WTC Takes Center Stage at the SEMA Show
|WTC leadership all gathered during their reception held at the Renaissance Hotel pool deck.|
Twenty-one years ago, a collection of SEMA-member companies representing various facets of the custom wheel industry banded together to form the Wheel Industry Council (WIC). At the time, WIC was described as a forum in which wheel and tire professionals could network, identify and work on resolving areas of mutual concern, and form mutually beneficial alliances.
A few years later, to build on the obvious link between wheels and tires and the synergistic relationship between the two segments, the name was changed to the Wheel & Tire Council (WTC). In the years since, WTC has provided various networking and segment-specific educational opportunities during the SEMA Show. Last year, the council ramped up its profile big-time, literally taking center stage in partnership with SEMA Show Education at the Education Stage, hosted by Myles Kovacs, president and co-founder of DUB magazine.
The first-time event was located in Lower South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. It featured daily interviews live from the Show floor with top industry professionals and personalities. Topics ranged from wheel and tire trends and best business practices to marketing and sales.
Headliners included Mike Lusso of Hennessey Industries; Gary Ruede of Discount Tire; and Wade Kawasaki and Marla Moore of Legendary Companies. Other special guests included Brittany and Kevin Williams of Lite Brite Studios; Bud Brutsman of DCII; Ken Johnson of MuscleKingz; and Jamie Jiang, of Fury OffRoad Tires. SEMA Hall of Famer and renowned builder Chip Foose joined Kovacs on Thursday to close out the Stage in a special interview and autograph-signing session.
Celebration and Conversation
|One of the best-attended WTC Receptions, the night was packed with conversation and celebration under the stars as the WTC gave an awards presentation.|
Hundreds of WTC members also took time out on Tuesday evening to celebrate the industry. The relaxed atmosphere at the annual awards reception, held poolside at the Renaissance Hotel, was the perfect setting for members to network, catch up with friends over food and beverages, talk shop with colleagues, and reminisce about special Show attractions.
It was also the setting for the induction of the newest member to the WTC Hall of Fame: Tim Dietz, quality manager, technical sales for Standards Testing Laboratories. In presenting the award, WTC Chair-Elect Todd Steen said: “Tim is very deserving of this award, because he is a trusted supporter of the industry and has been an incredibly strong advocate for SEMA. He’s also served multiple terms as a WTC select committee member, where his passion for both the business and this council has continually challenged us to be better.”
To wrap up the activity-filled week, WTC once again hosted Coffee & Conversation in Lower South Hall on Thursday morning. With bagels and cups of java to help jumpstart the day, members and exhibitors engaged in conversation, learned about WTC initiatives and resources, and caught up on the latest wheel and tire trends. It was a fitting way to bring down the curtain on another successful run of council-sponsored activities.