In what has become a highly anticipated September tradition, SEMA News is once again pleased to present the annual “35 Under 35” listing of rising industry talent. This marks the fifth anniversary of this special feature, and we think readers will agree that the young trendsetters profiled in the following pages once again prove that the future of the automotive specialty-equipment industry is in extremely capable hands.
For new exhibitors at the SEMA Show in November, the list of deadlines and paperwork to get done can seem quite daunting. Some of these elements can mean the difference between success and frustration, particularly for first-time exhibitors.
Nearly as old as the web itself, web survey packages have grown ever more sophisticated over the years—to the point where you can use them to essentially run your own, never-ending focus group online. Moreover, given that there’s a crowded market of web survey providers, many businesses find that they can satisfy all of their surveying needs with the free versions of these solutions—and never upgrade to premium offerings.
Results of the 2016 SEMA Board of Directors election are in, with Chris Douglas from COMP Performance Group, Kyle Fickler of Aeromotive Inc. and Les Rudd from Bob Cook Sales elected to serve on the Board. While Fickler is a current SEMA Board member who was re-elected into the group, Douglas and Rudd will join as the newest members of the Board.
While the term “lobbyist” may, in certain circles, conjure a less-than-flattering image of Gucci shoes, limitless expense accounts and golf vacations to Scotland, I can assure you as SEMA’s congressional affairs manager that this image bears little resemblance to the day-to-day life advocating for SEMA and its members. In their purest form, lobbyists represent companies and hard-working Americans before lawmakers and regulators. These advocates serve an important role in the lawmaking process by providing issue-specific expertise and explaining the impact and unintended consequences of legislation or proposed regulations to members of Congress and their staffs.
By definition, the SEMA Hall of Fame was created to recognize outstanding persons in the automotive specialty industry whose creativity, dignity, integrity, industriousness and accomplishments, on a national basis, have enhanced the stature of, and significantly contributed to, the industry’s growth. Established in 1969, the award is the automotive aftermarket industry’s highest honor.
Peter Treydte is the manager of the SEMA Compliance Center, where his role is to provide a bridge between SEMA members and the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Treydte spent more than 20 years working for a member company, where a large portion of his responsibility was making sure that products were emissions-compliant. As a result, Treydte has substantial experience in working with CARB. SEMA News recently spent some time with Treydte, during which he explained the basics of emissions compliance, including products that require testing, first steps and test vehicles, as well as the cost and time for the entire process.
In an effort to counter intellectual property (IP) theft, President Obama signed into law a SEMA-supported bill that enables businesses to protect their trade secrets using federal law. Prior to the enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act, the only mechanism for companies to enforce valuable trade secret rights was through civil actions under state law. The absence of a uniform federal standard forced companies to navigate a patchwork of different state laws and courts to bring actions against entities that had stolen or otherwise misappropriated their proprietary trade secret information.
More than 90 SEMA members and staff from across the United States traveled to Washington, D.C., on May 11 as part of the 2016 SEMA Washington Rally. Attendees focused much of their advocacy efforts on the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act, urging their members of Congress to demonstrate support for the motorsports industry by co-sponsoring the bill. These efforts were not only well received but also produced immediate results. Within days of the visit, several members of Congress agreed to co-sponsor the RPM Act as a result of the meetings they had with SEMA members.
Ensuring that their aftermarket products are emissions-compliant under state and federal laws has long been a serious issue for manufacturers. However, a recent step-up in regulatory enforcement has sent a sudden shock wave through the entire specialty-equipment industry, from manufacturer to retailer, making Executive Order (EO) exemption more vital than ever. In fact, it’s no longer hyperbole to say a business’ very survival could be at stake.