People, Places & Racing News

MOVERS & SHAKERS: MARK FRANCIS, ROBERT O’BRIEN, GREG LEW, JACOB BOYD AND MORE

LPE Assets, an LLC owned by Ken Lingenfelter and an affiliate of Metropolitan Motor Sports LLC, acquired Lingenfelter Performance Engineering (LPE) from an unrelated third party. Lingenfelter Performance Engineering, founded by drag racer and engine builder John Lingenfelter, is a performance tuner and specialty-automotive parts supplier located in Decatur, Indiana.

Century Truck Caps, a division of the Truck Accessories Group LLC (TAG), has helped Robert O’Brien’s dream come true through the Children’s Dream Fund. O’Brien is a 16 year old who is fighting testicular cancer. “Robert O’Brien’s dream was to customize his 1993 Chevy Silverado,” explained Kristin Bedinghaus, dream coordinator at the Children's Dream Fund. “He wanted it to be very special. Century Truck Caps and Arrow Toppers came through with flying colors to make that dream come true."
     “We were contacted by of one of our dealers, Arrow Toppers of Pinellas Park, Florida, to help defray the cost of a Cargo Cover for Robert,” said Sheryl Noblitt, national Sales manager for Century. “Of course we wanted to help!”
     The Children's Dream Fund was founded in 1981 in West Central Florida with the single purpose of fulfilling dreams for children ages 3–18 who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
     "When we heard of Robert’s dream we knew we could help this kid,” explained Mike Danler, president of Arrow Toppers. “Donating a Cargo Cover seemed like a small effort for someone with Robert’s health challenges. We contacted Sheryl at Century and worked together to provide the topper to Robert.”
     Northwest Collision of St Petersburg, Florida will be doing the paint job on the cargo cover prior to delivery to Robert.

Feld Entertainment Inc. completed its acquisition of Live Nation Motor Sports Inc., a division of Live Nation Inc. As a result of the acquisition, Live Nation Motor Sports was renamed Feld Entertainment Motor Sports. Feld Entertainment Motor Sports will continue operations in Aurora, Illinois, and will maintain its current management, tour schedules, promotional partnerships and performance structure. As the newest addition to Feld Entertainment, Feld Entertainment Motor Sports will continue to produce Monster Jam Series, Monster Energy AMA Supercross, FIM Championship and other high-energy motor sports events, including the AMA Arenacross Series; Freestyle Motocross; and International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) sanctioned events, including Knoll Gas Nitro Jam, Thunder Jam and Street Warriorz.

Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc. received ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System Standards certification by Lloyd’s Register Quality Assurance (LRQA) of Houston, Texas. Located in White, Georgia, the 900,000-sq.-ft. facility was established in June 2004 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc. is responsible for production of both Toyo and Nitto tire brands.

Federated Auto Parts announced that it will continue to sponsor the Federated Auto Parts 300 NASCAR Nationwide Series race at the Nashville SuperSpeedway for three more years. Federated has sponsored a NASCAR race at Nashville for the last 13 years. “We are very pleased to be able to extend our Nationwide Series race sponsorship, and we look forward to continuing our relationship with the great folks at the Nashville SuperSpeedway,” said J.R. Bishop, director of member services and event marketing for Federated Auto Parts. “Federated has been a long-time supporter of racing at all levels, but the Federated Auto Parts 300 has become the cornerstone of our motorsports program.”

Aries Automotive Inc. hired Mark Francis to their management team. Francis has extensive aftermarket accessory experience and spent the past 18 years with Manik Offroad in R&D, service and marketing. Francis will head Aries Automotive’s North East warehouse set to open in October. He will also be an integral part of the expansion in the automotive sector.

 
Mark Francis  

Stillwater Designs named Greg Lew as SoundGate’s Business Unit Director (BUD). He takes over for the retiring Rob Putman, the previous BUD and creator of the SoundGate brand. Lew joined the company on June 1, 2004, as the accessories product line manager for KICKER. He then continued moving within the audio-brand ranks, next to national accounts sales manager and, most recently, to director of global supply chain. Filling Lew’s vacant position is Jacob Boyd, who has been with Stillwater Designs since February of 2006, and was originally hired as OEM sales coordinator. Boyd’s responsibilities include calculating monthly global product demand and communicating with the purchasing team. He will also coordinate with sales, purchasing and the logistics teams to oversee the flow of goods from the point-of-manufacture to dealers.

Parrot launched a new program to help independent 12-volt retailers compete, sell and install car kits more profitably. Called the Certified Installer Program, the plan will provide authorized Parrot retailers a variety of selling tools, installation support, POS materials and promotion programs in return for ensuring their sales and installer teams are up to speed on Parrot products.

“While the current selling environment is challenging, we believe 12-volt installers have a great opportunity selling Parrot car kits because the market is demanding them,” says David Wenning, senior vice president, sales and marketing. “More and more states are passing hands-free laws, and more new vehicles are promoting Bluetooth hands-free solutions. 

"These two factors have dramatically increased consumer awareness of hands-free devices. There’s a great opportunity for increased sales of car kits if they are properly presented, sold and installed. To help retailers sell to this broader customer base, Parrot’s Certified Installer Program will focus on strengthening the relationship between Parrot and the installer, and enhancing the consumer’s shopping experience through expanded retailer sales training and POS support. In addition, new tools and programs have been developed for installers to help train them to install Parrot car kits quickly and easily without compromising quality. For more information, visit www.parrot.com

Greg Cogley has resigned from Player Wheel Group after 13 years, the last five spent as vice-president, sales. He is now with Gulf Coast Wheels and Accessories in Slidell, Louisiana.