By JoAnn Bortles
SBN Gear-Up Girl provides a forum where female industry veterans share advice and knowledge with newcomers who are mostly students, providing them with a firsthand idea of what the industry is about, how the veterans got their starts, and advice on the best way to achieve goals.
The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) is notorious for creating successful programs and hosting premium functions, so it’s full speed ahead for 2012 with four top-notch events.
SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women
What started as a brief conversation at the 2010 SEMA Show has blossomed into the most ambitious project ever undertaken by the SBN. The goal: raise awareness of women in the industry while inspiring the next generation of women to pursue careers in the automotive aftermarket. SBN Select Committee member JoAnn Bortles had been part of an all-woman motorcycle-building team. She approached SBN Chair Marla Moore with the idea of an all-woman car build for charity.
“I immediately thought it was a great way to promote the SBN and to show women how easy it is to customize their vehicles with bolt-on products,” said Moore.
Doug Evans, executive vice president of Source Interlink Media’s Performance Automotive Group, was an early supporter of the project. SBN presented the idea to SEMA and received enthusiastic support, and the SEMA Scholarship Committee also quickly embraced SBN’s vision. Soon after, Ford Motor Co. signed on as the project’s main sponsor, offering a ’13 Mustang GT for the build.
The build will be accomplished solely by the members of the SBN and will take place at Source Interlink headquarters in El Segundo, California, with the car to debut at the 2012 SEMA Show. For more information and coverage, visit www.hotrod.com.
Gear-Up Girl Networking Event
The SBN Gear-Up Girl event provides a forum where female industry veterans share advice and knowledge with newcomers to the industry. The attendees, who are mostly students, receive a firsthand idea of what the industry is about, learn how the veterans got their starts and get advice on the best way to achieve their goals. Last year’s inaugural event was a huge success and was attended by Skyline College women’s car club, the Heartwrenchers, and 21 young women from 12 different high schools. The industry veterans included Lauren Fix, Amy Faulk and Camee Edelbrock, who shared their experiences. This year’s event is destined to be even more successful.
“As a 26-year industry veteran, I was awed by the Gear Up Girls event,” said SBN member Zan Martin. “It was awesome to meet the young ladies who are part of the future of our industry.”
All women and students in the industry are invited to attend. Visit www.SEMA.org/sbn for more information.
Speed Networking Breakfast—Powered by the SBN
The 2012 Speed Networking Breakfast will be the kickoff event for the 2013 20th anniversary of the SBN. The speed networking and awards breakfast is open to all SEMA members and is the quickest and easiest way to meet industry peers and broaden your network of contacts in a high-energy environment.
The breakfast is also an opportunity for the SBN to give recognition to individuals or companies that are making extraordinary strides in the advancement of women in the automotive specialty-equipment industry. This year’s breakfast will include honors for the pioneering women of the industry and the founders of the SBN.
Tickets are $35 for members and $45 for non-members and include the fabulous SBN swag bag. To purchase tickets, go to www.SEMA.
Café SEMA: In the Know With a Cup of Joe
The inception of this event was a result from Speed Networking Breakfast survey results. Many wanted more one-on-one time with experts in various fields. Café SEMA was introduced in 2011, featuring roundtable discussions between industry experts and attendees.
Café SEMA is a wonderful opportunity to make new connections and gather a wealth of information on topics that will impact you and your business. Popular topics last year included business technology, intellectual property, marketing and SEMA involvement. Café SEMA is limited to the first 100 participants.
To sign up, visit: www.SEMA.org/cafe-sema.