SEMA Mustang Build Bios

 

Rose Kawasaki – Vehicle Build Chair
SBN Chair-Elect
Vice President - Exports International LLC

As Vice President and 25 year industry veteran, her export management company, Exports International, specializes in the distribution of aftermarket racing performance, restoration and logistics areas with a worldwide customer base along with expanding SEMA member manufacturer representation to reach across the globe. With a background in the fashion industry, having managed a staff of over 150 women, Rose recognizes the lifestyle parallels of fashion within the automotive industry. “My father worked for a new car dealership so we always drove the newest model vehicles while I was growing up. However my love and appreciation of fine automobiles and performance products was introduced to me by my husband over 30 years ago”.

The current Chair-Elect of the SEMA Businesswomen's Network Rose shares, “This historic build is an important way to highlight the talents of our colleagues, inspire women who are in the automotive industry and to bring awareness to others considering positions within it”. “We are very thankful for all the women who have come together to donate their precious time and talents to work on our project vehicle to raise funds for scholarships, they are absolutely amazing and a strong sense of camaraderie has been ignited”.

     
 

Marla Moore – Vehicle Build Consultant
SBN Select Committee Chair
Advertising/Marketing Director - Hypertech

     
SEMA Mustang Build, Powered by SEMA Businesswomen Network, Build Bio, S Kellie Colf  

S. Kellie Colf - Vehicle Build Crew Chief
SBN Select Committee Member
President - Colf Creative Resources

 

Kellie is a professed gearhead that boasts purchasing her first show car, a 1968 Firebird, at the tender age of 14; one she still owns today. She first proved her capabilities in selling and repairing industrial machinery as Territory Manager at Chrisman Machinery before accepting a position in the National Accounts Dept. at Columbus McKinnon Corporation.

 

A fellow gearhead enticed her to work in the aftermarket in 2001. Colf discovered that this was indeed the industry tailor made for her. She still had the opportunity to do what she most enjoys though now surrounded by her first love, cool cars. She has worked for companies like Stainless Steel Brakes, Eaton Detroit Spring, and eTool Developers. She is currently President of Colf Creative Resources, a Web Development and SEO firm.

 

Colf feels compelled to utilize her resources and talent through participating in professional service organizations. She has been a member of several SEMA Councils & Committees since 2005. In addition to currently serving on the SBN Select Committee, having chaired the Committee from 2007-2009; she currently holds seats on the Hot Rod Industry Alliance Select Committee and the SEMA Business Technology Committee, and served the maximum 3 terms on the Young Executives’ Network. One of her proudest moments was accepting the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Woman of the Year Award in 2010. She adds, “I am always interested in promoting my industry and furthering people’s opportunities. I feel so fortunate to be working in an industry that I love.”

     
 

Camee Edelbrock – PR Task Force Team Lead
SBN Select Committee Member
Public Relations Manager - Schiefer Media, Inc.

 

Camee Edelbrock is a third generation automotive enthusiast, racecar driver and participating member of the automotive aftermarket industry. Her grandfather, Vic Edelbrock Sr., raced across the dry lakes of SoCal in his '32 Ford Roadster, setting a speed record of 121mph right before WWII.

 

After graduating from the University of Southern California with a Bachelors degree in Communications, Camee accepted the offer to join her Dad at the Edelbrock Corporation. Camee was promoted to VP of Advertising after 10 years of learning the craft. As a company spokesperson, she has worked on both sides of the camera with appearances in Overhaulin', Rides and Hot RodTV.

 

Camee's competitive spirit is equal to the earlier generations and is evident in her racing history. She started racing on water skis, jumped behind the wheel of a 38-foot offshore boat, and went road racing, earning several awards in her '66 Shelby.

 

After 25 years of dedication to the family business, Camee joined Schiefer Media, Inc. as a public relations and social media manager in 2008 where she enjoys working with a wide variety of companies in the automotive aftermarket industry. Her knowledge and passion for all things that go fast provides motivation and enthusiasm that's tough to beat. Camee is fun loving, hard working, outspoken and up for just about any challenge.

     
 

Susan Carpenter – Product Procurement Team Lead
SBN Select Committee Member
President - JR Products

 

JR Products President Susan Carpenter is rather new in the SEMA world but has served automotive related industries successfully for over 20 years. Despite the major downturns in the economy, the company Susan leads, and is intricately involved with, has just completed their 10th consecutive record sales year. This has been largely due to industry-leading retail packaging design, aggressive marketing/specialized merchandising programs, and fair pricing/award-winning customer service practices, all of which Susan knows well and was part of implementing. Susan is a Select Committee member of the SBN and is active as the Networking Lead, a Projects Committee member, a Communications Committee member and the SBN Vehicle Build Product Procurement Coordinator.

     
 

Sherry Kollien - Project Vehicle Coordinator
SBN Member
SEMA Project Manager - Ford Motor Company

 

SEMA Project Manager for Ford Motor Company, Sherry Kollien, has been involved with SEMA for over 12 years. She manages the Ford/SEMA project vehicle program to develop Ford SEMA Show cars with SEMA manufacturers for display at the annual SEMA Show.

 

Growing up, Sherry attended numerous car shows and races with her Dad and brother. Her love for cars landed her at Ford Motor Company 22 years ago. She began working in the Dynamometer lab testing future powertrains and eventually moved into her current position. In 2000, Sherry led the effort to pilot a vehicle data sharing program between Ford and the aftermarket.

