YEN Member Insights

Syndicate content

Jeremy Loud, YEN Member Insights, April 2011

Jeremy Loud, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, April 2011

Jeremy Loud...on the Importance of Managing Returns

Jeremy Loud, 29 Years Old
Logistics Supervisor, AutoAnything

Aftermarket retailing has evolved as customer expectations have grown. At 29 years old, Jeremy Loud talks about his experience managing logistics for online retailerAutoAnything and highlights the importance of managing returns for retailers as well as for brands.

How have you seen aftermarket retailing change with the growth of online retailers like AutoAnything?

The biggest change I've seen has been in the buyers themselves. Not long ago, a sale of a custom part online was a tricky proposition on both the part of the seller and buyer. Online presentation, product data, and customer comfort with online shopping have all made significant progress, and that naturally leads to greater consumer confidence when buying online.

Many manufacturers have seen this growth and partnered with online retailers so that their products can reach a broader market. To enable smooth online transactions, suppliers have had to modify their processes.

Jenna Jefferies, YEN Member Insights, February 2011

Jenna Jefferies, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, February 2011

Jenna Jefferies on… Breaking through Gender Boundaries

Jenna Jefferies, 34 Years Old
National Account Manager, K&N Engineering Inc;

The automotive industry at one time was considered a “good old boys” club, but over the past few centuries many influential women have put that notion to rest.  At 34 years old, Jenna Jefferies embodies the standards that past and present industry pioneers envisioned.

You grew up in Southern California as the only girl in a family that has been involved in racing cars for as long as you can remember. How hard was that?

My family has been involved in the automotive industry since before I was born. My grandfather worked for a major auto parts store, and an uncle owned a business that supplied off-road parts and accessories and participated in off-road races. My dad loved buying and restoring old cars; one of his cars was even featured on the cover of Hot Rod Magazine. So, I have always been involved in the auto industry in some way - honestly I can’t say that this type of life has been hard. My family has been my greatest support group. They understand the passion and enthusiasm of what I do and why I love my career.

Sean Crawford, YEN Member Insights, January 2011

Sean Crawford, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, January 2011

JE Piston’s Sean Crawford on… How to Navigate Corporate Waters

Sean Crawford, 28 Years Old
Marketing Manager, JE Pistons; YEN Member

At the tender age of 28, Sean Crawford is in the impressive position of directing JE’s multi-million dollar marketing efforts. Working within the much larger corporate structure of Dover Inc., Crawford has become an expert at developing new creative ideas, getting buy-in, and executing them with a wisdom that belies his age. Crawford gives YEN’s younger executives some valuable insight on how to navigate corporate waters.

Give us the biggest risks for a young executive, where are the biggest pitfalls to watch for?

“As a young executive, it's easy to become eager to take action quickly. This is directly related to the speed we've become accustomed to receiving information. This is a risk. Even if the answer seems simple, it's good to slow down and evaluate the situation before moving forward. This "slower" style of response is usually more consistent with existing management and will pay off in the long run.”

Tyler Tanaka, YEN Member Insights, September 2010

Tyler Tanaka, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, September 2010

Today’s Technologies and Tomorrow
With Tyler Tanaka, PostRelease

Tyler Tanaka has been an active participant in the automotive aftermarket for more than 20 years, as an enthusiast and a marketing specialist.  He has helped to pioneer the way that brands utilize social media to form direct connections with their customers online. Tyler, aside from his day job as Account Director for PostRelease, serves as the Chair-Elect for the SEMA Street Performance Council (SPC) and is also a YEN member. Considered an industry expert when it comes to emerging trends and current technologies, YEN was pleased to have the opportunity to interview Tyler for this month’s YEN Insight.  Interview performed by Gregory Parker.

QUESTION 1: I assume you would agree with the statement that, “technology is driven by the younger generation.”  As our industry moves further into the 21st Century, and as the current younger generation becomes the company principles within our industry, how do you foresee things being different?

Melanie White, YEN Member Insights, August 2010

Melanie White, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, August 2010

Melanie White on…Carrying on Traditions & Staying Current

Melanie White, 31 years old
Director of Marketing at Hellwig Products

At the age of 25 Melanie White got involved in the family business as a 4th Generation Hellwig. She really grew up around this industry and has found some great ways to plug in. Her involvement in LTAA, PRO, ARMO, SBN, and YEN have definitely helped her both personally and professionally grow within the industry. We wanted to get White’s perspective on working for a family business. She also gives us her marketing experience as she carried on her families traditions while having to adapt and expand to new channels in marketing.

What is it like working for a family business and do you have any recommendations for employees working for a family business?

“Honestly working for a family business has it’s ups & downs; it can be so rewarding, but at times there is a lot of pressure involved. It sounds idealistic, but it’s really cool that I have the opportunity to carry on the traditions that my grandfather and great grandfather set when they started the business in 1946. 

Famous Rhodes, YEN Member Insights, July 2010

Famous Rhodes, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, July 2010

Famous Rhodes on…Bringing the Aftermarket Online

Famous Rhodes, 35 Years old
Director, eBay Motors; YEN Member

At 35, Famous Rhodes has built his career on bringing the Internet to the automotive market, having held executive roles at two automotive lead-generation companies prior to joining eBay Motors.

