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SEMA Council & Committee News

Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO)
Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)
Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA)
Manufacturers' Rep Network (MRN)
Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Professional Restylers Organization (PRO)
Street Performance Council (SPC)
Wheel & Tire Council (WTC)
SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) Young Executives Network (YEN)


Visit ARMO's website.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? ARMO Is!

Be sure to follow ARMO on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

ARMO Column in SEMA Member News

Read ARMO's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

For more information about ARMO, contact Jim Skelly.

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Visit HRIA's website

Hot Rodder Highlight

Bob Shetrone, Progressive Automotive Inc.

HRIA would like to welcome Bob Shetrone, president of Progressive Automotive Inc. Shetrone started his business 32 years ago because of his love for hot rods and he wanted to build parts for them. His passion runs in designing, building and refurbishing these cars. “Hot Rodders were the first recyclers,” he says.

In his spare time, Shetrone is currently working on a ’55 Chevy 210 Handyman wagon for his wife. His love for ’55 Chevy cars started when he saw the movie American Graffiti, which he has seen so many times that he can recite almost every word. For this reason, no one else will watch it with him.

Shetrone has been married to his wife Amy since 1992. They have two children—a daughter Taylor and “car guy” Sam.

Brett Littlefield's ’67 Ford Galaxie 500 fastback.
Brett Littlefield, Auto Meter Products Inc.

Another new HRIA member is Brett Littlefield, OEM, commercial and military sales manager of Auto Meter Products Inc. Current SEMA Board member Jeep Worthan convinced Littlefield to come work with the company 11 years ago.

When Littlefield isn’t making sales calls, he is working on his ’67 Ford Galaxie 500 fastback. He chose this car for its uniqueness—it's nearly 18-ft. long. He enjoys attending local car shows to show off his prized possession.

Professionally, Littlefield received his MPA from Northern Illinois University, capturing all major high-performance OEM platforms in Detroit. On a personal note, Littlefield is married and has a son, Chase, who is a Ford fan.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? HRIA Is!

Be sure to follow HRIA on all of your favorite social networking sites.

To find these sites, go to and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

HRIA Column in SEMA Member News

Read HRIA's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

For more information about HRIA, contact Zane Clark.

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Visit TORA's website.  

TORA Product Training a Reality

The Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) and the SEMA Education Institute (SEI) recently launched an innovative, online product training program—the SEMA Product Training Center. A joint effort between TORA and SEI, this new program allows manufacturers to efficiently and effectively provide product training to hundreds or even thousands of resellers throughout the industry for what they might spend to reach only a handful using traditional means. At the same time, it provides resellers with an effective, efficient and consistent method of educating their sales staff. Sign up and participation is open to all resellers, free of charge.

The SEMA Product Training Center is designed to be easy to use and includes simple enrollment. For more information or to sign up for a training module, visit the SEMA Product Training Center.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? TORA Is!

Be sure to follow TORA on all of your favorite social networking sites.

To find these sites, go to and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

TORA Column in SEMA Member News

Read TORA's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

For more information about TORA, contact Jim Skelly.

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Visit MPMC's website.  

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? MPMC Is!

Be sure to follow MPMC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

Take a Friend to a Race Fan Page

The MPMC Motorsports Awareness campaign, highlighted by the Take a Friend to a Race program, now has its very own Fanpage on Facebook. If you’re not a fan yet, you should be!

MPMC Column in SEMA Member News

Read MPMC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about MPMC, contact Jim Skelly.

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Visit MRN's website.  

How to Have Your Best Year Ever
By John Chapin

SEMA’s Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN) exists to address and identify opportunities for the professional agent and representative in order to help their business succeed and prosper. Underlying the business-critical relationship between the rep, manufacturer, wholesale distributer and retailer is the commitment to professional development and sales expertise that support mutually profitable partnerships. Below is practical advice on the Five Keys to a Highly Successful 2013:

1) Why do you want to have your best year ever?

Before you take on any endeavor, you have to know why you’re doing it. This one factor will determine whether or not you are successful. What are you capable of if you set your mind to it? Pretty much anything, right? So, in order to wake up every day driven and motivated to do what must be done to achieve your goals and dreams, you must have powerful reasons for doing so. Find your "why" in positive reasons for achieving your goals and negative consequences if you don’t. The start of all great achievement is a burning desire in your heart and soul that simply must be fulfilled.

