People Places & Racing News


The latest news from SEMA councils and committees:

Manufacturers' Representatives Council (MRC)

MRC members are encouraged to make plans now to attend the SEMA/MRC 6th Annual Rep Conference, September 26–27, at Pointe South Mountain Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. The two-day event will feature an Interactive Town Hall & Dinner covering the topic: “What Is Expected of an Agency or Manufacturer’s Rep Servicing Satellite Warehouse Locations?”

Panelists will include Chris Thomson (Airaid), Bob Arnold (Professional Products), Jim Gedney (Pace Edwards), Larry Montante (Keystone Automotive), Nick Gramelspacher (Meyer Distribtuing), and Donnie Eatherly (P&E Distributors). Jim Spoonhower, SEMA vice president of market research, will facilitate.

The following day will include rep meetings and roundtable discussions. To register, click here.

To learn more about the MRC, visit or contact Jan Desma at

Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO)

The following council members are the candidates for the ARMO Select Committee elections. There are six open seats for this year's election. For information and how to vote, contact Jan Desma at

ARMO Select-Committee Candidates
  • Melvin Benzaquen, Classic Restoration Enterprises Inc.
  • Todd Bidwell, Parts Unlimited Inc. (Incumbent) 
  • Ken DeVries, Trader National Publishing 
  • Steven Moskowitz, Antique Automobile Club of America Inc.
  • Roger Niehaus, Auto Custom Carpets Inc. (Incumbent)
  • Sandy Patterson, Primedia (Incumbent)
  • Curt Patterson, AMAA (Incumbent) 
  • Jim Vinarski, Carlisle Productions Inc. (Incumbent) 
  • Mark Vogt, Classic Industries/OER
To learn more about ARMO, visit or contact Jan Desma at

Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)

The following council members are the candidates for the HRIA Select Committee elections.There are six open seats for this year's election. For information and how to vote, contact Jan Desma at

HRIA Select-Committee Candidates
  • Del Austin - Street Thunder magazine (Incumbent)
  • Tommy Daniels - Yearwood Speed & Custom (Incumbent) 
  • Dick Dixon - Automotive Education Alliance Inc. 
  • Mike Kinney - Las Vegas Rod & Custom 
  • Rick Love - Vintage Air Inc. (Incumbent) 
  • Bob Millard - Championship Auto Shows 
  • Ross Ortman - Dakota Digital Inc. (Incumbent) 
  • Brian Reese - Comp Performance Group 
  • Eric Saltrick - Steele Rubber Products 
  • Janeen Webb - Primedia
To learn more about the HRIA, visit or contact Jan Desma at

Light-Truck Accessory Alliance (TORA)
  • The DVD: "Why Paint Colors Vary?" This valuable resource is now available. TORA members now have a valuable new tool that will help educate consumers about the challenges of the paint color-matching process. Available for dealers and installers to play in their waiting areas, the video is presented in a professional format and brings a consistent message on why paint colors vary. The TORA "Why Paint Colors Vary?" DVD is available to TORA council members free of charge (or $49.95 for non-TORA members). Other tools available from TORA are the CHMSL and altered-height CDs. For details or to place an order, contact Staci Perricone at 909/396-0289, ext. 104, or e-mail
To learn more about the TORA, visit or contact Monica Terlouw at

Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC)

To learn more about the MPMC, visit

Professional Restylers Organization (PRO)
  • PRO members: Join your colleagues at the 15th annual PRO Project-Planning Meeting, Thursday–Friday, June 7–8, at the Crowne Plaza Detroit Metro Hotel. This is your opportunity to take a stake in your council's future by taking advantage of an agenda that includes group brainstorming sessions, breakout group discussions and action planning for future council projects. The event also includes and exclusive reception at the Henry Ford Estate, complete with a private tour of the automaker's elegant mansion. To RSVP, e-mail to Summer Wright at by May 18. For hotel and airline reservations, contact Manya at or 949/930-9268.
To learn more about PRO, visit or contact Ellen McKoy at

Sport-Compact Council (SCC)
  • The 2007 SEMA Internet Symposium, developed by the SEMA Sport-Compact Council (SCC), is being held to demystify the complex world of the Internet, explain what it means to the automotive specialty-equipment industry and provide SEMA members with the tools needed to tap into the $760-million specialty-equipment online marketplace.

    Scheduled for Saturday, July 28, in Irvine, California, the one-day event will focus on intriguing e-commerce issues that directly relate to the automotive aftermarket. The agenda includes a historical look at the evolution of the Internet, a comprehensive  explanation of search-word optimization and pay-for-click advertising, definitions for common terms and acronyms, what’s in store for the future, how all this affects intellectual property rights (IPR) and what legal rights to protecting your brand identity are available…and much more.

