|The recent SEMA Ft. Worth Town Hall meeting was hosted by Adrian Murray and his team at Painless Performance.|
As expected, the masses came out for the second SEMA Town Hall, hosted by Adrian Murray and his team at Painless Performance. Ft. Worth, Texas, was the second stop on the Town Hall tour, with more than 60 SEMA-member and industry representatives in attendance.
If you are not familiar with the “town hall” format, it’s quite simple. Essentially, networking takes place in the first hour that, in this case, included a tour of the Painless Performance facility.
Then all enjoyed some of the most delicious BBQ the state of Texas has to offer—cooked by the same crew that catered the recent Texas governor’s inauguration.
Following some networking and good eats, the group took part in the meat of the agenda (pun intended)—the panel discussion or Town Hall portion of the event. The purpose of these panels is to provide the audience with the opportunity to address key issues and concerns with industry and SEMA leaders.
The Town Hall panel was led by SEMA President and CEO Christopher Kersting with Board of Directors member Adrian Murray and Jim Bingham of Winner’s Circle Speed & Custom Inc. Rounding out the panel were: Wade Cobb, the Manufacturers’ Rep Council’s (MRC) Chair and a principal at HAPCO, as well as the Young Executives Network’s (YEN) John Rosenbaum with Conklin Company.
The interesting part about the Town Hall is that the panel is not provided with any advance notice of the topics covered. During this event, the group focused on peppering the panel with questions on some of the association’s top challenges. These included the idea of an industry data pool (see the December 2010 issue of SEMA News), the association’s position on ethanol and how best to get involved with the SEMA Mentoring Program.
With more than an hour dedicated to the nearly 20 questions entertained by the panel, the leadership group helped provide fodder for the final hour of networking and follow-up.
One of the most exciting aspects of the event was being able to interact with some of the top young entrepreneurs and innovators in the industry. We learned that their challenges were no different than those industry veterans who came before them:
- “How do I turn my personal passion into a thriving business?”
- “When do you look at expanding your manufacturing and investing more in marketing and additional employees?”
- “How risk-adverse should I be?”
Through the meeting, we were able to align several of these young executives with councils that can help with networking, as well as other industry leaders who have answered those questions.
If you have an interest in participating in the next SEMA Town Hall, one will no doubt be coming to a city near you. On June 3, 2011, we will be traveling East to Huntersville, North Carolina, just outside of Charlotte, to host our third event at Joe Gibbs Racing. Then, we’ll be off to the Northwest to Griot’s Garage in Tacoma, Washington, on August 12, 2011. As you can see, we have some exciting events lined up and hope you’ll be able to join us at our next stop.