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SEMA Council & Network News: Networking Events at the 2015 SEMA Show

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 ARMO's website.

Maximize Your Trip to the 2015 SEMA Show by Attending These Events
ARMO Booth

The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) will once again share a booth with the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) at the 2015 SEMA Show where six cars will be on display. Three will represent the restoration market, with three others for the hot-rod segment. The cars were selected to showcase each segment's different trends and styles and showcase up-an-coming builders and the “best of the best.”

ARMO Reception

ARMO starts things off in earnest Tuesday evening with its annual awards reception, from 5:15 p.m.–7:30 p.m. in Westgate Resort & Casino conference rooms 7–14. The highlight of the evening is the presentation of ARMO’s annual honors, including the ARMO Business of the Year, ARMO Person of the Year and the Chairman’s awards. The organization will also induct an industry leader into the ARMO Hall of Fame, should a qualified candidate be voted in.

In addition to the awards presentations, the ARMO reception provides the perfect atmosphere for networking with 200-plus restoration professionals. ARMO sells reserved tables at its reception, with proceeds benefitting the SEMA Scholarship Fund. A reserved table for 10 people is $350.

Register today!

ARMO Open Meeting

ARMO holds an open membership meeting in conjunction with the SEMA Show, Wednesday, November 4, from 7:15 a.m.–9:00 a.m. in Westgate conference rooms 4–6.

The open meeting offers a tremendous opportunity to not only hear about the latest ARMO initiatives from the select committee, but also for members to provide feedback and input on challenges and opportunities in the restoration market. The meeting always includes interactive activities for the members to share their ideas.

ARMO Roundtable

A small-business roundtable discussion will be held Thursday, November 5, from 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m., in the LVCC North Hall, Room N236. These will be true, interactive discussions between industry veterans and newcomers. This year’s discussion is entitled “Restoration and Car-Building Roundtable,” and features a group of industry veterans in a discussion about challenges, opportunities and what might lie ahead in the business of restoration and car building. This is a great opportunity for members to hear from those who have made successful careers in the industry and to share their own experiences.

Register today!

For more information about any of these programs, contact Jim Skelly, SEMA council liaison, at 909-978-6690,

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Visit HRIA's website
Six actual hot rods will be on display during the HRIA reception to highlight the work of established and up-and-coming builders.

HRIA Show Booth

The shared Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) and Automotive Restoration Market Association (ARMO) booth at the 2015 SEMA Show is sometimes referred to as “Central Park” because it’s a gathering point, but it also serves to showcase the entries in the annual HRIA Builders Challenge. Hot-rod builders (and now manufacturers) spend hours creating Pinewood cars that are raced, then auctioned off Wednesday night, November 4, at the HRIA reception benefitting the SEMA Cares Children’s Charities.

Don’t miss the unveiling of a car from one of the top builders, Goolsby Customs, taking place Tuesday, November 3, at 11:00 a.m.

HRIA Reception

The HRIA Reception is a true “must-attend” event. Annually, the event attracts more than 600 attendees sharing a common interest in the hot-rod industry, making it the second largest event at the SEMA Show. In addition to honoring hot-rod industry members with special awards, the annual Pinewood Builders Challenge provides guests the opportunity to own a one-of-a-kind “hot rod” built by one of any number of the nation's top builders. The cars are actually Pinewood racers, specially constructed specifically to be auctioned in the name of SEMA Cares children's charities. Six actual hot rods will also be on display during the reception to highlight the work of established and up-and-coming builders.

Network, honor industry members during the awards presentation and raise money for SEMA Cares during the Pinewood Builders Challenge auction.

This event will take place Wednesday, November 4, from 5:15 p.m.–8:30 p.m. in the Westgate Paradise Center South. Register today!

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Visit TORA's website.  
Network with hundreds of colleagues in the truck and off-road sector at the TORA Industry Awards Reception.
Don't Miss These TORA Events at the 2015 SEMA Show

TORA Industry Awards Reception and Pinewood Drags

Date: Wednesday, November 4
Time: 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Location: Las Vegas Convention Center room N262–264.
Register now!

TORA SEMA Show Booth & Happy Hour

TORA Happy Hour
Date: Tuesday, November 3
Time: 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Location: TORA Booth (#34169)
Register now!

