TORA - Getting Involved

SEMA Member News - March/April 2010

Select Committee Nominations Being Accepted


The TORA Select Committee volunteers its time on behalf of the industry. However, any TORA member can get involved by volunteering for a task force or simply by contributing news content.  

Spring is in the air, and that means the annual Light-Truck Accessory Alliance (TORA) Select Committee elections are underway. TORA members will be receiving a call for nominations this month. There are six seats open in this year’s election. TORA has traditionally kept a balance between seats held by manufacturer members and retailer members, a practice that dates back to the inception of the original Truck Cap & Accessory Alliance. Recognizing changes in the aftermarket and the light-truck segment in particular, the TORA Select Committee voted to change that requirement for 2010. This year, the final slate of candidates will be chosen by qualification and commitment, regardless of which member category the respective nominees may fall under.

“We’ve looked at this requirement for a few years now,” said TORA Chairman Kelly Kneifl of TruXedo. “The time and commitment necessary to actively fill a role on a council Select Committee is huge—particularly in the current economic climate. In recent years, we found that some individuals who may have expressed a desire to volunteer for the Select Committee could not do so simply because there were only so many seats open in their particular category. We discussed the requirement at length as a group and voted unanimously to open the elections to those who step up and accept a nomination. If someone has the time and resources or works for a member company that is willing to donate its employee’s time and resources for the advancement of the light-truck accessories industry, then we need to provide every opportunity we can for that individual to get on board.”

The entire Select Committee election process will be electronic this year, as it was in 2009. An e-mail will be sent to each TORA member company with a nomination form. Nomination forms may also be downloaded from the TORA website. The TORA nominations committee will review the list of prospective Select Committee members before sending a letter of consent to each nominee. Upon receipt of the letters of consent, the final election ballot will be sent via Zoomerang to each TORA member company.

“As I’ve stated many times before, my tenure on the TORA Select Committee has provided me invaluable benefits,” Kneifl said. “It takes quite a bit of time, but at the end of the day, it’s very rewarding to know that I’ve contributed significantly to the industry that is not only my livelihood, but my passion. If you think you have the time, or know someone else who might, send in that nomination.”

Wiring and Bed Dimensions

Updated pickup bed dimension reference sheets and updated keyless-entry wiring sheets are now available as downloadable PDFs on the TORA website.  Both reference sheets are excellent reference tools for salespeople and installers. If your particular application is not listed, contact Jim Skelly  with a request, and TORA will try to add it.

Want to Get Involved?

The TORA Select Committee is not the only way to get more involved with the council. There are several task forces and committees that coordinate the various projects and functions of the council, and participation on any of them is open to all TORA members.

“We used to have twice as many task forces,” said TORA Chair-Elect George Lathouris of Keystone. “We took a hard look at them during the Long-Range Planning meeting this past summer and realized that many were doing duplicate work. So we’ve combined or even eliminated some of them and brought them down to six that work more efficiently. In these busy times, we can always use help from TORA members on any one of them.”

If you have expertise or interest in any of the following areas, simply contact TORA staff liaison Jim Skelly, and he will get you in touch with the applicable task force chair.

Membership Committee: Develops value propositions and outreach programs to maintain and grow TORA membership. You could start your involvement here by simply telling the committee what you desire as an TORA member.

Education Committee: Identifies and develops educational and networking opportunities for the council, including close work with the SEMA Education Institute.

Technical Support Committee: Develops and maintains the series of TORA member reference tools. An installer or retailer member is a great fit for this task force, not only for research but for field testing of updated information.

Activities Committee: Coordinates all TORA networking activities, including meetings and receptions. Are you going to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas and want to get your feet wet in a simple way? Contact this committee and volunteer to assist with the annual TORA Industry Reception or staff the TORA exhibit booth. It is a great way to meet fellow members and get acquainted with industry volunteerism.

Communications Task Force: Utilizes SEMA News, SEMA eNews, e-blasts and the SEMA/TORA website to communicate pertinent news to TORA membership. Your involvement could be as simple as contributing news items each month. Anyone who has ever tried to put together a simple newsletter knows how difficult it can be to get content. Send in your ideas!

Charity Committee: Oversees all TORA charity fundraising activity. Did you know that the TORA booth at the SEMA Show annually raises $3,000 for Victory Junction Gang Camp?