SEMA Member News—November/December 2015

Get Involved: Join, Engage, Lead

TORA Reception
Select committee member Rick Hermann interviews 2014 Pinewood Drags winner Matt Blais.

For more than 25 years, volunteers in the light-truck accessory industry have given their time and expertise to the organization that would become SEMA’s Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA). Over the years, members have created a variety of valuable benefits and tools for their peers in the industry to use to strengthen their businesses, hone their skills and grow their knowledge base. Current programs, such as the TORA Media Preview, relationships with the SEMA vehicle technology department and retailer relations initiatives would not exist if passionate industry professionals didn’t step up, volunteer and get things done.

Volunteering for a SEMA council like TORA does not mean you have to take on the equivalent of a second job. Opportunities to give back range from a few hours at SEMA Show events or attending open membership meetings to short-term task force input or longer and more strategic roles as an elected select committee volunteer. The TORA council leadership invites you to get more involved, give back and contribute to the future of your industry. For more information on the council and to fill out a volunteer profile that will help you find a way to give back, visit

Network and Give Back at TORA’s Industry Awards Reception

TORA History
Dozens of volunteers first met more than 25 years ago to form the Truck Cap Industry Alliance, the precursor of TORA, which was created to improve the industry.

The TORA industry awards reception will be held on Wednesday, November 4, in room N262–-N264 of the Las Vegas Convention Center from 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Over the years, members have grown accustomed to the evening’s networking opportunities, where current members gather with individuals who want to try the council on for size.

Another tradition for TORA members at the reception is the Pinewood Drag Races, where attendees rent and race pinewood trucks to raise money for the charities supported by SEMA Cares. The racers are built and decorated by children from the very facilities the event supports and will be available to race for a $20 donation. Supporting SEMA Cares is an initiative that has remained important to TORA for a long time. Last year, council membership donated more than $7,000 as part of TORA Show-related activities alone.

Visit TORA Booth #34169 in South Hall

Buyers: Interested in meeting the leading exhibitors in the truck and off-road industry? Exhibitors: Want to build leads for the week in a casual environment on the SEMA Show floor? You are invited to the TORA industry happy hour at booth #34169 in Upper South Hall on Tuesday, November 3, from 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Wrap up the first day of the SEMA Show by mingling with motivated buyers and exhibitors and learn more about the council from the select committee. On your way into the Show throughout the week, take a look at the five feature vehicles representing TORA’s niche on display between the South Hall and the Performance Pavilion.

Relevant Education for the Light-Truck Industry

How SEMA Can Help You Create Great Data to Sell More Parts

When: November 2, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m.
Where: LVCC, Upper North Hall, Room N261
Presented by: Stephanie Jones, senior manager for e-business and data content, SEMA Data Co-op (SDC)
What: A seminar for data managers and company executives. Learn more about getting the most out of your data sets from SDC team members. They will discuss how to improve the quality of your data with the goal of your customers selling more of your parts.

How Great Data Improves Your Business: Introduction to PIES and ACES

When: November 2, 10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Where: LVCC, Upper North Hall, Room N261
Presented by: Craig Schmutzler, SDC director of member support
What: Just getting started with product data? Our introductory course will explain the industry data standards in easy-to-understand terms, giving you the confidence to begin managing your product data like a pro.

The Art of Selling Car-Dealer Direct: What You Need to Know

When: Thursday, November 5, 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Where: LVCC, Upper North Hall, Room N256
What: Listen and learn as a panel of experts shares tips and tactics on how to achieve positive results in a dealership setting. TORA/PRO-members who attend will receive a free electronic copy of the “PRO Sales-Training Manual: A Restyler’s Guide to Selling Dealer Direct,” a $149 value.

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