For more information on these or any other TORA events, contact Clayton Drescher at 909-978-6696,

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Visit MPMC’s website.

MPMC Media Trade Conference—Manufacturer Selection Underway

Exhibitor registration for the 2015 Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Media Trade Conference is now closed and the lottery-style selection process is currently underway. Only 100 spots are available, and participants will be chosen using a random-number lottery system. Manufacturers who submitted an application but were not selected for the 2014 event are automatically guaranteed a spot in the 2015 event (if the application was submitted by the September 5, 2015, deadline). Selected manufacturers will be notified before September 18. Exhibitor selection is available only for MPMC-member companies.

The MPMC Media Trade Conference is a truly unique event that brings together editorial staff from all over the world with racing and high-performance parts manufacturers for three days of face-to-face, 30-minute meetings. Nowhere else does a manufacturer have the opportunity to meet with automotive editors in as many as 42 in-person meetings.

Media registration will open in October 2015. For media inquiries, contact Della Domingo at or 909-978-6723.

Not an MPMC member? Join today. MPMC members must manufacture parts used in sanctioned motorsports events, and all applications for membership are subject to review.

For general or exhibitor inquiries, contact Lindsay Bianco at, 909-978-6692.

Register now for the Media Trade Conference.

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Visit MRN's website.  

MRN Rep Room Details

By Bryan Harrison

An exclusive benefit to the 550+ Manufacturers' Representative Network (MRN) members, the MRN Rep Room located in the Members Lounge N251 offers a specific area at the SEMA Show for reps to conduct business. Inside the lounge, multiple charging locations and work stations will be made available, along with access to the rep matching service. The completed rep matching service forms are kept secure in the MRN Rep Room, where MRN members can review and contact participating manufacturers to schedule meetings. Exhibitors seeking representation for their product lines should submit the online form prior to the Show for inclusion.

Questions? Please contact Bryan C. Harrison, SEMA director of networks, at 909-978-6691 or

Exclusive Event for Manufacturer Reps at the SEMA Show

The SEMA Manufacturers' Representative Network (MRN) will host a collection of business-critical discussions moderated by industry experts exclusively for manufacturers' representatives Sunday, November 1, from 3:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m., in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Upper North Hall, Room N256. The Rep Roundtable, powered by the MRN, will provide attendees with the opportunity to ask questions and receive practical solutions to real-world manufacturer rep opportunities and issues. The cost is $25 for SEMA members and $35 for non-members. Register today.

The topics and speakers will include the following:

How to Handle Private-Equity Acquisitions and Management

Speaker: Mitch Williams, president and CEO at Restoration Parts Unlimited Inc.
Synopsis: What actions should reps take when a private-equity firm is acquiring one of their manufacturers? What should reps do if they are terminated after a private-equity acquisition? How can reps protect themselves in the future?

Three Biggest Challenges Facing Reps Today and Tomorrow

Speaker: Clay Taylor, The Law Office of D. Clay Taylor
Synopsis: What are the challenges facing reps today and in the future? How a rep can strategically plan to face these challenges?

How to Be a Great Rep in the E-Commerce Market

Speaker: Bernard Bolisig, principal at UPSHIFT Marketing
Synopsis: Five things reps can do to increase their value to the e-commerce customer. How reps can help non-e-commerce customers enter e-commerce. Future trends in the e-commerce market that reps should know to increase sales.

Wealth Management for Reps

Speaker: Andrew D. Horowitz, vice president/financial advisor at Morgan Stanley
Synopsis: How should a rep without access to company investment plans prepare financially for the future? Discover investment tools a rep can use and how to find a wealth-management professional.

Tools and Trends for a Mobile Workforce

Speaker: Tyler Tanaka, president at CIE Digital Labs
Synopsis: Learn about mobile apps for better communication and digital business trends that manufacturers’ reps should stay on top of, including mobile apps for travel and for better organization.

Improving Your Rep Team’s Communication, Training and Overall Goals

Speaker: Nikki Weiss, president at Sa1esWise
Synopsis: Find out how to keep your rep firm relevant through team development on the go, the importance of team and “how culture eats strategy for lunch.”

