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Council & Network News: Maximize SEMA Show Outreach With Exclusive Media Preview

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.

Visit TORA's website.
The TORA Media Preview is an opportunity for truck accessory manufacturers to meet face-to-face with editors and reporters without sacrificing valuable floor time with buyers.

Maximize Your Media Preview Experience With These Tools

By Amanda Gubbins

The Light Truck Industry Alliance (TORA) is now accepting applications for the 2015 Media Preview event, which will take place Monday, November 2, prior to the opening of the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

This event is a unique opportunity for truck accessory manufacturers to meet face-to-face with editors and reporters, making contacts and introducing new products without sacrificing valuable floor time with buyers. Each of the manufacturer participants is selected from the application pool by lottery to set up temporary exhibit space within the Media Center. Throughout the four-hour event, manufacturers can show samples and answer questions about their products.

Read more details about the TORA Media Preview held prior to the official opening of the 2014 SEMA Show.

The key to a successful experience is preparation, and knowing how to make the editors’ jobs easy. In order to help manufacturers maximize their experiences, TORA has gathered a few preparation materials from past events and webinars. These resources will help manufacturers be prepared for the media, and ultimately gain the best coverage possible. The following materials are especially helpful for companies that do not have a dedicated media-relations division, or that just want to sharpen their skills:

Apply now for the 2015 TORA Media Preview event by June 30. For more information, contact Clayton Drescher at or 909-978-6696.

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Visit HRIA's website

Connect with Hot Rodders at HRIA’s General Membership Meetings

The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) will hold two open general membership meetings in July. These events give HRIA members the chance to connect with each other, meet the council leadership and learn more about industry developments. Included on the agenda for both meetings is the presentation of the HRIA Annual Report and a discussion about the state and direction of the hot-rod industry. Attendees will share and hear from other members about strategies for the future.

Council members and those interested in exploring group membership are invited to attend one of the following:

Thursday, July 9, 2015
3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
18th Annual Goodguys PPG Nationals
Ohio Expo Center, Celeste Building
Columbus, Ohio
Visit for more information.
Register now.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015
3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
NSRA National Street Rod Nationals
Louisville, Kentucky Fairgrounds
Visit for more information.
Register now.

For more information, contact Council Director Jim Skelly.

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PRO Logo
Visit PRO's website.

Planning the Future of the Restyling and Accessory Industry

Leaders of the restyling and accessory world will converge in Detroit, June 18–19, 2015, to plan for the future. Join the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) for its Long-Range Planning meeting and industry discussion. The Detroit Metro Airport Marriott will play host as leading manufacturers, WDs, installers and restyling professionals discuss the future of the industry and develop strategies that SEMA and the PRO Select Committee will use in addressing the challenges and opportunities confronting your business.

Your insight and perspective is critical. Whether your business has been impacted by new trends in auto sales and discretionary spending, vehicle technology, installation concerns or if there is a need to identify markets for expansion, your business will benefit by being in the room when these, and other, topics are discussed.

The meeting is open to all employees of PRO-member companies, and those interested in joining PRO. Register now to be a part of the discussion. Traveling from out of town? Contact us for quality hotel options in the area. Not able to attend but want to stay involved? Contact Clayton Drescher at 909-978-6696 for more information.

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Visit SBN's website.
Kelsey Self

SBN Member of the Month—Kelsey Self, Innovative Creations Inc.

Kelsey Self is the marketing coordinator for Innovative Creations Inc. (ICI) in Peoria, Arizona.

What does your company do?

ICI is a manufacturer of aftermarket truck parts and restyling accessories.

What is your position?

Marketing coordinator.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

The fact that I get to do so many different things. Every day I’m creative, I'm social, I network within the industry and I learn something new. Being in marketing, I get to touch all aspects of the company, from sales to engineering, and I really like that. Working in the automotive industry is exciting and challenging.

How long have you been involved with the automotive aftermarket?

One year.

What brought you to the industry?

I was previously working in healthcare marketing and began to get bored. I needed a change; the automotive industry had a lot more appeal and excitement. Plus, I grew up around cars. My Dad was always working on a some car restoration project, and that helped inspire me.

Are you a member of any other professional organizations?

SEMA's Young Executives Network (YEN).

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Don’t take anything personally. An opinion is just that, an opinion.

What would someone meeting you for the first time be surprised to learn?

I’m fluent in Spanish.

What is your dream car?

A ’69 Chevy Camaro.

What is your favorite pastime?

Exploring the outdoors and hiking.

YEN Logo

Visit YEN's website
During last year's competition, Roger Peterson, founder and CEO of MG Research LLC, introduced a mobile app that engages enthusiasts and collects useful market information for specialty-equipment manufacturers.

Let SEMA Help Launch Your Business

By Amanda Gubbins

Applications are now being accepted for the 2015 SEMA Launch Pad, Presented by YEN. The competition, now entering its third year, gives automotive innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs under the age of 40 an industry platform for their budding businesses.

Roger Peterson, founder and CEO of MG Research LLC, was a contestant in the 2014 competition. He and his concept—a mobile app that engages enthusiasts and collects useful market information for specialty-equipment manufacturers—made it all the way to the final stage of the competition, where he gave a live presentation to a panel of respected industry leaders during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

“As I look at the experience overall, I have to say that as a very, very young company, it did a tremendous amount of good for us in the sense that we went from being a concept, an untested idea, and we were forced to mature to our best capacity,” Peterson reflected. “We were forced to ripen as best that we could. It taught us about ourselves, our will, our desire to see this through, and it brought out the best in our team. It definitely brought out the best in me.”

Launch Pad applicants are evaluated based on their video submissions by a task force, which will select the top 10. The top five candidates are narrowed down via a Facebook voting campaign. These finalists will each pitch their business plan at the 2015 SEMA Show, where the judging panel will select the winner, who will receive a prize package designed to fuel the next steps of his or her business.

Peterson explained that each of the finalists gained a certain amount of validation, which made the experience valuable. For MG Research, the feedback and exposure was a catalyst for much of the growth the company has experienced over the past months.

“We no longer have to strain ourselves trying to make this vision visible to other people. It’s now plastered all over the SEMA website, and it’s represented well. It has taken us from being one of a million young companies trying to come out of the woodwork, to one of a few that actually has accomplished something. As we are moving along now to our funding activities, we are going to find out exactly what the strength of the SEMA Launch Pad experience is.”

The bottom line, according the Peterson?

“We were all winners in the sense that we all walked away with what we needed to go to the next stage [of business],” he said.

Applications are due July 3, 2015. Find out what Launch Pad can do for your business. For more information, and to fill out the application, visit If you have questions, contact Bryan Harrison.

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