SEMA eNews Vol. 15, No. 31, August 2, 2012

Hundreds Celebrate the Industry, Honor Leaders at 2012 SEMA Installation Banquet

  banquet
More than 450 members of the automotive specialty-parts industry attended the annual SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, California, Friday, July 27.
   

More than 450 members of the automotive specialty-parts industry attended the annual SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona, California, Friday, July 27, to honor 2012 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees Nick Arias Jr., Bill France Sr., Mark Heffington and Bob Larivee Sr., and raise money for children’s charities Childhelp and Victory Junction. They also came to thank departing SEMA Board of Directors members for their service and welcome new members. 



“It was great to recognize our new Hall of Fame inductees Nick Arias Jr., Bill France Sr., Mark Heffington and Bob Larivee Sr.,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Whether building the world’s appetite for all things automotive through media, spectacular hot rods or growing the industry through its trade associations, these inductees exemplify contributions at a world-class level. Also, I’m grateful for the contributions of our outgoing Board members and look forward to working with the new Board members. Their unique backgrounds and experiences will continue guiding the industry to grow and prosper. I’d like to thank all the volunteers who helped make the fundraising activities such a success. SEMA Cares is a wonderful example of how people in this industry are able to selflessly work together to help better the lives of others.”

The day’s activities kicked-off with the Pinewood Drag Races, sponsored by eBay Motors.
 The winners, by class, included:

  pinewood
The SEMA Pinewood Drag Races, sponsored by eBay Motors, featured hundreds of pinewood cars—built by children from Victory Junction and Childhelp and sponsored by SEMA-member companies—racing against the clock for bragging rights and to support these two worthwhile charities.
   

Build it for Me

1st: AJ Kuck, Transfer Flow
2nd: Kim Ziebell, Bushwacker
3rd: Mandi Woodell, Weathers Auto Supply

Stock

1st: Nate and Tom Gattuso, SEMA
2nd: SEMA Busineswomen's Network
3rd: Travis and Janette White, Rampage Products (with Childhelp children)

Modified

1st: Eric Saltrick, Matt Agosta, Steele Rubber Products
2nd: Nicholas Hoffend, Freeman Co.
3rd: Chuck Schwartz, Convexx

Unlimited

1st: John Menzler, Competition Cams
2nd: Russell Stephens, MSD Ignition
3rd: Nicholas Hoffend, Freeman Co.

Council Cup

Weathers Auto Supply, sponsored by LTAA and represented by George Lathouris, LTAA council chairman

Builder's Race

Derek White, Street Vizions (three-time defending champion)

After the races, a reception at the Sheraton Fairplex Hotel & Conference Center in Pomona launched the evening’s Installation Banquet & Gala. Emcee Dave McClelland hosted the ceremonies honoring SEMA Hall of Fame inductees and incoming and outgoing Board members. Luanne Brown, SEMA Cares Commitee chairman, and Paul "Scooter" Brothers, SEMA chairman of the Board, provided the opening remarks and welcomed everyone to the 2012 event.

Also in attendance, renowned comedian Christopher Titus—a self-professed "car guy"—fondly recalled his memories working on cars, which provided quite a few laughs. 



Later in the evening, outgoing Board members, Ron Funfar, Hedman Performance Group; Adrian Murray, Painless Performance; John Iannotte, NA Williams Co.; Ed Orzetti, Keystone Automotive Operations; Bob Moore, J&B Service; Chris Thomson, AIRAID Filter Co.; and Tim Watts, Superlift Suspension Systems, were honored and thanked for their substantial contributions to the industry.

The newly elected members to the SEMA Board of Directors include Russell Stephens – president, MSD Performance, and Nick Gramelspacher – national sales manager, Meyer Distributing.


councils
The 2012 SEMA Council leaders.
  bod
The 2012–2013 SEMA Board of Directors.
     
pinewood
John Menzler (left) of Competition Cams runs the track at the Pinewood Drag Races, while Joe Sebergandio of Motor Media calls the races.
  mcclelland
Dave McClelland once again hosted the event this year in Pomona.
     
scooter
SEMA Chairman of the Board Paul "Scooter" Brothers welcomes industry guests to the 2012 SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser.
  titus
Comedian and fellow gearhead Christopher Titus reflects on his life experience with cars to provide the evening's laughs.
     
heffington
Mark Heffington, owner/president of Hypertech Inc., accepts his SEMA Hall of Fame recognition for his pioneering contributions to the aftermarket and racing communities.
  larivee
Bob Larivee Sr., founder of Promotions Inc., accepts his SEMA Hall of Fame recognition as a ground-breaking entrepreneur and a publisher in the industry.
     
stephens
Russell Stephens of MSD Performance is welcomed as a new SEMA Board member.
  nick
Nick Gramelspacher of Meyer Distributing joins Russell Stephens as the second newly elected SEMA Board member.