SEMA Member News—November/December 2011
Established in 1995, the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) was the first SEMA council. Not coincidentally, many of today’s MPMC member companies were also original SEMA members when the association was formed in 1963 as the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association. As SEMA grew to represent companies in virtually all facets of the automotive aftermarket, speed and performance manufacturing companies formed MPMC as a means of focusing volunteer efforts on their own niche of the industry. Today, MPMC remains the only SEMA council dedicated solely to manufacturers.
The MPMC Hall of Fame honors those who have made a significant contribution to the motorsports manufacturing segment and/or MPMC. Nominations were solicited from the MPMC general membership, and the MPMC Hall of Fame task force voted on the final selection of inductees. MPMC is proud to congratulate the following 2011 Hall of Fame inductees. An official induction ceremony will take place Friday, December 2, 2011, at the PRI Show.
Todd Gartshore developed his technical acumen at a young age while writing tech pieces for various publications. He also enjoyed success as a winning driver in SCCA competition. In later years, though, he was widely recognized as a leader in the development of the performance aftermarket, along with the company he co-founded in 1984, Baer Brake Systems. Baer is a charter member of MPMC and has participated in every MPMC Media Trade Conference since its inception in 1997.
Gartshore’s contributions to SEMA and MPMC were extensive as well. He served on the SEMA Board of Directors from 1999–2005 and on the MPMC Select Committee from 2003–2005. He was re-elected to the MPMC Select Committee in 2010, where his extensive knowledge of the industry proved to be an immediate benefit to the council. Beyond his passion for cars and the aftermarket, though, was his ability to bring people together. He had a remarkable ability to make everyone feel like an “insider.”
Todd Gartshore passed away on June 25, leaving a legacy of excellence.
Rick Rollins is a life-long industry veteran who has been a counterman, a buyer, a regional sales manager and a company owner. He also drove Formula Ford and F2000 Formula race cars. His industry record includes stints at ADI, American Bugg and Hastings Manufacturing Co. He spent 12 years at Taylor Cable Products, a manufacturer of automotive wire, wiring harnesses and accessories, and more than nine years as vice president of sales and marketing for Superchips.
Today, Rollins serves as president of Rollins Performance Companies, where he provides business solutions for companies in the performance, accessory and automotive specialty-equipment industry.
Rollins also served a total of 16 years on the SEMA Board of Directors, including two years as its chairman, and he was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 2006. He was instrumental in the formation of the MPMC and served six consecutive years on the MPMC Select Committee.
Chuck Blum served as president of SEMA for 22 years, from 1980–2002.
He is generally credited with transforming SEMA from a fledgling association into the industry leader that it is today and with hiring the right people to grow the SEMA Show from a 400-exhibitor localized event into the largest automotive aftermarket trade show in the world.
Blum was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 1997.
More importantly for MPMC, it was Blum who came up with the idea of SEMA councils and committees.
Without Blum’s insight and innate problem-solving abilities, there would likely not be an MPMC today.
Nate Shelton has been synonymous with high performance and SEMA since he took his first job as a rep at Hooker Headers in 1972. From there, his career progressed at such companies as Cam Dynamics, Koni Shocks and VDO. He joined K&N in 1987 and was instrumental in its success in the automotive air filter market, eventually acquiring a part of the company.
While at K&N, Shelton pioneered many innovations in product and manufacturing for the air filter industry. Today, he serves as chairman of the B&M Performance Group, which includes McLeod and Hurst. Shelton was the first chairman of MPMC and helped spearhead what became today’s MPMC Media Trade Conference. He has served on numerous SEMA councils and committees, served on the SEMA Board and as SEMA chairman, and was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame in 2007.