2) Have goals and a plan.

You’ve heard it a million times, but this is still the biggest factor that the most successful people on the planet attribute their success to. So, if you haven’t done this yet, do it! The top 3% of people on the planet have goals, a plan for their achievement and they work on those goals every day. They are worth more in financial terms than the other 97% combined. You don’t need a huge list of goals in each area of life with elaborate plans for their achievement; in fact, the simpler you can make it, the better. At a minimum, pick one major professional goal and one major personal goal, put a simple, straight-forward plan together and take action on both goals daily.

3) Do what you must do.

Now that you know why you want to have your best year ever and you have goals and a plan; it’s time to get to work. Not tomorrow, not later today… now! The most successful people are people of action. They don’t put things off and they rarely hesitate once they have decided upon a goal.

4) Stop making excuses and giving up control of your life.

Over the years, I’ve heard every excuse as to why people don’t achieve their goals. I’ve heard reasons related to health, emotions, past traumas and negative events. People blame the economy, other people and bad breaks growing up. I have two words of advice: stop it! Assuming you are reading this right now and comprehend it, you have no excuses.

5) Follow Winston Churchill’s advice.

You remember his advice, right? “Never, never, never give up.” Another saying is, “Quitters never win and winners never quit.” If you hang in there long enough, you’ll make it. Life is simply a game of deciding what you want, developing a plan to get it, taking daily action on that plan, seeing what works and what doesn’t and adjusting your approach until you get to your destination. Even a ship is off course 99.9% of the trip; the captain simply continues to get feedback and course corrects until the ship lands safely in harbor.

You can do, be and have anything you want, but it’s going to take hard work and sacrifice. The question isn’t, "Can you have your best year ever?" The questions are: Are you willing to put in the time, effort, energy and money that’s necessary? Are you willing to give up the excuses and other crutches and pay the price for success?

Have a sales question? E-mail Chapin at Chapin’s specialty is helping salespeople and sales teams double their sales in 12 months. He is an award-winning sales speaker, trainer and coach, a No. 1 sales rep in three industries and the primary author of the gold-medal winning Sales Encyclopedia. In his 24+ years of sales, customer service and management experience, he has thrived in some of the toughest markets and economies.

What Does It Mean to Be a Sales Professional?

SEMA’s Manufacturers' Rep Network (MRN) hosts a discussion group on Linkedin for professional reps and sales agents. Recently, MRN asked the question, “In one word, what does it mean to be a sales professional?”

The list as submitted by members of the Linkedin group includes:

  • Credibility
  • Relationships
  • Trust
  • Service
  • Commitment
  • Ethics
  • Produce
  • Knowledge
  • Relevance
  • Value

Join the conversation; join MRN at For more details on how to get involved or to learn how professional reps and agents can help your business, contact Zane Clark at 909-978-6696.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? MRN is!

Be sure to follow MRN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

MRN Column in SEMA Member News

Read MRN's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about MRN, contact Zane Clark.

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PRO Logo
Visit PRO's website.  
SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting addresses guests at PRO’s 2012 Novemberfest Industry Reception.

A Community of Accessory “PROs”

Professional Restylers Organization
Year Established: 1988
Leadership: Eldon Bracken, chairman; Jeff Fink, chair-elect
SEMA Council Director: Zane Clark
Cost: Manufacturer/Importer: $150; Warehouse/Multiline Distributor/Manufacturers’ Rep: $75; Installer/Restyler/Accessory Retailer/Service: $50
Industry Served: Restyling, specialty and automotive appearance companies

Top Three Reasons to Join PRO

  • Business Tools & Resources: The Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) provides its members with effective programs and materials to help them grow and prosper. From the organization’s Sales Training Manual and Business Development Guidebook to the “Fast Track to Accessorization” brochure and hands-on training conferences, PRO offers its members invaluable marketing and training advantages.
  • Networking: PRO members connect with peers, colleagues and suppliers at SEMA-sponsored trade shows, PRO council meetings, functions and special events. PRO members receive priority registration and discounted or free rates.
  • Industry Awareness and Recognition: Members receive quarterly communications highlighting PRO activities and pertinent industry news. During the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, PRO members are given special invitations to attend the annual NovemberFest awards reception that pays tribute to industry leaders.