Register today. Questions? Please contact Bryan Harrison, SEMA director of networks, at 909-978-6691 or

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PRO Logo
Visit PRO's website.
The PRO Booth Happy Hour is a popular draw in the North Hall.
PRO to Host Slate of Networking and Educational Opportunities at the 2015 SEMA Show

Do you want to get more involved with the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) before the SEMA Show? With a 50+ year legacy, SEMA members have created a variety of valuable benefits and tools for their peers to use to strengthen their businesses, hone their skills and grow their knowledge base. These benefits and programs exist because passionate industry professionals stepped up, volunteered and got things done.

The leadership of SEMA’s councils and networks are inviting you to get more involved, give back and contribute to the future of your industry. For more information on the councils and network and to fill out a volunteer profile that will help you find a way to get engaged, visit For more information about PRO, contact Clayton Drescher, SEMA council liaison, at 909-978-6696,

PRO Booth and Happy Hour

Stop by the PRO Show Booth (#12561) in North Hall during Show hours.
PRO Happy Hour:
Date: Wednesday, November 4
Time: 4:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Location: PRO Show booth

Register now.

PRO Pool Party Industry Reception

Date: Tuesday, November 3
Time: 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Location: Westgate Hotel (third floor)

Register now.

PRO General Membership Meeting

Date: Thursday, November 5
Time: 7:30 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Location: LVCC, Room N234.
Register now.

Dealer Education

  • Car Dealer Stories: Unfiltered Truths About Operating a Profitable Accessory Program, Wednesday, November 4, 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., LVCC, room N254
  • Enhancing the Consumer Experience: A New Approach to Dealership Profit Centers, Wednesday, November 4, 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m., LVCC, room N252
  • Accessory Resources for New- and Used-Vehicle Dealers, Thursday, November 5, 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m., LVCC, room N252

For more information on the Auto Dealer Track, visit the SEMA Education section of to pre-register.

Restyler Education

PRO members will explore and present the latest tips and tricks on a topic near and dear to restylers’ hearts in “The Art of Selling Car-Dealer Direct: What You Need to Know” on Thursday, November 5, from 2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., LVCC, room N256. Register for this session.

For more information about any of these programs, contact Clayton Drescher, SEMA council liaison, at 909-978-6696,

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SBN Logo
Visit SBN's website.
Ashley Strubel

SBN Member of the Month—Ashley Strubel, Gold Eagle Co.

Ashley Strubel is the national sales manager for Gold Eagle Co. in Chicago.

What does your company do?

We are a manufacturer of premium fuel additives and appearance chemicals.

What is your position?
National sales manager.

What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

The most satisfying aspect of my job is that it is always changing and not one day is the same as the previous. I have the privilege to travel, meet new people, network, educate consumers and customers to be raving fans of our products and be recognized as a young woman in the industry. I also get to help customers and consumers find the right solution for their need by educating them about the industry and our products.

How long have you been with the aftermarket industry?

Four years.

What brought you to the industry?

Growing up, I spent many of my weekends with my car seat strapped to the roll cage in my Dad's ’70 1/2 Camaro, attending and helping run numerous car shows by the age of 4. My dad also worked in an auto-service shop, so I was always exposed to different areas of the automotive aftermarket, but never thought I would find myself working in it and loving it! I had recently graduated college and was working in a department clothing store as a customer service manager and was looking for a change. I happened to mention this to my neighbor, who worked for an automotive company, just as the company started to create a new department focusing on educating and increasing sales for their customers. He told me that he would send in my résumé but the rest was up to me. Shortly after the interview process, I was hired at Gold Eagle Co. as a customer development associate where I was responsible for educating consumers and customers. Within the first couple months I learned about the automotive industry model and many different fuel-related questions as they pertained to our products. After six months with Gold Eagle Co., I received the opportunity to step up in the company and become the manager of the customer development department, where I focused on different educational programs and platforms to help our customers increase sales.

What are some of your major professional accomplishments?

