SEMA Member News - July/August 2009
An Interview With the Incoming Chairman
The phenomenally successful Education & Training Day, presented by the HRIA during the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show, featured hourly workshops of key significance to industry members. HRIA-member early-bird registration for next year’s event runs through September 19 before opening up to all trade show exhibitors.
The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Select Committee is made up of dedicated individuals who address the issues members of the council face daily. All members are invited and encouraged to attend meetings, events or networking activities. In July, Dennis Overholser assumes the chairmanship of HRIA. We recently had the opportunity to discuss his background and his aspirations for his term in office.
SEMA Member News: Tell us a little about yourself and your involvement in the industry, SEMA and the HRIA.
Dennis Overholser: In high school, I was the only guy in the county who had a hot rod—a ’33 Ford coupe highboy. After graduating, I joined the Air Force, where I received training in electronics and automotive repair. I worked for Ford Tractor for 20 years before starting Painless Performance. I was also a volunteer for NSRA for 11 years and attended my first SEMA Show in 1988. I was involved as a committee member of the Street Rod Marketing Alliance before it became HRIA, and I sat on the committee for six years. I was a SEMA Board member for six years and the council liaison for two years. I have served on the Warehouse Distributor of the Year task force, Person of the Year task force and Nominating Committee, and I was a Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council committee member for six years.
SMN: What plans do you have for the next couple of years as chairman?
DO: With the way the economy is at this time, I’d like to help the council maintain a steady course. Our Youth Awareness program is in need of a boost, and I think our new subcommittee chair will bring new life to the program. HRIA has the largest council reception at the SEMA Show, and I would like that to continue. I have been working with the government affairs staff in Washington, D.C., on legislative issues for our membership and plan to continue this important work.
SMN: Are there specific challenges that the council or hot-rod industry is facing? How do you hope to overcome those challenges?
DO: Street-rod and hot-rod titling have become more of a challenge, and now that we have some states that have adopted the SEMA Hobbyist License Plate Bill, getting more states on board will be a must. Scrappage is another challenge, and I’m afraid that if we all don’t get behind our D.C. staff, it will become law.
SMN: How has being an HRIA member been beneficial to you and your company?
DO: The networking opportunities have been a great help in understanding the problems that face different regions of the country. Painless has been involved with the Youth Awareness program from the start and, because of that, we are now involved with the electronics and telecommunications program at Texas A&M University. The opportunities for networking at SEMA-sponsored events and being able to express ourselves and get results on legislative issues is well worth the price of admission. Our hobby is not a right, and we could lose it if we all do not work together.
SMN: What can HRIA members do to get more involved?
DO: HRIA and all other councils are always looking for volunteers to help on various committees and subcommittees. A simple phone call or e-mail will be greatly appreciated. We’ll put volunteers to work for the benefit of all.
Education Day, Presented by the HRIA
|The phenomenally successful Education & Training Day, presented by the HRIA during the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show, featured hourly workshops of key significance to industry members. HRIA-member early-bird registration for next year’s event runs through September 19 before opening up to all trade show exhibitors.|
The HRIA works hand in hand with the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show to bring education to its members and trade show attendees. The Education & Training Day, presented by the HRIA during the show, was a phenomenally well-developed and well-attended event. Five manufacturers’ workshops ran hourly, and eight different sessions were held continuously throughout the day in the Indiana Convention Center on March 12, 2009. As a benefit to HRIA members, early-bird registration for next year’s event has begun and runs through September 19 before opening up to all trade show exhibitors. For more information, contact Council Relations Director Jan Desma at 909/396-0289, ext. 134.
Dates to Save
HRIA Open Membership Meeting
Thursday, July, 9, 2009
3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
12th Annual Goodguys PPG Nationals
Ohio EXPO Center
HRIA Open Membership Meeting
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
3:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
40th Annual NSRA Street Rod Nationals
Center/South Hall (room TBD)
Kentucky Exposition Center
HRIA Industry Awards Reception
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
5:15 p.m.–8:00 p.m.
Las Vegas Hilton Hotel–Ballrooms A–B