PRO Looks to the Future

SEMA Member News—September/October 2011

PRO Looks to the Future

Council Elections and Long-Range Planning

Jeff Fink of Advantage Truck Accessories was selected as the incoming chair-elect of the Professional Restylers Organization. Fink will serve in that position for two years and will then assume the council’s chairmanship.
Every two years, in accordance with guidelines established by the SEMA Board of Directors, council Select Committee members are charged with choosing a current committee member to serve as chair-elect. This year, Jeff Fink of Advantage Truck Accessories was declared the winner when the votes were tabulated for the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) position.

Fink was first elected to the Select Committee in 2007. Eldon Bracken, the previous chair-elect, took over as council chairman on July 1, replacing Karl Stearns, who will now serve in an advisory capacity as PRO chairman emeritus.

“I am honored to have been chosen by my peers to serve as chair-elect,” Fink said. “We have many opportunities and challenges ahead of us, and I look forward to working with my PRO colleagues to further our council’s agenda.”

In other election news, eight PRO members, chosen from a field of 12 candidates, recently began their two-year terms on the council’s Select Committee. Incumbents include Diana Braschler, Dealer Source; Jason Braun, Meyer Distributing; Joey Johnston, Tops & Trends; Mike Stanifer, Innovative Creations; and Scott Wolin, Pecca Leather. Committee newcomers are Mike Bacon, Webasto Product N.A.; Doug Jacobs, Restyler’s Choice; and Ray Ott, Auto Trim Design of Cleveland. Both Ott and Jacobs previously served on the PRO Select Committee.

“The overall response to the election was quite positive, and we’re pleased by the results,” said Chairman Eldon Bracken. “The candidate slate was very strong, and the general membership showed genuine interest in the election process. The new Select Committee members bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the table, and we’re fortunate to have them on board. We congratulate the winners and look forward to their active participation.”

Bracken also paid tribute to outgoing committee members Bill North of Classic Design Concepts and David Stringer of Insignia Group.

“Bill and David were very dedicated and did an outstanding job,” Bracken said. “Karl displayed exceptional leadership as chairman, and we are grateful for his efforts on behalf of PRO and the industry. We thank them all for their service. Their contributions were of immeasurable value.”

Council Corner

Ever wonder what happens when two dozen council members get together for a day of intensive brainstorming? Ask some of the participants who attended this year’s PRO Long-Range Planning meeting, held in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, and they’ll tell you that the meetings are spirited and productive.

“There’s nothing like the annual planning meeting to get the juices flowing,” said Scott Wolin of Pecca Leather. “The format is very conducive to constructive dialog, networking and the exchange of ideas.”

Added Karl Stearns: “I’ve attended many planning meetings, and I’m always impressed by everyone’s enthusiasm. Many of our council’s best ideas bubble up during these meetings.”

Cases in point: The PRO Sales-Training Manual, PRO Business Development Guidebook and the Technical Skills & Training Conference (TSTC) are a few of the projects that evolved from prior planning sessions.

This year’s meeting, which included group discussions and breakout sessions, was held on March 29 at WyoTech Blairsville, Blairsville, Pennsylvania, in conjunction with the second annual TSTC. Each breakout group was assigned a specific topic. Members were then charged with analyzing the topic and presenting an action plan. Topics included TSTC 2012, vehicle technology and technology integration as well as membership recruitment and retention.

For PRO members anxious to play a more active role, the annual meeting is a unique forum, empowering participants to get involved in council planning. Through the exchange of ideas—particularly on how to best deliver installer training and address other challenging issues—the group came up with some solid recommendations, which the council will tackle in the months ahead. Stay tuned for more information. To find out how you can get involved, contact SEMA Council Director Zane Clark at