By Ashley Reyes
BJ Leanse of Go Rhino/Big Country has been named as the SEMA Professional Restylers Organization’s (PRO) newest Volunteer Spotlight Member. As the national sales manager of Go Rhino and a current PRO Select Committee volunteer, Leanse has dedicated much of his career to giving back to the industry and helping to address the needs of the restyling segment of the automotive aftermarket.
Get to know Leanse as he shares what networking event led him to volunteer for PRO and help make a difference in the industry in his Q&A with SEMA.
SEMA: What inspired you to pursue a career in restyling/manufacturing?
BJ Leanse: I’m third generation ‘automotive’ and have always loved cars, trucks, Jeeps and working on making them better.
SEMA: Why did you decide to volunteer for PRO? How has it or will it impact you?
BL: In the late ’80s, I went to a PRO Long-Range Planning (LRP) meeting and listened to all the challenges and opportunities of selling accessories through the dealership channels. While I have been a SEMA member since 1974, it was that LRP that lit the fire in me to participate and help make a difference.
SEMA: What advice do you have for someone pursuing a career in the automotive aftermarket?
BL: The world is changing, fast. It doesn't matter where you start, it’s where you end up that matters, so decide to be the best you can be. Be flexible, listen and learn from others. Give all you can and join in the fun!
SEMA: What is your dream vehicle? Where would we find you in it on any weekend?
BL: An ’84 BMW M3. You can find me on my way to the Hill Country near Austin, Texas.
SEMA: What is the best advice you have ever received?
BL: When you do what you love, it’s never work. Find the opportunity to work with people who feel the same and you’re set for life.
SEMA: What keeps you in the industry?
BL: Working with passionate people who love the industry as much as I do.
SEMA: On a Saturday, where can you be found?
BL: Shopping with my best girl at the local farmer's markets.