SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 17, April 26, 2012

SEMA Council & Committee News: PRO to Discuss the Future of the Restyling and Accessory Business

Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO)
Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)
Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA)
Manufacturers' Rep Council (MRC)
Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Professional Restylers Organization (PRO)
Street Performance Council (SPC)
Wheel & Tire Council (WTC)
SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) Young Executives Network (YEN)


PRO Logo
 
Visit PRO's website.  
  pro
  The PRO Select Committee meets to discuss the state of the industry.

The Future of the Restyling and Accessory Business

On June 7, 2012, leaders of the restyling and accessory world will converge on Detroit. Join the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) as they hold their Long Range Planning Meeting and Industry discussion. The Detroit Metro Airport Marriott will play host as leading manufacturers, WDs, installers and restyling professionals discuss the future of the industry and develop strategies that SEMA and the PRO Select Committee will use in addressing the challenges and opportunities confronting your business.

Your insight and perspective is critical. Whether your business has been impacted by fluctuating auto sales, a decline in discretionary spending, vehicle technology, installation concerns or if there is a need to identify markets for expansion, your business will benefit by being in the room when these and other topics are discussed.

For more details, to secure a room and RSVP, contact Zane Clark at zanec@sema.org or 909-978-6696.

Be informed. Be heard. Be involved.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? PRO Is!

Be sure to follow PRO on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/pro and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

PRO Column in SEMA Member News

Read PRO's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about PRO, contact Zane Clark or call 909/978-6696.

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ARMO Logo

Visit ARMO's website.

  armo restoration
  The ARMO New Products Showcase at Spring Carlisle takes place April 26–28, 2012, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Ensure the Future by Restoring the Past—Join ARMO

The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO), a SEMA council, is dedicated to preserving our automotive heritage for future generations to enjoy. ARMO provides a number of benefits to its 275 member companies, which include direct access to ARMO-member companies, education and outreach for small businesses in the restoration market, product exposure through an annual New Products Showcase and collective support of the restoration hobby.

Top Reasons to Join ARMO:

  • Networking Opportunities: The primary strength of ARMO is its member companies. The organization provides multiple venues for ARMO members to interact and share ideas through its long-range planning meetings, new-products mixer at Spring Carlisle and the ARMO awards reception at the 2012 SEMA Show, as well as discussion groups on MySEMA and social media websites.
  • Education: The annual ARMO education seminars at the Hotrod & Restoration Trade Show bring industry leaders and experts together to share their real-world experience with small-business owners, providing tips and insights to help them grow their businesses. The ARMO Restoration Trademark Licensing Guide provides ARMO members with the basic forms needed to begin the process of getting products licensed by an original-equipment manufacturer. The licensing guide is available through the SEMA Education Institute.
  • Supporting Hobby Growth: ARMO recognizes the importance of the individual hobbyist to the industry and supports Collector Car Appreciation Day activities across the country. Every April, the ARMO New Products Showcase puts member company products directly in front of 100,000+ restoration enthusiasts each year at Spring Carlisle. In addition, ARMO’s “Take a Kid to a Car Show” (TKCS) program strives to get children involved in automotive hobbies at an early age. The interactive TKCS website provides information on how to get involved for kids and adults alike.

ARMO membership is open to virtually any business in the restoration industry, large or small. Annual dues are $100, and an application is available on the ARMO website.

Contact ARMO’s staff liaison Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org for more information.

ARMO Licensing Guide Now on SEI

ARMO members may now access the ARMO Trademark Licensing Guide online. Previously available only in hard copy, the Guide is now located on the ARMO education track on the SEMA Education Institute (SEI).

ARMO Licensing Overview:

Ever wonder how a company gets a restoration product officially licensed by an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) carmaker? ARMO members can now find introductory information from three OEMs, including preliminary application forms, in one document.

Obtaining a trademark license is one of the few remaining processes that cannot be accomplished "online" or with a simple application. OEM carmakers are very proud and protective of their trademarks. There are many steps involved in order to display an "Officially Licensed" logo on your product. Just finding out where to begin can be a daunting task.

