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SEMA Celebrates Innovation, Names Person of the Year at Industry Awards Banquet

By SEMA Editors

Comedian and SEMA Show crowd favorite Sinbad provided the evening's laughs.

Celebrating the specialty-equipment market industry’s contributors and innovators, the 2014 SEMA Industry Awards Banquet—themed “Dream. Build. Drive.”—featured comedian and SEMA Show crowd favorite Sinbad, along with up-and-coming soul and R&B artist Curtis Harding, who provided entertainment throughout the night. Celebrity guest speakers included guitarist Billy Gibbons and Linda Vaughn.

In addition, the banquet paid tribute to the newest members of the SEMA Hall of Fame—industry pioneers, volunteers and personalities who helped to pave the way and shape a specialty automotive marketplace that is more than $30 billion strong. The 2014 Hall of Fame inductees were Nick Cornelison, Jim Cozzie, John Menzler and Fred C. Offenhauser.

The annual celebration included an awards program where SEMA's Person of the Year, GEN-III Innovator Award, Manufacturers' Rep Agency of the Year and WD of the Year honors were presented. The winners were:

  • Person of the Year – Rich Barsamian, Advanced Clutch Technology
  • GEN-III Innovator Award – Blake Fuller, Braille Battery
  • Manufacturers' Rep Agency of the Year – KAM Marketing
  • WD of the Year – Motor State Distributing

The accolades continued throughout the evening as the Performance Warehouse Association (PWA) announced the winners of two of its top honors—PWA Manufacturer of the Year and PWA Person of the Year. The PWA Manufacturer of the Year—which recognizes a manufacturer for outstanding contributions, dedication and support—was presented to MacNeil Automotive. PWA presents its Person of the Year annually in recognition of the commitment on an individual. The 2014 Person of the Year is Jeep Worthan of Auto Meter Products.

barsamianRich Barsamian of Advanced Clutch Technology was named 2014 SEMA Person of the Year. music
Curtis Harding and his band offered up tunes throughout the evening.
Guitar icon and car aficionado Billy Gibbons addressed the banquet crowd.
Linda Vaughn was another of the banquet's celebrity guests.
SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting welcomes banquet attendees.
Jeep Worthan of Auto Meter Products was named 2014 PWA Person of the Year.
MacNeil Automotive was honored as the 2014 PWA Manufacturer of the Year.
KAM Marketing was recognized as SEMA’s 2014 Manufacturers’ Rep Agency of the Year.
Motor State Distributing won the award for SEMA’s 2014 WD of the Year.
Blake Fuller of Braille Battery won SEMA’s 2014 GEN-III Innovator Award.