People Places & Racing News

SEMA Council & Network News: Petersen Award Nomination Deadline Extended

Strengthen Your Company Through Community

No matter what niche you're in—rods, restoration, racing, restyling, reps, trucks or wheels and tires—there's a SEMA council or professional network that's right for your company. SEMA councils and networks offer members a variety of market-specific programs and activities designed to provide educational and networking opportunities while promoting their particular industry segment.

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Deadline Extended for Petersen Award Nominations

The nominations deadline has been extended to December 19 for MPMC’s Robert E. Petersen award, which honors a member of the print, electronic or broadcast media whose work over the previous year had a significant impact on the motorsports industry. All members of MPMC are invited to submit their nominations using the online form. Voting will take place December 22–January 9 to determine the honoree.

The award recipient will be honored during the MPMC media reception, Tuesday, January 20, at the Media Trade Conference in Santa Ana, California. For more information about the award or the voting process, contact Council Director Jim Skelly at

MPMC Hall of Fame Inductees Honored at PRI

The MPMC Hall of Fame was founded in 2010 to acknowledge individuals whose life and work made significant contributions to MPMC or to the motorsports parts manufacturing segment as a whole. The 2014 inductees were Steve Lewis, Jim McFarland and Joe Moriarty. Each of these recipients was honored at a reception during the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show in Indianapolis.

Joe Moriarty, Total Seal

Joe Moriarty started Total Seal Piston Rings around 1977, producing his innovative, gapless ring packages on a small lathe for local racers in Phoenix. His passion, dedication and hard work helped the company grow over the next 30 years. Today, Total Seal is a dominant force in piston-ring manufacturing, boasting technological advancements in piston-ring design and manufacturing, with sales spanning the entire globe.

Jim McFarland, McFarland Consulting

Jim McFarland began his career as a participating enthusiast, building and racing his own cars mainly in the NHRA stock eliminator. McFarland was also a graduate automotive engineer, which helped him pioneer many of the early innovations for the stock classes. While vice president of engineering and R&D at Edelbrock, he innovated the single-plane intake manifold—a concept that continues to serve as a cornerstone of many racing and performance engine programs today.

Steve Lewis, Founder of Performance Racing Industry

Steve Lewis started the first PRI Trade Show in 1988, in Louisville, Kentucky. As the racing industry continued to grow, so did the PRI trade show, as it moved from its original host city of Louisville to Cincinnati, Nashville, Columbus, Indianapolis, Orlando and back to Indianapolis. From its inception, Lewis opened the doors of PRI to SEMA and MPMC manufacturers and encouraged networking and interaction among motorsports parts manufacturers.

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Visit ETTN's website 

SEMA and ETTN Want to Help You Become a Great Leader

Applications are now being accepted for the ETTN Professional Development Program (PDP). The program's goal is to help network members enhance leadership skills, improve task skills and provide insight into the latest trends and technical advancements.

Applicants have the opportunity to be selected to attend one of three conferences in 2015, along with SEMA staff and a group of 10 like-minded industry professionals. Participants receive a specially negotiated conference registration rate, and the participating employee's company receives a $500 grant from SEMA to reduce the costs associated with registration (all benefits received are considered taxable income).

2015 Events

Social Media Strategies Summit
February 10–12, 2015, Las Vegas
SEMA application deadline: December 29, 2014

This conference is designed to address some of the common challenges marketing professionals face in social media, customer service, employee engagement and analytics. With seven hands-on workshops and 30 interactive sessions, the program will take a deeper dive into these topics. Attendees will gain a new perspective and develop the skills to better incorporate social media into their organizations.

April 30–May 1, 2015, New York City
SEMA application deadline: March 24, 2015

99U is all about ideas. The conference presenters are some of the world's foremost authorities in the areas of research and idea execution, and they are dedicated to helping attendees take the next step in their plans. Master class offerings throughout the conference also allow participants to learn from the experts in smaller groups and develop invaluable leadership skills.

Disney Quality Service
September 23, 2015, Anaheim, California
SEMA application deadline: August 18, 2015

The Disney Quality Service course gives participants the background and skills needed to provide outstanding customer service. The one-day course takes a close look at the small details that make a big difference in the environment for both customers and staff. The course not only introduces attendees to the principles that Disney lives by but also provides resources for them to adapt the ideas to their own unique brands.

To learn more about the program and apply, visit the ETTN Professional Development Program homepage or contact Senior Manager of Networks Bryan Harrison.

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Visit WTC's website

Wheel and Tire Council to Host Open Meeting and Industry Discussion in Southern California

Members of the wheel and tire industry will gather at the SEMA Garage Industry Innovations Center for an industry discussion, Thursday, February 5, 2015, from 8:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

On the agenda is discussion of the “Ride Guide” promotional efforts and additional vehicle data being compiled, the latest news on Chinese tire tariffs, industry support of tire safety education and more.
This is members’ opportunity to let the council know what other challenges and opportunities they see in the wheel and tire industry. By participating in this open meeting, individuals can help determine the focus and direction of the council for the next year and beyond. 

The meeting will include a networking lunch for attendees. All employees of WTC-member companies and any wheel and tire professionals interested in learning more about SEMA and the WTC are invited to attend the event. Register today [netforum link] to save your seat and submit discussion topics.

For more information about WTC or this event, contact Senior Manager of Councils Clayton Drescher.

  ride guide

Free Sales Tool Outlines Effects of Plus Sizing Wheels and Tires on F-150s

By Amanda Gubbins

A new sales tool for wheel and tire retailers, the “Ride Guide,” is now available as a free download. Inside the report, users will find graphical representation of test data about the effects of plus sizing on the 12th-generation Ford F-150, compiled by the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). The vehicle performance data includes comparisons on ride comfort, road grip, steering firmness response, directional response and steering speed response. Guided by this information, sales professionals can help consumers narrow their style and design options based on the desired performance characteristics.

SEMA’s Wheel and Tire Council (WTC) partnered with CU-ICAR to deliver the content to members in an easy to use format. Over the next year, the council plans to work on further studies for future models of trucks, sport compact cars and rear-wheel-drive vehicles.

For sales staff, the “Ride Guide” is a sales tool to immediately strengthen relationships with buyers by confirming with hard data what has previously only be known by seasoned professionals from practical experience. After seeing the research, consumers can feel confident and satisfied in their decisions. The report can also be useful as a training tool for new sales staff, or for enthusiasts who want to research wheel and tire packages on their own.

Download the “Ride Guide” now. For more information about the report or the council, contact Senior Manager of Councils Clayton Drescher at

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