By Jim Barber
|Todd Bidwell (left) of Parts Unlimited Inc.—shown here with NASCAR racer and commentator Kyle Petty at last year’s Washington Rally—has overseen the growth of ARMO’s Take a Kid to a Car Show program. As his term comes to a close, ARMO has several opportunities to push the program even higher, including celebrity public service announcements that are being reviewed to attract an even wider audience.|
It is that time of year again—ARMO annual elections. By the time this article is published, members should have received or will be receiving shortly their ballots. This year, we have six seats up for election. Four are incumbents, and two are open. As with years past, we have a great list of nominees. I want to personally thank those of you who participated in the process and perhaps nominated someone. As always, I encourage you to take the time to vote. In the council elections, your vote really does count. We have had elections in recent years where the results have been decided by one vote!
I do want to mention one individual in particular whose term is expiring this year. Todd Bidwell with Parts Unlimited Inc. (perhaps, better known as PUI) has served for three two-year terms, which is the maximum allowed under our bylaws. For the past three years or so, Bidwell has chaired the Take a Kid to a Car Show task force and has overseen the growth of the program. What started as a youth-awareness program has grown to become quite well known and is looked to by other SEMA councils as the model for other kids programs. Just as Todd’s term is coming to a close, new opportunities have risen for the program. ARMO has several opportunities to push the program even higher, including celebrity public service announcements that are being reviewed by the task force to attract an even wider audience.
Car clubs, car shows and several industry publishing companies have taken a renewed interest in the program, increasing the demand for Take a Kid to a Car Show literature, decals and coloring books. I asked Bidwell what his parting thoughts are as retiring chair of this valuable task force.
“My goal is that the Take a Kid to a Car Show program will have a definitive impact on our market in the future,” he said.
Not to be cliché, but the reason for this program is to continue to drive youth to the hobby, which in turn fuels our industry. So the next time you see a car show flyer come across your desk or have someone approach you to sponsor or participate in a local, regional or national car show, remember this program and why youth are the key to our future success.
ARMO is currently working in concert with the
National Collector Car Day
Another program ARMO is currently working on in concert with the SEMA Washington, D.C., office is a National Collector Car Day. The concept of such a day arose several years ago; however, it was the Hemmings Motor News Summit held in July of 2008 that put the needed momentum behind the concept. Currently, the SEMA D.C. staff is gathering support from individual congressmen to draft and ultimately pass a congressional resolution. As of this writing, meetings are taking place. By the time this article is published, we hope that the resolution will be passed. Looking forward, once passed, the day of recognition will draw attention to the hobby and our industry. The concept is to have a national day where everyone will drive their collector cars to work, cruise-ins or other scheduled events, thus drawing attention. Perhaps this will entice others to purchase a collector car of their own or stimulate them to finish that old car project they have sitting in the garage.
While there are many details of the program yet to be worked out, the thought is to schedule this annual day sometime around the first of June. Please contact me or any of the Select Committee members with suggestions or comments regarding National Collector Car Day.
ARMO New Products Showcase
One last item to update members on is a change in the ARMO New Products Showcase held recently at Spring Carlisle. Based on input from our membership, the Select Committee decided to eliminate the judging of the new products for 2009 and instead focus on promotion. In an effort to further promote new products, a portion of the ARMO booth at this year’s SEMA Show will be dedicated to showing member companies’ new products. At this time, products will be photographed and videotaped for display in our booth. This is another way the Select Committee is attempting to promote its members.
Have a great summer!