John Waraniak, Vice President of Vehicle Technology
John Waraniak has been vice president of Vehicle Technology at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) since May 2006. In this role, Waraniak helps automotive aftermarket companies understand vehicle technology challenges, develop solutions and capitalize on new business opportunities presented by complex systems and new technologies - whether it's vehicle dynamics, green performance or autonomous driving.
With more than 25 years of hands-on experience working for automotive, motorsports, aerospace and consumer products companies, Waraniak is an expert in vehicle systems engineering, motorsports program management and lean product development. He serves as an advocate for SEMA members, often collaborating with automakers and suppliers for performance product development and systems integration opportunities. With today's vehicles being controlled and monitored by more than 60 microprocessors and 50 million lines of code, Waraniak utilizes his background in engineering and racing to aid automotive parts manufacturers with changing technologies. He developed and leads the SEMA Vehicle Dynamics Program, which focuses on vehicle dynamics performance and Electronic Stability Control compliance of aftermarket-modified vehicles to help SEMA members adapt to federal regulations and safety standards.
Prior to joining SEMA, Waraniak held executive management positions with global and entrepreneurial companies, including TATA Motors, Johnson Controls, General Motors, Hughes Aircraft, Northrop and No Fear, of which he was part owner. In addition to helping these companies in lean product-process development, innovative customer-centric growth and improved profitability, Waraniak led the transfer of technology from Hughes Aircraft to General Motors, engineered soapbox racers, winning motorsports programs and B-2 stealth bomber airframes.
Waraniak earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. He has a master's degree in mechanical and industrial engineering from the University of Illinois and a master's degree in engineering management from West Coast University. He also graduated from the California Institute of Technology's Executive Engineering Management Program.
Born in the Motor City of Detroit, Michigan in 1955, Waraniak is an avid auto industry, action sports and motocross enthusiast. He has a 2015 Toyota TRD Pro Series 4Runner on the way and his daily driver is a 2008 Chevy Tahoe that has been customized with a lift kit, larger wheels and tires and an upgraded audio system. His dream car is an Acura NSX. He lives in West Bloomfield, Michigan with his wife Terri and has two sons, Scott and Jeff.