SEMA eNews Vol. 18, No. 36, September 3, 2015

SEMA Council & Network News: Marketing and Training Toolkit for Restylers

Strengthen Your Company Through Community

No matter what niche you're in—rods, restoration, racing, restyling, reps, trucks or wheels and tires—there's a SEMA council or professional network that's right for your company. SEMA councils and networks offer members a variety of market-specific programs and activities designed to provide educational and networking opportunities while promoting their particular industry segment.

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The Restylers Toolkit, Prepared for You by PRO

By Amanda Gubbins

The cornerstone of the SEMA Mission Statement is to help its members’ businesses grow and prosper. The association is known as the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market-growth information—assets members turn to every day. The association also provides members and the industry with numerous other tools and resources to help their businesses succeed and prosper.

As a council dedicated to serving the restyling and accessory market, PRO’s mission is much the same. To help member companies grow their businesses and bottom lines and gain a competitive advantage, PRO has developed some useful marketing materials and resources.

Sales Training Manual

This training resource for restyling teams includes tools, such as a cheat sheet for sales meeting preparation, contact information forms and inspection sheets. It also contains voluntary codes of recommended business practices for accessory manufacturers, warehouse distributors, installers, restylers and retailers.

Vehicle Accessorization Flyer

This flyer is designed to help you educate dealers about the value of vehicle accessorization and the importance of working with a professional accessory provider. A free resource for PRO council members, the flyer is customizable so you can add your salespeople’s contact information, along with time- or brand-specific service promotions. Stand out from the crowd with this easy-to-read infographic. The PDF format allows you to print what you need, or distribute the information electronically.

Business Development Guidebook

Useful step-by-step guidelines and information can be used to help manage and run a more profitable and professional restyling business, be it a start-up operation or an established restyling/accessory center. Chock-full of innovative and practical solutions, the guidebook is available to PRO members for $24.95 and nonmembers for $149.95.

Owner Information Packet

This two-part glove-box insert includes an envelope for storing important documents—manufacturers’ product warranties, accessory operating instructions, vehicle warranty coverage information, plus space to imprint your company name and contact info. It is available free to PRO members only.

For more information about any of these tools, contact Clayton Drescher.

The PRO Booth Happy Hour is a popular draw in the North Hall.

Save the Date: PRO to Host Slate of Networking and Educational Opportunities at the 2015 SEMA Show

By Clayton Drescher

The Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) will offer a valuable slate of events, meetings and seminars to maximize the SEMA Show experience for professionals in the aftermarket restyling and accessories industry.

PRO Booth and Happy Hour

Visit PRO in the North Hall at Booth #12561 during Show hours to learn more about what the council has to offer, the group's long-term goals or just to meet the leadership face to face. If you’d like to help out, get connected and advocate for PRO to Show attendees, please consider volunteering to help staff the booth.

Be sure to take a mid-week break by mingling with motivated restyling buyers and exhibitors over drinks at the PRO Happy Hour, Wednesday, November 4, from 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Register here.

PRO Pool Party

PRO will hold its annual industry networking and awards reception, this year dubbed the PRO Pool Party, Tuesday, November 3, from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., on the pool deck of the Westgate Hotel (third floor). You won’t get wet, but you’ll have a good time! The reception is open to all employees of PRO-member companies and others interested in learning more about the council. It will feature networking opportunities and award presentations to honor leaders in the restyling industry, as chosen by peers. Register now.

PRO General Membership Meeting

PRO members and others who would like to learn more about the council are invited to attend a general membership meeting, Thursday, November 5, from 7:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m., in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room N234. The meeting will provide a chance to learn more about the group’s focus and connect with others in the restyling and accessories market over breakfast. Register today.

Dealer Education

  • Car Dealer Stories: Unfiltered Truths About Operating a Profitable Accessory Program, Wednesday, November 4, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., LVCC, room N254
  • Enhancing the Consumer Experience: A New Approach to Dealership Profit Centers, Wednesday, November 4, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m., LVCC, room N252
  • Accessory Resources for New- and Used-Vehicle Dealers, Thursday, November 5, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., LVCC, room N252

For more information on the Auto Dealer Track, visit the SEMA Education section of to pre-register.

Restyler Education

PRO members will explore and present the latest tips and tricks on a topic near and dear to restylers’ hearts in “The Art of Selling Car-Dealer Direct: What You Need to Know” on Thursday, November 5, from 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., LVCC, room N256. Register for this session.

For more information about any of these programs, contact Clayton Drescher, SEMA council liaison, at 909-978-6696,

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Bedslide manufactures a sliding tray that brings all your cargo right to you.

TORA Member Spotlight: Bedslide by Takit Inc.

Jake Plappert is the vice president of sales and marketing for Bedslide by Takit Inc., located in Medford, Oregon. Plappert shared a little bit of background on the company, and why it joined the Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA).

What is your company's name?

Bedslide by Takit Inc.

