To help small businesses solve common technology problems, SEMA is offering a lineup of free sessions at the 2008 SEMA Show about information technology issues that can keep business owners up at night.

The "Small Business IT Manager" track, a series of courses during SEMA Show Education Week sponsored by SEMA's Business Technology Committee (BTC), includes five classes that inform attendees on topics such as point-of-sale and inventory management software, automated order processing, IT risk management (including protecting against disgruntled employees), basic software and accounting system software assistance and what a business owner should know before outsourcing a company's IT needs.

The sessions are geared towards small- to medium-sized companies and include speakers and panelists from the automotive aftermarket. They are experts in avoiding all of the aforementioned pitfalls.
Speakers for these sessions are:

  • Scott O'Toole, manager of pricing and PIES compliance for Motor State Distributing
  • Walter Vaughan, vice president of IT for Steele Rubber Products
  • Darin Mraz, president of Computer Corner
  • Ryan Vernon, IT administrator for DCi
  • Dan Jondron, president of Advanced Digital Strategies
  • Sterling Raphael, president of NFi Studios
  • John Menefee, vice president of IT for Baer Inc.
  • Alise Miner, SEMA's vice president of internal systems and project teams
  • Steven Smith, CEO, chairman and co-founder of GCommerce Inc. 

"In response to increasing member interest, we’ve developed a curriculum that tackles topics rarely addressed by SEMA," says Nathan Ridnouer, SEMA senior director of member services. "We know that technology is rapidly changing the way we all do business, and we want our members to understand this from a 'what's in it for me as an aftermarket company?' approach. With assistance from the SEMA BTC, we have assembled some of the foremost authorities on these topics who can speak to the attendees on a non-technical level that they can understand, no matter their function in business."

"I've worked with companies which have had disgruntled employees leave and try to take their data with them when they did,” says speaker Darin Mraz. “In our session, we'll be giving attendees some steps they can go through to backup their data and questions they can ask an IT person to save them grief later."

"There's nothing I hate more than telling customers that there's nothing that I can do to bring their data back,” Mraz adds. “By taking some pretty simple precautions, there are simple procedures that can be put in place to eliminate the chance of company-owned data being lost.”

The complete schedule follows:

Work Smarter Through Technology! 
Tuesday, November 4, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
LVCC Room N259

Secure Your Systems
Wednesday, November 5, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
LVCC Room N258

A Roadmap to Small Biz IT
Thursday, November 6, 8:30 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
LVCC Room N254

Care and Feeding of Your Computers
Thursday, November 6, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
LVCC Room N252

Connect to eCommerce
Thursday, November 6, 2:00 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
LVCC Room N254

For a list of all sessions at the 2008 SEMA Show, go to

For more information, contact Alan Dicker, SEMA director of business technology, at 909/396-0289 or