Message From the PRO Chair

Membership in a council is one of the greatest benefits of being a SEMA member. You are able to connect with people and companies that work with and represent your segment of the industry. Once you get involved, you see just how much work is done behind the scenes to preserve and grow the automotive aftermarket for the future. From the educational opportunities and increasing your professionalism and skill set to legislative concerns, the councils focus on maintaining a healthy industry.

—Eldon Bracken, President, Graphic Mart

PRO Select Committee Testimonial

Serving on the PRO council has given me the opportunity to gain valuable knowledge about other segments within our industry and the challenges that we face in this increasingly competitive market. Through working with our peers, we strive to provide value-added programs to our member companies and allow them a forum to address industry issues.

—Brian Champa, General Sales Manager, Check Corp.

PRO Member Testimonial

I believe that being a member of PRO keeps Auto Trim Restyling at the forefront of all that’s current in our industry. Staying in the loop and ahead of our competitors is the difference between a restyler and a PRO restyler.

—Kevin McGowan, President, Auto Trim Restyling

Connect With Us:

PRO: Dedicated to Serving the Restyling Industry

By Ellen McKoy

In the years since the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) first burst onto the industry scene, it has taken the lead in providing valuable tools and resources to its members. But, to understand how and why PRO came to be, calls for a look at where it began—and how far it has come.

Originally known as customizing, restyling emerged as an outgrowth of the soft-trim industry as new suppliers entered the market in the ’70s and ’80s. Among the first products introduced into the market were body-side moldings, vinyl pinstripes and graphics, sunroofs, ground effects and roof treatments.

Throughout this period, considerable variation existed in product quality, fit and finish, durability, reliability and warranties. There were also varying levels of experience and expertise among installers. As vehicle manufacturers upgraded their offerings and provided extended warranties, they began to look more closely at—and express concern about—the quality of aftermarket products installed at the dealer level.

These issues raised concerns within in the restyling industry, but there was no unified representation devoted to addressing the needs of the restyling market. While SEMA was generally viewed as being the only organization that represented specialty-equipment businesses, it was also perceived as having little experience in the restyling segment, as most of its efforts were then focused on the performance industry.

Flash forward to April 1988. The owners of Razzi Ground Effects organized a meeting with key industry players to discuss a course of action. The group included representatives from 23 companies: a handful of installers, Nat Danas of Auto Trim & Restyling News and several manufacturers, including ASC Inc., E&G Classics, Webasto, Cars & Concepts, 3M and Dee Zee, among others. Together, they created a stand-alone organization for accessory manufacturers known as the Automotive Aftermarket Restyling Manufacturers (AARM).

AARM had three primary objectives:

  • To bring the industry together and speak with a united voice.
  • To address OEM concerns by establishing product-quality guidelines, improving manufacturer warranties and creating a code of ethics.
  • To support installers and restylers through improved product quality, training, installation instructions and other resources.

AARM members soon recognized the need to expand membership to also include restylers and installers. The name was changed in 1989 to the Professional Restylers Organization.

By this time, the restyling industry had become a major force in the marketplace—and had captured SEMA’s attention. But PRO was hard-pressed to maintain its momentum as a standalone organization. Members asked Nat Danas to approach then-SEMA President Chuck Blum about merging PRO into the association. PRO became a SEMA committee in the spring of 1990.

PRO was the second niche-market group to become a SEMA committee, joining the Street Rod Market Alliance (SRMA). The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) was later added to the committee roster. In 1993, the SEMA Board of Directors approved the council concept, and ARMO, PRO and SRMA [now the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)] were elevated to council status.

For more than 20 years, PRO has developed effective strategies and programs to meet the special needs of its members and provide a valuable forum in which to address industry-specific issues. PRO has much to offer forward-thinking companies, and the council continues to benefit from member input and participation.

