FEATURED INDUSTRY PERSON OF THE DAY
FEATURED FIRM OF THE WEEK
Steve Stern is a champion for the “little guy”. He and this author have a lot in common. We want to see the 12volt industry grow and prosper – each in our own way.
For this article Stern told 12voltnews.com “MECA is a lifestyle club. We all enjoy music to begin with and we want the best we can have in our vehicles. More amps and subs generally make everything sound better so we stack and cram as many as we can fit into our budgets and turn it up.” When MECA members, retailers and consumers turn up the volume the cash register rings for the retailer and the fun begins for the MECA competitor. It’s also a big win for the 12volt industry.
MECA is the Mobile Electronics Competition Association. This member driven organization comprised of consumer, retailer and industry members is in its second decade. Stern, known to members as the Commissioner, is in his own right an accomplished musician and songwriter. With the Nashville address Stern’s tastes in music lean to country and bluegrass. “No matter what one’s taste in music it just sounds better on a good system. Working with our retail members is a way consumers and gain knowledge about how everything goes together thus increasing their enjoyment and chances of winning a few trophies if they choose to compete”.
“In our early years of hosting MECA competitions we were lucky to have Ms Alma Gates and her famous Blazer at competitions held at our store in Boaz, AL. MECA events, back then in the day, and still today generate interest in 12volt products and traffic in our store” Bill McDowell of Wild Bills wrote in a testimonial email to 12voltnews.com.
The Team at Wild Bills works closely with local high schools and community groups to promote activities geared to prepare young adults for the life ahead. Marge McDowell said “We are lucky to have a huge parking lot. We hold MECA events in the parking lot and spectators will stop, come in to check out what the crowd is doing, have some great BBQ and see how we can upgrade electronics in their ride.
Cory Bradley, owner of Innovative Car Audio and Video in Evansville, IN went on record to say “Since my involvement with MECA I have noticed a greater demand for system installs that will meet the demands of competition even if the customer doesn’t actually compete. This has added more to my bottom line and has given our store more avenues for revenue.” Bradley continued “I am not only a MECA retail member but a competitor and a judge. I put it this way to my customers, If I build systems that compete and win on the big stage (2 World Champion SQ titles in 2007) then we can meet their needs.”
Stern and MECA have developed a number of relationships directly with high school and tech schools. One such relationship is with DMTC (Daniel Morgan Tech Center) in Spartanburg, SC. Chris Lipp, on behalf of DMTC emailed 12voltnews.com “We are finally finished with this year’s big install project. It’s all up to the judges now. Thanks again for all your help. We could not have done it without you.”
Joe Zelano, owner of Elite Audio and creator of the Elite Summer Nationals held at the Spartanburg, SC Expo Center said “I’ve been on the show circuit since 1989 and a retailer since 1991. I’ve been around the block with sanctioning bodies. MECA truly understands what the competitors want, and will do what it takes, within reason, to provide a fair and fun place for them to have fun and compete.” MECA will be the exclusive sanctioning body at this year’s Elite Summer Nationals in Spartanburg SC on August 8th.
Look for MECA at another huge event – Autofest ‘09 in Durant, OK August 1st and 2nd. Rumor has it that Ms Alma Gates will make the trip from Phoenix to Durant as a special guest. Much more on this event sponsored by the Choctaw Casino and Resort will be forthcoming. For more information on this Mega event go to MECA’s website.
MECA is a grassroots organization and nowhere is there a better example than with John Vrooman who is a MECA event coordinator in Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. Vrooman, whose real job is in R&D for the aerospace company Northrop Grumman, got started as a MECA competitor from his love of music. In his free time Vrooman schedules and coordinates MECA events. “I don’t compete much anymore” Vrooman told 12voltnews.com. “It just seems that would be a level playing field for other competitors.”
2009 will prove to be a very big year for MECA. At www.mecacaraudio.com you can see the organization’s schedule of events and world finals.
For more info email the Commissioner at firstname.lastname@example.org