Select Committees are elected by the members of their councils to serve two-year terms. They participate in monthly conference calls and meetings that are held at various trade events throughout the year. Each Select Committee member volunteers for at least 20 hours throughout the year, and some volunteer even more. Some share their experience and vision; some provide creative solutions to challenges their member companies face; others get their hands dirty and get it done. Each Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) Select Committee member is supported by his or her company in the council’s efforts. For that we say “thank you” to those companies!
Kelly Kneifl’s term as Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) chairman ended in the spring, and George Lathouris of Keystone Automotive Operations assumed the chair position. Earlier in the year, LTAA chose Melanie White of Hellwig Products as the new chair-elect. SEMA Member News caught up with each of these busy truck-accessory professionals to ask them about their plans for the next two years.
Tammy Holland has been involved in the automotive aftermarket industry for more than 14 years in the sales communications division of COMP Performance Group. During that time, she has served on many SEMA committees and received numerous SEMA awards, including the 2004 SEMA Young Executive of the Year. Holland has been instrumental in recognizing the importance of growing the next generation of executives in the industry by helping to establish an award for those individuals that support the growth of the industry’s younger executives. She includes Ron Coleman and Scooter Brothers of Comp as her personal mentors, and her favorite aspect of the hot-rod hobby is the people.
Every year, American businesses spend billions of dollars on credit card processing. Even an average small business accepting credit card payments spends thousands each month. Knowing how much these costs impact member businesses, SEMA sought a solution.
The 2011 Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Media Trade Conference (MTC) returned to the Embassy Suites LAX South after a one-year detour in 2010. This marks the eighth time in the last nine years that the event was hosted at the location in El Segundo, California, and by all accounts, the return proved to be the right move after record-setting rains during the 2010 event at a facility with an open-air setting.
“This property continues to serve the event well,” said MPMC Chairman Kyle Fickler of Weld Racing Inc. “The layout lends itself to our purposes, and it’s completely under a roof—something we will never again take for granted after last year! The hotel staff was very attentive to our needs, responded to feedback from previous years and was very accommodating to last-minute changes on site. It’s cliché, but 2011 was definitely the best Media Trade Conference yet!”
The Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) and its member companies are gearing up for the second annual LTAA New Product Showcase. Carlisle Events will once again host the Showcase at the Carlisle Truck Nationals, August 5–7, 2011, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Last year’s inaugural event drew 35 products from 15 LTAA-member companies, including two fullsize display trucks. This year’s event promises to be even bigger and better.
“The event came together very quickly last year,” said LTAA Chair-Elect Melanie White of Hellwig Industries. “Even with minimal time to market it, the response from our members was very positive, and the post-event feedback made it easy to plan for a second event in 2011. If you are an LTAA-member company and have not signed up a new product or products, there is still time to get in. Registration is online and takes just a few minutes.”
So what does the customer really want from you? Well, think about what you would want if you were the customer. You are perfectly willing to pay a fair price for a product that you have decided best serves your purpose. Your selection criteria may range widely based on price, quality, delivery, features, reputation and so on. When you are ready to make a purchase, you have formed expectations about all of these categories. All you want is to have those expectations fulfilled.
Like other SEMA councils and committees the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) came to be out of necessity. As SEMA membership grew to encompass all aspects of the automotive specialty-equipment market, industry leaders recognized the need for a volunteer group to focus on the specific needs of the restoration market.
In early 1991, Jim Wirth attended a SEMA management conference and was impressed by the way SEMA-member companies were working for the betterment of the automotive aftermarket. Already heavily involved in the restoration industry as an enthusiast and the founder of the Springfield Auto Swap Meet and Car Show, Wirth suggested to several friends that restoration companies could benefit from a similar organization. By the end of that year, ARMO was formed and recognized as a SEMA committee.
Lee McGuire, director of marketing and operations for Skyjacker Suspensions, will assume the chairmanship of the Young Executive’s Network (YEN) in July. She has been involved in the automotive specialty-equipment industry for eight years and will attend her ninth SEMA Show in November. She became a member of YEN in 2005 and, after a Loan Forgiveness Award that same year from the SEMA Scholarship Fund, determined that she should serve the industry as a way to give back. She says that being a volunteer and serving on the YEN Select Committee have been great experiences. She recently answered a few questions about her passions and goals.