To learn how you can get involved and take advantage of the benefits, contact SEMA Council Director Zane Clark via e-mail at


Accelerate Sales and Profits with Vehicle Accessorization

Does your current business model include dealer accessory sales? Would you like to expand your portfolio by selling to new- and used-car dealers? The Professional Restylers Organization (PRO)—a SEMA council—has developed several business-critical tools that can help you do just that. Below is an excerpt from PRO’s “Fast Track to Accessorization” flyer that is provided free to PRO members and geared toward helping dealer principals better understand how accessories can increase their sales and profitability.

“Things are looking up. Customers are easing back into the market, sparking slow but steady sales growth. But a measure of uncertainty lingers. Fuel prices are spiking. Inventories are tight. Light-duty truck sales are soft. Now more than ever, dealers need to find new ways to maximize gross profit on every vehicle they sell and gain a competitive edge with products that drive up sales and keep customers coming back for more.

It’s all about implementing innovative strategies to attract new buyers and create high-margin profit centers throughout your dealership. And now is the time to discover untapped opportunities to dramatically increase sales and profits—and earn your share of a multi-billion-dollar market—through vehicle accessorization.

Consider the facts:

  • Vehicle accessorization is big business; call it restyling, customizing or accessorizing. The specialty-equipment industry generates $28.6 billion-a-year in direct retail sales. And a notable 40% share of the total market—$11.09 billion—comes from sales of auto and truck accessories. High-profit personalization products your customers want and that you could be selling.
  • Accessories influence vehicle purchases; it’s a fact. Consumers who see accessories on display at new-car dealerships are more inclined to purchase a specific model simply because it’s been customized. Even more impressive: accessories influence more than one million new-vehicle sales each year.
  • Consumers spend big bucks on accessories. Style-conscious consumers willing to pay a premium for personalized vehicles typically spend $1,000 to $3,500 per vehicle annually on accessories after the sale. That leaves a lot of money on the table. Money they should be spending at your dealership.

Consumers buy appearance and performance enhancements, mobile electronics and custom wheels and tires. They’ll buy them from you if you have them, or from somebody else if you don’t.

If you are a PRO member and would like to order copies of the “Fast Track to Accessorization” flyer or would like to learn more about getting involved in PRO, contact Zane Clark at 909-978-6696.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? PRO Is!

Be sure to follow PRO on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

PRO Column in SEMA Member News

Read PRO's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about PRO, contact Zane Clark or call 909/978-6696.

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SBN Logo
Visit SBN's website.

SBN Members Map Updated

Fellow SBNer Susan Carpenter has been working hard in updating the SBN members map, including adding new members and member location changes.

This map serves a great purpose. It allows SBN to find fellow members in our area so we can make connections year round. So check out the SBN members map and get to networking!

Join the discussion on MySEMA!

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? SBN is!

Be sure to follow SBN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

SBN Column in SEMA Member News

Read SBN's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about SBN, contact Bryan Harrison.

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SPC Logo
Visit SPC's website.  

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? SPC is!

Be sure to follow SPC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

SPC Column in SEMA Member News

Read SPC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about SPC, contact Bryan Harrison.

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WTC Logo
Visit WTC's website
WTC leadership, membership, guests and SEMA staff discussed the industry during the WTC’s 2012 Annual Meeting.

Learn How Volunteering Can Make a Difference

The Wheel and Tire Council (WTC) will hold its annual Long-Range Planning Meeting and Industry Discussion on Wednesday, February 27, at the SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California. The meeting is open to all WTC members and those interested in learning more about council activities and initiatives.

“The importance of this meeting cannot be overstated,” said David Insull, WTC chairman and director of marketing and procurement – wheels for American Tire Distributors. “This venue provides the industry the rare opportunity to come together and openly discuss what SEMA and the WTC can do to help each of our businesses succeed and prosper.”

The feedback and input offered by those in attendance will help guide the council's strategic direction over the next several years, and the meeting itself provides a great opportunity to connect with industry friends and peers. The meeting kicks-off at 8:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast and is followed by a networking lunch from 11:30 p.m.–1:00 p.m. To RSVP, follow the link at WTC Meeting and Discussion or contact Zane Clark at 909-978-6696.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? WTC is!