The Trademark Licensing Overview provides ARMO-member companies with the information they need to begin the oftentimes lengthy process in one handy reference document. Ford, GM and Chrysler have supplied contact information, application forms and general process overviews. While the Overview is not a complete guide to trademark licensing, it does provide you with information necessary for all those important first steps.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? ARMO Is!

Be sure to follow ARMO on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/armo and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

ARMO Column in SEMA Member News

Read ARMO's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

For more information about ARMO, contact Jim Skelly.

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HRIA Logo
 
Visit HRIA's website
  hria pinewood
  HRIA is looking for top hot-rod builders to participate in the annual Pinewood Builders Challenge.

Calling All Hot Rod Builders

HRIA is sponsoring the annual Pinewood Builders Challenge and looking for top hot-rod builders or custom vehicles to take part in this charity event. Builders will be given small blocks of wood to complete their own unique and one-of-a-kind pinewood race car. All cars will be raced at the annual SEMA Pinewood Drag Races and then placed on display at the annual SEMA Show in Las Vegas. In addition, the cars will be placed on eBay for auction, with all proceeds going to two great children’s charities—ChildHelp and Victory Junction Camp. To participate, contact Eric Saltrick at esaltrick@steelerubber.com or 704-483-9343 for more information.

Have You Registered a Patent or Trademark? Your Competition Has

Protecting the intellectual property rights (IPR) of its members is a top SEMA priority. The process begins when companies register their patents, trademarks and copyrights with government agencies in the United States (and other countries). Registration is a key to establishing legal rights.

To assist its members, SEMA has created a webpage called Introduction to Intellectual Property Rights, explaining the different types of IP, including protecting new products (utility patents) and product designs (design patent), identifying the source of the product (trademarks) and protecting product brochures or website designs (copyright). It also contains information on how to register IP along with links to seminars, webinars and SEMA News articles.

With respect to enforcing IP rights at the SEMA Show, the association has developed an effective policy for pursuing infringement allegations. SEMA’s IP enforcement policy is posted on the IPR webpage and is also published as part of the Exhibitor Services Manual. Questions may be directed to Stuart Gosswein (stuartg@sema.org).

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? HRIA is!

Be sure to follow HRIA on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/hria and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

HRIA Column in SEMA Member News

Read HRIA's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

For more information about HRIA and how to join, contact Zane Clark or call 909/978-6696.

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LTAA Logo
 
Visit LTAA's website.  

  ltaa
 

LTAA-member companies are eligible to donate $1,500 to the SEMA Cares charity in exchange for having a display vehicle in the LTAA booth at the annual SEMA Show. Beyond that, the booth shows off member company products and provides members and non-members alike with a place to meet and network.

 

Grow Your Business With LTAA

With roots that go back to the early 1980s, when it was known as the Truck Cap Industry Alliance (TCIA), LTAA members enjoy a true sense of community. In addition, the council continues a long tradition of providing useable solutions that drive education and growth for their member companies in the light truck accessories market. If your company is in this segment of the industry and is not yet an LTAA member, there is no better time to join.

Top 3 Reasons to Join LTAA:

