FROM THE HILL
By Christian Robinson
My Old Kentucky Home
Bed Wood & Parts Hosts U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield
Like many car guys, Jeff Major’s passion for street rods, stock cars and classic trucks was acquired as he helped his father in the garage. While working on his own ’57 Chevy pickup not long ago, Major couldn’t find the right wood for the bed of his truck, so he took a page out of his father’s playbook and took matters into his own hands. Literally. It was on that day in 2006 that Bed Wood & Parts was born.
Today, Bed Wood & Parts manufactures American-made, ready-to-finish bed kits for virtually any truck or specialty vehicle dating back to 1915. Based in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, the company offers consumers more than 40 types of wood through a network of 80 dealers.
Bed Wood & Parts isn’t the only notable product to come out of western Kentucky. U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield (R-KY) also hails from Hopkinsville—a place he called home until he went off to the University of Kentucky, where he earned both his bachelor’s degree and juris doctorate. Rep. Whitfield served in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1974–1975 while practicing law in Hopkinsville, where he operated a successful oil distributorship.
Since 1994, Rep. Whitfield has served Kentucky’s first Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. Bed Wood & Parts, its ownership and employees are all part of Whitfield’s constituency. In Congress, he serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the automotive aftermarket industry. He also chairs its Subcommittee on Energy and Power, which oversees American energy policy.
“I was excited to visit the folks at Bed Wood & Parts,” Rep. Whitfield said. “It was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about America’s vibrant automotive aftermarket industry and how it is creating jobs right here in Kentucky.”
During his tour, Rep. Whitfield was able to see how Bed Wood & Parts mills, sands and finishes American wood into a product that’s ready to install. Each one of the company’s kits is manufactured at the Hopkinsville headquarters using the latest woodworking equipment and computer numerical control machinery.
Like 92% of SEMA-member companies, Bed Wood & Parts is a small business. During his visit, Rep. Whitfield was able to hear firsthand from Major what needs to be done to help small businesses, such as his prosper and hire more skilled workers. With a new Congress set to begin work in January, it’s a message Major is confident Rep. Whitfield will share with his colleagues back in Washington.
“Having an ally like Rep. Whitfield is huge,” Major said. “As a small-business owner, I was excited to show him not only how we’ve grown but also how we’re prepared to expand even further, creating more badly needed jobs.”
For more information on planning your own Congressional District Site Visit, please contact Christian Robinson via e-mail in the SEMA government affairs office at email@example.com.
SEMA PAC President’s Club Spotlight: Jonathan Ward
Jonathan Ward is the CEO and lead designer of ICON, which is headquartered in Chatsworth, California. He joined the SEMA PAC President’s Club in 2012.
“As an automotive designer and enthusiast, my passion has always been the automobile industry.” Ward said.
“Regulatory reform is necessary for its sustainability and longevity. I can’t sit idly and hope for change. I joined the President’s Club to ensure that my voice is heard and that we can achieve a regulatory system that functions on the merits of hard-working people looking for success and paving the road for innovation and U.S. manufacturing growth.”
For more information on SEMA PAC, please contact SEMA PAC Manager Christian Robinson by phone at 202-783-6007 x20, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.