    “The Internet has revolutionized the automotive aftermarket and how business is conducted,” said SCC Chair-Elect Eric Breslow, of Power Slot/Power Performance Group. “The Internet Symposium is going to teach SEMA members what they need to know to stay on the Internet forefront. As e-commerce becomes more and more prolific, this information will be a necessity to conduct business in what has become a technology-dependent age.”

    Organizers are quick to point out that the SEMA Internet Symposium is the only one of its kind to speak directly to the performance aftermarket and address the industry’s unique needs.

    “Many in the automotive specialty-equipment industry do not fully understand the capabilities of the Internet,” said SCC member Tracie Nuñez, who says that 80% of companies in the automotive industry are not fully utilizing the business potential that the Internet offers. “Companies that do not have a website or those who are not utilizing the Internet will benefit from the Internet Symposium the most. However, even those who do have websites, or those who are pretty comfortable navigating the web, will discover new tricks and strategies, and learn how they can be more productive.”

    Companies that outsource their web-design work are strongly encouraged to attend the event. “You’ll learn how to identify shortcomings from your vendors and ensure that they are providing you with the right products and services at the right prices,” said Breslow.

    The event is $25 for SEMA members (includes lunch); non-SEMA members can sign up for $225. Space is limited. Visit to register or to obtain more details
  • Tracie Nuñez, Advanced Clutch Technology, was elected chairman-elect of the SCC. Nuñez will start her role on July 1 when current chairman-elect, Eric Breslow, Power Slot/Power Performance Group, takes over as SCC chairman.

To learn more about the SCC, visit or contact Paul Moritz at

Wheel & Tire Council (WTC)

George Gillespie, Safety Compliance Engineer responsible for OVSCs tire-related standards, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), delivered a presentation at the 2006 SEMA Show regarding NHTSA's enforcement activity relative to tires for passenger vehicles and trucks. Gillespie provided overview and status of the agency's recent initiatives to increase tire safety, including compliance and enforcement actions for Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems (FMVSS No. 138) and passenger and light-truck tires (FMVSS No. 139). He also discussed the current increased enforcement to address concerns related to imported tires. SEMA members can now get a copy of Gillespie's PowerPoint presentation by contacting Paul Moritz at 909/396-0289, ext. 112 or

To learn more about the WTC, visit or contact Paul Moritz at

SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN)
  • Get expert advice on a business-related problem. The SEMA Mentoring program, powered by the SBN, is available to all employees of SEMA-member companies. Ask a one-time question or be matched with an established leader. Visit for details.
To learn more about the SBN, visit

Young Executives Network (YEN)
  • Did you know that the annual SEMA Show Silent Auction, hosted by the SEMA Young Executives Network, raised more than $70,000 for the SEMA Scholarship Fund in 2006? If you are interested in donating an item or becoming involved in the 2007 Silent Auction, please visit our website at

  • Did you know that YEN has more than 500 members networking in the industry and is the largest SEMA committee? If you are employed by a SEMA-member company and are under the age of 39, then you can join the YEN for free. If you are interested in becoming part of the team, visit the YEN website at

  • Bianca Hennings, Window Canvas, was selected for the YEN Silent Auction Task Force Chairman. Hennings will assume the position when the current chairman, Dave Williams, Rampage Products, finishes his term with the YEN Select Committee in July. The SEMA Silent Auction, that is managed by the YEN, has raised more than $100,000 for the SEMA Scholarship Fund in the past three years. If you are interested in participating in the SEMA Silent Auction on any level, visit for additional information.
  • Did you know that YEN sponsors networking events and mixers at most of the major trade shows and conferences? If you are interested in becoming a member of the SEMA Young Executive's Network, please visit our website at
  • Becoming involved in SEMA at an early age will help you work your way to the top. Did you know that current SEMA Chairman of the Board, Mitch Williams, was once a member of YEN? If you are interested in becoming a YEN member, visit our website at
  • Lance Packard, Painless Performance, was elected YEN chairman-elect. Packard will assume the position when current chair-elect, Laurel Dasher, Uni-Marketing LLC, takes over as YEN chairman on July 1.
  • Did you know that the YEN has a Member of the Month Spotlight on the SEMA website and that anyone can be nominated? To view previous selections or to make a nomination, visit our website at
To learn more about the YEN, visit or contact Paul Moritz at