Every year, SEMA councils and networks hold elections for seats on their respective select committee. Last spring, PRO re-elected several incumbents and added some newcomers to the team. To introduce new arrivals to our membership, Member Updates recently interviewed Eric Holmes, sales manager at Eastman Chemical Company/Llumar. Here’s what he had to say.
Q&A with Eric Holmes
Member Updates Editor: How long have you been with Eastman Chemical Company? Are you on the wholesale side of the business?
Eric Holmes: I’ve been with Eastman for eight years, and I’ve been in this role now for four years. I currently manage our restyle and dealer-direct business for the LLumar brand for North America. The LLumar brand is separated into a couple different channels. We have a channel focused on application of retail film and paint protection film products. This channel is 100-percent focused on wholesale business. It takes a separate service model to understand the needs of a restyler, so that’s what my team is focused on.
MUE: How long have you been a PRO member? In the time you have volunteered in PRO, how has it benefitted you on a personal and professional level?
EH: The LLumar brand has been a part of SEMA and PRO for a long time; we’ve exhibited at SEMA for many years. We’ve always had a big presence in the North Hall. This is really my first opportunity of working directly with SEMA and working on a council. It’s a new experience for me. SEMA and the councils have a lot to offer, and I was not aware of a lot of what that they do. I’m pretty new to the organization and council; however, I definitely know a lot of the restylers that are part of PRO.
MUE: How did you get involved with the select committee? What motivated you to get more involved with PRO?
EH: I got into the window film industry in 1997. I got into the window film industry in 1997, so for me it's 21 years in the business. I am extremely passionate about window film, about paint protection film, about installation. I come from an installer background. I used to install film for 13 years, and then I got into the manufacturing side of the business. I really enjoy this industry. I enjoy the people in the industry and being able to have a voice in how the industry is shaping up. That’s why I decided to join and, hopefully, I can help make a difference.
MUE: How has your involvement as a PRO select committee member affected your business and or career?
EH: I don’t necessarily know if it's affected my career. It has 100 percent affected my outlook. I am happy to learn about new things, like vehicle safety and technologies that maybe my peers and other manufacturers and other restylers are working on. Even though it may not affect the film industry, so to speak, it brings me closer to the industry as a whole. And I’m learning what challenges are out there.
MUE: Can you tell me about the PRO Sales Training Manual /sales certificate?
EH: PRO has had a Sales Training Manual for years. It’s a really good resource for restylers and anyone selling to a car dealership to understand the inner workings of a car dealer and how to successfully present accessories and restyle products to that channel. And so there’s been no way prior to test an individual on the Sales Training Manual. Something I was able to work on was test questions based on the manual and a program that will offer a certificate to a sales person who has read the manual and passed the exam. That’s exciting to be a part of.