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SEMA Council & Network News: MPMC Hall of Fame Nominations Open

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 MPMC's website.  

MPMC Hall of Fame Nominations Open

The MPMC Hall of Fame was established in 2010 to permanently acknowledge those individuals who have made a significant contribution to the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) and/or the motorsports parts manufacturing segment of the aftermarket. Nominations come from MPMC membership, which are reviewed by a Hall of Fame task force, who also make the final selection(s) for induction. Selections are based on a rigorous review of the nominations against the qualifying criteria. Inductions are performed at the MPMC Hall of Fame reception, Friday evening at the PRI Show.

Please take just a moment to submit an MPMC Hall of Fame nomination now. Nominations close Friday, October 2, 2015.

Current MPMC Hall of Fame:

2010: Amy Faulk, Scooter Brothers, Jeep Worthan, John Menzler
2011: Chuck Blum, Todd Gartshore, Rick Rollins, Nate Shelton
2012: Jim Cozzie, Keith Dorton, Ron Funfar, Chris Thomson
2013: Earl Gaerte, Dennis Overholser, Bob Ritzman
2014: Steve Lewis, Jim McFarland, Joe Moriarity

If you have any questions regarding the Hall of Fame, please contact Lindsay Bianco at 909-978-6692 or

If you have any questions regarding MPMC membership or council events, please contact SEMA Director of Councils Jim Skelly at 909-978-6690 or

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Visit ARMO's website.

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

ARMO Booth

Be sure to stop by the shared Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO)/Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) booth (#23395) at the 2015 SEMA Show to connect with other ARMO members, talk restoration and check out the beautiful cars on display. Alloway’s Hot Rod Shop will unveil a brand new, never-seen-before restofication at the booth, Tuesday, November 3, at 11:30 a.m.

ARMO Reception

Date: Tuesday, November 3
Time: 5:15 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Location: Westgate conference rooms 7–14
Register today!

ARMO Open Meeting

Date: Wednesday, November 4
Time: 7:15 a.m.–9:00 a.m.
Location: Westgate Conference rooms 4–6
Register today!

ARMO Roundtable

Date: Thursday, November 5
Time: 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
Location: Room N236 of North Hall
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 ETTN's website 

Attend ETTN’s SEMA Show Networking Event

Please join us for the inaugural Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) networking event at the 2015 SEMA Show. Focused on building community amongst automotive specialty-equipment engineers, product developers and industrial designers, the event will feature special dignitaries to help facilitate conversation on emerging industry technology and trends. Food and beverages will be served, and attendees will receive the latest details about the SEMA Garage and its associated emissions lab. Join the conversation!

The event kicks off Thursday, November 5, at 4:00 p.m. in the Las Vegas Convention Center, New Products Showcase, located on the Skybridge between the Central and South Halls, and will end at 5:00 p.m.

Register Now!

If you have any questions about the ETTN or this event, contact SEMA’s Director of Networks, Bryan Harrison at 909-978-6691 or

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

HRIA Show Booth

Be sure to stop by the shared Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO)/Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) booth (#23395) to connect with other HRIA members and check out the Builders Challenge entries. 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

Date: Wednesday, November 4
Time: 5:15 p.m.–8:30 p.m.
Location: Westgate Paradise Center South
Register today!

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Visit TORA's website.  


Young Talent on the Rise

SEMA’s 35 under 35 program features elite young trendsetters who are bringing exciting new ideas and renewed enthusiasm to every segment of the automotive specialty-equipment industry.

Candidates are those who are making a significant industry impact through their leadership within their organization or business. They possess proven qualities of entrepreneurship, commitment, insight, innovation, integrity, responsibility, demonstrated skill, involvement and success within the marketplace.

The Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) would like to recognize two individuals who have and continue to make an impact within the light-truck industry—Jake Carnevale and Cris Payne. The TORA community is extremely proud of this new young talent on the rise.

Jake Carnevale

Jake Carnevale
Web Developer/Lead Graphic Designer, UnderCover Truck Bed Covers

With only five years in the aftermarket truck accessories segment, Jake Carnevale has been instrumental in helping launch UnderCover Truck Bed Covers into the new age of technology. He created a 3D customizer program from scratch that the company’s retailers use every day to show customers what their trucks will look like with a tonneau in place.

“Consumers now have the ability to research and customize products before they buy, and they also have numerous ways to purchase products through either online sites or in brick-and-mortar stores,” he said. “Companies must provide easily accessible information about their products. The Internet and social media have helped companies stay relevant and gain that competitive edge.”

