PRO - Education, Elections, Promotions

SEMA Member News - March/April 2010

Technical Skills & Training Conference


The PRO council has seen an upsurge in member participation this year, due in no small part to the proactive approach of the PRO Select Committee. Shown here is just a part of the large crowd of PRO members who took part in an early-morning meeting at the 2009 SEMA Show—an indication of the rising level of participation in the PRO council.  

The biggest news from the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) is the inaugural Technical Skills & Training Conference (TSTC). The TSTC is a one-day manufacturer training and education conference designed specifically for the restyling industry. TSTC will take place on Friday, April 30, 2010, at the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) in Lima, Ohio.

“This is our council’s biggest undertaking,” said PRO Chairman Karl Stearns. “Partnering with the University of Northwestern Ohio is key to the success of this event. The university has the classroom and shop facilities needed to present the material, and it has been a true partner in the planning and execution of TSTC from start to finish.”

TSTC is geared to attracting attendees largely within a four-hour driving distance from the university. It will feature 12 manufacturer training sessions, with two sessions running simultaneously in each of six one-hour slots. Concurrent with the classroom sessions, several live installation demonstrations will be presented in the university’s shop facilities. With the presentations running concurrently, attendees will be able to move from feature to feature at will.

“The task force designed this as a truly regional event,” said Stearns. “This keeps the cost down for both manufacturers and attendees, and it keeps the event on a small enough scale that the PRO council can manage it with minimal resources from SEMA. The university is excited to host the event, as it brings restyling manufacturers to the campus for face time with their automotive students. Our long-range goal is that this first event can serve as a template for future events in different parts of the country.”

The University of Northwestern Ohio was chosen from four prospective facilities. A list of weighted criteria was developed by the PRO TSTC task force, and each facility was then interviewed by PRO. The criteria included geographic location in relation to restyling businesses, ease of travel and appropriate facilities for the intended activities. “The objective was an efficient way to make the selection,” Stearns said.

“I applaud the task force for their efforts in this entire process.”

For details on the TSTC program or to register as an attendee, visit the PRO website.
Seven Seats Open on Select Committee

PRO is currently soliciting and accepting nominations for seven open seats on the Select Committee. Nomination forms are available on the PRO website.

“The PRO council is really moving right now,” said Stearns. “We left our Long-Range Planning meeting last June with some goals and tasks, and I cannot say enough about how everyone has dedicated their time and effort to see those goals realized. The PRO council is really performing in textbook fashion right now. Their efforts must be getting noticed, too, because we also have non-Select-Committee members getting involved in projects for the first time in a long while. There couldn’t be a better time for PRO members with the time and interest to run for a Select Committee seat.”

Why PRO?

The “Why PRO?” folding business card is a simple but effective means for PRO members to use in spreading the word about the benefits of a PRO membership. “Why PRO?” cards may be ordered from the PRO website.  

The PRO membership task force has taken a proactive role in reaching out to the restyling industry. A simple but effective tool to spread the word about the benefits of PRO membership is the “Why PRO?” business card.

“We’re all familiar with brochures, flyers and postcards as means to communicate council benefits,” said PRO Chair-Elect Eldon Bracken. “But we also recognize that many of those pieces get lost in the stacks of collateral that we bring home from shows and events throughout the year. Business cards likewise get stacked up on a desk or in a drawer, and they lack an appreciable size in which to get a message across. Our membership task force hit upon the idea of a folding business card. When folded, it fits in a standard business-card holder. Open it up, and there are five key bullet points that address benefits associated with a PRO membership.”

The idea, Bracken said, is that PRO members are frequently in situations during the course of business where someone will ask, “Why should I join PRO?” In many cases, there isn’t time to provide a comprehensive response. But whip out a “Why PRO?” business card, and the answers are there.

“The construction of the card is such that it sits on your desk as a constant reminder to check out the PRO website for further information,” Bracken said. “We introduced them at the SEMA Show, and they have proven quite effective already. I urge all PRO members to order a supply from our SEMA staff liaison, Zane Clark. Keep some as eye-catching pop-ups around the office or store, and carry them with you everywhere you go.”

“Why PRO?” business cards are available free of charge fromSEMA headquarters and may be ordered from the PRO website.