The evening’s festivities for 2012—hosted by PRO and supporting sponsors—included hors d’oeuvres and liquid libations plus a ceremony honoring the 2012 PRO awards recipients in four categories: Restyler of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, Nat Danas Person of the Year and Jim Borré Lifetime Achievement. The awards are detailed in the accompanying photos and captions.
SEMA Member News—January/February 2013
PRO Pays Tribute to the Accessory and Appearance Industry
A highlight of the SEMA Show is the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) German-themed NovemberFest industry reception. Every year since 1995, PRO has saluted industry leaders who have made significant contributions to the restyling industry.
The SEMA organization that serves manufacturers’ reps in the automotive aftermarket industry has changed from the Manufacturers’ Representatives Council to the Manufacturers’ Representatives Network (MRN). The new name reflects the group’s desire to better serve the needs of the membership by becoming an individual-based professional network, compared to its previous agency-based membership format.
“MRN is very excited about these changes and feels this will best serve, promote and elevate our industry,” said MRN Chairman Thomas Jourdan of True High Performance Sales.
SEMA Member News—January/February 2013
Changes: The Network for Professional Agents and Representatives
“The LAX Embassy Suites in El Segundo, where we have held so many of these events, notified SEMA staff very early on that their facility would be under major renovations during the same time as our conference,” said MPMC Chairman Vic Wood of Hedman Performance. “We are grateful to them for being proactive with the information and allowing us time to search out alternatives. After careful research, staff suggested we move the event to the Santa Ana Embassy Suites. The facility offers different challenges but also different opportunities. We are very excited to try this new venue.”
“We benefitted from the fact that SEMA was holding its own reception in the same location the following night,” said LTAA Chairman George Lathouris of Keystone Automotive Operations. “They set up their stage and some of the lighting a day in advance, giving us a fantastic atmosphere and the best reception venue of the entire Show.”
Writer, educator and industry speaker Dick Dixon passed away November 15 after battling cancer. A three-time SEMA Ambassador of the Year and Motorsports Legends Hall of Fame inductee, Dixon lived by the philosophy that life was a sandbox from which to learn, work and play.
The YEN Vanguard Award is presented to an individual, business, organization or sanctioning body that has had a positive affect on the careers of young executives within the automotive industry. The following criteria are used in determining each candidate: Must be a current or past member of SEMA (no age requirement), and must have demonstrated exceptional service, integrity and business ethics. The Vanguard Award is presented to a person, company or sanctioning body that has influenced the professional growth and/or cultivation of talent for young executives through its actions, mentoring, visions and/or contributions for the past, present and future.
The 2012 SEMA Show featured a night to remember for hot-rodding professionals. The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) kicked off its annual industry reception in dramatic fashion, as Mike Kinney of Moonlight Auctioneering Services led the way through the council’s first-ever live auction to benefit the two charities supported by SEMA Cares: Childhelp and Victory Junction Camp. The live auction featured three participants from HRIA’s Pinewood Builder’s Challenge and got the crowd of nearly 700 into a bidding frenzy.
“The presentation of the awards is still the focal point of the evening,” said ARMO Chairman Alex Tainsh of Parts Unlimited Interiors. “However, we are getting great feedback on our increased emphasis on networking and socializing. Being on Tuesday night, the first night of the Show, it’s the perfect time for folks to sit down, catch up with each other and just relax. We ran out of food, shut the bars down at 7:30 p.m., and folks were still there after we packed up and left. I think they like the new format!”
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund has increased its award amounts to aid students who are seeking careers in the automotive industry. The Top Student award has been raised from $4,000 to $5,000. Scholarships for students attending four-year programs have been increased from $2,000 to $3,000. The awards for students attending two-year programs will rise from $1,000 to $2,000. And the Loan Forgiveness awards will also rise from $1,000 to $2,000.