By Ellen McKoy
Annual PRO Awards Recognize Restyling Industry Influencers
Josh Poulson (center), owner of Auto Additions in Columbus, Ohio, was named the 2015 Nat Danas Person of the Year. He is flanked by PRO Chair Scott Wolin (left) and Chair-Elect Ellen McKoy.
For more than a decade, SEMA’s Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) has paid tribute to industry influencers who have made significant contributions to the growth and stature of the restyling industry. The PRO awards program was created to give back to the companies—and the individuals within those companies—who continuously break barriers with innovation, a vision for the future and the pursuit of excellence.
“Every industry has its share of innovators and influencers, and the restyling industry is no exception,” said Scott Wolin, PRO chair.
Since 1995, PRO has recognized many exceptional members of the restyling community. Historically, awards were presented at PRO receptions held during SEMA regional shows. However, the awards have been held in conjunction with the evening reception at the SEMA Show since 2009. This year’s gala salute is slated for Tuesday evening, November 1, at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino. Reception attendees will mix and mingle with top influencers in the restyling industry while enjoying the beautiful setting of the rooftop pool deck.
The awards ceremony is an eagerly anticipated highlight of the evening where the council leadership will be presenting awards in four categories: PRO Restyler of the Year, PRO Manufacturer of the Year, Nat Danas Person of the Year and the Jim Borré Lifetime Achievement Award.
PRO Restyler of the Year honors an outstanding restyler/installer whose creativity and accomplishments have enhanced the stature and growth of the industry within the candidate’s community.
PRO Manufacturer of the Year is awarded to an exceptional restyling industry manufacturer whose creativity, integrity, professionalism and accomplishments have enhanced the overall stature and growth of the industry within the aftermarket community.
The Nat Danas Person of the Year award was established in honor of the late founder and publisher of Auto Trim & Restyling News magazine. The award salutes an outstanding individual in the restyling industry who has acted with a high degree of integrity and professionalism and has enriched the stature of the industry within the candidate’s community and nationwide.
The Jim Borré Lifetime Achievement Award is named after the late PRO chairman, who also served on the SEMA Board of Directors and was a SEMA Hall of Fame inductee. The award is reserved for an individual in the restyling, trim or light-truck accessory industry who represents the highest degree of integrity, professionalism and accomplishments and whose extensive contributions furthered the advancement of the aftermarket industry on a national level.
The Brandmotion team, headed by Jeff Varick (second from right), was presented with the 2015 Manufacturer of the Year award by PRO Chair Scott Wolin (right) and Chair-Elect Ellen McKoy (second from left).
To ensure the integrity of the awards, a selection process has been set in place and is carried out by a task force made up by PRO select committee members. To kick off the 2016 awards program, council members will be called upon to submit their nominations for the four categories.
“I urge all PRO members to put on their thinking caps and submit nominations,” Wolin said. “The PRO awards are a high honor. Nominating a colleague, employer, employee, supplier or a friend is a great way to support your council and bestow recognition on those individuals who have made significant contributions to the restyling industry.”
Council members will receive awards criteria, a PRO membership roster and a list of prior awardees so they are able to best submit their nominations. All PRO-member companies and all individuals employed by PRO-member companies are eligible to be nominated. After the close of nominations, the awards task force will review the nominations.
Eligible nominees will be selected as final candidates, and the membership will vote for the most deserving in each awards category.