SEMA Member News—September/October 2015

Members Plan for PRO’s Future at Annual Long-Range Planning Meeting

Pro Meeting
PRO members and leadership heard from SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak about the future of automotive accessories.

Each year, members and volunteer leaders of the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) gather to discuss council priorities and strategic goals at an annual long-range planning meeting. This year, more than two dozen members participated in the meeting, which was held on June 18 and 19 near Detroit, Michigan.

Members spent a day reviewing council activities, learning about the future of automotive accessories technology with SEMA Vice President of Vehicle Technology John Waraniak, and working in break-out groups to set goals for future PRO initiatives. The groups identified several topics of key importance to the council, including industry-specific sales training, keeping on the cutting edge of new-vehicle technology, next-generation employment challenges and increasing the value of membership, which includes making member communications more accurate, effective and efficient.

As with any SEMA event, it wasn’t all work and no play. Members gathered for a fun and friendly dinner at the MGM Grand in downtown Detroit on Thursday evening and spent Friday morning as guests of the GM Heritage Center, exploring the amazing display. As one of the leading historical automotive collections in the world, the Heritage Center preserves and displays some of the most successful and inspirational General Motors automobiles from the beginning of the 20th Century to today.

 PRO GM Tour
Attendees from PRO’s long-range planning meeting were also treated to a tour of the GM Heritage Center.

The PRO select committee will be creating task forces to examine and evaluate appropriate next steps for each project discussed in Detroit this year. If you would like to contribute to those or other council projects and activities, you are invited to reach out to the select committee leadership or SEMA staff to find out how to get more involved.

Restylers, Meet Your New Representatives

At the beginning of July, PRO welcomed aboard four new select committee members. Carol Walsh has been president of Southside Trim and Glass, a family company, for 34 years. Roger Tibbetts is vice president of sales for the United States and Canada for Husky Liners and previously served on the PRO select committee. Jeffrey Amegod is president of Pacific Dealership Services. Dino Perfetti is sales manager for Automotive Concepts.

SEMA Member News caught up with Walsh, Tibbetts and Amegod to learn more about what motivates them to serve the council.

SEMA Member News: Why do you feel that it is important to serve on the select committee?

Roger Tibbetts: Helping our industry—and specifically the restyling industry—reach new levels of consumer awareness is a key factor. Although we all want to believe that consumers are fully aware of what is possible for their vehicle, it’s the dreamers and motivators of our industry who keep things alive. It’s up to groups like PRO to help keep consumers and dealers informed.

SMN: What is most exciting to you about the council?

Jeffrey Amegod: Being able to contribute to a much-needed avenue of growth and future success.

SMN: What are your goals, and how might your experience benefit the council?

Carol Walsh: To make sure that aftermarket companies are certified and knowledgeable about the products that are being installed in vehicles. Making sure that companies understand the liability factors of our work.

While not available for an interview, Perfetti indicated that he looks forward to the challenge of helping businesses navigate the fast-paced changes of today’s vehicle connectivity through his service to PRO. He has served his entire 29-year career in the automotive aftermarket industry and is currently leading a team of sales professionals in restyling vehicles for midwestern dealers at Automotive Concepts. Perfetti believes that staying abreast of industry changes and the continuing increase of consumer awareness is most important in today’s market, and he looks forward to assisting the council in this area.

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