“I love my job (and how many can truly say that!)…it allows me to bring my love of cars that I grew up with and my business experience together. I greatly appreciate the relationships and support I have received over the years; it is what drives me to continue doing what I do each day.”

Away from the office, Sherry enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters as they camp, horseback ride (and show), and snowmobile. She is an advocate for special needs children with emphasis on ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and remains an avid NASCAR fan.

     
 

Jennifer Seely – Design Team Lead

SBN Member
Designer - Ford Motor Company

 

Born and raised in Detroit, MI, Jennifer Seely grew up in a highly creative family environment. Her father, who studied architecture, played a very important role in nurturing her creative eye and design DNA. She began to observe his many diverse projects as they took form and developed. One of her father’s most memorable projects included a handcrafted yacht, which is still used by the family every summer. For Jennifer it was a natural progression to later study industrial design at The College for Creative Studies.

 

Hungry to broaden her knowledge in multiple disciplines, Jennifer was able to take advantage of diverse opportunities including: a photo shoot for Eminem, graphics for a documentary in Ireland, and a prefab emergency relief shelter. Also, in 2009 she joined Clear Magazine and became the Creative Director for the Magazine’s first app for iPad. Adobe featured Clear’s digital app alongside MTV, Martha Stewart, and Sesame Street in their worldwide campaign.

 

In 2011 Jennifer joined The Ford Motor Company working under Max Wolff, Design Director of Lincoln. Her winning custom design from the SEMA Mustang Build contest will be unveiled and auctioned at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV.

     
SEMA Mustang Build, Powered by SEMA Businesswomen Network, Build Bio, Joann Bortles  

JoAnn Bortles - Powertrain Team Lead
SBN Select Committee Member
Owner - Crazy Horse Custom Paint

 

JoAnn Bortles is an award winning custom painter, airbrush artist, welder/fabricator, author, and photo journalist with over 30 years of experience in the automotive industry. JoAnn started welding and working on cars in 1976. In 1979, She opened Crazy Horse Custom Paint, and was the first woman to own and operate her own custom paint shop in the US. In the 80’s she owned a small restoration shop that specialized in early Mustangs. JoAnn has won numerous awards for her work including some of the top custom painting awards. In 1998 and 2005, her work won Best Motorcycle Paint of the Year. In 2006, a 1939 Ford she painted won PPG’s Top Five Most Outstanding Paint Awards. Her work has taken home many Best of Shows and First Place awards, including several “Best Paint” and “Best of Show”, at the Goodguys Shows. JoAnn’s work has been on the covers of and featured in many magazines including Street Rodder, Hot Rod, American Iron, Easyriders and she was the first custom painter to be featured in Southern Living magazine. In 2004, she became the first woman to have her own bike featured on the cover of Easyriders magazine. She’s also been featured on NBC News and the Today Show. In 2006 and 2007, she was member of the first all women motorcycle building team - The Chopper Chick Crew. She is the published author of six How to Paint books, including the best selling “How to Master Airbrush Techniques.” She’s currently working on her 7th book, “The Complete Guide to Automotive Painting.”

     
SEMA Mustang Build, Powered by SEMA Businesswomen Network, Build Bio, Theresa Contreras  

Theresa Contreras - Body/Paint Exterior Team Lead
SBN Member
Custom Painter - L&G Enterprises

 

I love customizing cars! My name is Theresa Contreras, and although I grew up in the automotive industry, I’ve only really been a part of it for the past 14 years when I started working for my parents at our family owned business, L&G Enterprises. At first I was just helping in the office, but when custom painters weren’t showing up on time, I decided I could go out in the paint booth and do what they do, so I did, and now I’m the custom painter. It also helped that I had a background in Graphic Design as well, so I already enjoyed being creative. I’ve been attending the SEMA show for almost 20 years, but I’ve been building vehicles for the show for the past 12 years. My first build was a Ford Ranger SEMA show in 2000, and now, we help build anywhere from 10-20 vehicles a year. These builds can be extremely challenging, but they are always rewarding in the end, otherwise why would I keep doing it. Today, I enjoy working with my entire family everyday (were not quite sure how we do it all the time). As far as accomplishments, here are a few: I have been on ESPN 2’s “ Truck Stop”; SPEED channel’s “Car Warriors” -where we won the GM truck build and I was the first female team leader; I have been in the top truck magazines (Truckin’ magazine and Street Trucks magazine ) doing tech paint articles and have had numerous personal vehicles in them and on the covers as well; won a Product Excellence Award for my Fiesta from Ford Motor Company in 2010; and I’m looking forward to branching out and possibly getting into off-road racing (because you always have to ask “What’s next?”).

     

SEMA Mustang Build, Powered by SEMA Businesswomen Network, Build Bio, Mollie Lewis

 


Mollie Lewis - Undercarriage Team Lead

SBN Member
Owner - All In The Wrist Auto and Diesel Repair

 

ASE Certified Technician Mollie Lewis is the owner of All In The Wrist Auto and Diesel Repair in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her career spans 25 years and includes engine overhaul, front end alignment, heavy duty diesel, refrigeration maintenance, golf course equipment maintenance (tractor, pull behind implements, and mowers) and six years as a light wheel vehicle mechanic in the US Army Reserve.

