SEMA Member News—March 2020

WTC has focused its sights on delivering high-value educational programming by introducing a new educational platform, The STAGE at last year’s SEMA Show.

By SEMA Editors

WTC Hails the Success of Its New Educational Platform

In the 22 years since SEMA’s Wheel Industry Council burst on the scene, the group—now known as the Wheel & Tire Council (WTC)—has stayed true to its core mission: namely to identify industry challenges, deliver educational solutions, and provide networking opportunities.

From the council’s “Wheel Care Guide” and “Ride Guide” publications to its Wheel Measurement Kit, Wheel Measurement Database as well as the WTC Coffee & Conversation meet-up at the SEMA Show and the group’s annual awards reception, the council has built a reservoir of tools and resources.

More recently, WTC has focused its sights on delivering high-value educational programming. To address the topic of tariffs, for instance, the council sponsored two seminars—“Tariffs, Technology and Trends” and “Legal and Regulatory”—which were held during the 2018 SEMA Show.

But given that the Lower South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center during the SEMA Show is home to the Global Tire Expo (GTE), which serves as a magnet for Showgoers engaged in this market niche, WTC has long been anxious to create a more engaging and easy-access format. Thanks to a collaborative effort between SEMA education and WTC, a new educational platform was introduced in the South Hall at last year’s Show.

One on One With Industry Influencers

The new initiative, known as The Stage, was centered in the heart of the GTE. Emceed by noted entrepreneur and speaker Myles Kovacs (publisher and cofounder of DUB magazine), The Stage featured daily interviews and conversations with some of the industry’s leading influencers.

“We were extremely excited to a launch a new educational platform,” said WTC Chair Tyson Boyer. “We’ve always wanted an educational presence in the GTE, and to have it centered in the South Hall was outstanding. The dedicated area provided educational interviews with experts and leaders throughout the week. Each one was hosted by Kovacs—a natural speaker with an extraordinary pulse on the hottest trends in our market segment.

“The Stage provided Showgoers with upfront and personal access to influencers and leaders in the wheel and tire industry,” Kovacs said. “The candid conversations and storytelling really showcased important trends, business best practices and industry insights that you couldn’t get anywhere else.”

The impressive roster of luminaries included Sean P. Holman of Motor Trend Group’s “The Truck Show Podcast”; Brittany and Kevin Williams of Lite Brite Studios; Wade Kawasaki, president and CEO of Legendary Companies; Bud Brutsman, CEO of BCII; Gary Ruede, product and quality management technologist for Discount Tire; and SEMA Director of Market Research Gavin Knapp.

Other headliners were Chip Foose of Foose Design; Ken Johnson, founder of MuscleKingz; Dill Air Controls’ Tyson Boyer; Todd Steen of Jackson Marketing Group; Marla Moore, marketing director for Legendary Companies; Stewart Peregrine, western regional sales manager for Hennessy Industries; Matt Peak, director of mobility for Energy Network Systems; Michael Welch, president and CEO of Tirescanner; Bob Day, sales director for Fury OffRoad Tires; and Ken Rohlwing, senior vice president of training for the Tire Industry Association.

“Our goal was to provide an engaging platform to address some of the hot topics and issues,” Boyer said. “Best of all, The Stage was inspired by our members. Their feedback and requests for an educational presence in the GTE enabled WTC to partner with SEMA education and deliver a new experience and knowledge-sharing platform.

“On behalf of WTC, a huge shout out to all of the interviewees who graced The Stage with their presence, and a heavy high-five to Myles Kovacs for his commitment to making this a super success. Our hats off as well to SEMA staff for the endless hours behind the scenes that made this event possible.”

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