SEMA Member News—September/October 2012
New Members Join ARMO Select Committee
|The ARMO Select Committee oversees projects that raise awareness of the restoration hobby. It also provides direct product exposure for member companies at the ARMO New Products Showcase event at the Spring Carlisle show in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.|
Along with incumbents Lenny Schaeffer of Chop Shop Customs and Matt Agosta of Steele Rubber Products, the Automotive Restoration Manufacturers Organization (ARMO) welcomed three new members to its Select Committee as a result of elections in the spring. Tray Smith is the vice president and co-owner of H&H Classic Parts, a large retailer of restoration parts specializing in Chevrolet products. Erika Woody is the owner of Hydro-E-Lectric, a manufacturing company that produces parts to keep convertible tops and power windows functioning on all types of cars from ’46–present. Jim Pennekamp is the national sales manager at TrimParts, one of the original ARMO manufacturer members.
SEMA Member News was fortunate to get a few minutes from each of them to see why they decided to volunteer their time on the ARMO Select Committee.
SEMA Member News: What is your history in the automotive industry and in ARMO?
Tray Smith: I have been in the industry since I was 13 years old, when we started H&H Classic Parts. I have been involved with ARMO for about the last six years, attending SEMA Shows, open meetings and roundtable discussions. I have also been active with the SEMA Action Network. Legislative issues are something I take very seriously.
Erika Woody: My history with the industry goes back to when I was a child. My father started Hydro-E-Lectric in 1976. He brought me to car shows and swap meets as far back as I can remember. I started working at Hydro-E-Lectric in 1986 and have been an owner since 1992. I just joined ARMO in November 2011, when I felt a need to do something more within the automotive industry.
Jim Pennekamp: I have been with TrimParts for 16 years in various positions, from plant manager to my current position. I have been a car guy since I was five, when my brother would take me to the local speed shop where they worked on drag cars. We are two of the founding members of ARMO.
SMN: Why do you feel that it’s important to serve on the ARMO Select Committee?
TS: At the time I joined, there were no retailers on the Select Committee. I felt that we were not being represented, so I put my name forward. I feel that I can be a voice for the retailer segment of our membership.
EW: To reinforce the support system ARMO already has in place and help combat the issues that affect so many companies.
JP: It is important to give back to the industry to keep it alive and growing. Without participation, we will not be able to continue to grow the hobby we all enjoy.
SMN: What do you see the ARMO council doing well?
TS: We do a great job of promoting the industry with Take a Kid to a Car Show and government issues.
EW: ARMO is a very supportive group, and it has wonderful resources available to members that I was not aware of.
JP: ARMO provides a great way to network and discuss common problems.
SMN: What areas do you think ARMO could improve?
TS: We need to have some form of ARMO representation at major car events. Not only the SEMA Show, but also the larger Goodguys, the L.A. Roadster Show and others. I would also like us to see what we can do on the legislative front when it comes to health insurance and sales tax.
EW: Like anything else, if you aren’t in the loop, you don’t even know it exists. I’d like to help ARMO provide more direct exposure to non-SEMA and non-ARMO members, to make them aware of who and what ARMO is.
SMN: How do you plan to contribute?
TS: I plan to serve on whatever committee the council thinks I should. I would prefer legislative, but I will serve as a voice for my fellow retailers and the rest of the membership.
EW: I have a strong sense of loyalty and commitment to doing things as well as I can. I believe this will be a great place to endorse that with beneficial results.
SMN: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
TS: I think this is an amazing opportunity. I really appreciate the membership having the faith in me to serve and represent them in our industry.