 

She received her Associates Degree in Automotive/Diesel Technology from Universal Technical Institute in August of 1989 and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of New Mexico. She holds the following certifications: Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), EPA Refrigerant Reclamation and Handling, MOOG Alignment Certification, and No Code Diagnostic Strategies.

Mollie was recently chosen by Central New Mexico Community College as keynote speaker for the 2012 Awards for Women in Non-Traditional Careers. All In The Wrist was named one of the Best Auto Shops of 2012 in the Local IQ's Smart List and the Weekly Alibi's Best of 'Burque.

     

SEMA Mustang Build, Powered by SEMA Businesswomen Network, Build Bio, Jennifer LaFever

 


Jennifer LaFever - Quality Assurance Team Lead
SBN Member
Quality Assurance Manager - RoushYates Racing Machine

 

Jennifer LaFever has a sincere passion for education, mathematics and all things mechanical. She spent much of her childhood and early years in auto shops, her dad’s garage and at many west coast dirt and asphalt race tracks. Upon graduation from highschool, Jennifer went on to obtain her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a Minor in Managerial Economics from the University of California, Davis. She accepted a position shortly after graduation, as a Quality Engineer with Ceres Integrated Technology, a company manufacturing equipment for semiconductor processing. The company was bought by Flextronics International after a short time. While at Flextronics she obtained her Six Sigma Green Belt, as well as her certificate in SolidWorks CAD, had opportunities to complete internal and supplier quality audits, and also successfully implemented and maintained process control programs. In 2009, she resigned from her coveted position at Flextronics International and returned to school at Universal Technical Institute to obtain a hands-on education in automotive technology, with the intention of using her education to be employed in motorsports. In 2011, Jennifer, a California native, relocated across the country to Mooresville, North Carolina to complete the NASCAR elective through Universal Technical Institute. While in school she was offered an internship at Roush & Yates Racing Engines in the Quality Assurance department. Jennifer graduated at the top of her class, with all honors possible from Universal Technical Institute and NASCAR Technical Institute. Upon graduation she accepted the Quality Assurance Manager position offered to her by RoushYates, and has been thriving there since.

     

 


Julia Johnson – Powertrain Team Member
SBN Select Committee Member

Instructor, Automotive Technology - Skyline College

 

Julia Johnson began her automotive career as an auto tech student at Skyline College. She had never so much as opened a hood before enrolling in the Automotive Technician certificate program in 2004. During her student years she built a 12-second drag car, won 9 scholarships, worked in independent repair shops, earned 6 ASE certificates and an EA Smog License, and started teaching automotive classes just for women.

 

She was hired to teach at Skyline shortly after graduation and has written and won three grants to recruit and retain women to the auto tech program. She coordinates three other grants, teaches the Entry Level Certificate classes, coordinates and teaches the Honda Express Tech program, created and manages the internship and job placement program and teaches Car Care Basics for Women and the Vintage Car class.

 

Julia is a founding member and advisor to the "Heart Wrenchers Car Club" - the club for female automotive students and has helped increase female enrollment to 14 students (up from zero in past years!). She is currently working with some of the students to create a non-profit organization, "Women's Automotive Education Alliance" to help bring women to automotive programs nationwide.

     

 


Rachel De Barros – Interior Team Member
SBN Member
Owner - Gearhead Diva

 

Rachel is a self-proclaimed "car-modding superfan" and active DIY car enthusiast whose socket set rivals her shoe collection and believes that 400hp is nothing to brag about. Tinkering on cars since childhood, she’s learned a variety of technical skills and eventually turned her passion for cars into a profession by completing the Automotive Training & Repair Program at the Philadelphia Automotive Training School. She is currently building four cars of her own, a '73 ‘Cuda, '10 Challenger SRT8, '51 Ford F1 and a '08 Hummer H3.

 

Rachel launched Gearhead Diva, an edgy automotive how-to and car culture publication to inspire like-minded car enthusiasts to get confident behind the wrench by featuring installations, performance upgrades and modifications for track or show that use common tools your average gearhead already has in his/her garage. In addition, she's producing Season One of the title's new original video series.

 

Rachel is currently President of Purple Star Media, a boutique design and interactive marketing company which in addition to providing end-to-end solutions, also produces a variety of titles including Gearhead Diva and Tricked Magazine, a marketing resource for the aftermarket and restyling industries.

     

 


Kirsten Wright – Undercarriage Team Member
SBN Member
Social Media and Public Relations Manager - MagnaFlow Exhaust

 

Kirsten Wright is responsible for all strategic PR and social media efforts that drive MagnaFlow through the digital space. She is also responsible for managing all events and celebrity sponsorships. As a passionate social media expert, Kirsten provides the intelligence for MagnaFlow's social actions, assuring that every tweet, status update, dialogue, image and video asset is ideally created and placed for their market. As a graduate of California State University Long Beach with a degree in Rhetorical Communications, she is a frequent speaker at conferences nationwide.

     

 


Samantha Whitfield - Powertrain Team Member
SBN Member
Owner - Health/Fitness/Nutrition Blog

 

Samantha Whitfield, of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada attended British Columbia Institute of Technology with a focus in Automotive Mechanics. She loves racing her 2002 Harley Davidson F150 truck, outfitted with a full chromoly cage, certified to run 8.50, a built 5.4 motor, 3.4 Whipple Supercharger and nitrous. She & her truck, along with numerous sponsors have been featured in several magazine articles.