Carnevale counts UnderCover President David Wells and former Marketing Director Jason Hutchens (now director of R&D) among his greatest influences.
“Dave gave me the opportunity to join UnderCover before I even graduated from college, and I’m so grateful for everything he has done for me,” Carnevale said. “I also couldn’t have been happier to work under Jason Hutchens’s tutelage and have the ability to tag-team all of the marketing for the company.”

In his briefcase: “My computers, programs and G2 black pens. I also wear Beats By Dre headphones while I work.”

Cris Payne

Cris Payne
Consumer Brand Specialist/Custom Vehicle Builder, Westin Automotive

Many of Cris Payne’s vehicles have toured show circuits and received Best in Show recognition, and he has successfully managed SEMA Show vehicle builds for the last five years through his own initiative and networking. What started as a hobby and a passion for trucks developed into a career that he loves with help from Roland Trudell—the founder of Rolling Big Power—who kept Payne striving to create bigger and better projects, and his newest mentor and close friend Alicia Castillo, who provided guidance in his new field of employment.

“Strong truck sales and forecasts suggest that truck enthusiasts are willing to spend money on their new vehicles,” Payne said. “From a manufacturing and new-product standpoint, this is the green light. In the next 12 months, Westin will bring more than 20 new products to market, many of which are within the truck and off-road segment. I’m excited to get my hands on them and start building some trucks!”

In his briefcase: “Briefcase? People still carry those things? I am more of a cell phone kind of guy [iPhone 6 Plus]. I don’t go anywhere without my phone. It’s my lifeline to this great industry, with a vast network of contacts ranging from business owners to the company who’s who. It also helps me stay fresh on social media, including Twitter, Facebook and my favorite—Instagram!”

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/ORBA SEMA Show Booth & Happy Hour

TORA Happy Hour
Date: Tuesday, November 3
Time: 4:00 p.m.–5:30 p.m.
Location: TORA Booth (#34169)
Register now!

Stop by the TORA Show Booth (#34169) in the Lower South Hall throughout the week to learn more about the council.

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

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Visit MRN's website.  

Take Part in Business-Critical Discussions at the MRN Rep Roundtable at the 2015 SEMA Show

The Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN) will host its MRN Rep Roundtable, Sunday, November 1, from 3:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. at the Las Vegas Convention Center Upper North Hall, room N256. Both MRN members and non-members are encouraged to attend. This year’s roundtable will feature six industry expert speakers discussing important topics facing manufacturer representatives today, and offering solutions for tomorrow. The always-successful roundtable will offer attendees the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers in a small-group setting.

This year’s topics include:

  • How to handle private equity acquisitions and management. Speaker: Mitch Williams
  • Three biggest challenges facing reps today and tomorrow. Speaker: Clay Taylor, ESQ
  • How to be a great rep in the eCommerce Market. Speaker: Bernard Bolisig
  • Wealth management for reps. Speaker: Andrew D. Horowitz
  • Tools and trends for a mobile workforce. Speaker: Tyler Tanaka
  • Improving your rep teams communication, training and overall goals. Speaker: Nikki Weiss

The goal of the roundtable is to help increase manufacturer representatives’ knowledge on key issues they might face today in an effort to improve their industry impact tomorrow. It is an excellent way to start off your SEMA Show week.

Cost: $25 for SEMA members, $35 for non-members.

Register Today!

Take Advantage of the MRN Rep Room During the SEMA Show

As a benefit to all MRN members during Show hours, the MRN Rep Room will be located inside the SEMA Members Lounge on the upper floor of the central hall in room N251. The MRN Rep Room will offer a quiet place where reps can catch up on phone calls or emails. Access will be through the SEMA Members Lounge.

For more information, contact SEMA’s Director of Networks Bryan Harrison 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

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: Monday, 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.

For more information about any of these programs, contact Bryan Harrison, SEMA director of networks, at 909-978-6691 or

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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

YEN Launch Pad Top 5 Announced

Dozens of industry innovators and entrepreneurs entered into the running for the chance to present their new product/service to a judge panel made up of industry leaders at the 3rd annual Launch Pad powered by SEMA’s Young Executive Network (YEN). The grand-prize winner receives a prize package to help launch his/her business to the next level, including a booth at next year’s SEMA Show to formally introduce their product/service to the industry.

Launch Pad will take place at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, November 4, from 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in the LVCC Room N258.

Below are the top 5 finalist. Good luck and we’ll see you in Vegas!

