SEMA News -- April 2009

Will Woods

SEMA Vice President of Councils

Editor's Note: This is the latest in a series of articles highlighting members of SEMA’s executive management team.

SEMA News, April 2009, Inside SEMA, Will WoodsSEMA News: Can you briefly explain your role and the role of your department at SEMA?

Will Woods: I am the team leader for the councils department, which is comprised of four council directors/coordinators and an administrative assistant. Our team facilitates the accomplishment of organizational goals outlined by the council leaders who serve each of their niche market constituents.

SN: Can you briefly touch on some of the benefits and opportunities associated with council membership? Why should someone get involved?

WW: Automotive aftermarket professionals benefit from networking and educational opportunities that are unmatched in the industry. The vast majority of business leaders and trendsetters who frequent our trade shows, educational sessions and meetings are provided invaluable opportunities to gain insight into best practices, new business opportunities and management techniques that can be readily applied in their own firms.

SN: What do you see as the biggest challenges that currently face SEMA-member companies, and what specifically do the councils offer to address those challenges?

WW: I don’t have to tell you that the current economic climate presents enormous challenges for our members. This is a time when an association must “step up” and provide as much support as possible to assist members. Our council members provide valuable input on critical issues in the marketplace, and we are responding with targeted educational and networking opportunities to help member firms survive during this adverse business climate.

SN: Are there any initiatives or programs that you are especially excited about and would like to share with the membership?

WW: The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) is supporting Motorsports Awareness and its Take a Friend to a Race program, encouraging industry members and consumers to support local and regional racetracks. The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) provides a similar effort with its successful Take a Kid to a Car Show program, encouraging “next-generation” enthusiasm in cars and industry events. The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) just completed its annual Education & Training Day at the Hotrod & Restoration Show in Indianapolis, where manufacturers were afforded the opportunity to demonstrate their products and benefits directly to customers and distributors. And, of course, the Street Performance Council (SPC) will hold its popular 3rd annual Internet Symposium in July, providing cutting-edge technology-related educational opportunities for our member firms.

SEMA councils are making every effort to provide timely, cost-effective programs and services to their members. The years 2009 and 2010 may indeed be difficult, but with our help, the automotive aftermarket will survive and emerge from this recession a leaner, meaner racing machine.

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