The SEMA Show Student Program gives young people a glimpse of the industry as part of the association’s effort to reach out and pull in the next generation of professionals to the specialty-equipment market. Last year’s event boasted record participation by more than 400 attendees from 45 colleges and technical institutions.
The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) welcomed three new select committee members on July 1. Chris Thomson, national sales manager for Airaid, Lee McGuire, director of marketing and operations for Skyjacker Suspensions, and Steve Whipple, vice president of sales for Edelbrock LLC, will use their platforms as council leaders to help guide the direction of the group for the good of the whole industry. The three recently shared some of their goals for their terms.
Over the summer, 10 members of the Young Executives Network (YEN) embarked on the Hot Rod Power Tour to promote the network and highlight the variety of career choices available to young professionals in the automotive specialty-equipment market. The tour route began in Charlotte, North Carolina, and visited Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio and Indiana before ending in Iowa. Amy Fitzgerald, Ian Lehn, Scott Lowe, Paul Makarucha, Brit Mansell, Jonathan Mill, Michelle “Missy” Perez, Dylan Sievers, Kirstin Stone and Jerid Suchy were chosen to participate through an application process.
After celebrating its 20th anniversary milestone last year, the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) continues its momentum by powering numerous 2014 SEMA Show events. With an emphasis on networking and fostering the growth of the next generation of women leaders in the aftermarket industry, the SBN introduces four events that are open for registration.
On July 1, three individuals joined the select committee for the Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA). Jason Christiansen, president and CEO of Rigid Industries, Erika Garcia, national sales manager for Bolt Locks by Strattec, and Jerrod Strauss, director of sales and marketing for T-Rex Truck Products Inc., will join Todd Hoffman of A.R.E. Accessories and Kathryn Reinhardt of MagnaFlow, who were re-elected to fill the remaining two seats on the committee. SEMA Member News caught up with the three new members to share an introduction.
This year, the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) joins the Posies Driven Dirty Tour with the goal of connecting a new generation to opportunities in the industry. The route will run October 25–November 2 from Hummelstown, Pennsylvania, to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The tour is a natural fit with HRIA’s Futures in Hot Rodding initiative, which is an effort to encourage the industry’s next generation by identifying, communicating and promoting hot-rod-specific educational resources and career opportunities.
Each year, manufacturer members of the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) submit products to the Hot Product Showcase in order to gain exposure for their businesses. This year marked the 17th annual event at Spring Carlisle, one of the world’s largest gatherings of automotive restoration enthusiasts. The 2014 event was held April 23–26 and boasted more than 60 products from 24 ARMO-member companies.
The recent running of the Triple Crown horse races reminded me of Secretariat, perhaps the most famous horse ever and winner of the Triple Crown back in 1973. If you haven’t seen the 2010 movie Secretariat, you need to. Both inspirational and motivational, the film provides us with some great sales and life lessons. Perhaps even more are found in the lives of the jockey, Ronnie Turcotte; the trainer, Lucien Laurin; and especially the owner, Penny Chenery.
For the first time, the Emerging Trends and Technology Network (ETTN) will partner with SEMA’s Young Executives Network (YEN) to host an after-hours reception for members at the SEMA Show. By holding the event in conjunction with YEN, ETTN hopes to provide its members with an opportunity to connect with others outside of the network. Since there is quite a bit of crossover in membership between the groups, a joint networking event is a natural fit.
On July 1, two freshman members were elected to the Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) select committee. SEMA Member News interviewed Gavin Horlick of Voxx Wheel and Cheralyn Hale of Achilles Tire to learn more about their industry backgrounds and goals for their terms. SEMA Member News: What is your history in the industry and in the council?