By Ashley Reyes
Rod Bennett is this week’s SEMA Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) Volunteer Spotlight member.
Bennett is a current PRO Select Committee volunteer and the general manager at Chrome Enhancements. In his Q&A with SEMA, Bennett shares why he chooses to give back to the industry that he is passionate about, and what dream vehicle he would own again if he had the chance.
SEMA: What inspired you to pursue a career in restyling/manufacturing?
Rod Bennett: In my early 20s, I worked at Auto Trim Design in Omaha, Nebraska. I was a route salesperson and quickly fell in love with the automotive restyling industry.
SEMA: Why did you decide to volunteer for PRO? How has it or will it impact you?
RB: The restyling industry has been very generous to me. I have been fortunate to meet and work with incredible people in various segments of the industry. I wanted to give back to an industry that has been life changing for me and PRO has given me another avenue to learn and meet others. It has also allowed me to share my time and experience, to hopefully better the industry for future generations.
SEMA: What advice do you have for someone pursuing a career in the automotive aftermarket?
RB: This industry is not for the faint of heart. It is challenging and brings on new opportunities everyday. It is highly rewarding for those that put every ounce of their energy in being successful. It is a relationship business and requires networking skills. SEMA and its various councils like PRO provide incredible opportunities to network.
SEMA: What is your dream vehicle?
RB: I have been fortunate enough to own multiple vehicles that were my dream vehicles. If I have to choose right now, I would like to own a green, ’72 Chevy Monte Carlo, with a white top. It was my first car and I wouldn't mind if it were my last!
SEMA: What is the best advice you have ever received?
RB: You get back what you put in. I have found that with anything, work, relationships, children, etc., the more time you apply to something, the bigger the returns. Years of applying this has taught me that balance is the key.
SEMA: What keeps you in the industry?
RB: Each day is different. Different opportunities, different challenges, incredible people, and financially rewarding for those that stick with it!
SEMA: On a Saturday, where can you be found?
RB: With my beautiful wife, possibly making breakfast for her and our kids, and getting ready to watch football.