SEMA Member News—July/August 2013
Face to Face With PRO Chair-Elect Scott Wolin
By Ellen McKoy
Devoting one’s time, talent and energies on behalf of worthwhile activities is at the core of the success of SEMA’s councils, and the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) is no exception. Over the years, PRO has amassed an impressive array of accomplishments, thanks to the dedicated efforts, vision and enthusiasm of its members—volunteers who serve on the Select Committee and as members at large.
For Scott Wolin, director of sales and marketing at AVG-OEAM, a personal passion for the council, its mission and the restyling industry has long served as a motivating force behind his many years of involvement with PRO. A longtime select committee member and a former PRO chairman, Wolin is now poised to assume the role of chair-elect on July 1. He recently shared his thoughts on a range of topics with SEMA Member News.
SEMA Member News: How and when did you first get involved in PRO, and what was your motivation?
SMN: What are the key factors that make the PRO council valuable to the restyling industry?
SW: I strongly believe that the role of PRO is to support all of its members and to work closely to improve the professionalism of our segment of the industry through education, training and sales and marketing materials to promote our products to the new- and used-car dealers and the many retail customers wanting to improve their driving experiences.
SMN: PRO has always been manufacturer supported, primarily for the benefit of restylers. Why would it be important for other manufacturers that are not members to support PRO?
SW: There are many important reasons to join PRO for manufacturers of restyling products. The key ones are to first support our segment of the market and to learn from other PRO manufacturers about best practices such as the PRO code of ethics, the PRO warranty (information) card and training manuals. Also the networking opportunities to grow their businesses are fantastic.
SMN: PRO has always been proactive in identifying key issues. What value do you see in the various projects and initiatives that PRO has tackled over the years?
SW: Many accomplishments were initiated from the PRO council, particularly from our annual long-range planning meetings. They include our efforts during the National Automobile Dealers Association conventions to promote PRO-member companies, restylers and quality products to new- and used-car dealers and education materials such as the PRO Sales Training Manual, PRO Business Development Guidebook, the SEMA and NADA seminars as well as the SEMA (installer) certification and ProPledge (warranty assurance) programs.
The PRO NovemberFest reception at the SEMA Show is a fantastic event where we gather to network and recognize the accomplishments and lifetime achievements of leaders in our industry. Our OEM Relations, Future Trends, and Training and Best Practices committees and task forces play key roles in addressing current and future issues that face our industry. These could not have been accomplished without the dedicated efforts of our PRO select committee, members at large and the support of the SEMA Board of Directors and SEMA staff.
SMN: What can you tell us about the Training and Best Practices task force, which you chair—its goals, objectives and value to the industry?
SW: A particular focus of the task force is to develop a certificate program that demonstrates an understanding of the material presented in a particular discipline within our industry. The goal is to give members opportunities and additional training to gain general knowledge. It’s something the task force has been working on for months, concentrating initially on the leather seating component. While the program is in the early stages, PRO is working with the leather manufacturers to make it a reality. It’s something we are really excited about.
SMN: Restylers play an important role in the industry. Why should restylers be involved in and support PRO?
SW: As with any segment of our industry, we need to support and help grow our PRO-member companies. All restylers should be members and learn about the many benefits of PRO and know that we are here to help grow their business and improve the professionalism within our industry.