     

 


Dr. Karen Salvaggio – Powertrain Team Member
SBN Member
Owner - Thunder Valley Racing

 

Karen Savaggio served nine years in the U.S. Air Force as an aircraft mechanic, working on B-52's and KC-135 aircraft. She had several stateside assignments, as well as tours in Japan and the Philippines. In 1985 she left the military to pursue a career in education, and used the GI Bill to secure her college education while working full time as a service manager at a motorcycle shop. She holds a Doctorate in organizational leadership, and a Master's Degree in education. Today, she is owner and Editor of Thunder Valley Racing, and travels nationally to compete in road racing events, and to serve as an instructor driver with the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) and the Track Guys organization. She is a natural teacher at heart (and by profession), and truly enjoys working with novice and seasoned drivers as they develop confidence and competition skills through driving mastery. Her goal is to operate a national level, 2011 NASA Awards Banquet with NASA’s professional endurance racing team.

 

Karen's racing career began in 1985 at NASCAR dirt track events in California, and soon made the move to road racing with the Vintage Auto Racing Association (VARA), competing in a 1959 C-Production Corvette. In 2000, Karen joined the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), competing in the Women's Global GT Series. She also competed in NHRA drag racing events, garnering the Gardei Memorial Overall Competitor Award in 1997 (Firebird Raceway), Top Eliminator at the Pomona Drags in 1999, 4-Time NCCC Champion, and was awarded the 2009 NASA Instructor Driver of the Year.

 

Through hard work and a relentless pursuit of driving excellence, Karen has secured more than 200 first place finishes in driving competitions, and earned the 2009 and 2010 West Coast Challenge Series Championships. She currently fields a Factory Five Racing Type-65 Coupe at endurance racing events, where she also serves as the leader for the series. At the 2011 25 Hours of Thunderhill, the team scored a stunning victory in the season finale, and secured the 2011 Western Endurance Racing Championship.

     


 


Tracie Nunez – Powertrain Team Member
SBN Member
Chief Executive Officer- Advanced Clutch Technology, Inc.

 

As the Chief Executive Officer for Advanced Clutch Technology, Tracie Nunez has been a key player in establishing the ACT brand name over the last 14 years. Her prior experience with Avery Label in distribution and with Bap Geon, an imports parts chain, as a delivery driver contributed to her success in running a successful aftermarket business. She holds a Bachelor degree in Business Management from the University of Phoenix. She is known for her collaborative leadership style, solid integrity and fresh approach to today’s challenges. With a deep desire to learn every day, she embraces the opportunity to serve. Through the years, Tracie has been a dedicated leader on SEMA’s Street Performance Council as chairman, MPMC select committee, SEMA Show Committee, Board of Directors Nominating Committee, and several SEMA Award Task forces. In 2007, Tracie was recognized as the Sport Compact Council’s Person of the Year. Nunez has a wonderfully hectic home life with her husband and three very active boys.

     

 


Coelette Chenier – Undercarriage Team Member
SBN Member
Marketing Coordinator - MagnaFlow

 

Coelette Chenier is the Marketing Coordinator for MagnaFlow. For close to seven years she has been a great asset in the company’s growth into a market leader. She provides the Sales & Marketing team support in Social Media, Product Sponsorship, Show Sponsorship, Event Planning and the Global Distribution of Marketing Material. Coelette is a source of creativity and knows what it takes to provide a truly warm and friendly internal and external customer service experience. She was raised in Southern California and studied Graphic Design at the Art Institute of California – Orange County.

     

 


Genevieve Saxton – Interior Team Member
SBN Member
Student: Skyline College

 

Genevieve Saxton's passion for classic muscle cars runs deep, so much so that she's devoted her professional future to it, being currently enrolled in the Automotive Day Program at Skyline College in San Bruno, CA. So far, Genevieve has completed Automotive Transmissions and Drivetrains, Engine Diagnosis and Repair, Automotive Electrical, and a short course in Welding with Brakes and Suspension coming up.

 

Her first project – a non-op '96 Camaro Z-28 – sparked her interest in learning how to do most, if not all, of the work herself. Getting it running was a great personal achievement for Genevieve and encouraged her to not only enroll in Skyline College, but also join the Heart Wrenchers Car Club – a club formed by the women enrolled the Automotive Program.

 

Part of the Heart Wrencher Car Club strives to recruit and retain women in the Automotive Industry, as well as hosting public workshops, repairing cars for lower income persons, and donating vehicles to families in need.

     

 


Michelle Perez – Interior Team Member
SBN Member
Student - Skyline College

 

Known to her friends and fellow car lovers as "Mustang Missy," Michelle first cut her car enthusiast teeth on a '67 Mustang – which she nicknamed "Sally" – and still owns to this day. Born and raised in scenic Half Moon Bay, California, Michelle enrolled at Laramie, Wyoming's technical school, Wyotech to learn collision repair, finishing and upholstery.

 

After graduating, Michelle returned to California and enrolled in Skyline College's automotive program where she is the President of the Auto Tech Club, Vice President of the Heart Wrenchers Car Club, and is currently employed at a local body shop as a paint prep – a nod to her and her father's dream of one day owning their own body shop.

