Joel Ayres, national marketing director, Leer, Division Truck Accessories Group (TAG), Inc. has been named the 2006 Person of the Year Award by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). Created in 1969, the Person of the Year Award honours individuals recognized for their distinguished service to the trade association and the specialty equipment industry. Ayres, who serves on the SEMA board of directors and is the board’s liaison to the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) Select Committee, has been in the truck accessory business since 1972. “To be recognized by my peers means more to me than anything,” said Ayres. “There’s not a job title or any amount of money in the world that compares. I am humbly honoured.” Ayres is no stranger to the automotive industry. In the late 1960s, his father founded Ayr-Way, one of the first fibreglass cap companies and Joel went to work for the company after majoring in business at the University of Northern Iowa. He later worked for Guidon Truck Covers as general manager until 1991 when he went to work for Leer and TAG. Ayres also chairs the Leer Marketing Council, which has been providing product direction for future growth. Ayres was named to the LTAA Hall of Fame in 2005, joining his father as the only father/son inductees to be so honoured. He currently chairs LTAA’s new Charity Committee and recently received the annual Chairman’s Award for outstanding contributions to LTAA and the aftermarket industry. Ayers also chairs the committee to establish a permanent SEMA Hall of Fame and History exhibit. In addition, Ayres works with Child Help (www.childhelpusa.org) whose mission is to meet the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of abused and neglected children, and Victory Junction Gang Camp, (www.victoryjunction.org) an organization that enriches the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.