Sweet Home Alabama

SEMA News—December 2017

FROM THE HILL

By Christian Robinson

Sweet Home Alabama

LINE-X Hosts U.S. Senator Luther Strange (R-AL)

  Luther Strange
During a tour of the LINE-X facility, Senator Strange met with employees and franchisees to hear firsthand what matters most to them and the automotive aftermarket industry.
   

When you’re a United States Senator, you tend to get asked a lot of questions. It comes with the territory. In most cases, those questions cover topics such as health care and tax reform. But there’s one question that U.S. Senator Luther Strange (R-AL) just can’t seem to avoid: How tall are you?

To answer the question, newly appointed Senator Strange stands 6 ft., 9 in. tall. When you’re nearly 7-ft. tall, it’s hard not to get noticed. Having been named to replace now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the U.S. Senate earlier in the year, Senator Strange was eager to get noticed by his new constituents, including LINE-X, which happens to be the Business Council of Alabama’s midsize manufacturer of the year.

With more than 500 franchises worldwide, LINE-X is widely known for its protective coatings, high-performance spray-on bedliners, and accessories. Earlier this year, the company moved into a newly completed 60,000-sq.-ft. corporate headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama—home to more than 60 employees. The new facility contains a state-of-the-art research-and-development lab, a 30,000-sq.-ft. warehouse for material production, storage and shipping, and executive office spaces. The new headquarters also includes a modern training facility for franchisees and applicators, two high-production spray booths and a product testing area.

  Luther Strange
Included in LINE-X’s new headquarters is a state-of-the art research and development lab.
  Luther Strange
LINE-X is widely known for its protective coatings, high-performance spray-on bedliners and accessories.

Originally from Birmingham, Alabama, Senator Strange served as the state’s attorney general for six years before his appointment to the U.S. Senate in February. Prior to his career in public service, he practiced law in his home town and served as the court-appointed coordinating counsel for the Gulf Coast states after 2011’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Senator Strange earned both his undergraduate and legal degrees from Tulane University, where he received a scholarship to play basketball. In the Senate, he serves on the committees on agriculture, nutrition and forestry; armed services; budget; and energy and natural resources.

During a tour of the LINE-X facility, Senator Strange met with employees and franchisees to hear firsthand what matters most to them and the automotive aftermarket industry. Topics ranged from what motivated him to seek public office to the increasingly partisan atmosphere in the nation’s capital. Of particular concern was tax reform—a topic high on the agenda of both President Trump and Congress. Included in the discussion was the importance of ensuring that business expensing tax deductions (Section 179 in the tax code) remain law in any reform. Those important deductions allow companies to depreciate the cost of new equipment in the year it’s purchased rather than over many years.

“Having a sitting U.S. Senator visit our business and engage with our team is very important to getting the message out about our company and its capabilities,” Tim Garner, LINE-X’s chief financial officer said. “We welcome this opportunity any time and look forward to maintaining the relationship with the Senator’s office moving forward.”

For more information on planning your own Congressional District Site Visit, please contact Christian Robinson in the SEMA government affairs office via email at christianr@sema.org.

SEMA PAC President’s Club Spotlight: Dennis Weese

Dennis Weese  

Dennis Weese is the president of LINE-X, which is based in Huntsville, Alabama. Weese joined the SEMA PAC President’s Club in 2016.

“LINE-X was pleased to host Senator Luther Strange recently,” Weese said. “The work of the SEMA PAC is so important and crucial to the future of our industry. Getting folks such as Senator Strange into our location and providing him with the background and education about the automotive aftermarket is an important component of what the SEMA PAC does for our industry. With more than 500 franchise locations in North America, it is important that we have legislative leaders who understand the importance of innovation, business growth, and access to capital for small-business owners. Those are all issues that the SEMA PAC provides leadership on and why I am both supportive of the PAC and an enthusiastic member of the PAC.”

For more information on the SEMA PAC, contact SEMA PAC and Congressional Relations Director Christian Robinson at christianr@sema.org or 202-794-8279.

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