Goodguys Rodders Reps Keep Members Informed and Engaged
If you’ve attended or participated in a Goodguys event, chances are you’ve encountered one of the many Rodders Reps who can be found assisting throughout the show. They’re usually easy to spot in their bright red Rodders Rep shirts – and by their good nature and helpful attitudes. These guys and gals help every Goodguys event run as smooth as possible – and do even more work between events to engage members and build enthusiasm for the association.
But just what is a Rodders Rep? We’re sure many of you have wondered that exact question, so we thought it was high time to highlight these crucial members of the Goodguys team. Simply put, these hard-working guys and gals are key components for keeping the Goodguys wheels turning.
What’s a Rep?
The Rodders Rep program was an early initiative at Goodguys and has been an important factor in the association’s success through the years. Goodguys founder Gary Meadors had an outgoing personality and a wide circle of friends, but he knew there needed to be more than just one guy out there spreading the word about events His longtime friend and fellow Danville Dukes club member, the late Bill Burnham, suggested a network of advocates who could help around the country. Burnham put his money where his mouth was, becoming the first Goodguys Rodders Rep and effectively launching the program.
In the decades since Burnham led the charge, the Rodders Rep program has enlisted hundreds of enthusiasts in all corners of the country. Burnham’s son-in-law, Harry Daviess, is now the Vice President of Operations for Goodguys and helps administer the current network of Rodders Reps, a diehard group of delegates who help out at events and serve as spokespeople and local contacts for Goodguys. Simply put, Rodders Reps are a fraternity of rodders dedicated to having fun with cars and promoting good times!
“Rodders Reps are vital to what we do,” says Goodguys Chief Operating Officer Andrew Ebel. “They’re the eyes and ears on the ground in the markets we serve. They give us the pulse of what’s happening. They’re the number one evangelists for Goodguys in their areas.”
“I’m a face to people in my region,” says Mark Little, the Divisional Rep for the Heartland Region. Mark is based in Wichita, Kansas, and says the Rodders Rep role allows him to help educate people about Goodguys, while also promoting rodding and the old car hobby at events in his area.
Fellow Rep Harley Alcox summed it up a little differently. “I basically tell people I’m a salesman,” Harley says. “I want to sell you membership in this organization.”
Western Divisional Rep Dave Patterson recalls his days selling tools when he considers his Rodders Rep role, joking that his job is to “aggressively promote the product,” as his Snap-On training taught him. “And that’s what I try to do with Goodguys,” he says.
Think National, Act Local
Rodders Reps serve as ambassadors in their regions, helping to stay engaged with area Goodguys members and recruiting new members. Reps are people that members can turn to if they have questions or concerns regarding events, membership, or Goodguys happenings. Reps are also a primary point of contact for Goodguys management when we want to get news out to members.
One way that Reps build support for Goodguys is by attending local car shows and rod runs. They’ll often set up small Goodguys booths and information tables where they can answer questions, renew memberships, and spread the good word about Goodguys.
Even though Goodguys has a nearly four-decade track record of producing incredible automotive events, Patterson says he still encounters enthusiasts who are unfamiliar with the brand, so it’s beneficial to have advocates who can explain what we do. “We can’t assume that everybody knows about us.” Patterson says.
Mark Little agrees. “There’s a lot of people, especially those who are new to the hobby, who have never heard of Goodguys,” he says.
Southeast Division Rep Mike Smith says the most common question he gets from newcomers is what they get for their membership money. “Our main focal point is the Gazette,” Mike says, though he also touts other perks of membership like discounts on event registration and merchandise, plus travel discounts and more.
Additionally, some local rod runs and shows allow Rodders Reps to give out an award – a Goodguys Pick – which Goodguys will supply. It’s a fun way to recognize cool cars and help share a little Goodguys goodwill.
Rodders Reps also get involved by acting as extended Goodguys staff at Goodguys events. This is done in a variety of ways, from assisting with registration, to helping park show vehicles, to aiding people renew or sign up for memberships, to facilitating the Choice Product Giveaway program, to making Rodders Rep Award picks.
“My first and foremost thing is, I’m here for information,” Mike Smith says. “Where do I park my car? Where’s a special parking area? They’ve got someone to ask questions.”
Patterson echoes that thought. “People come to the booth for answers for many things,” he says. “That’s why it’s so important for the Rodders Reps to be informed about what’s going on.”
“We’re there to help them have fun,” Smith continues, noting that participants want to enjoy their time at an event and Reps can help by creating a positive atmosphere. “There are some serious things we do, but we still make it fun.”
Goodguys is always looking for good people to join our national lineup of Rodders Reps. You can help us preserve our hot rod hobby and carry the Goodguys message to your local car clubs and car community by dedicating just a few hours of your time each month. You can learn more by clicking on the “Become a Rodders Rep” link under the Info tab at Good-guys.com, or by contacting a Divisional Rep from the Rodders Rep directory here.
There are some perks for being a Rodders Rep, including complimentary membership and event registration, Goodguys merchandise discounts, and hotel discounts at events. For most Reps, though, the biggest perk is simply being involved and helping other rodders enjoy Goodguys good times.
“My favorite part is meeting new people, and making sure they’re happy,” Patterson says. “We have an awfully good group of people.”
“I love people. I enjoy cars,” Mark Little says. “The cars are what bring us together, but it’s the friendships you make through the cars. We all have a common interest.”
When asked about what qualities make a good Rodders Rep, Goodguys’ Andrew Ebel says good communication and respect are key. It’s important for Reps to have a willingness to serve and make personal connections, because it’s those relationships that keep members engaged and keep Goodguys going strong.
“There’s a genuine good human quality to these people,” Ebel says of the Goodguys Rodders Rep roster. “These are just really good guys. There’s a friendly quality to them that makes you feel good when they talk to you.”