  • Education and Training: The LTAA eLearning track section of the SEMA Education Institute (SEI) hosts several handy tools for installers and retailers, including the Pickup Bed Dimensions Reference Chart and the Keyless Entry and Center High Mounted Stop Light (CHMSL) Wiring Guides. These guides provide a quick and easy one-stop shop for obtaining critical measurements or wiring pickup points. There is also a video explaining why paint colors may vary from truck to truck, even when comparing similar makes, models and years. Manufacturers and retailers alike will soon benefit from the online Manufacturer Product Training on SEI. These training modules will deliver critical information on products in a consistent format and include testing and tracking.
  • New Products Showcase: The annual LTAA New Products Showcase at the Truck Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, puts LTAA-member products on display in front of one of the largest gatherings of truck enthusiasts in the country. Photographs of the products are displayed at the SEMA Show and on the LTAA website. A new element has been added for 2012, in the form of a Jeep Rubicon build out. LTAA products that are on display in the New Products area will be installed live at the event, effectively tying together the manufacturer, retailer/installer and end user. Only LTAA-member companies are eligible to participate in the New Products Showcase and the Jeep build.
  • Networking: Throughout the year, LTAA strives to communicate with its members through eNews, SEMA News and social media. A large presence on the SEMA Show floor provides members and non-members alike with a place to meet and communicate during the Show. The LTAA Industry Reception at the SEMA Show, featuring the LTAA Fall Nationals Pinewood Drag Races, is recognized as one of the premier light truck accessory industry events of the year. Through the LTAA Show booth and Fall Nationals Pinewood Drags, in 2011, LTAA members helped raise more than $11,000 for the SEMA Cares charity.
For more information on LTAA membership, contact Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org.

LTAA Technical Resource Available on SEI

LTAA is pleased to announce the launch of an LTAA education track for the SEMA Education Institute (SEI). LTAA members may now reference and download a number of technical resources from the new LTAA learning track that were previously available in hard copy only. Now, LTAA members have the information at their fingertips via an Internet connection.

Resources currently available are:

  • LTAA Pickup Truck Bed Dimensions – pdf
  • LTAA Keyless Entry Connection Guide – pdf
  • LTAA CHMSL Wiring Connection Guide – pdf
  • Why Paint Colors Vary – video

“This is very exciting for the Council,” said LTAA Chairman George Lathouris of Keystone Automotive. “These reference tools are always appreciated by installers and counter people in the field. SEI provided us a solution that keeps the tools as an LTAA-member benefit and makes for quick and timely updating of data. LTAA members received an e-mail recently with instruction on how to access their account on SEI. I encourage all members to get familiar with this LTAA education track because this is only the beginning—I promise you!”

Learn more about the LTAA education tools.

Not yet an LTAA member? Download an application or contact Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org or 909-978-6690 for more information.

What's the Value of Being an LTAA Member?

New Products Showcase – Put your product in front of one of the largest gathering of truck enthusiasts in the country at the Carlisle Truck Nationals.

Networking – LTAA mixer at the Carlisle All Truck Nationals, Annual Long-Range Planning meeting and access to LTAA members and light-truck industry professionals around the world.

Tools and resources for the retailer and installer – "Pickup Bed Dimensions Sheet," "Keyless Entry Wiring Pickup Points Reference Sheet," "Why Paints Don’t Match" DVD and more.

Education – and LTAA-specific learning track on the new SEI from SEMA, coming soon!

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? LTAA Is!

Be sure to follow LTAA on all of your favorite social networking sites.

To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/ltaa and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

LTAA Column in SEMA Member News

Read LTAA's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

For more information about LTAA, contact Jim Skelly.

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MPMC Logo
 
Visit MPMC's website.  

How MPMC Membership Can Benefit Your Motorsports Business

Does your company manufacture parts used in sanctioned motorsports events? The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC)—a SEMA council—provides a number of benefits to its more than 200 member companies.

Benefits include access to a best practices reference guide dedicated to common manufacturing business questions, contact information for more than 200 fellow motorsports parts manufacturers and an opportunity to have three days of 30-minute meetings with editors from print and electronic media.

  mpmc, motorsports
 

MPMC members produced the “Business of Engine Building” seminar at the 2011 PRI Show in Orlando. From left to right, veteran engine builders Tracy Dennis, Keith Dorton, Ron Hutter, David Reher, Scott Shafiroff and Carl Wegner answered questions from moderator Alan Reinhart. Have an idea for another seminar topic? Join MPMC now and help make it happen!

