On July 1, three individuals joined the select committee for the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA). Jason Christiansen, president and CEO of Rigid Industries, Erika Garcia, national sales manager for Bolt Locks by Strattec, and Jerrod Strauss, director of sales and marketing for T-Rex Truck Products Inc., will join Todd Hoffman of A.R.E. Accessories and Kathryn Reinhardt of MagnaFlow, who were re-elected to fill the remaining two seats on the committee. SEMA Member News caught up with the three new members to share an introduction.
In order to land on our “35 Under 35” list, individuals must first be nominated by one or more industry peers. Pouring through the nominations, SEMA News looks for candidates already displaying leadership qualities within their organization or business. Entrepreneurship, commitment, insight, innovation, integrity, responsibility, and demonstrated skill, involvement and success within the industry weigh heavily in our decision-making. The selection process is never easy—in one way or another, every nominee is a winner—but, ultimately, we reduce the nominations down to 35 finalists to make our special section. When all was said and done for this 2014 edition, we again found ourselves with an impressive roster of highly accomplished individuals making their marks at a young age in a diverse array of industry segments.
In July, 10 young automotive entrepreneurs were selected from a large pool of competitors for the 2014 Launch Pad competition. The competition offers innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs under the age of 40 a platform to showcase their businesses for marketing a new automotive product or service. In July, 10 young automotive entrepreneurs were selected from a large pool of competitors for the 2014 Launch Pad competition. The competition offers innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs under the age of 40 a platform to showcase their businesses for marketing a new automotive product or service.
How Fusion Brakes Handled Its Very First SEMA ShowThousands of companies exhibit at the SEMA Show each year, and tens of thousands of industry buyers come to the Show for the sole purpose of discovering new products and companies. Of the more than 2,000 exhibitors at the typical SEMA Show, some 400 to 600 are there for the first time. Many are small companies that bring never-before-seen products. In many cases, their decision to exhibit at the SEMA Show represents their single largest marketing cost of the year.
This year, the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) joins the Posies Driven Dirty Tour with the goal of connecting a new generation to opportunities in the industry. The route will run October 25–November 2 from Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The tour is a natural fit with HRIA’s Futures in Hot Rodding initiative, which is an effort to encourage the industry’s next generation by identifying, communicating and promoting hot-rod-specific educational resources and career opportunities.
Were you to park a ’14 Chevy Malibu next to a ’56 Bel Air and open the hoods of each, the contrast would be remarkable. The Malibu’s short, wide engine bay is so full of plastic covers, tubes, hoses, wires, bottles and other equipment that the car’s four-cylinder engine is barely visible—if at all. The Bel Air’s Turbo-Fire V8, on the other hand, stands out in the ’56 Chevy’s spacious engine compartment, covered in bright orange paint and hooked to a canister air cleaner, a couple of radiator hoses and little else. Ask any shadetree mechanic why he prefers to work on old collector cars over today’s computer- and emissions-controlled vehicles and the answer usually comes down to: “They were so much simpler then.”
Each year, manufacturer members of the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) submit products to the Hot Product Showcase in order to gain exposure for their businesses. This year marked the 17th annual event at Spring Carlisle, one of the world’s largest gatherings of automotive restoration enthusiasts. The 2014 event was held April 23–26 and boasted more than 60 products from 24 ARMO-member companies.
The recent running of the Triple Crown horse races reminded me of Secretariat, perhaps the most famous horse ever and winner of the Triple Crown back in 1973. If you haven’t seen the 2010 movie Secretariat, you need to. Both inspirational and motivational, the film provides us with some great sales and life lessons. Perhaps even more are found in the lives of the jockey, Ronnie Turcotte; the trainer, Lucien Laurin; and especially the owner, Penny Chenery.
For the first time, the Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN) will partner with SEMA’s Young Executives Network (YEN) to host an after-hours reception for members at the SEMA Show. By holding the event in conjunction with YEN, ETTN hopes to provide its members with an opportunity to connect with others outside of the network. Since there is quite a bit of crossover in membership between the groups, a joint networking event is a natural fit.
On July 1, two freshman members were elected to the Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) select committee. SEMA Member News interviewed Gavin Horlick of Voxx Wheel and Cheralyn Hale of Achilles Tire to learn more about their industry backgrounds and goals for their terms. SEMA Member News: What is your history in the industry and in the council?