MRN at the SEMA Show

SEMA Member News—January/February 2015

MRN at the SEMA Show

Rep Roundtable

West Virginia Delegates Gary Howell (right) and Eric Householder (left) standing next to Del. Howell’s modified ’99 Jeep Cherokee. They drove most of the 2014 Hot Rod Power Tour in the Jeep, which started in Charlotte, North Carolina, and ended at the Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
Jerry Nuñez of Innovative Marketing Services was inducted into the Manufacturers’ Rep Network’s Hall of Fame at the 2014 SEMA Show. His record of service and commitment epitomized what every rep strives for. His widow, Lynne Trimble (center), accepted the induction on his behalf.

The Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN) hosted a collection of business-critical discussions for reps on November 2 at the SEMA Show. Through roundtable discussions, attendees had the opportunity to ask questions and receive practical solutions that addressed real issues. The event also included a group discussion on trending topics. The discussions included:

  • “How to Recruit Next-Gen Talent in the Rep Industry,” with Amy Hirsh Robinson, principal at Interchange Consulting Group
  • “Future Automotive Trends Affecting Reps: OE, Manufacturers, WDs,” with Gavin Knapp, senior market research manager for SEMA
  • “Trends in Healthcare: How Rep Agencies Navigate Obamacare,” with Gladys Zolna Esq., partner at Freeborn & Peters LLP
  • “How MRERF Can Help Reps Conduct Business,” with Karen Jefferson, CSP, CMPR and executive director of MRERF
  • “Business Apps for Reps,” with Tyler Tanaka, president of Cie Studios
  • “Reps as SDC Receivers—Value Add Proposition,” with Jon Wyly, president and CEO of SEMA Data Co-op

Two MRN awards were also presented at the roundtable meeting, including an MRN Hall of Fame induction and the Sales Team Annual Recognition award.

Hall of Fame

To be nominated for the MRN Hall of Fame, a candidate must have been involved in the industry for a minimum of 10 years, made significant contributions toward enhancing the professionalism, dignity and/or general stature and growth of the manufacturers’ rep industry and acted with a high degree of integrity within the industry. The inductee for 2014 was the late Jerry Nuñez of Innovative Marketing Services.

Strattec was honored with the Sales Team Annual Recognition award as year’s most outstanding manufacturers’ sales team. MRN Chair Les Rudd (right) and Chair-Elect Vic Bennett presented the award to Erika Garcia (second left) and Steve Gilles (second right).
Strattec was honored with the Sales Team Annual Recognition award as year’s most outstanding manufacturers’ sales team. MRN Chair Les Rudd (right) and Chair-Elect Vic Bennett presented the award to Erika Garcia (second left) and Steve Gilles (second right).

Nuñez grew up in the industry, working his way up through his big brother’s auto repair shop as well as El Paso Speedway Park, Yearwood Speed & Custom, Competition Specialties, R&R Marketing and finally Innovative Marketing Services. He was what every rep strives to be: simply the best at what you do. Nuñez founded Innovative Marketing Services because he felt that traditional rep firms were not filling the needs of today’s marketplace. He was a select committee member of the MRN, and his honors included 2013 PWA Person of the Year, 2013 EPWI Rep of the Year, 1997 EPWI Rep of the Year, AAM Rep of the Year, 1998 CSI Rep of the Year, 1998 CSK Auto Award for Outstanding Contribution to Sales and Service, 1995 Extra Effort Putting Out Fires award and the 1994 CSI Heavy Hitter award. Nunez served as the 2012 PWA rep liaison, and his integrity, talent, work ethic, passion and vision were truly worthy of the MRN Hall of Fame.

STAR Award

The Sales Team Annual Recognition (STAR) award is presented to the most outstanding manufacturers’ sales team, as voted by the general membership of MRN. The comprehensive criteria include, among other elements, dealing professionally with manufacturers’ representatives, providing timely and accurate updates on products and company policies, introducing new products and updated products as demand warrants, and considering manufacturers’ representatives and customers’ comments when developing products and forecasting. The award for 2014 went to Strattec, represented at the presentation by Erika Garcia.

Garcia and Strattec deliver the utmost in professionalism when dealing with their manufacturers’ representatives. They are available, participatory, knowledgeable and leaders in the field. Strattec understands and values the industry’s need for manufacturers representatives. The team provides manufacturers’ representatives with appropriate tools and works with them in the field and side by side at various trade shows throughout the year. Strattec’s sales team is exemplary of an MRN STAR award winner. Under Garcia’s guidance, the team has done all the right things for working with reps.

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