     

 


Nan Gelhard - Parts Procurement Team Member
SBN Select Committee Member
Advertising Manager - Summit Racing Equipment

 

Nan is a performance enthusiast with more than 30 years’ experience in the Automotive Aftermarket – promoting performance parts, restoration and resto-mod parts and tools, replacement parts, collectables, powersports products, and tools and shop equipment.

 

Gelhard works on advertising and PR for Summit Racing Equipment, Genuine Hotrod Hardware, PowerSports Place, and Atech Motorsports; and Summit Racing’s Motorsports Teams and Drivers. Gelhard works directly with aftermarket manufacturers on partnership and co-op advertising and PR to support their lines. She was able to tap her network to connect the SEMA SBN Mustang Design and Build Team with sources for parts for the project.

 

Nan admitted, “I’m very interested in automotive design, and I think form should follow function. The winning design embodies the objectives for the project: sophisticated design, high performance, and a high power to weight ratio; like the women I work with in the industry.”

     

 


Stephanie S. Justice
SBN Member
Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer - Source Interlink Media

Stephanie S. Justice was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of Source Interlink Companies in September 2010 and given broad responsibility to improve the company’s operations by enabling change via technology, people and process initiatives. Justice has direct responsibility for the company’s Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal Affairs and Real Estate Management functions. But her principal focus is to serve as a collaborative change agent – working with other senior executives, external partners and Source’s deep talent pool to drive innovation and strategic planning across business units. Justice joined Source Interlink Companies with 18 years of professional experience in media, strategy, consulting, information technology and finance. She is a seasoned executive with a large network and extensive experience at both the tactical levels of execution and executive level of strategic planning, having successfully enabled dozens of clients through business transformations at Deloitte and at Comag Marketing Group, LLC, previously a jointly owned company of Condé Nast and The Hearst Corporation. Justice is a Certified Public Accountant, who holds a BS from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA.

     

 


Elana Scherr
SBN Member
Staff Editor - HOT ROD Magazine

 

Elana Scherr grew up in Southern California and majored in Art and English at UCLA. After graduating she worked for several years as an artist’s assistant. She went from making molds for sculptures to modeling racing bodywork for AMA motorcycles as a lightweight composites fabricator, and then working with aftermarket parts manufacturers as a PR rep. Although she likes all forms of motorsports, herfavorites involve domestic muscle cars –her daily driver is a 1970 Dodge Challenger-- and she is thrilled to be one of the newest members of the HOT ROD editorial staff.

     

 


Julia Cyr
SBN Member
Executive Editor - HOT ROD Magazine

 

Julia Cyr hails from Vancouver, Canada. Julia’s previous work experience in automotive commercial production brought her to Source Interlink Media where she spearheaded the start of the SIM video program before becoming a part of the HOT ROD team, a position she loves for its creativity and the skilled mechanics and builders she comes in contact with on a daily basis. Julia has already come under the spell of the HOT ROD collector’s bug, and is currently looking for an El Camino project car since her dog Bika so enjoyed the ride in an Elco in a recent episode of HOT ROD’s YouTube show, Roadkill.

 

Coincidentally, along with sharing a love of muscle cars and fat dogs, Elana and Julia both came in to the car hobby late. Both women got their first cars at age 21. They are making up for lost time now.

     

 


Christina Kwan – PR & Product Procurement Team Member
SBN Select Committee Member
Owner - Kwan International Media & Marketing

Christina grew up in Seattle and moved to sunny Las Vegas where she majored in Marketing at UNLV. After graduating, she worked within the public relations and marketing departments at Caesars Entertainment, Stratosphere and Wynn International. To follow her passion of working with more automotive and motorsports companies, Christina founded Kwan International in 2007 and moved its residence to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in 2010. She has represented NHRA Nitro Funny Cars and is most excited about finishing her drag boat which she will also be racing.

     

 


Zan Martin - PR Team Member
Former Chair of SBN

President - Martin and Company Advertising

 

Zan Martin, a 26-year industry veteran has developed strategic marketing plans and product launches for some of the automotive industry’s largest and most well known brands. She & her husband Randy formed Martin and Company Advertising in 1993 where she has served as President and CEO for 19 years, providing jobs & guiding many women on her team into the automotive industry.

She is an active & highly visible industry ambassador creating & facilitating numerous standing room only SEMA Seminars on highly relevant topics. In addition, Martin writes articles for many industry trade publications, is an LTAA member and has been a SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) member for 19 years, serving as chairman from 2001 to 2003. In 2005, she was honored to receive the SBN ATHENA Award in recognition of her contributions to enhance the growth and stature of women in the industry.

 

Elected to the SEMA Board of Directors in 2009 and serving for two years, she was chair of the SEMA Marketing Task Force, helping to raise over $3.5 M among print, electronic & web-based media to promote SEMA & the SEMA Action Network.

     

 


Kelly Martin - Undercarriage Team Member
SBN Member
WeatherTech

 

From the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, Kelly Martin was practically born to work in the Automotive Industry. Her parents have been involved for years in Road Racing, so she’s grown up alongside fast-pace race cars all her life. In High School she had the opportunity to take an automotive class and her passion only grew.

