By Ashley Reyes
Matt Avery is the SEMA Future Leaders Network’s (FLN) newest spotlight member. Avery is the executive producer at Mecum Auctions, a leader in live auctions of collector and classic cars, antique motorcycles, vintage tractors and Road Art memorabilia with events across the United States.
Get to know Avery in his interview with SEMA below.
SEMA: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Matt Avery: It was being instilled with the aspiration to pursue excellence. I apply this to both my professional and personal life with the mentality that if I can set out about doing something, whether small or grand, I’m going to aim to do it well. It’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it. That drive delivers quality, and in the business sector, that’s a highly sought-after and strongly valued commodity.
Your reputation in the marketplace is built on what you’re known for. If your clients, customers and brand enthusiasts come to know you as someone who is genuine and constantly seeking to go above and beyond, that will be a benefit for you for years to come.
SEMA: What keeps you in the industry?
MA: The simple joy of having built and developed a career that enables me to be around something I deeply love and care about—cars and trucks. Like many others, my passion started when I was young, being mesmerized by larger-than-life vehicles sporting bright colors, loud engines and mind-boggling capabilities. To grow up and be a part of this wild and wonderful industry and even more, to be a leader and innovator in the space, helping to shape, grow and cultivate where we are now and where we’re heading in the future truly is a dream come true.
SEMA: Where can you be found on a Saturday?
MA: You’ll likely find me up early heading to a local coffee shop before taking in any one of the wonderful automotive meetups that take place regularly in and around the Chicago suburbs. Our classic-car cruises are a sight to see, being held in all kinds of cute train-stop cities, while our exotic and supercar gatherings feature all the latest and greatest in high-speed and luxury motoring. There’s something for everyone, and I love experiencing it all.
SEMA: How do you prepare for an important meeting?
MA: I keep several things in mind. First, I prepare. There’s nothing worse than running in late and, even more egregious, not having a clear plan of objectives for your time together. Treat those minutes as valued and something you don’t want to squander or waste. To avoid this, I go over in advance what I need to accomplish, which leads to a firm sense of personal confidence.
With a roadmap established, I then figure out what I can do to help meet those targets. All of this is long before the meeting takes place. On that day, I arrive early—whether in person or logging in to the conference call or webchat. That gives me time to focus and clear distractions in order to give my best attention to whoever is across the table or on the other side of the screen. That respect will go a long way and is a wonderful trait to develop. I also listen, making it a priority to render the floor to others while I absorb fully and process. Then when I do speak, I work to be clear, concise and congenial. Always keep in mind how you would want to be treated in a meeting or business setting, and work to deliver that kind of experience.
SEMA: If you could go to lunch with one industry leader, living or dead, who would it be?
MA: I’d love to meet up with Vince Piggins, manager of product performance for Chevrolet during the ’60s. The man was an automotive enthusiast through and through and helped lead the brand through one of the most exciting decades in motorsports and street-performance history. He was involved with the development and distribution of all of the legendary and boundary-pushing muscle machines of the era, with a legacy that remains to this day.
If you are a current FLN member, fill out an FLN member spotlight form. Selected candidates may be featured on FLN’s social media, SEMA News and FLN member updates.