YEN Member Insights

Mickey Andrade, YEN Member Insights, September 2011

Mickey Andrade, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, September 2011

Mickey Andrade, 34 Years Old
Marketing/Motorsports Manager – HRE Wheels; YEN Member 

About Mickey
Mickey Andrade started out as an enthusiast, growing up in the suburbs of Akron, Ohio building models and collecting die cast cars. Andrade starting saving for his first car at 15, bought it at 16 and began modifying almost immediately. He read the car magazines and dreamed about future projects, but it wasn’t until he took a job in college at a sign shop that his future began to take shape. 

After seeing his skill at designing graphics for customer cars, the owner of the business bought an old box truck and they turned it into a mobile vinyl graphics studio. Andrade would travel to local car dealerships and stereo shops, where he would design, cut and apply graphics and pinstripes to cars for customers. As a result, his work was noticed and he was eventually offered a job at famous Modern Image Signworks in Huntington Beach, California – a long way from Ohio and the epicenter of the booming import scene in the ‘90s. 

Brian Reese, YEN Member Insights, August 2011

Brian Reese, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, August 2011

Brian Reese, 36 Years Old
V.P. of Engineering, COMP Performance Group (COMP Cams); YEN Member 

Few individuals in the performance industry reach the Vice President level by the tender age of 36. However, even fewer work for a marquee manufacturer like COMP Cams, as Brian Reese does. With the flair of an entrepreneur and the experience of a highly trained engineer, Reese has overseen the development of some of the COMP Performance Group’s (which includes leading brands such as COMP Cams, TCI, FAST, ZEX, RHS, Inglese, Quarter Master and others) biggest product hits in the last few years, including the FAST EZ-EFI Self Tuning Fuel Injection and the COMP Cams Engine Oils. 

Brian cut his teeth as a GM Development Engineer before moving on as Chief of Engineering for SLP Performance Parts − a position he held for eight years. When the opportunity for the V.P of Engineering position at CPG opened up he was hooked. In this interview, Reese gives us insight into how a hard-charging young V.P. should lead and manage an organization’s best resource − older, experienced employees.

Sarah Stokes, YEN Member Insights, July 2011

Sarah Stokes, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, July 2011

Sarah Stokes
Vice President of Sales, Local Motors

Sarah Stokes is the Vice President of Sales for a very unique business in the automotive industry. The Texas native graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelors of Business Administration degree in the Engineering Route to Business program. She then went on to Harvard Business for graduate school and received her MBA. Stokes has also served in the Marine Corps, which has given her a very valuable skill set. She now resides in Phoenix, AZ, where Local Motors is located.

Local Motors is a new American car company setting an exciting and sustainable course to design cars. Revolutionary yet simple, Local Motors creates a direct connection with customers who guide and participate in design development based on personal desires. The process is open source and the results are meaningful, exciting cars designed specifically for car enthusiasts. All chassis and body vehicle data is shared to make the experience more enjoyable.

John Viscardo, YEN Member Insights, May 2011

John Viscardo, SEMA YEN Member of the Month, May 2011

John Viscardo...on Selling by Building Relationships in the Automotive Aftermarket Industry

John Viscardo
Vice President of Sales, Speedway Illustrated Magazine

John Viscardo is the vice president of sales for one of America's most popular oval track racing publications, Speedway Illustrated. The Maryland native and Penn State graduate now resides in Tampa, Florida, with his two children. Despite his relatively young age, Viscardo has a wealth of selling experience both inside and outside of the automotive aftermarket industry. However, the one constant that Viscardo has noted throughout his professional sales career is that success starts with building “genuine” relationships. And, in his opinion, no industry embraces relationships more than the automotive aftermarket.

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

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.


Subscribe to YEN Member Insights