She joined the WeatherTech Team in 2009 to help sell and promote quality American-made Interior Automotive Accessories. While working at WeatherTech, she has continued to enjoy her love of auto sports by attending various events like SEMA in Las Vegas and the June Sprints at Road America in Wisconsin.

In 2010 she bought her first vehicle, a 2006 Nissan Xterra, and the four-wheel drive bug bit her. Only a few months into the purchase she began modifying her Nissan to dominate the trails while representing WeatherTech at off-road events across the US. She used her skills learned from industry to build her vehicle to survive off the pavement.

Looking into the future, Kelly wants to strengthen her passion even more. She plans to go back to school to earn a degree in Automotive Engineering Technology.

     

 


Laurie Paolone - Undercarriage Team
SBN Member
Magnaflow Representative

Laurie was born in Toronto, Canada. She graduated from California State University at Northridge with a degree in Humanities and a minor in Art History. Her Italian parents, who immigrated to Canada in the 1960s with barely a dime to their name, moved the family to California when she was 9 years old. Her diligent father worked hard and created and founded MagnaFlow Exhaust, a successful business in the aftermarket automotive industry. Currently working for her father’s company, Laurie helps give car enthusiasts and gear heads in the world more power and performance to their vehicles.

     

 


Tracy L. Teuscher – PR Team
Former SBN Select Committee Member
President - The Buzz Maker!

Tracy L. Teuscher, APR, is an accredited public relations specialist with 14 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket industry. President of The Buzz Maker! public relations, Teuscher is a trusted consultant and service provider having served more than a dozen aftermarket brands including Motorz TV, Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels, DiamondBack Truck Covers, eTool Developers and more. Teuscher is an active SEMA and former SBN Select Committee member. She specializes in public relations, consulting, strategic communications, media relations and professional writing services.

     

 


Rebeca Olavarietta – Suspension Team Member
SBN Member
Sales Manager - Roco 4x4

 

Rebeca was that kid at the track that everyone thought was just looking out for her father's car, when in reality she was 16 years old and racing 1/4 mile with her supercharged Mustang Cobra. There she had the opportunity to get hands on experience in the performance side of the automotive industry. After graduating cum laude with a Finance degree from Florida International University she joined her brother in running the family-owned business Roco4x4. This shop/store facility gave her the opportunity to learn more about the truck accessory market and also the opportunity to build her own truck.

 

Her daily driver, a 2011 Jeep Wrangler, sustained a series of modifications that accentuated the factory features while taking advantage of the benefits of certain aftermarket products. Since the Wrangler is her personal vehicle, Rebeca took it upon herself to do all the modifications alone. Rebeca said it took her over 10 hours just to weld on the long arm Teraflex suspension lift kit, which gives a taste of just how much work went into this vehicle. With this project she won the SEMA feature vehicle award in 2011, received by Mopar's president Pietro Gorlier, and had the opportunity to take her Jeep from East to West Coast for the 2011 SEMA Show. Rebeca is now 24 years old and is the Sales Manager and on-call tech at Miami's leading off-road shop Roco4x4.

     

 


Kristin Cline - Interior/Stereo Team Lead
SBN Member
Community Administrator - CIE Studios

 

Since taking the leap into owning and working on her own hot rod, Kristin hasn’t been able to get enough of cars. Wanting to excite a new generation of auto enthusiasts, she began GreaseGirl.com to share what she was learning. As time progressed Kristin continued to align life alongside her passion for cars – from starting an all-girl car club to changing careers. She now works as a Community Administrator for Cie Studios, an interactive digital agency with a strong background in automotive. Kristin is learning even more as she manages an online community and provides auto-centric content for clients at Cie Studios while continuing to build upon her mechanic’s skills in the garage.

     

 


Liz Miles - Undercarriage Team Member
SBN Member
Marketing and PR Coordinator - Holley Performance Products

 

Liz Miles has been an automotive enthusiast since she was 15 years old. Her first muscle car was an orange 1968 Camaro which she purchased with no previous car knowledge. According to Miles, "I only knew that it was the car for me." Since then, the Camaro has helped Miles learn about everything from car maintenance to modification. After studying to be an automotive technician at WyoTech in Laramie, Wyoming, Miles joined Dominator Street Rods as a fabricator where she was featured in Hot Rod magazine in 2006. This led to a position at Boyd Coddington’s shop and an appearance on the American Hot Rod series. From there, Miles joined the publishing world, first as a tech writer for Camaro Performers magazine followed by Technical Editor for Popular Hot Rodding. Today, Liz Miles acts as Marketing and PR Coordinator for Holley Performance Products where she spends her weekends wrenching and welding as a hobby. Her garage still houses the orange '68 Camaro as well as a Super Duty pick-up, Honda CBR 1000RR and a ’93 Mustang.

     

 


Liza Sheen - Interior Team Member
SBN Member
Owner - Kizuna Kustomz

 

At a young age, Liza Sheen was curious about how things worked, which led to a household of dissembled appliances. However, this childhood interest in all things mechanical led to a career as a successful automotive/motorcycle technician and enthusiast.

 

Today, Sheen's specialties include customized lighting (LEDs, projector retrofitting), fender rolling, wheel refinishing, general maintenance, bolt-on installations of aftermarket equipment, trim upholstery, vinyl wrapping, restoration and custom painting. It's no doubt that Sheen's nickname, "One Stop Shop Girl", is a tribute to her wide variety of skills. Sheen says, "I enjoy working in the automotive field. Not to prove to guys that women can, but to prove to myself that I can do anything that I choose to do."