 

Four Reasons to Join the MPMC:

  • Business Guidelines Manual: Written, produced and designed specifically for performance product manufacturers, the manual addresses the many challenges faced by manufacturing companies like yours. Definitions, resources, options, examples and even sample documents are included in the various sections. Each section is written and formatted for quick and easy referencing. Topics include bar coding, catalogs, counterfeiting, electronic data exchange, freight policies and much more. The manual is available for download or viewing, but only to MPMC members, through the SEMA Education Institute (SEI) MPMC Education Track.
  • Media Trade Conference: Another opportunity unique to MPMC, and available only to MPMC-member companies, is the MPMC Media Trade Conference (MTC). The MTC brings 100 MPMC manufacturers together with 200+ editorial staff from national and international media for three days of 30-minute, face-to-face meetings to discuss editorial content. Space is limited each year to 100 manufacturers, selected via lottery, but only MPMC members have the opportunity to participate.
  • Industry Outreach: MPMC members work with other industry contacts to produce seminars, panel discussions and events for the benefit of not only fellow manufacturers, but also the shop owners and consumers who ultimately use their products. This past year at the PRI Show in Orlando, Florida, MPMC hosted a two-hour discussion in which six of the most renowned engine builders in the country shared their business experiences with an audience of 150+ shop owners and aspiring engine builders.
  • Networking: MPMC hosts various events throughout the year to further promote relationship building. A networking breakfast at the U.S. Nationals and a Hall of Fame Breakfast at the PRI Show are examples of how MPMC works to bring manufacturers together with media and other industry colleagues. In addition to meetings with the media, the Media Trade Conference also offers two evening receptions, lunches and break periods that present myriad networking opportunities.

MPMC is the only SEMA council dedicated specifically to manufacturing companies. If you are not already a member, there is no better time to join than right now. Membership is only $100 annually and an application is available on the MPMC website.

Contact MPMC’s staff liaison Jim Skelly at jimsk@sema.org for more information.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? MPMC Is!

Be sure to follow MPMC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/mpmc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

Take a Friend to a Race Fan Page

The MPMC Motorsports Awareness campaign, highlighted by the Take a Friend to a Race program, now has its very own Fanpage on Facebook. If you’re not a fan yet, you should be!

MPMC Column in SEMA Member News

Read MPMC's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about MPMC, contact Jim Skelly.

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MRC Logo
 
Visit MRC's website.  

Why Using a Manufacturers' Rep May Be the Right Move for Your Company

Here are the top 10 reasons why your company should use a rep:

1. Results Driven. Our success is your success. Reps are highly motivated to sell your products because they make money when you sell products.
2. Cost Effective. Better utilize your time and resources. Minimize the labor and travel expenses of hiring your own employees.
3. Territory Expansion. You get the instant benefits of territory and customer knowledge that takes years to learn.
4. Relationships. Reps already know companies with whom you want to do business. Take advantage of strong, pre-existing relationships that have been cultivated through trust and action.
5. Quick. Hiring a rep is quickest way to get results and to get your “feet on the ground” selling.
6. Access. Your products and services will have better exposure with your customers because reps are already doing business with them.
7. Sales Calls. Focused and increased face-to-face time with your customers equals greater sales.
8. Training. Field training and professional development sets reps apart. Reps will educate your customers about the features and benefits of your programs and services.
9. Feedback. Get instant and accurate feedback on your products and programs.
10. Industry Knowledge. Receive an insider’s perspective that allows you a clearer understanding of the “ins and outs” of your industry.

Interested? Want to know more? The SEMA Manufacturers' Rep Council (MRC) can answer your questions and share more reasons why hiring an Independent sales rep may make sense for your company.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? MRC is!

Be sure to follow MRC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/mrc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

MRC Column in SEMA Member News

Read MRC's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about MRC, contact Zane Clark.

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SBN Logo
 
Visit SBN's website.
 

