PRO Announces Awards
The Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) announced the winners of four awards at its annual reception, which provided an opportunity for members of PRO to mingle, discuss issues important to the industry and enjoy the camaraderie of colleagues and friends.
PRO Manufacturer of the Year
The 2014 PRO Manufacturer of the Year award was presented to Roadwire, a company that is pioneering leather interior upgrades. This family-owned business has demonstrated generations of industry leadership through entrepreneurship, its restoration interiors for classic cars and by supplying automakers with interior upgrades. Roadwire has expanded its business into diverse areas, including Jeep tops, interior heating and cooling systems for seats, rearview driver safety cameras and other tools and supplies. Roadwire Vice President for Sales Dave Edmondson has been an enthusiastic contributor and leader within PRO and SEMA.
Nat Danas Person of the Year
Ray Ott, owner of Auto Trim Cleveland, was named the Nat Danas Person of the Year for 2014. Ott has been in the restyling industry since 1978 and has been active in many aspects of both PRO and SEMA, focusing on training and maintaining high standards for installers. He is a current member of the PRO select committee and has chaired both the SEMA Garage task force and the PRO Certificate Program. He also worked on behalf of SEMA in its partnership with the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research.
Restyler of the Year
This year’s PRO Restyler of the Year is Truckers Toy Store, owned and operated by Ginger Glover. Truckers Toy Store was opened in Morehead City, North Carolina, in 1988 by Jesse and Barbara Rawls, who opened a second store 10 years later in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and retired in 2004. They sold the business to their daughter Ginger and her husband Bob Glover. Ginger added a third location in Wilson, North Carolina, and has proven adept at spotting industry trends, enabling her to expand the product mix in her stores well beyond traditional truck accessories. Truckers Toy Store now carries a large selection of 12-volt accessories and restyling products for cars and trucks and specializes in installation.
Glover was an early adopter of the both the SEMA Installer Certification Program and ProPledge, SEMA’s warranty assurance program.
Jim Borré Lifetime Achievement Award
Karl Stearns, president of KMS Marketing Solutions, was the recipient of the 2014 Jim Borré Lifetime Achievement Award. Stearns began his restyling career in 1978 as president of Auto Trim Design of the Poconos, serving auto dealerships in northeastern Pennsylvania. He moved on to Auto Trim International, a buying group of more than 300 independent shops in the United States and Canada. He volunteered for several terms on the PRO select committee and as chair of the group, totaling over a decade of service. Stearns was also a SEMA Ambassador in 2000 and 2006.
Updated PRO Sales Training Manual Unveiled
In other PRO news, the second edition of the PRO Sales Training Manual debuted at the 2014 SEMA Show. The manual, first published in 2005, has been revised and updated to reflect increasingly complex vehicle technology and the role of the Internet in the way companies do business today. It still contains step-by-step methods and techniques to create an effective sales strategy in the dealership arena. The manual is $24.95 for PRO and Truck and Off-Road Alliance members, $149.95 for non-members and can be ordered at www.sema.org/pro or via e-mail from SEMA Senior Council Manager Clayton Drescher at firstname.lastname@example.org.