After working for Gold Eagle Co. for a year, I was awarded the Leadership Award for developing and molding the customer development area of our company, helping transition an acquisition and my dedication to learning everything I could about our new product lines. I provide all of the tips of the week for our 303-branded products on our Facebook and Twitter pages and help with the development of our 303-branded how-to videos. Lastly, I am the manager of our employee events team in which our mission is to work together to create events where we generate excitement, design an atmosphere where employees can connect and expand on ideas from all areas of the company.

Are you a member of any other organizations?

I am a member of the following associations/organizations:

  • SEMA Business Woman's Network (SBN)
  • Young Automotive Network Group (YANG)
  • Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI)—served on the Exhibit Advisory Committee
  • Midwest Fabric Products Association
  • Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA)
  • Marine Fabricators Association (MFA)
  • International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA)- serving on the roundtable committee
  • Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP)

Who is your industry mentor?

Howard Donnally is my industry mentor because he has such a passion for the industry and truly immerses himself in the automotive aftermarket. He is not only a raving fan of Gold Eagle Co. but also lives the company mission on a day-to-day basis.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Work hard, stay positive, embrace change and be yourself.

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

I had a bowling scholarship at Robert Morris University in Chicago, finished an interior design and architectural technology four-year degree in two-and-a-half years and was the salutatorian of my university’s graduating class.

What is your dream car?

A ’70 Camaro. A funny story about my decision is that my dad actually sold his ’70s Camaro that I grew up in and bought a ’60s Corvette. I can’t actually give you the exact year because I didn’t want to invest any interest in the car since I was furious that he traded the Camaro for the Corvette. He had the Corvette for seven-plus years, and I never once sat in it. Needless to say, when my dad got his new Camaro, I was the first to ride in it.

What is your favorite pastime?

Going to Allegan, Michigan, with my family would have to be my favorite pastime. We would spend the entire day on the beach and in the water tubing and swimming at my aunt’s house with all my cousins. Her house was at the bottom of the hill and every time we would go down the hill we would all raise our hands and scream as if we were going to drive into the lake. Her house had secret trap doors, and the kids would always find something to do even if it rained. We would cram four aunts, five uncles and 10 cousins into this house in one giant sleepover, staying up till all hours of the night around the campfire.

Take Advantage of the SBN Networking Opportunities at the 2015 SEMA Show

SBN Reception

Date: Wednesday, November 4
Time: 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Location: Westgate, Paradise Center: North
Register today!

SBN Gear-Up Girl

Date: Tuesday, November 2
Time: 3:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m.
Location: LVCC, Upper North Hall, N264
Register today!

Have colleagues interested in the advancement of women in the automotive aftermarket? Invite them to join SBN. It's easy and free.

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Don’t Miss the WTC Events Held at the 2015 SEMA Show
WTC Industry Reception
Date: Tuesday, November 3
Time: 5:00pm-7:00pm
Location: Renaissance Pool
Register today!

Education Session: “Aftermarket Wheels and Tires – Right Sale, Right Fit” Powered by WTC and TIA

Date: Wednesday, November 4
Time: 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m.
Location: LVCC Upper North Hall, N252

For more information, visit the SEMA Education section of the SEMA Show website to pre-register today!

For more information about any of these programs, contact Clayton Drescher, SEMA council liaison, at 909-978-6696,

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YEN Logo

Visit YEN's website

Calling all YEN Members!

The Young Executives Network (YEN) invites all members to participate in its fourth-quarter general membership call. As we head into the 2015 SEMA Show in November, this is a great chance to get plugged in and become involved. There are several volunteer opportunities we need to fill during Show week with the YEN Reception on Tuesday, November 3, and SEMA Launch Pad taking place Wednesday, November 4. No previous experience is required to participate or volunteer.

When: October 8, 2015
Time: 12:00 p.m. (PDT)

RSVP: SEMA’s Director of Networks Bryan Harrison at to receive the teleconference number and calendar invite.

For more information, visit YEN's general membership Facebook page or at under the “Events” tab.

Have friends under the age of 40 working for a SEMA-member company? Invite them to join YEN. It's easy and free!

Don’t Miss Out on the YEN Networking Opportunities at the 2015 SEMA Show

YEN Reception

Date: November, 3
Time: 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Location: Paradise Center, South
Register today!

YEN Launch Pad

Date: November, 4
Time: 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Location: LVCC Upper North Hall, Room N258
Register today!

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