Connect to the Fastest Growing Committee—the SEMA Businesswomen Network

The SEMA Businesswomen Network (SBN) welcomes both women and men who work for a SEMA-member company to join the committee. Along with the benefit of joining a community of prominent industry leaders, members in the SBN offers several distinct advantages:

Networking: The SBN offers access to more than 300 members, largely composed of women who understand the challenges and advantages for working in the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Via exclusive invitations to SBN mixers at industry events and SBN events at the SEMA Show, such as the Speed Networking Breakfast, members have the opportunity to network with key influencers in the industry.

Recognition: Established in 1994, the SBN Awards have become the premier honor for recognition of industry veterans who have volunteered their personal and professional time to contribute to women in the automotive aftermarket. Also, through SBN’s Member of the Month (MoM) spotlight, select women are highlighted for acting as trendsetters in the industry. MoM spotlights receive the honor of being featured in SEMA eNews with a subscription of more than 150,000 recipients, along with a feature on the SEMA website.

SEMA Show: The SBN offers members the ideal opportunity to become actively engaged in SEMA via volunteering time to help with SBN-sponsored events. Events featured throughout the week include the Speed Networking Breakfast, Café SEMA, and the Gear-up Girl, which act as a great medium to enhance professional growth, networking and business leads.

There is no cost to join SBN, just many opportunities to meet other women in the industry who are as equally committed to professional growth as you are. Join the SBN now!

You Ought to Be in Pictures!

The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network committee is a great resource of minds. All ladies in the specialty-equipment industry can join the SBN, so pass the word around to your colleagues and friends! We are encouraging all new and existing SBN members to log-in to the MySEMA portal to update their profile with a photo so we get to know each other's faces before the SEMA Show.

And don’t forget to turn your notifications settings “ON” so you can stay in “the loop.” Want to know more about the SBN? Interested in becoming a member?

Want to get involved in the industry but don't know how? We have an app for that! Go to www.SEMA.org, click on the Leadership tab, click on Council/Committee, click on SBN and join! Don't delay—get involved and join now. You are just a few clicks away! We look forward to "seeing" everyone!

Don’t Be Out of the Loop—Stay in Touch

The very best way to stay in touch and to read the latest news, discussions and topics posted from SEMA and the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) is to make sure that your notification settings are turned on in your MySEMA account. Next to your photo on your MySEMA page, at the top right, is a link to the "Edit My Settings" page.

On the “settings” page, look for the “notifications” tab, where it will ask how you would like to receive your news. Check whichever method is most convenient, but either way, make sure you're in the loop by turning “on” your notifications. Visit http://my.sema.org to make sure you don’t miss a thing!

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? SBN is!

Be sure to follow SBN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/sbn and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

SBN Column in SEMA Member News

Read SBN's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about SBN, contact Bryan Harrison.

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SPC Logo
 
Visit SPC's website.  
Find the Business Possibilities Through the SPC

Participate in the automotive aftermarket at a whole new level by joining the SPC.

The purpose of SEMA councils is to help our member companies succeed and prosper. In the SPC, our mission is to provide market information, education and support to our members concerning new and emerging trends. Whether it’s the latest business technology, forecasting sales, future marketing solutions or up and coming vehicle platforms, we give you and your company the chance to see what’s on the horizon.

Then we’ll help you understand and acquire the skills, tools and technologies to lead the way. The SPC has the most diverse membership of any SEMA council, and that will allow you to network with other professionals from every facet of our industry and gain insights into areas you may not have previously considered. Find out about the parts, people, technologies, strategies, trends and, most important, possibilities.

This is your chance to give something back to the industry, your profession and to grow personally along the way. Join the SPC today and become an active member of the specialty equipment and automotive market — Tracie Nuñez, Advanced Clutch Technology, SPC Chairman

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? SPC is!

Be sure to follow SPC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/spc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

SPC Column in SEMA Member News

Read SPC's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about SPC, contact Bryan Harrison.

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WTC Logo
 
Visit WTC's website

Have You Ever Wondered How to Get More Involved in the SEMA Wheel & Tire (WTC) Council?