     


 


Kristin Watson - Exterior Team Member
SBN Member
Creations n' Chrome

 

Kristin Watson is a natural fit to the Vehicle Build team. At age 16, her first car was a Ford Mustang and she spent every Friday night at the local race track. Her mom shared stories with her about working on and racing muscle cars, a tradition that Kristin has gladly continued.

On any given day, Kristin can be found driving her award winning 2011 Vortech supercharged pink chrome “Pony Girl” Mustang which received Ford’s “Best of Show” honors at the 2010 SEMA Show.

Together with her husband, Kristin opened Creations n’ Chrome eight years ago which provides high quality automotive refinishing to clients around the world with a specialty in a process called Spectra Chrome. Proudly, her shop is now a “Spectra Chrome Certified Technical Support and Training Center”. She is hands on in the business, working on paint prep work while also chroming car parts, art work and even movie props (featured in Men in Black III).

She enjoys the challenges of being a business owner, perfectionist and raising her two sons. When she does find some free time, Kristin enjoys outdoor activities – riding dirt bikes and camping.

     

 


Sara Morosan – Exterior Team Member
SBN Member
Sales Manager - L&G Enterprises

For Sara Morosan, working within the automotive industry is truly a family affair. Her parents started L&G Enterprises when she was two years old and at 15 years old, she officially joined the company. In 2001, Custom Truck Shop, L&G Enterprises’ sister company, was born and Sara became its Sales Manager.

While amassing automotive knowledge at Citrus College in Glendora, CA, Sara credits her dad for teaching her about cars. “When it came time for me to own my first car, a 1970 El Camino, my dad made me build it from the ground up just like my sister. Every weekend we went to swap meets to look for parts and ideas.”

Sara and her family are also involved in an automotive program held at the Fairplex in Pomona, CA called the Alex Xydias Center of Automotive Arts. The program allows them to work with other car enthusiasts and students who are equally as enthusiastic on learning about cars. Last year, L&G Enterprises was named San Dimas Family Business of the Year.

With a need for speed, Sara has enjoyed riding quads and dirt bikes since the age of two. At 18, she went to the Frank Hawley’s Drag Racing School and received her license to race.

     

 

Jessi Combs – Interior Team Member
Automotive Television Personality

The fearless Jessi Combs was born for everything automotive. Her passion to get in the driver seat and behind the wheel of nearly anything with a motor has led her through some amazing and unusual achievements. With a degree in custom automotive fabrication, Jessi has reached out to millions with her build skills on TV shows such as All Girls Garage, Mythbusters and Overhaulin’ to name a few, as well as through community and educational outreach. Her desire to show more women (and men alike) that they too can go fast, get dirty, have fun and still be feminine, shines through everything she does in life.

     

 

Lisa McCarley – Exterior Team Member
SBN Member
Product Marketing Manager – Chicago Pneumatic Tool Company

 

Lisa is the Product Marketing Manager for Chicago Pneumatic’s vehicle service division, located in Rock Hill, SC. After graduating from Appalachian State University with a degree in marketing, she has spent many years working in a “man’s” world marketing and selling an international line of construction equipment.

While Lisa has only been involved with the automotive industry a few years, she was more than eager to lend a hand (and a few pneumatic tools) for the SEMA Mustang build. “Chicago Pneumatic tools have been used by women for many years. Even in the iconic Rosie the Riveter is seen holding a Chicago Pneumatic - Boyer Hammer. The SEMA Build was a great experience for a worthy cause, the future generations of mechanics.”

Outside of her career, Lisa enjoys spending time with her husband and two children at local athletic and community events. She is extremely involved with the local school district and helps provide funding for over 1100 middle school athletes.

     
 

Christina Alongi – Exterior Team Member
SBN Member
Car Dealer Channel Manager - Pirelli Tire

Born in Michigan and raised only a few blocks from Ford, it was natural that Christina Alongi would have an affinity for cars. Growing up, she vividly recalls watching her father read the Sunday paper each weekend and seeing him grin ear-to-ear when reviewing the new car ads. From household upbringing to career choice, Christina’s life is wrapped around her passion for cars.

Christina began her career at J. Walter Thompson, a global advertising and marketing agency, where she worked on Ford ad campaigns across all forms of media including broadcast and print. From there, she had a six year career with Ford Motor Company in the Vehicle Sales Division in the Northeast Region. At Ford, Christina specialized in working closely with dealers on customizing Ford cars and trucks for their customers.

Currently, Christina works at Pirelli Tire as the Car Dealer Channel Manager for Ford/GM. She is focused on expanding the tire replacement market and increasing sales and awareness of Pirelli across the United States.

     
 

Raquel Rangel - Suspension Team Member
SBN Member
Skyline College

Raquel has been a student at Skyline College since August 2011 and currently works as a Lube Tech at Oil Changers. At Skyline, she has quickly become a stand out student who has been honored with the Grove Scholarship, Dean’s List of Honor Students, and the Skyline Automotive Department “Rookie of the Year Award” and “Student of the Month Award”.

