on what it is.

John Angel - Sales & Leasing


John has 21 years in the auto business and has worked all roles including Sales, up through Management. John has an extensive knowledge of all vehicles, but prides himself on his truck knowledge, including Diesel trucks. 
John is a Colorado native who married his high school sweetheart, Heather. They have 2 children, Sierra (14) and Ryken (11) they are raising in Elizabeth, where they grew up. John is an avid Quad Racer, with multiple championships including The Pikes Peak Hill Climb. When not helping his clientele, you will find John with his kids at their various sports or playing on his tractor maintaining his own personal MX track.

John comes to ClearShift with over 20 years in the automotive industry where he has held sales, finance and management positions.  John has an extensive knowledge of cars but prides himself on his truck knowledge, especially diesel engines.  

John is a Colorado native who married his high school sweetheart, Heather.  Together, they have two busy children, Sierra and Ryken, that they are raising in their hometown of Elizabeth. John is an avid ATV Racer, who has won multiple championships including the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. 
When not helping his clients find their perfect vehicle, you will see him on the sidelines at his kids' various sporting events or on his tractor maintaining his own personal motocross track.

Jesse McKendry - Leasing & Sales


Jesse completed his first small block re-build at the tender age of 4 with his Bob Builder set. With a genius grasp of mechanical workings, he built his first Flux Capacitor at age 7. Once he returned back to present day, he mastered the coveted muffler bearing, and invented his very own blinker fluid that doesn't stain paint. Finally at 13 he invented the first cold fusion Ford engine that runs on "Oval Blue Matter"  

After a horrible laboratory accident figuring out how to fix GM products once and for all, he descended into the car sales side hoping that he could heal his body up to take on his newest dream, Ford un-obtanium and its ability to transform the world into a better place to live.

Michael Maring - Reconditioning Manager


Michael joined the ClearShift team in November or 2017 as our Reconditioning Manager. Michael's love of cars dates back to his early years. His dad drove a Ford and was constantly under the hood and Michael was his side-kick so the seed was planted. The transition to ClearShift was a natural one given the depth of his automotive knowledge from what's under the hood to what options a vehicle including the name of the color of paint.

Other work history includes ownership of Rocky Mountain Framing Specialists the past 20+ years. His other loves include his wife of 25+ years and his four daughters, Shauna, Melissa, Jennifer and Kelli and his 6 grandchildren Isabella (12), Jaden (8), Abigail (8), Dutch (7), Madison (6) and Nyla (4). In his spare time, he loves to watch NASCAR and NFL football and has been a faithful Broncos fan his entire life. 

James McKendry - Reconditioning Specialist


The fourth member of our team and a crucial addition, James, joined the ClearShift team back in April of 2015. He came to us with a vast knowledge of cars from his youth and his family upbringing. 

As a Reconditioning Specialist, he does a little bit of everything from scheduling cars for service and safety inspections, repairs both cosmetic and under the hood, delivering vehicles and paperwork to customers and much, much more. He is a fast worker and very thorough in his approach and has made a great difference in his time with ClearShift.

In his spare time, James loves watching and playing many sports. He is a well-rounded family guy and comes from a large one with 2 brothers and 1 sister. He also has recently become an uncle to 3 nieces and 1 nephew.

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