SEMA Member News - November/December 2009

Are You Ready for NovemberFest?


The PRO Industry Reception, dubbed NovemberFest, will take place on Tuesday, November 3, 2009, from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. in the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel, Ballroom D.

The Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) is pleased to announce NovemberFest, the PRO industry awards reception and celebration at the SEMA Show. The event takes place on Tuesday, November 3, from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Hilton, ballroom D. “PRO has traditionally held its industry reception at the Spring Expo,” said PRO Chairman Karl Stearns. “With the absence of a spring event, it was natural to move our annual awards presentation to the SEMA Show.”

“We wanted to do more than just add another reception to the SEMA Show activity schedule,” added Jeff Fink, PRO Select Committee member and reception task force chairman. “The event name was suggested at our Long-Range Planning Meeting in June, and everyone jumped on it. Select Committee member companies stepped forward and helped sponsor the event, obtained a DJ and even found a sponsor for a commemorative T-shirt that will be handed to each reception attendee. The reception should be a great beginning to another memorable SEMA Show week.”

A German-themed food menu, a DJ and presentation of the PRO industry awards will also be features of the inaugural PRO NovemberFest industry reception. Four awards will be presented: Manufacturer of the Year, Restyler of the Year, the Nat Danas Person of the Year and the Jim Borre Lifetime Achievement Awards.

PRO Booth

SEMA Show 2009 attendees are encouraged to stop by the PRO booth located in the North Hall at space 11259. The PRO booth is conveniently located directly across from the Dealer Day Lounge area and may be used as a convenient meeting place for PRO members. SEMA staff and PRO Select Committee members will be on hand throughout the course of the Show to answer questions and enroll new members. Any new PRO member signed up at the PRO booth will receive a complimentary PRO Sales Training Manual: a PRO Business Development Guidebook and the PRO DVD “Vehicle Accessorization: The Fast Track to Greater Profits.”

“The PRO booth is a great place to meet and greet fellow council members as well as prospective members and to get acquainted with your colleagues who serve on the Select Committee,” said PRO Chairman Karl Stearns.


Located in the North Hall at booth #11259, directly across from the Dealer Day Lounge, the PRO booth will once again provide a convenient meeting and resting place for the council’s members.  

General Membership Meeting

Another PRO council activity on tap for SEMA Show 2009 is a general membership meeting. The meeting will take place on Thursday, November 5, from 7:30 a.m.–9:30 a.m. in meeting rooms N219–N222 of the North Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. This meeting is a great opportunity to catch up on the latest PRO council plans and to lend your input to future projects. The PRO council is dedicated to helping all PRO members gear up for the future, and they need your voice. Please plan to attend! 



PRO Delivers Groundbreaking LRP With OEM Panel Discussion

PRO council members in attendance at the June Long-Range Planning (LRP) Meeting acknowledged the get-together as ground-breaking in establishing relationships between the automakers and the restyling industry. Each of the Detroit Big Three have a slightly different approach to company interactions with the aftermarket. The opportunity to hear firsthand from the people who manage the programs was invaluable.

“Having seven executives from GM, Ford and Chrysler participate in the PRO LRP this year demonstrates how we all can gain by an open dialogue,” said Bill North, business development manager of the car and light truck division for Webasto Product North America and a member of the PRO Select Committee. “The insight gained by industry members who attended this event was priceless, as we all obtained a new understanding of the current dynamic within the accessory divisions of each car company. I look forward to an ongoing relationship with these car companies, and they have all pledged to participate with us again.”

The OEM representatives talked openly about how they see themselves fitting into the aftermarket.

PRO held its annual Long-Range Planning Meeting on June 18–19, 2009, in Detroit. A highlight of the meeting was a panel discussion with seven invited representatives from Ford, GM and Chrysler. All of the panelists represented the OEM parts and accessory divisions, and the discussion centered on the OEMs’ relationship with the aftermarket. On the panel were Warren Nally, Jim Abraham and Kevin Powell from Ford Motor Co., Jeff Edwards and Sandor Piszar from GM and Tom Dailey and Doug Johnson from Mopar.
“This was the first time I attended a SEMA PRO event,” said Jim Abraham with Ford vehicle personalization. “I was thoroughly impressed with the organization, knowledge and candor of members I was able to interact with. Forums such as this enable a dialogue that is mutually beneficial to both the auto manufacturers and the auto aftermarket companies.”
PRO members were quick to discuss the SEMA ProPledge warranty program with the OEM representatives as an indicator of how dedicated the restyling industry is in pursuit of quality.

“As a veteran restyler, I would say the recent PRO Long-Range Planning Meeting stood out as one of the most productive in recent memory,” said Joey Johnston of Tops & Trends Inc. and a PRO Select Committee member. “The ability for PRO members to interact directly with a panel of senior OEM managers from Chrysler, Ford and GM was ground-breaking. PRO members and the OEM panel openly discussed opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for each. OEM panel members welcomed the new SEMA ProPledge initiative as a step in the right direction, thereby helping ensure customers have access to quality aftermarket products and installations.”

“As a representative of the OEM vehicle personalization and accessories world, I see the ProPledge program as a value add and an impressive selling feature because it helps to reinforce the quality and peace-of-mind philosophy that the automotive aftermarket is capable of delivering,” Ford’s Abraham said. 


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