What does your company do?

We manufacture the Bedslide—a truck-bed accessory that provides easy access to cargo space for trucks, vans, SUVs and utility vehicles.

How many years have you been in business?

We have been in business since 1999.

What is your company's history?

Bedslide is a brand born on a vision of solutions. Bedslide embodies fresh thinking, revolutionary design, reliable functionality and intuitive simplicity. Bedslide is about efficiency. It’s about Bedslide getting the job done right, with minimum waste of time and energy and maximum results.

How do we do it?

Bedslide uses only the highest-quality components to manufacture a sliding tray that brings all your cargo right to you. Whether it’s your truck, van, SUV, utility box or trailer, the Bedslide rolls out your gear and equipment safely and securely. The Bedslide is about making your life easier. It’s not just a truck-bed accessory to make your truck look better; it’s also a truck-bed accessory to make your truck work better.

Why are you an TORA member?

TORA provides us with industry connections and information. Our goal is to be an industry leader in our segment, and TORA helps us to that end.

Anything exciting you see happening in the truck market or in your company?

Bedslide/Takit Inc. has improved production and product quality. We are about to release new groundbreaking products that stand by our mantra—Better Engineered Portability.

Network with hundreds of colleagues in the truck and off-road sector at the TORA Industry Awards Reception.

Don't Miss These TORA Events at the 2015 SEMA Show

By Clayton Drescher

TORA Reception

Open to all employees of Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) member companies and prospective members, there is no better opportunity to connect than at the annual TORA Industry Awards Reception at the SEMA Show. The event will be held Wednesday, November 4, from 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m., in the Las Vegas Convention Center room N262-264.

The evening will include great food, networking and tributes to some of the most influential professionals and companies in the industry. Arrive early to rent a pinewood racer in exchange for a $20 donation to SEMA Cares, and then compete for the title of Fall Nationals Top Eliminator. Register now!

TORA SEMA Show Booth & Happy Hour

Are you a buyer interested in meeting exhibitors in the truck and off-road industries? Are you a manufacturer hoping to build leads in a casual environment on the Show floor? Truck and off-road buyers and exhibitors are invited to the TORA Happy Hour at the TORA booth (#34169) in upper South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Tuesday, November 3, from 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m. Wrap up the first day of the 2015 SEMA Show by mingling with motivated buyers and exhibitors and learning about the council over a drink. Register here!

For more information on these or any other TORA events, contact Clayton Drescher at 909-978-6696,

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MPMC Media Trade Conference Manufacturer Registration Now Open

The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Media Trade Conference is a truly unique event that brings together editorial staff from all over the world with racing and high-performance parts manufacturers for three days of face-to-face, 30-minute meetings. Nowhere else does a manufacturer have the opportunity to meet with automotive editors in as many as 42 in-person meetings.

Exhibitor registration for the 2015 MPMC Media Trade Conference is open now through September 5, 2015. Only 100 spots are available, and participants will be chosen using a random-number lottery system. Manufacturers who submitted an application but were not selected for the 2014 event are automatically guaranteed a spot in the 2015 event (if the application is submitted by the deadline of September 5, 2015). Exhibitor selection is available only for MPMC-member companies.

Media Registration will open in October 2014. For media inquiries, contact Della Domingo at or 909-978-6723.

Not an MPMC member? Join today. MPMC members must manufacture parts used in sanctioned motorsports events, and all applications for membership are subject to review.

For general or exhibitor inquiries, contact Lindsay Bianco at, 909-978-6692.

Register now for the Media Trade Conference.

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Visit MRN's website.  

MRN Rep Room Details

By Bryan Harrison

An exclusive benefit to the 550+ Manufacturers' Representative Network (MRN) members, the MRN Rep Room located in the Members Lounge N251 offers a specific area at the SEMA Show for reps to conduct business. Inside the lounge, multiple charging locations and work stations will be made available, along with access to the rep matching service. The completed rep matching service forms are kept secure in the MRN Rep Room, where MRN members can review and contact participating manufacturers to schedule meetings. Exhibitors seeking representation for their product lines should submit the online form prior to the Show for inclusion.

Questions? Please contact Bryan C. Harrison, SEMA director of networks, at 909-978-6691 or

Exclusive Event for Manufacturer Reps at the SEMA Show

The SEMA Manufacturers' Representative Network (MRN) will host a collection of business-critical discussions moderated by industry experts exclusively for manufacturers' representatives on Sunday, November 1, from 3:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m., in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Upper North Hall, Room N256. The Rep Roundtable, powered by the MRN, will provide attendees with the opportunity to ask questions and receive practical solutions to real-world manufacturer rep opportunities and issues. The cost is $25 for SEMA members and $35 for non-members. Register today.

The topics and speakers will include the following:

How to Handle Private-Equity Acquisitions and Management

Speaker: Mitch Williams, president and CEO at Restoration Parts Unlimited Inc.
Synopsis: What actions should reps take when a private-equity firm is acquiring one of their manufacturers? What should reps do if they are terminated after a private-equity acquisition? How can reps protect themselves in the future?

