Meet the New WTC Select Committee Members
On July 1, two freshman members were elected to the Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) select committee. SEMA Member News interviewed Gavin Horlick of Voxx Wheel and Cheralyn Hale of Achilles Tire to learn more about their industry backgrounds and goals for their terms.
SEMA Member News: What is your history in the industry and in the council?
Gavin Horlick: I’ve been involved in the industry since 1999. My first position was part-time summer employment building LTL pallets in a wheel warehouse. Eventually, I transferred to a fulltime office position upon completion of a business degree in 2007. I currently serve as the vice president at Voxx Products and help facilitate international purchasing responsibilities to offer just-in-time delivery for many of our national accounts. I’ve collaborated with various members of the council in normal business operations and am looking forward to a closer working relationship with the select committee members in the future.
Cheralyn Hale: I started in the automotive industry by accident in 1996. I was fresh out of college and looking for work, so I signed up with a temp agency. They sent me on a one-week assignment at a muffler shop that ended up lasting nine and a half years. The owner of the shop wanted to mass-produce the exhaust systems he was making for all of the local tuners, so we started Thermal R&D in the corner of that shop. I also spent five and a half years working with Advanced Clutch Technology as the marketing manager and with Honda Performance Development as the grassroots racing marketing assistant manager. My experience has mainly been in the performance-parts side, but I was given the opportunity to join the team at Achilles Tires Inc. last year, and I have been learning a lot about the tire side of the industry. I was on the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network select committee for two terms while at Advanced Clutch Technology.
SMN: Why do you feel that it’s important to serve on the select committee?
GH: I feel that my presence on the select committee may offer deeper diversity to the group. Many of the retail and wholesale WTC companies are rapidly changing the information flow within their organizations, placing greater demand on computer-generated information. Understanding and applying new technology can help member companies gain a competitive advantage through decreased research-and-development costs and shortened development time.
CH: This industry has been my home for the last 18 years, and I think that it is extremely important to give back in any way that I can to help it to continue to grow and flourish. Councils work directly on behalf of the member companies in their particular segments, and by being a part of the select committee, I get the opportunity to directly impact change within the industry.
SMN: What are your goals and how might your experience benefit the council?
GH: I’d like to help complete previous projects created by the council—specifically the SAE J3010 and CU-ICAR programs. Moving forward, I’d like to focus on streamlining new-vehicle information to a usable format that WTC-member companies can leverage when developing new merchandise. From my experience gained during SEMA-hosted measuring sessions, I’ve noticed that a large percentage of WTC companies gather the same information. In some instances, member companies send individuals across the country to measure a single vehicle. This might not be feasible for small- to medium-size companies due to the strain on personnel or financial resources. Considering the large percentage of small- to medium-size WTC-member companies, this can add value to their membership.
CH: I would like to see more tire manufacturers involved at the council level. It is so important for every facet of the industry to have a voice in the decisions and direction that the council takes, and unless we stand up and take part, that will not happen. I have served in the past, so I understand what it takes to navigate the opportunities and challenges that each council faces. The world has gone digital, and with that comes a whole new crop of challenges and opportunities. I hope that my experience in digital marketing will help the council to be able to propel itself into the digital world.
WTC Industry Reception
WTC members are invited to the WTC industry reception at the Renaissance Hotel Pool on Tuesday, November 4, from 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. Mix, mingle, eat and drink with your colleagues from the wheel and tire industry and recognize the achievements of one very special professional who will be receiving the WTC Hall of Fame award that night.
The SEMA 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. Last year, the council honored Corky Coker with the award.
Apart from honoring the hall of fame award recipient, the WTC reception provides a relaxed atmosphere in which attendees can catch up with old friends, explore new opportunities and strengthen existing partnerships.