How has the Internet changed the way the aftermarket does business?

The Internet is providing information and transparency to the aftermarket industry. This story has played out in the automotive vehicles business seven years ago as content, pricing and comparison data surfaced on the Internet. More than 85% of all consumers now start their vehicle purchase online leveraging the wealth of content available to inform their decision. The Internet is already playing an influential role in the aftermarket industry as more content and pricing information is beginning to populate the Internet. We’re seeing tremendous growth in the aftermarket, as it is poised to double online sales in the next four years. Not only that, the Internet will influence more than 80% of all transactions offline and online as it will be the starting point for consumers.

Darron Shubin, YEN Member Insight, June 2010

Darron Shubin, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, June 2010

Darron Shubin on… Building a Foundation for Success

Darron Shubin, 31 Years Old
National Sales Manager - Performance, Magnaflow Exhaust Products; YEN Member

At 31 years old, Darron Shubin of Magnaflow Performance Exhaust is already considered a veteran by his peers.  His success has shattered any notion that there are age defined glass ceilings in this industry. Through hard work and perseverance Darron spent his 20’s building a solid career foundation and has moved up the ranks of one of the worlds most respected and successful automotive manufacturers.

You started out in this industry at Energy Suspension then went to work for Magnaflow. How did you get to where you are at today?

When I took a tech position at Energy Suspension in 1999, I was simply looking for a way to be more involved with modifying cars and thought to myself, “what a better way to get involved than to work for an aftermarket parts manufacturer.” In 2001, an opportunity came from MagnaFlow Exhaust Products by way of Larry Norris to work for Jim Cates in the tech / inside sales department. 9 years later, I look back and realize that I am very fortunate for the essentials I have learned, things I have participated in and the opportunities that have been given to me; all this to ultimately be a part of a successful growing business.

James Lawrence, YEN Member Insights, May 2010

James Lawrence, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, May 2010

James Lawrence on … Becoming an Entrepreneur

James Lawrence, 34 Years Old
President, powerTV

Starting and running your own business is the American dream. But is the reality of founding your own company more often The Nightmare on Elm Street than a Beautiful Life? This month YEN’s Member Spotlight features James Lawrence, President & CEO of powerTV, to help answer this question. At 34, Lawrence is a grizzled veteran of the startup game, having founded and operated four performance automotive industry companies. If you think running your own business is on the horizon, you’ll want to read this interview on how to Become an Entrepreneur.

About James

At the tender age of 19, powerTV founder James Lawrence learned quickly at the business school of hard knocks. The son of two doctors, Lawrence dropped out of UCLA to start his first automotive aftermarket company. It’s been a blur since then for the passionate entrepreneur, now 34, and at the helm of digital media company powerTV. Not just a “business” guy - Lawrence is a hardcore automotive enthusiast who enjoys both hot rod and late model vehicles.

Keith Evanosky, YEN Member Insights, April 2010

Keith Evanosky, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, April 2010

Keith Evanosky on… The Work/Life Balance

Keith Evanosky, 34 Years Old
National Accounts Manager, Keystone Automotive Operations; YEN Member

At 34 years old, Keith Evanosky of Keystone Automotive sets a good example on how to successfully manage working in a high paced automotive aftermarket environment while raising a family of five. Amazingly, he still makes the time to volunteer for charitable organizations. Keith’s dedication and ability to give 110% in everything he does has helped make him a fixture in the National Accounts department at Keystone, where he has had the opportunity to work with automotive aftermarket retailers big and small. What can Keith teach Young Executives about their work/life balance?

How do you find the time to do all this?

“I have never been happy unless I was going 90 MPH with my hair on fire. I am not a person who is content to sit there and watch the world go by. I want to pack as much into this life as I possibly can before I check out. People who are busy know how to prioritize tasks to get results -- they don’t have time to waste on minutia.”

Chris Douglas, YEN Member Insights, March 2010

Chris Douglas, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, March 2010

Chris Douglas on… Building a High Performance Culture

Chris Douglas, 33 Years Old
V.P. of Marketing, COMP Cams; YEN Member

Team building. Employee growth. Business success. Without a high-performance culture, it’s unlikely that your company is going to achieve any of these objectives. Nobody knows that more than Chris Douglas, Vice President of Marketing, for COMP Performance Group. At COMP, winning isn’t a sometimes thing – it’s an “always thing” that requires passionate, committed people. How do you get them…? By building a high-performance culture.

About Chris

Putting himself through college racing Go-Karts in the World Karting Association, Chris Douglas is no stranger to competition on the race track. In fact, he earned the WKA National Championship with dedication to being the best racer he could be. At the tender age of 23, he soon found himself behind the wheel of Late Models, ASA, and NASCAR Busch Cars as a partner in the Race-On Driving school. It wasn’t long before an even better opportunity came along in 2003 – the chance to work at the fast growing COMP CAMS. With an amazing work ethic, and a passion for the brand, Douglas worked through the ranks at COMP, becoming the Director of Marketing in 2006, and the Vice President of Marketing in 2009.

In this interview, Douglas gives us insight into COMP’s winning culture, and how you can incorporate some of their principles into your high performance company.

Add to calendar