SEMA Member News—September/October 2013
Get to Know Andrew Schroeder, TORA Chair-Elect
Andrew Schroeder became the Light Truck Industry Alliance (TORA) chair-elect on July 1. Schroeder started working part-time at Ben Murphy & Associates, a national rep agency, about 15 years ago. He had very limited knowledge of the business in the beginning, but he learned and took on more responsibility as he assisted in many different departments. Eight years ago, Schroeder moved into his current position of vice president.
“I feel that learning the business from the ground up was the best way to understand all facets, and I feel that was a large factor in the success of my career,” he said.
Schroeder recently shared some reflections about his own TORA membership and the opportunities that council members may plug in to.
SEMA Member News: How did you become involved with SEMA?
Andrew Schroeder: Over the years, I have been involved with the Manufacturers Representatives Network and the Young Executives Network. I have always felt that being involved allows you to give back and be part of the future of the industry.
SMN: How long have you been involved in TORA?
AS: I attended a long-range planning meeting in Detroit about three years ago, even though I was not yet a Select Committee member. This experience helped me understand what TORA is and how it is active in the aftermarket community. As a member at large, I also became involved in helping with social media and the communications committee.
SMN: Why are you involved in TORA?
AS: I wanted to become more involved with SEMA activities. Talking with the members of the TORA Select Committee and seeing their passion and motivation to help the automotive industry really drove me to become more involved with the alliance.
SMN: What are some opportunities for council members to get more involved?
AS: TORA is constantly working on different projects throughout the year, whether it’s the New Product Showcase, networking events, charitable fundraising or working on collecting technical information for our members to use. We are also currently working on a few large projects that will help the future direction of TORA, and we will need the help of our members to make them successful. If you are interested in becoming involved, we are always looking for help. Just contact one of the Select Committee members.
New Select Committee Members
TORA recently added two new Select Committee members as well. Chris Koshinski, vice president of operations and logistics at Keystone Automotive Operations, and Sara Morosan, owner and sales and marketing manager at LGE*CTS Motor-sports (Custom Truck Shop Division), provided some insights into their passion for TORA.
SMN: What is your history in the industry and in TORA?
Chris Koshinski: I have been with Keystone Automotive for the past seven years and have been involved with both manufacturers and jobbers, helping to better
connect the two in meeting enthusiasts’ expectations.
Sara Morosan: My family started in the industry in 1982 when they opened their shop (L&G Enterprises). I started working for them in 1995 when I was 15. I am the sales manager of the Custom Truck Shop (the aftermarket and accessory side of our business). I’ve attended the SEMA Show and different SEMA events throughout the past couple of years, and I felt that the TORA was the best council fit for me.
SMN: What do you see TORA doing well?
CK: The training work that the TORA has done provides value to the industry, along with our tremendous charity work. It has a real impact on people’s lives.
SMN: Why do you feel that it’s important to serve on the TORA Select Committee?
SM: I had been looking for something to help me grow as a small-business owner and in the industry. When I saw what TORA was about and the difference they were trying to make in the industry, I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of.
SMN: How do you plan to contribute?
CK: Being a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, I’d like to help build sustainable processes for the TORA and also help develop effective methods for building and disseminating OEM-related data.
SM: I plan on contributing in any way that I can to TORA, coming up with new ideas, working with the ideas of others, bringing a retail point of view to the committee while keeping an open mind and volunteering my time.