Caroline Fletcher Steps Up to Help Our Cause
My name is Caroline Fletcher, and I have recently joined the SEMA Government Affairs team in Washington, D.C., as a legislative analyst. In this role, I will work to identify, analyze and monitor state legislation and regulations that could have an impact on the automotive hobby and industry it supports. I will be helping to advance the SAN’s legislative interests across all 50 states. As you probably know, thousands of bills are introduced and debated in statehouses each year across the country. Not all legislation impacts cars and trucks; I will work to sort through all proposals to pinpoint which pieces do.
I grew up not far from the nation’s capital in Owings, Maryland, and recently received a B.A. in American politics and mathematics from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Last summer, I worked as an intern on Capitol Hill in Congressman Steny Hoyer’s office, and during my four years at college worked in the student affairs office. I am an avid dog lover (especially my 12-year-old beagle, Jackson), and love being outside, whether it be hiking in the mountains or kayaking on the Chesapeake Bay.
The only car I have owned is my hand-me-down ’10 Honda Odyssey minivan, and although it is certainly not the flashiest, I have come to appreciate its functionality. Whether it be to move out of my college dorm or to drive all my friends to the movies, my Honda hasn’t failed to get everything or everyone where it needs to go. While my dream car is a vintage Volkswagen Beetle, I know I will always look fondly on my years driving my minivan.
I am so excited to join the SEMA team and help protect the automotive hobby. If I can help you negotiate the legislative process in your state, don’t hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SEMA SAN Strike Force
“I decided to restore the paint to Vietnam colors to honor the veterans of the past and their sacrifices,” explains Joshua Tabor. His 1966 M35a2 Kaiser-Jeep ‘Deuce and a Half’ was a large inspiration for writing state lawmakers earlier this year. “I believe having the ability to safely operate these former military vehicles on our roads promotes camaraderie among veterans and communities of automotive enthusiasts. It shows respect to veterans of the past who spent years of their lives devoted to the motor pool that kept the soldiers safe.” Joshua also noted that he is an active-duty Navy service member who has served for 15 years. He is also an active member in the Military Vehicles Preservation Association (MVPA) of Colorado. When it comes to legislative engagement, his thinking is clear: “Be the squeaky wheel and voice your opinions! Everyone who enjoys the freedoms of being a motorized enthusiast should be involved. Be detailed on your beliefs and logical with thoughts behind your beliefs.”
The project has been getting mechanical and cosmetic attention, which includes paint and markings in the original style. In fact, Joshua’s truck was in rough shape when he obtained it. “It had been abused to the point it was hardly able to drive when I first got it.” The list of accomplishments completed to date is quite lengthy. However, many improvements are planned for the work in progress. “It's a great all-purpose working truck. Since it’s modified with lock-out hubs and an air locker on the front axle, I can use it to haul just about anything.” What may be more impressive is that the effort has all been done in his driveway and carport!
Joshua’s connection to the community of vintage former military vehicles runs deep. No surprise that his “other” ride is a highly-modified 1997 Jeep TJ. Undoubtedly inspired by driving his dad's 1977 Chevy Luv truck, he built a 1978 Chevy Luv with a Nova 350 small block and 2-speed Power Glide. “I recommend visiting with all the original owners of classic vehicles—as well as all the veterans who first used these vehicles—to carry on the memories and tell the stories. My 95-year-old neighbor, Tom, served 30 years in the Army during Korea and Vietnam—he loves seeing my M35a2 and hearing it. Now my daughter even likes to go out in it too!” He adds that online forums offer a wealth of knowledge on subjects like his truck.
With folks like Joshua in our ranks, our hobby’s rich heritage will remain connected with those who serve our nation. Thank you!