PRO Celebrates Industry Achievements

SEMA Member News—January 2019

PRO Celebrates Industry Achievements

 PRO MembersPRO Chair Ellen McKoy discussed opportunities and benefits PRO serves to its members.

With various networking and learning experiences on tap, plus a chance to get up to speed on current council initiatives, Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) members had opportunities galore to connect throughout the 2018 SEMA Show, held October 29–November 2. To kick off the week, PRO hosted its annual awards reception at the Westgate Resort & Casino pool deck on Tuesday evening.

Set against a backdrop of live musical entertainment, ample food and libations, PRO marked its 30th anniversary—complete with a super-sized cake—and saluted key industry players. Following welcome remarks from SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting, PRO Chair Ellen McKoy and Chair-Elect Dino Perfetti presented awards in four categories.

The Restyler of the Year award went to Auto Action Group for its creativity, professionalism, industriousness and accomplishments, which have enhanced the industry’s stature within its community. Eagle Enterprises was awarded Manufacturer of the Year in recognition of its contributions to the growth of the industry and significant impact on a national level.

Kevin McGowan, of Auto Trim Restyling, was named Nat Danas Person of the Year. Presented in honor of the late founder of Auto Trim & Restyling News magazine, the award recognized McGowan for his contributions toward enhancing the stature of the restyling industry on both local and national levels. The Jim Borré Lifetime Achievement award, named after the late PRO chair, was bestowed on Eldon Bracken of Graphic Mart. The award honored Bracken, a Canadian, for his lifelong contributions to the growth and progress of the industry on both national and international levels.

In summing up the festivities, Reception Taskforce Chair Chris Sepanski said, “The evening was a huge success. The pool deck is an ideal setting for members to relax and mingle. We always draw a great crowd—more than 250 guests. Our thanks to taskforce members and SEMA staff, who helped make this another outstanding event.”

Activities On and Off the Show Floor

PRO Show FloorRay Ott from Auto Trim of Cleveland applying decals to the ’18 Ford Ranger during PRO Happy Hour. 

PRO has had a presence on the exhibit floor at the SEMA Show for decades. This year’s booth was situated in a new location in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Besides being a council information center, it was also a popular gathering spot for members to crowd around and network during the PRO Happy Hour.

The centerpiece of the exhibit was a ’18 right-hand-drive Ford Ranger provided to PRO through SEMA’s international relations department. The truck was upfitted by Roadwire with products furnished by more than 20 member companies. A series of
in-booth installation demos added the finishing touches.

PRO held a general membership meeting on Thursday morning prior to the Show opening for the day. Attended by more than 30 members, the meeting included an update on council initiatives—the newly revised accessorization flyer and the soft launch of the all-new SEMA Accessory Sales Professional Certificate exam based on the PRO Sales Training
Manual—plus a discussion that covered a range of hot topics.

PRO also presented three seminars, each attracting about 100 attendees or more. “Take Your Company’s Sales to the Next Level,” a panel presentation on Wednesday, focused on sharpening sales skills and best practices. On Thursday morning, a panel of experts addressed the topic of “Attracting and Retaining Your Next Best Employees.” Also on Thursday, industry pros discussed “The Next Two Years: Navigating the Technology Landscape,” which focused on insights into new technologies and practical resources.

“All in all, the Show provided PRO with a platform to bring members together to network and celebrate our industry, attend council-sponsored seminars and membership meetings, and focus on PRO as a resource to help meet the needs of our members and the restyling industry,” said Chair-Elect Perfetti.