What exactly do the council leaders do throughout their term? Very simply, the Select Committee is elected by members of the council to serve a two-year term. They participate in monthly conference calls and meetings that are held at various trade events throughout the year. Each Select Committee member volunteers for at least 20 hours throughout the year, and some volunteer even more. Some share their experience and vision, others provide creative solutions to challenges our member companies are facing and others get their hands dirty and get it done. Each Select Committee member is supported by their company in their WTC efforts, and for that we say “thank you” to those companies!

The leaders of the WTC gathered last year at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California, for its annual Long-Range Planning meeting. This meeting focused on bringing value to the WTC-member companies. The past 18 months have been extremely challenging for all of our companies and the council is dedicated to utilizing SEMA’s resources to further benefit each WTC member.

Guiding the group’s effort was the council’s mission statement to “identify common problems and opportunities relating to the wheel and tire industries that the council, as an interested body of companies, can address for the common good.” A handful of exciting objectives are being developed for the council over this year and next. If you are passionate and have an interest in being involved, there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer for a task force with a limited investment of time that provides a great way to network and share your ideas. Please reach out to the task force chair if you want to participate or have comments.

Science and Technology Task Force

Tim Dietz (Standards Testing Laboratories Inc.) and can be reached at tdietz@stllabs.com. This group focuses on aftermarket and OEM advances that affect our industry. From creating wheel standards to improved processes for tire-pressure monitoring systems and electronic stability control, the Science and Technology Task Force plays a pivotal role in the industry’s advancement.

Education Task Force
Kelly Austin (Ultra Wheel Company) chairs this group and can be reached at kelly@mail.ultrawheel.com. The education task force is charged with developing successful programs for members to enhance their businesses. The WTC Task Force is responsible for partnering with the SEMA Educational Institute to create and promote online learning resources.

Communication and Marketing Task Force

Doug Frymer (Law Offices of Douglas A. Frymer) chairs this group and can be reached at legal@starshieldarmor.com. This group focuses on membership outreach, growth and retention. It is imperative that councils effectively communicate services provided by WTC and SEMA to our members. Communication and services ensure that there is proper dialogue between leadership and membership.

SEMA Show Task Force

David Insull (American Tire Distributors) chairs this group and can be reached at dinsull@atd-us.com. The SEMA Show in Las Vegas provides the backdrop for critical networking functions. This group focuses on making WTC’s awards reception an ideal place to get together, honor one another and network with all those who share a common passion.

There are so many other things the council leadership does throughout the year. You are the expert at what your business needs and this council wants to deliver. Feel free to get in touch with us or come to one of our WTC events. Our hope is that, if you haven’t been a part of WTC yet, you will be in 2010 and beyond.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? WTC is!

Be sure to follow WTC on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/wtc and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

WTC Column in SEMA Member News

Read WTC's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about WTC and how to join, contact Zane Clark or call or 909/978-6696.

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YEN Logo

Visit YEN's website
SEMA YEN Member of the Month Spotlight

Jon Pulli, CEO, Turn 14

  John Pulli, SEMA YEN Member Insight
  Jon Pulli

We recently had the pleasure of catching up with a passionate SEMA member who is a leader in the distribution side of the automotive aftermarket—Jon Pulli, CEO of Turn 14.

Some of our readers aren't familiar with Turn 14; could you give us a brief overview on the company and, most importantly, your role there?

Turn 14 Distribution is a performance warehouse distributor focused on modern, post-2000 vehicle applications. I co-founded Turn 14 with Chris Candido initially to fill a void in the sport-compact market for an East Coast-based distributor. As a co-founder, I have done every job in the company but, at this point, as CEO, I am able to focus my day-to-day on oversight and future planning. I spend most of my time strategically planning avenues for Turn 14’s growth in the short and long term. I feel a constant, yet welcomed, pressure to achieve our target growth numbers. Distributors, when doing their job correctly, act as a conductor between retailers and manufacturers. My goal is to grow Turn 14, which, in turn, benefits the brands we distribute, the retailers we service and Turn 14 employees.

