TORA at the SEMA Show
TORA Chair Melanie White (center) and Scholarship Committee Chair Joel Ayers (right) presented the Hall of Fame Award to Bobby Combs of ATC Truck Covers.
The Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) industry awards reception was held November 5, 2014, at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino (formerly the LVH). Open to all employees of TORA-member companies and prospective members, the reception featured networking opportunities and three award presentations—the TORA Hall of Fame, the TORA Retailer of the Year and the TORA Ron Webster Memorial Award for Engineering Excellence.
Special features included Pinewood truck races to raise money for SEMA Cares charities and a photo booth. More than $6,500 was raised for charity with the pinewood races and contributions from each of the companies that provided feature vehicles for TORA at the Show.
2014 TORA Retailer of the Year
The TORA Retailer of the Year award was established to honor an outstanding light-truck accessory retailer whose creativity, dignity, integrity, industriousness, professionalism and accomplishments have enhanced the stature and annual growth of the industry within the candidate’s community. The 2014 award was presented to Brad Leach of Tom’s Camperland.
Leach has been in the industry since he was a young man and has actively participated in both SEMA and the TORA. He earned the title of president of Tom’s Camperland from his father and then grew the large and successful company even further, adding stores and strategically taking over the Phoenix market with three booming retail locations. Leach’s social-media and Internet marketing skills are some of the best to be found from a retail truck accessory dealer.
Ron Webster Memorial Award
The Ron Webster Memorial Award for Engineering Excellence recognizes professionals for their engineering achievements in the light-truck accessory industry. The award recognizes the creation of a product, process and/or component that demonstrates innovative and original engineering development and/or advances the state-of-the-art technology of a product in the light-truck accessory industry. This award is not necessarily presented each year but is bestowed as viable candidates are nominated and selected. For 2014, the award was presented to former TORA Chairman Ron DiVincenzo of Cap World Inc.
TORA Chair Melanie White (center) and Scholarship Committee Chair Joel Ayers (right) presented the Ron Webster Memorial Award to Ron DiVincenzo (left) of Cap World Inc.
Today’s light trucks offer diminishing accessibility of 12VDC power and third brake light sources. The result progressively burdens accessory installers with added labor and end customers with higher costs. DiVincenzo and his team created a product that directly addresses these issues across multiple makes and models. The new, 7-Way Inner-Connect Harness provides fuse-protected, easily accessible connections for accessory 12VDC power, ground and a third brake light. Electrical installation time is reduced by as much as 80% while improving connection integrity.
TORA Hall of Fame
The TORA Hall of Fame honors outstanding individuals in the light-truck accessory industry whose creativity, dignity, integrity, industriousness and accomplishments have enhanced the stature of and significantly contributed to the light-truck accessory industry’s growth on a national/international basis. The inductee for 2014 was Bobby Combs of ATC Truck Covers.
Combs is a former chairman and executive board member of the TORA, which was then known as the Truck Cap & Accessory Association. He has been committed to the fiberglass truck cap and fabrication industry for more than 25 years. Before founding ATC Truck Covers in 1994, he was the president of Guidon Truck Covers, working for industry legend Ron Webster. They were the first to introduce a smooth, painted fiberglass tonneau cover and full walk-in fiberglass rear door. Combs has remained a leader in innovation throughout the years and holds a variety of patents. Today, ATC services customers throughout the country.
Two vehicles were featured in the TORA booth at the 2014 SEMA Show. BDS showcased a 2014 GMC Sierra that was tested for electronic stability control at CU-ICAR and is an example of the resources available to council members through the testing facility, and built by students from Washtenaw Community College.
Five other vehicles were also on display outside the Las Vegas Convention Center. They were selected to represent the best and most diverse of what the light-truck, diesel, off-road and Jeep markets have to offer. The vehicles included:
- A ’13 Ford F-150 from Rogue Racing and A.R.E. Accessories
- A ’14 Jeep Wrangler from Daystar
- A ’14 Ram 3500 from Ultra Truck Works
- A ’15 GMC Yukon from Rolling Big Power
- A ’15 GMC Sierra 3500 from Truck Covers USA