ARMO Select Committee Election Results Announced
By Katie Carson
Randall Bates of Auto Custom Carpets.
The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) welcomes three new industry professionals onto its select committee and welcomes back James Pennekamp and Brian Rowland as incumbents.
Pennekamp is a 22-year industry veteran and is enthusiastically ready to continue to serve the industry. During his first term on the ARMO select committee, he chaired the Hot Products Showcase task force to generate interest in members’ hottest products on the market.
Rowland brings his expertise in e-commerce to the select committee, serving as the chair of ARMO’s e-commerce initiative task force. He has a background of volunteering his time, having previously served in the Auto Care Association and chaired the National Catalog Manager’s Association.
ARMO installed the select committee members on July 1 and officially celebrated them at the SEMA Installation and Gala in late July. The organization also elected the following individuals to join its leadership.
Randall Bates of Auto Custom Carpets started his first job in the automotive industry straight out of the U.S. Marines and has been working in it and for it for the past 21 years. Working closely through the years with many different manufacturing, restoration and retail companies, Bates knows and has been involved with the challenges that the industry faces day to day. For Bates, this industry isn’t just a job, it’s a family that he wants the best for and will do anything in his power to better.
Amy Fitzgerald of Cool Hand Customs.
Amy Fitzgerald is co-owner of Cool Hand Customs, an old-school hot-rod shop and high-end painting, airbrushing and fabrication business in Middleton, Wisconsin. Fitzgerald’s lifelong passion for cars has helped the business expand. She has moved from working on motorcycles in her garage to managing a broad range of projects on new and vintage automobiles and trucks in her fullsize shop and showroom. She says that her favorite part of the industry is working with kids. “There is nothing like driving down the road in my ’57 Bel Air and seeing a 5-year-old jump up and down with excitement,” she said. Fitzgerald has volunteered her time for numerous projects designed to bring awareness to the industry, such as the Valkyrie Project. She has a flair for marketing and management as well as extensive experience in finance.
Joanna Agosta-Shere of Steele Rubber Products.
Joanna Agosta-Shere of Steele Rubber Products is a member of a third-generation industry family business and has been involved in the automotive restoration and street-rod markets for most of her life. As a manufacturer, she recognizes the challenges member organizations face, such as detrimental legislation, the rising costs of doing business, and the speed of change. She is very passionate about protecting the hobby, educating business owners and promoting automotive restoration to younger generations. For the last decade, Agosta-Shere has been very involved in a young professionals organization outside the industry and believes that she can bring that experience and prospective into ARMO. She is a member of the Young Executives Network and the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network, and she has participated in SEMA activities for many years.
ARMO Hot Product Showcase Photo Gallery
The Hot Products Showcase photo gallery is now up on www.sema.org. Last April, ARMO members sent their products to be displayed at the ARMO Hot Products Showcase event, which is held annually at the Spring Carlisle Car Swap Meet. This is a free program to ARMO members that exposes their products to the 100,000 automotive enthusiasts in attendance. The products are on display in the Hot Products Showcase tent located in the middle of the fairgrounds.
Besides the free product exposure, participating member companies also receive professionally photographed images to use for their own marketing purposes. These photos are displayed in a gallery on SEMA’s website and will also be seen in the ARMO booth at the 2016 SEMA Show.
View the gallery at www.sema.org/armo-product-gallery.