Could you give us a little background about yourself—family, education, how you caught the car bug?

Both of my parents were entrepreneurs who ran numerous successful small businesses, so business was in my blood from an early age. With that said, Turn 14 was started with only $100. I graduated from Franklin and Marshal College with a degree in accounting, so I have always been a numbers guy. From the very start, Turn 14 has been profitable. The best part about starting with zero is that you cannot afford to dig yourself a hole and tell yourself you will become profitable later.

In terms of the car bug, I got that in high school when I was enamored with car stereo systems. By college, I got into the sport-compact scene with a Toyota Celica GTS. I have never been a track nut or a car show buff, but I genuinely enjoy fast, well-rounded street cars that can be driven day in and day out. After the Celica, I bought a Subaru WRX STi right when they were first released in late 2003 and that’s when the business really started to go.

How old are you? Are you married? Do you have kids? Where do you live? How long have you been a SEMA member?

I will be 30 this month. I am married to a stunning woman name Samantha and have a 16-month-old daughter named Keira with beautiful blue eyes that she got from her mother. We live in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. I have been a SEMA member since 2003.

Much of our industry has changed with the advent of the Internet; for instance, distribution is now different. Could you give us an overview of how the Internet has impacted you both positively and negatively? How do you stay ahead of the curve?

In today’s market, distributors are now order fulfillment centers that also sell to traditional brick-and-mortar stores. As the Internet has infiltrated every corner of our society, buying online is now the standard. Distributors need strong web tools to allow their jobber bases to be competitive. Brick-and-mortar retailers who used to sell with high mark ups now get price matched against massive online retailers by customers on their cell phones. Local and regional markets are no longer closed so smaller retailers in the business need strong discounts to even have a chance to make a sale. This evolution has meant that distributors need to constantly work on efficiency and technological advancements to keep pace and be able to operate on less profit. This transition positively impacted Turn 14 by lowering the barriers to entry into the wholesale marketplace long enough for Turn 14 to establish itself. The major negative impact is the constant downward pressure on pricing and, in turn, profit margins.

Logistics is paramount to good distribution; do you approach logistics in an innovative manner? Do you have any tricks for encouraging teamwork in logistics strategy?

We focus a great deal of our effort on creating efficiencies and then trying to improve upon them. We never allow ourselves to believe a process has been perfected; instead, we are constantly scrutinizing, trying to think abstractly to improve. Employees are trained to constantly question our processes to try and find ways that they can be improved. This has resulted in a company full of thinkers, instead of followers, who take pride in our systems primarily because they have had a hand in designing and improving them.

Speaking of teamwork, how do you build your teams?

Teamwork is paramount to running a streamlined distribution center. During a typical sale, six staff members from different departments have a hand in making a transaction successful. Without teamwork among departments everyone would suffer. To encourage teamwork, we get our staff together outside of the office on various occasions. A good example took place last fall. After a great summer selling season, our sales staff ran the warehouse for a day while we sent the whole warehouse staff to a Phillies game with box seats. The warehouse staff had a blast on their surprise day off and the sales staff got a refresher on how hard our warehouse staff works. At the end of the day, our warehouse staff came together during an escape from the norm and our sales staff came together trying to handle the warehouse for a day. Both teams gained a higher level of respect for each other in a short, one-day exercise. Since that event, salespeople know when they are asking for too much from our warehouse and the warehouse is happy to help get late orders out the door when a salesperson makes that request.

You are in this business because you have a passion for vehicles. What is in the stable right now and are you planning any new additions?

Right now, I have a ’06 Lotus Elise with a custom supercharger and side-mount intercooler kit putting down 257whp. I also have an ’87 Toyota Supra with a 1JZ-GTE swap in progress, plus an ’03 Civic with your basic bolt-ons for the daily commute and, last but not least, an ’04 Dodge 2500 pickup to tow the boat. In terms of new additions, I’ll probably sell the Elise pretty soon and get something spicier, maybe a 997, GT-R or R8.