Aleksandr Basalilov

Aleksandr Basalilov Co-Founder and COO, Parts Detect

Aleksandr Basalilov, who co-founded Parts Detect, is a technology consultant and recruiter with a passion for entrepreneurship. Using his experience in recruiting technical professionals, product development and technology, he managed the app’s back-end systems development. He focuses on the expansion of the Parts Detect App to keep it a problem-solving and innovative platform for mechanics and parts vendors alike in the aftermarket industry.

The Parts Detect Mobile Application is a user-friendly tool designed to help mechanics and do-it-yourselfers to find and order the right part at the right price in local, real-time inventories. The features include: VIN scanning, supplier selection, part selection, order, delivery tracking and price sorting, availability and warranty. After building this app from from the ground up, Parts Detect will release it to Apple App and Google Play stores in October 2015!

Jeff Lee

Jeff Lee Vice President Marketing/Co-Founder, HammerHead IRS

Jeff Lee has been a racer and race promoter, and has worked in his family’s speed shop and been involved in the auto aftermarket industry nearly his entire career on the road to HammerHead IRS. Based in Muskegon, Michigan, HammerHead IRS was founded in 2010 and manufactures high-performance differentials for modern American musclecars, such as Camaro, Mustang and Challenger, and sports cars, such as Corvette and Viper, and custom hot-rod or racing applications.

The first-generation HammerHead went on sale in 2013 and used 12-bolt GM components inside a cast-aluminum HammerHead housing. In response to customers, competitors and the OEM and aftermarket horsepower wars, HammerHead is using Launch Pad to launch its latest-generation model called “Megalodon,” which will be cast in nodular iron, featuring larger and heavier-duty internal components capable of withstanding 1,500hp and 1,500 lb.-ft. of continuous torque. HammerHead hopes Megalodon will become the new standard for high-horsepower IRS applications.

Roger Peterson

Roger Peterson Founder and CEO, MG Research LLC

Roger Peterson is a passionate automotive enthusiast who believes in promoting comradery among the automotive community. He advocates for innovation in the automotive industry with the interest of the enthusiast in mind. After acquiring his MBA in marketing and finance from Keller Graduate School of Management in 2015, Peterson set out to make a difference by founding the Madness Group Research team better known today as MGR.

The goal of the MGR team is to develop innovation in marketing channel research and analytics. Through its proprietary mobile app, The Enthusiast App, MGR intends to solve the growing information needs of motoring enthusiasts worldwide. The Enthusiast App can be downloaded for free on Android and iOS smart phones.

Via The Enthusiast App, MGR introduces:

  • A mobile specialty-parts search engine. (E-Commerce)
  • A user managed DIY library. (Collaboration)
  • An intuitive meets and events locator. (Networking)
  • A social network. (Social media)
Todd Purcell

Todd Purcell Co-President, Superior Industrial Threads

Todd Purcell is a bona-fide thread guy. As a self-certified master threadologist, Purcell has spent the past decade in the quilting and sewing industries learning about fibers and techniques, while offering high-quality products and education to make sewing more enjoyable. Purcell was an integral part in the development of SewGlow—a first-of-its-kind upholstery thread that glows in the dark. Made with a proprietary blend of polyester and glow agents, SewGlow will glow by recharging the thread with light (natural or artificial). The current trend in the automotive industry is to offer custom trims, interiors, badges and experiences as a whole. SewGlow creates a unique touch by mimicking a standard white thread when exposed to light and transforming into a green or blue glow-in-the-dark thread when the lights go off.

Robert Vogt

Robert Vogt, CTO, Voyomotive

Robert Vogt is an expert in automotive and computer sciences. As CTO of Voyomotive, he leads the development of VOYO—a low-cost, plug-and-play connected-car platform giving owners unprecedented control to improve vehicle safety, security, convenience and fuel efficiency. VOYO is based on the world’s most advanced OBD-II unit. It can be paired with wireless relays to control the engine, including the first-ever aftermarket start/stop system. It uses CAN bus data, reads generic and proprietary trouble codes from almost all controllers and communicates with the Cloud through VOYO’s phone app.

Prior to Voyomotive, Vogt was a founder of IOSiX. He is board member of ETI and holds BSEs in computer engineering and computer science, and an MSE in computer engineering. While at UM, he researched biomimetics and vehicle safety at Toyota, and led the team that won the 2005 North American Solar Car Challenge.

Launch Pad will take place at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, November 4, from 11:00 a.m.–12:30 p.m. in the LVCC, Room N258.

Click Here to Register!

For more information on Launch Pad, contact Bryan Harrison, SEMA Director of Networks, at 909-978-6691

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