Speaking Out: New Select CommitteeMembers Share Goals and Vision
By Ellen McKoy
It’s official! Four incumbents and three freshmen have joined the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) select committee. Incumbents include Bob Carnahan; Dave Edmondson, Roadwire Inc.; Ginger Glover, Truckers Toy Store; and Ellen McKoy, EMK Marketing. Newcomers are Kimberly Callahan, Insignia Group; Mike Timmons, BedRug; and Steve Weimar, Rosen Entertainment Products. SEMA Member News recently asked the committee members about their goals and the reasons they’ve chosen to get involved.
SEMA Member News: Could you briefly describe your background?
Kimberly Callahan: Fourteen years ago, I began working as a customer service representative for an auto glass repair and replacement company. I opened my own auto glass company in 2007. In 2012, I joined Insignia Group as the aftermarket data specialist. As aftermarket manager, I develop new programs on relationship management and new-order fulfillment between restylers, dealers, distributors and consumers.
Mike Timmons: I have more than 20 years’ experience, including sales director for a performance company and owner of retail accessory stores. I also served on the Young Executives Network select committee and am an automotive enthusiast.
Steve Weimar: I’ve been active in the aftermarket and OEM segments since 1972. I’ve owned expediting companies, been an independent sales rep and consultant and a regional sales manager, vice president and president of manufacturing and distribution companies.
SMN: What motivated you to become actively involved in PRO?
KC: I have experienced some of the issues restylers have faced and heard of issues other segments are facing. I hope to work toward solutions and implement processes that will benefit all.
MT: I want to support our industry and work with a group that’s imbedded deeply in this business. The amount of knowledge this group holds is tremendous, and I hope to learn from each of the members.
SW: I felt strongly that I could bring a fresh perspective and new energy to the group. I missed working on SEMA committees, as my last effort was in the ’80s as chairman of the SEMA Manufacturers Committee.
SMN: As a newly elected member, what are your goals and how might your experience benefit PRO?
KC: I’ve worked within the OE and aftermarket segments and have experience in the operations of dealerships, distributors, restylers and manufacturers. My primary goal is to act as a liaison and solutions provider for all parties serving this market.
MT: I hope to bring a new voice to the group and help it get more involved with social media and new ideas on how to grow membership.
SW: My diversified résumé can add a view only achieved through 40-plus years of experience. I feel that it’s important to mentor the next generation and to embrace new ideas and fresh perspectives. My other key objective is to help new PRO-member
manufacturers understand the needs of restylers and the auto dealer channel via a mentoring program.
SMN: Why is PRO important to the restyling industry?
KC: PRO allows issues to be voiced and heard. PRO then introduces processes to address those issues and develops a blueprint to effectively achieve the goals of the organization and
MT: Continuing a relationship with the auto manufacturers is key to our industry. PRO is dedicated to making that happen by being a voice for the restyling industry.
SW: PRO members represent a strategic and crucial delivery portal between the accessory manufacturers and auto dealers. Their efforts have helped auto dealers succeed and prosper by providing much-needed additional profitability.
SMN: What do you think lies ahead for the restyling industry in terms of opportunities and challenges?
KC: Continued automation of order fulfillment and pressure on margins in the business-to-consumer market. Potential consolidation of the marketplace. Emphasis on training to retain customers as products evolve and shift. Also the transition of customization delivered by in-dealership C-technicians [general service technicians].
MT: With advancements in technology, our industry is in for a change in the way we retail products. I think that the restyling and auto sales industries will go to kiosk-style stores like Tesla and CarMax. With more people buying online, customers are purchasing products differently from the way they’ve traditionally done.
SW: There are always opportunities for those who challenge the status quo and adjust their programs to meet the ever-changing vehicle canvas. As vehicles change, new opportunities present themselves. The combined efforts of the restyler and manufacturer allow success to be achieved. Technology is rapidly accelerating as OEMs adopt new system platforms. These changes open new opportunities, and the creativity and adaptability of restylers allow us to look at the changes as opportunities for success.