By Ashley Reyes
Dallas Johannes is the SEMA Future Leaders Network's (FLN) newest spotlight member. Johannes is the associate product manager at Restoration Parts Unlimited Inc. (RPUI), an automotive parts retailer of classic car parts for the automotive aftermarket.
Get to know Johannes in his interview with SEMA below.
SEMA: What is the best advice you have ever received?
Dallas Johannes: Always keep the end-user in mind. Whenever I am working on anything that a customer will see on the website, I consider what their impression of a product page will be or how they will interpret a description. Product data also reaches an end user, so I focus on quality and completeness when preparing product information.
SEMA: What keeps you in the industry?
DJ: I have been interested in cars from a very young age and I have always wanted to work in the automotive industry. I have worked odd jobs on the fringes of the automotive industry to get where I am now. Working in something automotive-related has always been the goal. I stay in this industry because cars have been one of the only things that I have been passionate about. I am here to show my younger self how far I can go.
SEMA: Where can you be found on a Saturday?
DJ: On Saturdays I can be found at a car meet, at Cars & Coffee, watching Formula One qualifying, or working on one of my project cars (an ’89 Chrysler TC by Maserati and an ’88 Volvo 740).
SEMA: How do you prepare for an important meeting?
DJ: I like to do some research on the topic, company and products beforehand if the meeting is about new product additions. If the meeting is about something on the creative side, I like to go in with an open mind. I try to go into a meeting with a list of things I want to touch on or concerns I have.
SEMA: If you could go to lunch with one industry leader, living or dead, who it would be?
DJ: I would have loved the opportunity to have lunch with Lee Iacocca. My family and I have had multiple Iacocca-era Chrysler vehicles. My parents had a first-generation Dodge Caravan and a first-generation Plymouth Voyager when I was growing up. I went on to buy my ’89 Chrysler TC by Maserati and my dad owns an ’82 Dodge Rampage. I want to talk to him about how he worked through Chrysler's bailout in 1979, led Chrysler’s AMC acquisition, the project surrounding the TC by Maserati and the introduction and evolution of the Chrysler K-Car line.
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