MRN Elects New Select Committee Members
By Katie Carson
Mike Katz of Bob Cook Sales.
The Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN) welcomed three new industry professionals to its select committee. Matt Harless of PSKB Inc. has been a student of the industry and applied what he has learned from colleagues and mentors along the way during his 20-year career in the industry. Mike Katz of Bob Cook Sales comes to the MRN with a vast background in the traditional and retail parts segments of the industry and is passionate about sharing his experiences and knowledge with others. Ken Schuck has 32 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket and is currently an account manager for Keystone Automotive at KAM Marketing.
As a regional sales manager with PSKB, Matt Harless covers select accounts in the Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama territories. His emphasis within the agency is truck accessories and the farm/hardware market. He graduated from Lipscomb University in 1993 with a bachelor of science in marketing and economics, after which he spent a year selling motorcycles and jet skis and working in various sales positions in the Nashville area. He went to work for Sam Compton and Associates in March of 1995 and has been in the rep side of the business since then. PSKB bought the agency in 2001, and the firm has been a great fit for Harless.
Matt Harless of PSKB.
Mike Katz had a love from an early age for hot rods, musclecars, custom trucks and anything with an engine. Throughout his 30 years of professional experience in the industry, he learned many different retail positions and spent the last nine years as a manufacturer representative with Bob Cook Sales. In addition to being a part of Bob Cook Sales’ SEMA Manufacturer Rep of the Year team in 2007 and 2011, Katz received multiple recognitions for his personal accomplishments in the profession. Katz is furthering his industry knowledge by working to complete his Certified Professional Manufacturers Representative regimen, during which he will gain insights to best practices of being a rep.
Ken Schuck started as a sales rep for KIM Inc., where he found himself focused on the performance and truck accessory lines. When KIM Inc. and PK sales merged to become KAM Marketing, Schuck transitioned to his role as account manager for Keystone Automotive. Schuck manages a team of sales, tech and service professionals responsible for working with Keystone’s category management, marketing, sales and supply-chain departments. His hobbies include vehicle customization, golf and home renovation.
SEMA Member News caught up with Harless, Katz and Schuck to discuss what motivates them to volunteer their time to the network.
SEMA Member News: Why do you feel that it is important to serve on the select committee?
Mike Katz: I want to give back my time to the industry that’s been so good for me. It’s imperative to promote and encourage the advancement of our profession.
Ken Schuck of KAM Marketing.
Ken Schuck: Serving on SEMA committees allows me to help our industry from a macro level.
Matt Harless: I feel that the most important thing about being on the select committee is educating others about what we, as reps, actually do.
SMN: What is most exciting to you about the council?
MK: Sharing ideas and learning from others who do what we do.
KS: Getting involved in shaping policies and helping further grow and ensure that we set up the framework for our industry to continue for future generations.
MH: I am excited about meeting others who have similar backgrounds and learning from their experience and working with others who will shape the future of our industry.
SMN: What are your goals, and how might your experience benefit the council?
MK: To improve the understanding of manufacturers’ reps and their positive impact upon the industry. My experience allows me to look at situations from several angles and how a decision could affect those involved in different ways.
KS: To use my expertise, creativity, leadership and experience to solve problems and to help the industry to grow and prosper. I also would like to learn more about SEMA and the opportunities to help our industry flourish.
MH: I believe that I have a great understanding of both our customers’ and manufacturers’ points of view. I have worked with all types of customers, from small one-store accounts to national retail store chains, and I have represented companies with two employees to more than 1,000.