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TORA Volunteer Spotlight: Rory Connell of Advanced Accessory Concepts

By Ashley Reyes

Rory Connell of Advanced Accessory Concepts is featured as the first-ever TORA Volunteer Spotlight Member.

The SEMA Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) has featured Rory Connell of Advanced Accessory Concepts as the first-ever TORA Volunteer Spotlight Member. As an active volunteer and industry advocate, Connell has been at the forefront of key SEMA initiatives, focusing many of his contributions on youth engagement and member connectivity.

Connell’s professional experience includes receiving his degree from Wyotech Automotive Technical School, which led to a career working on cars for West Coast Customs, Barry’s Speed Shop and Callaway Cars. Connell now works for a startup company and sees it as an opportunity to lead young people down a similar path to becoming connected to the industry.

Get to know Connell in his Q&A with the SEMA Truck and Off-Road Alliance:

SEMA: What inspired you to pursue a career in the truck and off-road industry?

Rory Connell: My first experience in the off-road world was on an ATC70 at around the age of 5. I fell in love with all things that have Knobby tires! Geographically I’ve also been very blessed to be raised and continue to live in Corona, California, which is well known as a hub for the automotive aftermarket and has an abundance of off-road product manufacturers.

SEMA: Why did you decide to volunteer for TORA? How has it or will it impact you?

RC: I am very fortunate to have been volunteering within SEMA for several years. When TORA was formed, I naturally gravitated toward this group, not only because of my business interest in the off-road segment, but also because of my personal passion for it. Having the opportunity to help shape and grow something you truly care about is the most rewarding part of any volunteer opportunity.

SEMA: What advice do you have for someone pursuing a career in the automotive aftermarket?

RC: With any job, it’s always easier to really love what you're doing. The automotive aftermarket is a prime example of an industry where someone who is passionate can thrive no matter what the circumstances. People desire most of the products we sell, but they don’t necessarily need it, which means we see a lot of feast or famine. Loving what you do makes the feast even greater and the famine bearable.

SEMA: What is your dream truck or off-road vehicle? Where would we find you in it on the weekend?

RC: If I won the lottery tomorrow I'd probably have a ridiculous ULTRA4 4400 car built to race Hammers. For a purely recreational vehicle, it would probably have to be a 4WD Luxury Pre-Runner of some sort to go blast the two track and still have climate control. On most weekends, I’m mainly in the Mojave Desert somewhere hiding from society, living my best life.

TORA members: Fill out this form to nominate yourself as a TORA Volunteer Spotlight Member for a chance to be featured in TORA’s social media and SEMA eNews.

Not a TORA member? Fill out this form to join today.