SEMA Member News—March/April 2011
A Few Words With the Chair-Elect
Chris Fairless, new MRC chair-elect, has been a member of the automotive specialty-equipment industry for 32 years. He recently became a principal with SS Sales & Marketing.
Chris Fairless has been involved in the automotive specialty-equipment industry for 32 years, combining 10 years in retail and wholesale for Van Iderstine Speed Centers with five years in manufacturing for Russell Performance and 17 years as a manufacturer’s representative. He recently became a principal with SS Sales & Marketing.
Fairless joined the Manufacturers’ Rep Council (MRC) 17 years ago, serving on many task forces and subcommittees as well as the MRC Select Committee. He was chosen as the council’s chair-elect in July 2010.
SEMA Member News: What are your priorities as MRC chair-elect? What specific things do you want to accomplish?
Chris Fairless: MRC’s mission is to provide our members with the tools and benefits to strengthen our segment of the industry. Our goals are to increase benefits for MRC members through educational and professional development programs, provide tools and programs to increase productivity and seek ways to help the sales representative community with cost-cutting programs in areas such as travel, heath care and communications.
SMN: In light of recent economic changes, why should companies join SEMA and MRC?
CF: The resources that SEMA and MRC provide are invaluable. Also, the networking opportunities and getting involved to strengthen the industry as a whole are priorities that we all share. SEMA and MRC provide the forum needed to help grow and strengthen the automotive specialty-equipment industry. MRC must assist all member reps in networking, sharing successful concepts, systems and educational opportunities to ensure that every participating rep and rep agency is as effective, successful and profitable as possible.
SMN: Is there anything else you would like to emphasize to the MRC membership and the industry as a whole?
CF: Get involved! With the challenges we all have faced and are going to continue to face, we need to work together for the good of the entire industry. SEMA and MRC are built upon the strength of the people involved and making a difference to improve and strengthen the automotive specialty-equipment market. State your concerns and ideas. Recruit other reps to join. The MRC is for all reps who are concerned about the industry, their occupation and their futures. Task force participation requires only a limited investment of time but provides a great way to network and share ideas.
For more information about volunteering, visit the MRC website.
MRERF Donates Tuitions
The Manufacturers Representatives Education Research Foundation (MRERF) is the only nationally accredited certification program for manufacturers’ representatives. The curriculum is designed as executive management education that allows the participants to gain knowledge and insight into how to more effectively operate their businesses. This year, MRERF has generously gifted MRC with three tuitions to its Certified Professional Manufacturers Representatives (CPMR) program. MRC announced the winners at its MRC Rep Conference and awards ceremony on Sunday, October 31, 2010, prior to the SEMA Show. Congratulations go to the 2010 MRERF award recipients: Cody LaDuke of Evan Mecham & Associates, Mike Hansen of SS Sales & Marketing and Mark Petro of R&R Marketing.
MRC Chairman Wade Cobb (left) and Chair-Elect Chris Fairless (right) congratulate Cody LaDuke of Evan Mecham & Associates on being awarded one of three tuitions to the Manufacturers Representatives Education Research Foundation’s Certified Professional Manufacturers Representatives program. The other two awards went to Mike Hansen of SS Sales & Marketing and Mark Petro of R&R Marketing.
Your Trade Association Needs You!
It is election time for the MRC Select Committee, and the MRC needs your support. The election will be processed electronically this year, so there should be no excuse for not voting! The ballots will be e-mailed to MRC members, so all you need to do is click and send. We’ll need the ballot responses returned by June 7, 2011, and the new members will officially join the committee on July 1, 2011.
The MRC Select Committee continues to work on ways to offer more service and value to our members. We need input from you and your staff. Every agency should empower at least one associate to get involved in the MRC. When we work together, we accomplish more for our rep members and for the industry.