Lastly, if you could provide one piece of advice to a young person considering this industry, what would it be?

Work your butt off to continuously improve; in my opinion, drive and effort can make up for any other shortcomings you might have.

2011 SPC/YEN Awards

Three significant industry awards were given out at the 2011 SPC/YEN reception—including the YEN Vanguard Award, Young Executive of the Year Award and SPC/YEN Industry Icon award.

The YEN Vanguard Award was presented to John Hotchkis of Hotchkis Suspension. As a 20-year member of the aftermarket and current member of the SEMA Board of Directors, Hotchkis has inspired, influenced and mentored dozens of young SEMA members. He was an active YEN member, is active on Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) and passionate about his work on the board. Specializing in suspension for musclecars (among the first in the industry), he founded Hotchkis Performance in 1992. Since then, he has employed dozens of young people, inspiring them all. He continues to offer internships to students in the engineering departments of several local universities, and many employees whom he hired as teenagers still work for him nearly 20 years later. He recently fought and defeated cancer and he remains an inspiration to us all.

The Young Executive of the Year Award was presented to Dan Dolan of DiabloSport Inc. Dolan worked tirelessly to promote and grow the YEN membership over the past year. His enthusiasm has been a great asset in getting the general membership more involved in YEN. He has been a positive influence in the performance aftermarket arena. Dolan is the type of person that any company would want to be represented by because of his “can-do” attitude that looks at problems as opportunities.

The SPC/YEN Industry Icon award was presented to Mike Spagnola of Street Scene Equipment. As the leader of an automotive aftermarket business, Spagnola understands the cost of doing business and the pressures that manufacturers face in all aspects of the industry. Over the past couple of years, Spagnola has served on the SEMA executive committee and governance committee, chaired the SEMA Show committee as well as the SEMA Show ‘n Shine and Gala Fundraiser efforts. In addition, he has been very active in the SEMA Cares committee and has served as the Board of Directors liaison to the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA). He was honored as SEMA’s Person of the Year in 2010.

Join YEN

Did you know that the SEMA Young Executives Network has more than 500 members networking in the industry and is the largest SEMA committee? If you are employed by a SEMA-member company and are under the age of 39, then you can join the SEMA Young Executives Network for FREE. If you are interested in becoming part of the team, please visit our website at www.sema.org/yen.

YEN Member of the Month Spotlight


Did you know that YEN has a Member of the Month Spotlight on the SEMA website and that anyone can be nominated? To view previous selections or to make a nomination, visit www.sema.org/yen.

Are you on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter? YEN is!

Be sure to follow YEN on all of your favorite social networking sites. To find these sites, go to www.sema.org/yen and use the links in the top right-hand corner.

YEN Column in SEMA Member News

Read YEN's column featured in the March/April issue of SEMA Member News.

For information about YEN, contact Bryan Harrison.

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Join the SEMA Council Family

SEMA hosts 10 distinct councils and committees that represent focused niches within the specialty-equipment industry. These groups are comprised of elected volunteers (Select Committee) who guide and direct council activities while representing the membership at large. Although each council acts independently and represents a different segment, they are all focused on the betterment of the industry as a whole.

The value councils provide SEMA and the industry is beyond refute. It is inspiring to witness a diverse collection of company representatives, many of which are direct competitors, come together and develop educational, training, youth awareness and networking events that are, at the core, designed to give back and promote business. An equally important council function is to ensure that SEMA sustains a pulse on the industry and maintains a presence with its members.

The question is often asked, “Why should my company join a council?” The answer is simple. SEMA councils open the doors and provide you exposure to industry leaders, decision makers, trendsetters and a community of like-minded individuals who share your passion and desire to see business succeed and prosper. Once the doors are open, it is your responsibility to take advantage of the benefits by becoming actively involved.

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