By Ellen McKoy
To learn about the Technical Skills & Training Conference, the PRO council’s general membership meeting, the NovemberFest PRO reception at the SEMA Show and the many other PRO initiatives and programs, stop by the PRO booth in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center during the SEMA Show, November 2–5.
As summer ebbs and autumn fast approaches, thoughts quickly turn to Las Vegas and the 2010 SEMA Show. And Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) members can once again expect to find activities of particular interest. So grab your BlackBerry, iPhone or Day Timer and be sure to mark your calendar!
To kick off the week in gala fashion, PRO will host its second-annual NovemberFest reception on Tuesday, November 2. Billed as the social event of the season for the restyling community, the evening affair—open to PRO members and guests interested in joining PRO—will be held at the Las Vegas Hilton, Ballroom B, from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
NovemberFest is first and foremost an unparalleled networking opportunity—the ideal place to hobnob with industry leaders, colleagues and friends. Toss in hors d’oeuvres and libations to slake your appetite and thirst, a free commemorative T-shirt, and an award ceremony saluting the Restyler of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, Nat Danas Person of the Year and the Jim Borré Lifetime Achievement honoree, and it’s sure to be a night to remember. To R.S.V.P., visit the PRO website at www.SEMA.org/pro or go to the PRO booth located in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) to pick up free tickets onsite.
Speaking of the PRO booth, it’s been a fixture at the SEMA Show since the early ’90s. A popular gathering spot for PRO members, this year’s exhibit will include information on various council initiatives, including the 2011 Technical Skills & Training Conference (TSTC). PRO Select Committee members will be on hand throughout the week to meet and greet current members and to sign up new members. So if you’d like to learn more about PRO and the benefits of being a member, want to encourage your friends to join or would like to get to know the council leadership, be sure to stop by the PRO booth.
Also on tap: the PRO general membership meeting on Thursday, November 4. The early-bird gathering will run from 7:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m. in LVCC room N217. The meeting is open to employees of PRO-member companies as well as non-members who are interested in learning more about the council. Commented PRO Chairman Karl Stearns: “The membership meeting will afford members an opportunity to learn more about the projects PRO has on tap as well as how participation in PRO can benefit their companies. If you’re planning to be in Las Vegas, we urge you to put the meeting on your agenda and to also invite your colleagues to join us.” For more information or to R.S.V.P., contact Gina Ledesma at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 909/978-6692.
At a PRO Long-Range Planning meeting in 2007, council members came up with the idea for a regional education and training conference tailored to the restyling industry. The concept was initially sparked by responses to a restyler/installer needs-assessment survey, which indicated strong interest in product training.
To plan the event, the PRO Select Committee assembled a TSTC task force. The inaugural, one-day Technical Skills & Training Conference was held on April 30 at the University of Northwestern Ohio in Lima, Ohio. The program included 12 sessions presented by PRO-member companies as well as installation demos led by participating manufacturers.
The conference was successful. Attendance exceeded expectations, and attendee interest was keen. Not satisfied to rest on its laurels, however, the TSTC task force set its sights on selecting a location for the 2011 conference and, in response to attendee feedback, revamping the format to limit manufacturer presentations and deliver more hands-on training.
The second-annual TSTC will be held at WyoTech in Blairsville, Pennsylvania, on Monday, March 28, 2011. The school, located less than one hour east of Pittsburgh, is known for its automotive and diesel technology programs and was chosen based on weighted criteria from among other prospective colleges.
Like the first event, this TSTC will be geared to attracting attendees primarily within a four-hour driving distance of the campus. The program will include a maximum of 12 PRO-member manufacturers, each offering brief presentations. However, far greater emphasis will be placed on installation demos, giving attendees more time and ample opportunities for hands-on training. Other activities will include a PRO general membership meeting, prize drawings and an evening reception. Stay tuned for more information or contact Zane Clark via e-mail at email@example.com.