Be sure to follow WTC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

WTC Column in SEMA Member News

Read WTC's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about WTC and how to join, contact Zane Clark or call or 909/978-6696.

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YEN Logo

Visit YEN's website

Derrick Johnstone

YEN Member of the Month—Derrick Johnstone, Alliance Sales

It is customary for the YEN Member Spotlight to showcase the life and career of a young, up and coming YEN member, but let’s face it, we work in an industry that thrives on breaking norms and thinking outside the box. With that in mind, this YEN Member Spotlight focuses on Derrick Johnstone of Alliance Sales, who’s odometer has rolled over the 40-year limit for YEN. Johnstone continues to stay involved through SEMA's Manufacturer’s Representative Network (MRN,) where he is a current Select Committee member. We had an opportunity to talk with him at the 2012 SEMA Show and find out what this former YEN member is all about.

Johnstone was pretty much born into this industry, as his father (Dave Johnstone), was instrumental in the Vancouver drag-racing scene, and is a 2012 inductee of the Greater Vancouver Motorsports Pioneer Society (GVMPS) as a racer, car builder and car show producer. From an early age, Johnstone can remember weekends at the track or in the garage learning how to cram more horsepower under the hood. It’s safe to say that racing is in his blood, so it should come as no surprise that right out of high school he went to work as a counterperson at Cal-Van Auto Supply—a speed and performance supplier who was also inducted into the GVMPS as a supporter in 2003. Racing and hot rodding are still his passion, as he just finished a full resto-mod on a ’49 Chevy wagon that he used to race 22 years ago. He also recently purchased a stock eliminator ’66 Impala.

Aside from racing Johnstone says that his favorite part of the industry is the people. His current role as partner of Alliance Sales—a rep agency in Western Canada—enables him to work with people in all facets of the aftermarket. For Johnstone, joining YEN was a no-brainer as it gave him an opportunity to meet and network with a variety of industry professionals. He spent 10 years as a YEN member and has formed many long-lasting relationships as a result. YEN became a stepping stone for him to the MRC (now MRN), as he wanted to continue his involvement with the SEMA councils. MRN enables him to monitor and influence the issues that impact his sector of the industry.

Johnstone believes that fluctuating gas prices are the No. 1 biggest challenge facing the industry. He says the next five years will be pretty much status quo, but he sees a strong push for fuel economy in the next decade. While economic uncertainty in general is a large concern for most Americans, Johnstone pointed out that the Canadian economy wasn’t hit as hard and seems to have rebounded faster. He says truck accessories are hotter than ever right now. The Canadian market is an important piece of the puzzle for so many manufacturers, but with a culture so similar to the United States, it is important to have Canadian representation because of their proximity. Who better to understand the costs, logistics and exchange rates than someone who lives there?

This second-generation hot rodder is truly a YEN success story and further proof that YEN is truly a stepping stone to bigger things for the future leaders of this industry.

YEN Member of the Month Spotlight

Did you know that YEN has a Member of the Month Spotlight on the SEMA website and that anyone can be nominated? To view previous selections or to make a nomination, visit

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? YEN is!

Be sure to follow YEN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

YEN Column in SEMA Member News

Read YEN's column featured in the January/February issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about YEN, contact Bryan Harrison.

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Join the SEMA Council Family

SEMA hosts 10 distinct councils and committees that represent focused niches within the specialty-equipment industry. These groups are comprised of elected volunteers (Select Committee) who guide and direct council activities while representing the membership at large. Although each council acts independently and represents a different segment, they are all focused on the betterment of the industry as a whole.

The value councils provide SEMA and the industry is beyond refute. It is inspiring to witness a diverse collection of company representatives, many of which are direct competitors, come together and develop educational, training, youth awareness and networking events that are, at the core, designed to give back and promote business. An equally important council function is to ensure that SEMA sustains a pulse on the industry and maintains a presence with its members.

The question is often asked, “Why should my company join a council?” The answer is simple. SEMA councils open the doors and provide you exposure to industry leaders, decision makers, trendsetters and a community of like-minded individuals who share your passion and desire to see business succeed and prosper. Once the doors are open, it is your responsibility to take advantage of the benefits by becoming actively involved.

Learn more today