SEMA Member News—March/April 2013
Select Committee Members Speak Out on the Importance of Getting Involved
By Ellen McKoy
Four freshman members have joined the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) Select Committee. They are Dave Edmondson of Roadwire Automotive Innovation, Ginger Glover of Truckers Toy Store, Donna Green of Retro USA and Jerry Redding of EchoMaster. We recently asked them about their backgrounds and the reasons they’ve chosen to get involved.
SEMA Member News: Could you briefly describe your industry background?
Ginger Glover: Truckers Toy Store was founded by my parents, Jesse and Barbara Rawls, who were very active in PRO. Before joining the company, I worked as a corporate manager in the food-service industry.
Donna Green: I am new to the industry, as is our company. My involvement in the industry has been as a consumer. Our family collects and restores street rods and musclecars. We also drag race a ’64 Dodge Polara 500.
Jerry Redding: I worked for Disney World and had an opportunity to start a 12-volt expediting company in Hawaii. We began to design and develop our first parking sensors, and EchoMaster was launched at the 1998 SEMA Show. I was trained in and learned the expediting business to find reliable and profitable solutions for new-car dealers.
Dave Edmondson: I have an extensive management background in aftermarket sales, manufacturing, distribution and restyling operations.
SMN: What motivated you to become actively involved?
GG: My motivation was to continue in my father’s footsteps, and with the tragedy [of her father’s illness] that hit our family shortly after coming on board, I had to learn fast. I felt the council would give me the opportunity to build a network of individuals I could learn from and count on when I need help solving problems. Also I wanted to know what direction the industry was trending so I could keep our company positioned to take advantage of the opportunities.
DG: Having been involved as an employee and a volunteer in industry associations, I understand the importance of going beyond the boundaries of a business for the greater good.
JR: To be involved in the group, to meet and learn from fellow individuals who are passionate about the success of the restyling industry. I have learned so much and made many friends by getting involved in the PRO Select Committee.
DE: I am passionate about our industry and wanted to be involved with other member companies. Networking, problem solving, information sharing and sales techniques are just a few of the opportunities that are the result of being involved.
SMN: What are your goals as a Select Committee member?
GG: My biggest goal is to get younger [people] to join, because I’m sure most of the businesses in our industry are family owned and operated just like mine. My children, Chris and Ashley, have been in the business more than seven years and have business-related degrees. My short-term goal is to have them attend meetings. Longer-term goal would be to help the council appeal to the younger generation.
DG: Co-creating new opportunities between manufacturers and restylers to increase sales by recognizing specific elements: maximizing Internet marketing, increasing consumer confidence, raising awareness of the availability of professional installers and the possibilities of customizing beyond the limited offerings of a dealership.
JR: To be more active in the Technology Task Force and to bring more awareness and members to the PRO restyling group.
DE: Short term, continued participation in task forces and committees and continuous improvement of the SEMA Show. Long term, my goal is to continue donating time to our industry, focusing on problem solving and other initiatives.
SMN: Why is PRO important to the restyling industry, and what would you say to encourage others to get involved?
GG: Building a network of other restylers is a valuable tool. You don’t know when you will need it, but if you have it in the toolbox, it’s always there ready to be used.
DG: PRO has the advantage of bringing together manufacturers and restylers to better define consumer needs and expectations, leveraging the strength of numbers to address major concerns, and be forward thinking for the greater good. Being a member of PRO is becoming a member of a community that shares a passion.
JR: It is important because it’s a central channel to bring independent and dedicated entrepreneurs together to make a positive impact on the restyling industry. Just get involved and understand that we all want to grow the restyling industry and need to cultivate the future today.
DE: It’s a great opportunity to get involved and have a voice, not just to talk and mingle, but to openly discuss the challenges that we face and to collectively solve them. PRO is full of industry experts. The networking that PRO provides, the friendships and relationships that can be built, the technical and selling techniques you can learn are endless and invaluable.