Three Biggest Challenges Facing Reps Today and Tomorrow

Speaker: Clay Taylor, The Law Office of D. Clay Taylor
Synopsis: What are the challenges facing reps today and in the future? How a rep can strategically plan to face these challenges?

How to Be a Great Rep in the E-Commerce Market

Speaker: Bernard Bolisig, principal at UPSHIFT Marketing
Synopsis: Five things reps can do to increase their value to the e-commerce customer. How reps can help non-e-commerce customers enter e-commerce. Future trends in the e-commerce market that reps should know to increase sales.

Wealth Management for Reps

Speaker: Andrew D. Horowitz, vice president/financial advisor at Morgan Stanley
Synopsis: How should a rep without access to company investment plans prepare financially for the future? Discover investment tools a rep can use and how to find a wealth-management professional.

Tools and Trends for a Mobile Workforce

Speaker: Tyler Tanaka, president at CIE Digital Labs
Synopsis: Learn about mobile apps for better communication and digital business trends that manufacturers’ reps should stay on top of, including mobile apps for travel and for better organization.

Improving Your Rep Team’s Communication, Training and Overall Goals

Speaker: Nikki Weiss, president at Sa1esWise
Synopsis: Find out how everyone in your rep organization can help improve the overall team, the importance of continuous training with your rep team and improving communication with your rep team and manufacturers.

Register today. Questions? Please contact Bryan Harrison, SEMA director of networks, at 909-978-6691 or

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SBN Member of the Month—Victoria Newton, Digital Throttle

  Victoria Newton
Victoria Newton, Digital Throttle

Victoria Newton is the president of marine and motorsports aftermarket at Digital Throttle, located in San Juan Capistrano, California.

What does your company do?
Digital Throttle is a vertical ad network, providing online advertising through independent automotive, powersports and marine aftermarket-focused websites.

What is your position?
President of marine and motorsports aftermarket.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?
Working with companies to help expand their digital footprint—reaching new markets and measuring every dollar spent.

How long have you been involved with the automotive aftermarket?
I began working at Powerboat Magazine in 1994 and stayed until Source Interlink took me on in 2009, where I was until 2013 when I started with Digital Throttle.

What brought you to the industry?
I grew up on boats and was a competitive water skier in college. I always loved all competitive motorsports.

What are some of your major professional accomplishments?
I managed to become publisher of the world’s leading performance boat magazine, Powerboat, in an industry dominated by men. I was the first woman to hold this position and while maintaining this title. I was promoted to group publisher, overseeing all marine titles at the company. In this role, I managed all aspects of the magazines, including personally testing more than 500 high-performance boats and 200+ Personal Watercraft worldwide. In addition, I competed in the Catalina Ski race twice and various races overseas in Malta and Dubai.

Are you a member of any other professional organizations?
AWSA (American Waterski Association), PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) NAPW (National Association of Professional Women) WIPP (Women in Periodical Publishing).

Who are your industry mentors?
Warren Kosikov, Jerry Nordskog and Wiley Poole.

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
Don’t be intimated by enthusiastic staff. Encourage and challenge your staff to grow and learn your job so that you can be free to climb the ladder and expand personal growth.

What would someone meeting you for the first time be surprised to learn?
Probably that the person who has taught me the most in life is my sister Nicci, who was afflicted with Cerebral Palsey at birth. She can’t speak, walk or hear, but she has provided me inspiration to live each day, work hard, play harder and always appreciate the small things.

What is your dream car?
Jeep Wrangler, totally dialed in for off-road adventure.

What is your favorite pastime?
Anything on or in the water.

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SEMA Show 2015 Education Session Powered by WTC and TIA

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) and the Wheel and Tire Council (WTC) have joined forces to provide wheel and tire sales and installation professionals with the latest tools and techniques to inspire customer confidence in the entire process. Participate in this TIA/WTC session and take the lead in your market.

Aftermarket Wheels and Tires—Right Sale, Right Fit
Powered by WTC and TIA

When: November 4, 2015 - 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Where: Las Vegas Convention Center, Upper North Hall, N252
Presenters: Wayne Williams, Exsell Marketing and Chair-Elect, SEMA Wheel & Tire Council; Sean MacKinnon, Tire Industry Association, Director of Automotive Training Development

An informed sales and install team inspires confidence in customers. The Tire Industry Association and the SEMA Wheel & Tire Council are offering new and updated resources to support you in making the sale and completing the install. Equip your sales staff with the data-driven knowledge they need to educate your customers on the effects of various plus-sizing decisions on vehicle dynamics and provide your techs with the resources they need to correctly and quickly install aftermarket wheel and tire packages while maintaining TPMS integrity and accuracy.

Register for Aftermarket Wheels and Tires – Right Sale, Right Fit.

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