SEMA Member News—November/December 2012
PRO Reception, All-New Interactive PRO Garage to Take Center Stage in Las Vegas
By Ellen McKoy
Planning to attend the 2012 edition of the SEMA Show? As in years past, Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) members can expect to find a number of activities of particular interest. So grab your Blackberry or iPhone and mark your calendar.
To kick off the week, PRO will host its gala NovemberFest Awards Reception on Tuesday evening, October 30, from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the Las Vegas Hotel (formerly the Las Vegas Hilton), ballroom B. Billed as the networking event of the year, it’s the perfect place to wind down, slake your thirst and your appetite with hors d’oeuvres and liquid libations and hobnob with a who’s who in the restyling industry.
The highlight of the evening will be a ceremony honoring recipients of the esteemed PRO Industry Awards. Awards will be presented in four categories, including Restyler of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, Nat Danas Person of the Year and the Jim Borré Lifetime Achievement Award. The event is open to all council members and guests interested in joining PRO. Tickets will be mailed to council members in advance, or stop by PRO booth #12661 in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) to pick up free tickets onsite.
Speaking of the PRO booth, it’s been a fixture at the SEMA Show and a popular gathering spot for council members since the early ’90s. SEMA staff and members of the Select Committee will be on hand throughout the week to chat with council members, answer questions and enroll new members. So if you’d like to learn more about PRO and the benefits of being a member, want to encourage your friends to join or would like to get to know the council leadership, be sure to stop by.
As in prior years, PRO is also sponsoring two seminars at the SEMA Show. The first session, “Interior and Trim Panel Fabrication Techniques,” is slated for Tuesday, October 30, from 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. in room N257 of the LVCC. Presented by Bryan Schmidt of Mobile Solutions USA, the session will center on cutting-edge fabrication techniques to modify dash, door and other interior panels to accommodate electronics and achieve a professional, blended appearance.
On Wednesday, October 31, Jeff Varick of Brandmotion and Pete Kallgren of Rostra Precision Controls will present “Adding Luxury Features to Upgrade Vehicle Enjoyment” from 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. in room N257. The seminar will cover various aftermarket comfort and convenience features to personalize any vehicle plus ways to reach out to a broader audience and cash in on profit-making opportunities.
Thursday, November 1, is an activity-filled day. First up is the PRO general membership meeting from 7:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m. at the LVCC. The early-bird meeting is open to all council members and includes a continental breakfast.
“The membership meeting is a great opportunity to learn more about PRO and become more involved in council activities,” said Eldon Bracken, PRO chairman. “We urge you to attend and invite your colleagues to join us.”
(For more information or to R.S.V.P., e-mail Gina Ledesma at email@example.com.)
The highlight of the day will be the PRO-sponsored Technical Skills & Training Conference (TSTC). Previously held at the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima in 2010 and WyoTech Blairsville in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, in 2011, the all-new PRO Garage takes center stage in the North Hall meeting rooms from 11:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Free with registration, the event is a roll-up-your-sleeves opportunity to sharpen technical skills, gain product knowledge and interact with key suppliers at five learning centers. Product categories include graphics, window and paint-protection film, side steps, sunroofs, mobile electronics, custom interiors, heated seats, vehicle connectivity and more. Among the participating PRO-member manufacturers will be 3M, Brandmotion, CalTrend Automotive Products, Check Corporation, Eagle Enterprises, Katzkin Leather, Kicker, Roadwire Leather Interiors, Rosen Entertainment Systems, Webasto Product North America, Go Rhino! and Big Country.
“We’re excited to partner with SEMA to present this year’s TSTC at the Show,” said Brian Champa, chairman of the PRO TSTC task force. “The response has been outstanding. Attendee registration is very strong, and the manufacturers have given us their full support. This is a must-attend event for restylers, installers or truck-accessory retailers looking to expand their product offerings, discover cross-marketing opportunities and meet one-on-one with manufacturers.”