Raquel first enrolled in Automotive for Women at Skyline as a way to learn general maintenance that she could apply to her own car. At the all-women course, she felt that the learning environment was friendly and not intimidating. After attending the two-weekend course, Raquel knew that working on cars was a career that she wanted to pursue. One of her proudest achievements is applying her knowledge in rebuilding her brother’s Turbo 350 transmission for his 1980 Chevy Blazer.

Also a member of the all-women Heart Wrenchers Car Club at Skyline, Raquel credits her teacher Julia Johnson for inspiring her to pursue a career in automotive. Extending the mentoring efforts, Heart Wrenchers not only provides support for its members, but the club also works to educate women and holds workshops for young kids to introduce them to the automotive field at a young age.

     
   

Kirstin Stone
SBN Member
Turbosmart USA

Kirstin has been involved in the Performance Aftermarket Industry for 2 ½ years. Currently, she is a Sales and Marketing Executive at Turbosmart USA and has been with the company for over a year. Graduating from the University of California, Davis, with a BA in Communications, Kirstin finds herself in a perfect role of combining her degree with a career in the automotive industry.

Kirstin grew up in a family that was immersed in motorsports ranging from Circle Track to the Baja 1000. She developed a passion for racing and decided to be a drag racer. Initially, Kirstin raced her 2003 Mustang Cobra which she recently sold. Now, her project car is a 1974 Chevy Nova.

     
 

Veronica Gaeta – Exterior Team Member
SBN Member
Welder/Fabricator Auto-Body and Paint Technician

Veronica is driven with a passion for automotive fabrication and refurbishing. Residing in San Diego, CA and serving as a west coast associate to fellow vehicle build team member JoAnn Bortles of Crazy Horse Custom Paint, Veronica holds several certificates of completion in the specialty areas of welding, collision repair fabrication and paint and air brushing techniques.

An active member of her local American Welding Society student chapter, she is constantly advocating for ways to improve her community through the fabrication of new structures and pieces. Focused on her education, Veronica is currently working towards receiving her Certified Welding Inspectors certificate in non-destructive testing. When not having her hands full in a shop, Veronica enjoys her time as the mother of two young children.

     
  Sara Burgess – Undercarriage Team Member
SBN Member
Professional Racer – BMI Racing

Growing up in Queensland, Australia and currently living in Los Angeles Sarah Burgess never followed the typical path for a young girl as she started in BMX racing, went onto Speed Skating, and currently pursues a motorsports career.

Initially exposed to racing through simple Test n’ Tunes at the local track, she caught the motorsports bug on a business trip to the USA NHRA Pomona Winternationals when she saw a 325mph pass.

From this point on Sarah became more involved in the industry opening a performance automotive business with her partner Adam Burgess, becoming a distributor for a variety of American automotive manufactures. Sarah started off as the Team Manager for BMI Racing when their first drift car (a Mazda RX8) was built, but this also included fabricating parts, installing the electrical system and providing marketing opportunities for BMI Racing’s partners. In 2011 Sarah stepped back into the driver’s seat, once again adding another profession to her busy schedule, and competed in Xtreme Drift Circuit in Seattle WA and Dallas TX. 2012 brought a change to the BMI Racing team stepping up to a 700hp Ford Mustang running a 5.0L Coyote Engine with a 2.9L Whipple Supercharger. Sarah is currently the only female drifting on a national level.
     
  Lisa Kubo – Drivetrain Team Member
SBN Member
Product Specialist / Professional Racer – K&N Engineering / Lisa Kubo Racing

A Southern California native, Lisa was first exposed to the Motorsports industry as a young child, watching her uncle pull the clutch on Kenny Bernstein’s Drag Car in the early 1980’s at NHRA events. Born in Generation X, Lisa was a pioneer of the Sports Compact Car (SCC) racing era as she was the only woman to run her own professional team, Lisa Kubo Racing, pilot the professional drag car, handle the day to day operations, and was responsible for marketing her program to sponsors.

With a motorsports nickname of “Ice” Lisa will be the first to admit that her perseverance paid off as she overcame the adversity inherit to motorsports teams and pushed forward with a number of major victories. Lisa had the fight to win and that she did, 36 national event wins, the only woman from the professional Sport Compact ranks with 4 championships, she appeared on many of the industries coveted magazines, was a spokesperson for numerous organizations including RASR and RADD, and has been called the most photographed team owner and driver from SCC industry. Lisa’s most notable accomplishment in drag racing history was when she piloted the first ever 7 second front wheel drive drag car in history. Lisa has kept her love for motorsports and is now an employee of K&N Engineering where she is a Product Specialist and is planning on running in a 10.5 Outlaw tire class.
     
  Addi Green - Exterior Team Member
SBN Member
Customer Service Manager - L&G Enterprises

Addi has worked for L&G Enterprises for the past six years, yet she has been in the automotive industry for the past ten years. Accruing knowledge from working within the different sectors of automotive restoration and building, Addi has also worked in a stereo shop, a chassis shop and where she is currently, a paint and body shop.

Her passion for cars began in High School when she got an El Camino that needed work. From then on, she made a career in the industry. In her free time, Addi also enjoys helping her husband in his business of building hot rods and restoring older vehicles. Addi enjoys the process of taking a project car apart and putting it back together. She also gets a kick out of showing her husband a thing or two that she has learned at the body shop that he didn’t yet know!
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