SEMA Member News—January/February 2014
Recognition and an Eminent Partnership
The Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) held its annual industry awards reception on November 5 in conjunction with the 2013 SEMA Show.
This year’s events were once again held against the backdrop of the Renaissance Hotel’s Pool and Envy Cellar, creating an environment that matched the excitement of the wheel and tire displays in the South Hall. The reception gave attendees an opportunity to honor industry leaders and network with others who share common interests and passions.
The premier award at the reception was the induction to the WTC Hall of Fame of Corky Coker of Coker Tire. The WTC Hall of Fame was founded to honor and recognize those outstanding individuals in the wheel and tire industry whose creativity, dignity, integrity, industriousness and accomplishments on a national basis have enhanced the status of the industry while significantly contributing to its growth, progress, and professionalism.
Induction into the WTC Hall of Fame is voted on by the council’s general membership, and each candidate’s contributions must extend to the national level. In addition, the candidate must have been involved in the industry for a minimum of 10 years and/or have made a significant impact that has improved the industry as a whole, with significant contributions toward enhancing technology, professionalism, dignity and the general stature of the industry.
Corky Coker took over his father’s Chattanooga-based BFGoodrich dealership in 1974. Although he didn’t know it then, much of what he would do over the course of the next 40 years would define the vintage tire industry. He grew Coker Tire into a leading worldwide supplier of specialty collector-vehicle tires and wheels, with distributors in more than 40 countries. Coker Group now operates 10 companies, including Coker Tire, Phoenix Race Tires, Pro-Trac Tire Co., Universal Vintage Tire Co., Roadster Wire Wheels, Specialty Wheel and Wheel Vintiques.
Coker has been heavily involved in the leadership of SEMA, serving 12 years on its Board of Directors and a term as the Board’s chairman. He led the cast on Travel Channel’s new show “Backroad Gold” in October 2013.
The WTC also honored its outgoing chair, David Insull of American Tire Distributors, with a ceremonial gavel commemorating his years of leadership.
Vehicle Technology Meeting Takes Place at Clemson University
By Clayton Drescher
SEMA members took part in an open meeting and tour of Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Technology (CU-ICAR) campus in Greenville, South Carolina, on November 19.
It was an important opportunity for manufacturers as well as those in the product-development industry and other members who were interested in helping to shape a new benefit.
The tour gave active SEMA members a unique opportunity to tour the campus and learn about the many resources available, including testing facilities in the areas of advanced powertrain systems, automotive systems, manufacturing and materials, vehicle performance and vehicular electronics.
The behind-the-scenes look at the world-class vehicle research facility helped members see how they might take advantage of the resources to benefit their companies.
In addition to the tour, SEMA hosted a combined open meeting of the Emerging Trends and Technology Network, the Light Truck Accessory Alliance, the Professional Restylers Organization and the Wheel & Tire Council. The groups discussed how members can best utilize resources available through the CU-ICAR facility.
Finally, the attendees participated in breakout groups that were focused on outlining a future education program to take place at CU-ICAR in the late Spring or early Summer of 2014. The program offered a great opportunity for volunteers, council and network members and SEMA staff to work side by side to build the next learning opportunity for the association’s members.
For more information on the CU-ICAR research and facilities, visit www.cuicar.com
To learn more about SEMA councils and networks, visit here.