By Ashley Reyes
The SEMA Truck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA) named Jared Chavez, director of brand development at PROJECT X Offroad, as the council’s newest spotlight volunteer.
Get to know Chavez in his interview with SEMA below:
SEMA: What inspired you to pursue a career in the truck and off-road industry?
Jared Chavez: Growing up, my family always had Ford trucks and enjoyed the outdoor lifestyle. I spent a lot of time traveling in our Ford Bronco and our F-Series trucks, all of which were customized.
When I started working in the automotive aftermarket 16 years ago, I started in the street performance side but was introduced to the off-road segment slowly but surely. Living in California, it has gotten harder and harder with emissions regulations and the stigma of car meets to enjoy the hobby or work on vehicles, but the off-road side opened up new possibilities to enjoy vehicles as intended and mix that with my love for the outdoors.
After attending some off-road events nationally, I was hooked. Both the industry and community felt a lot closer to me; it felt like it just aligned with my passions and life and combined it with my career. After that, the path felt pretty clear to me, that it was the side of the industry that I wanted to be more involved with.
Eventually, I was given the opportunity to create PROJECT X, an innovative platform for off-road lighting and accessories that would bring some much-needed fresh ideas to the industry.
SEMA: Why did you decide to volunteer for TORA?
JC: I have volunteered on and off with SEMA for many years and formed so many great friendships and business relationships in the process. Participating with TORA has only continued to grow those opportunities by meeting people specifically in the off-road industry, both on the manufacturer and retailer side. It’s so much easier to grow your personal career and your business when you are able to reach out and work directly with people who you have made relationships with through TORA.
SEMA: What advice do you have for someone pursuing a career in the automotive aftermarket?
JC: Network often! Be involved in the industry and events, avoid operating in a bubble. When you meet people, take the approach of “what can I do for them?” and avoid “what can they do for me?” Making relationships where people view you as an asset is incredibly important.
SEMA: What is your dream truck or off-road vehicle? Where would we find you in it on any weekend?
JC: Having grown up in a Ford family and traveling so much in an OBS Ford Bronco, building a luxury pre-runner Bronco has been a dream of mine. I currently daily drive a ’94 Bronco that is in a full-build mode that I would aspire to be my dream vehicle in the future.
Fill out a TORA-member spotlight form to highlight how you or your company are contributing to the truck and off-road specialty-equipment industry. Selected candidates are eligible to be featured on TORA’s social media, SEMA News and future TORA member updates.