The Young Executives Network (YEN) will maintain a strong presence at the SEMA Show in 2014, but some of the events that have become staples for members will have a new look. Each of the main initiatives geared toward young professionals will include a networking component, so members are encouraged to make plans early to join the festivities and meet with peers.
At the 2012 SEMA Show Awards Banquet, Michael Chapin and Eric Coomer sat down for dinner at the YEN member table. Focused on their respective ventures, the two like-minded gasoline junkies stayed in contact for another year and found several more overlapping likes and interests. Fast forward to 2014, when an opportunity arose to collaborate in a new business launch—RxSpeed.com—a search engine for aftermarket parts.
What kind of SEMA resources have you found to be valuable?
Chapin: Besides the obvious fact that we met while networking with YEN, Eric and I use SEMA’s market reports and resources to convey to the outside world the scale and dynamic of this marketplace. For most non-car people, it’s an industry that hides in plain sight. Few expect to hear that 24 million Americans spend $33 billion annually. The market segmentation reports draw clear lines in the sand to help people understand who buys parts for necessity and who buys them for fun.
Coomer: The background and education SEMA provides on the industry’s data revolution, and more specifically the SEMA Data Co-op, have by far been the most helpful in educating myself and others about the need for standardized product data. It wasn’t very long ago that every small business was told they needed a website in order to survive, and now in 2014, getting your products seen and sold online carries that same message. Clear business communication doesn’t end with conversation, but continues with every file and piece of data you exchange.
Describe yourself in your own words. My name is Nicholas Gramelspacher, and I am vice president, sales and marketing, at Meyer Distributing, and a member of the SEMA Board of Directors. I have a wife, April, and son, Ajay.
What type of education do you have? I have a degree in business management.
Did you choose the aftermarket or did the aftermarket choose you? I chose the aftermarket-I was tinkering on and fixing up trucks in early high school and fell in love with it. We have a family business in the furniture industry, but I wanted to plow my own path to do what I love and love what I do: cars, trucks and Jeeps. That, along with working for a great company like Meyer, which has had tremendous growth, and having a hardworking team made it a great decision 16 years ago.
What has your career path looked like? I started with Meyer in the shipping department and worked there for about six months before moving into sales. We were a single location, 25,000-sq.-ft. company back then, selling about 40 lines.
There is no “next Facebook.” The current dominant platform is already waning with users under age 21 and what replaces it will not be a single, massive social network but clusters of smaller ones that cater to different niches – Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, LinkedIn, Yammer, Google+, VK and more.
There is no “next Facebook.” The current dominant platform is already waning with users under age 21 and what replaces it will not be a single, massive social network but clusters of smaller ones