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SEMA Council & Network News: Award Winners Announced

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.

ARMO Award Winners

Congratulations to the Automotive Restoration Market Organization’s (ARMO) 2015 award winners!

Business of the Year: Original Parts Group

Person of the Year: Ken Howell

ARMO Hall of Fame: Mark Headrick, Auto Metal Direct

Headrick was one of the early members in the Hemi Owner’s Club, and has owned more than 80 HEMI cars over the years. Through his club affiliation, he realized there were other owners, like himself, searching for parts. This realization brought him down a path away from his background in education and toward a PhD in the restoration market.

ARMO Business of the Year
Chair Dennis Roberts (right) congratulates Original Parts Group, ARMO’s Business of the Year. 

Ken Howell
Ken Howell (left) of Auto Custom Carpets was ARMO’s Person of the Year.

Mark Headrick
ARMO Hall of Fame inductee Mark Headrick (left) of Auto Metal Direct.

 His first venture into the reproduction business was as a founding partner in MSE—a company that specialized in tubing products, such as Hemi choke tubes. Through that, Headrick made connections at Year One and was eventually hired as vice president, where he was heavily involved in developing new parts. Headrick saw a need for body panels to restore cars that required full body panels. This discovery led him to leaving Year One to start Goodmark Industries. For more than a decade and a half, Headrick developed Goodmark into one of the leading suppliers of body panels in the GM and MOPAR hobby.

In the early ’00s, Headrick felt he could take what he had learned and develop an even better quality line of body panels if he had more control over parts manufacturing and development. This led to a relationship with a manufacturing factory and the formation of Auto Metal Direct. The goal was to produce enough different body panels so many of the previously unrestorable cars could now be saved. With full panels, the possibility of restoring wrecked and rusted cars now opened up.

Headrick has always believed in producing the most accurate parts possible, and through his close relationship with GM and Chrysler, he has produced an extensive line of fully licensed and factory-endorsed body panels for the hobby. Body panels are the foundation of restoring a classic car, and Headrick’s contributions to the industry have been instrumental in the growth of other suppliers in the restoration industry. 

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HRIA Logo 
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HRIA Award Winners

Congratulations to the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) 2015 award winners!

Business of the Year: Danny’s Hot Rod Shop

Industry Recognition: Steve Tracy

Hall of Fame: Bill Mullins

Mullins is a lifetime industry enthusiast and the perfect example of someone who followed a dream and made a living out of his passion. He broke into the industry as a brake/front-end specialist and was acknowledged by GM and Chevrolet for his work. His expertise in the steering-related field eventually led him to starting his own business.

Bill Mullins
Bill Mullins (center) of Classic Instruments was inducted into the HRIA Hall of Fame.

Steve Tracy
Steve Tracy (center) of Advanced Plating was honored with the HRIA Recognition of an Individual award.

Dannys Rod Shop
Danny’s Hot Rod Shop was HRIA’s Business of the Year. From left, Danny Mink, Chair John McLeod, Connie Mink and Chair-elect Tammy Holland.

Mullins believed in giving back to the industry and served many years on various councils and subcommittees. He has been involved in SEMA for more than 30 years and has been an HRIA council member since its inception in the early ’90s when he served multiple terms on the select committee. He was also the subcommittee chairman for the Youth Awareness Program. Mullins aided SEMA in organizing the original Street Rod Manufacturers Association (SRMA) trade conference in conjunction with the Vintage Air Dealer Meetings, which is known today as the Hot Rod & Restoration Trade Show.

Mullins has owned an array of hot rods, including a ’41 Willys that he built. Some may not be aware, but Mullins comes from a drag-racing and professional motorcycle racing background. 

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TORA Logo 
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TORA Award Winners

Congratulations to the Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) 2015 award winners!

2015 Retailer of the Year: Cap World Inc.
TORA Hall of Fame: Charles Morrison Jr.

From 1976–1998, Charles Morrison Jr., along with his son (Charles Morrison III), operated Cap City USA, which began selling truck caps out of an old crab shack in Southern Maryland. Cap City grew into a multi-store retail chain that reached from New York to Florida, and manufactured its own aluminum and fiberglass truck caps from 1985–1998.

Charles Morrison
Longtime TORA volunteer Joel Ayres (left) and Chair Lee McGuire (right) with Daniel Morrison (second from left) and Charles Morrison IV (second from right), who accepted the TORA Hall of Fame award for their grandfather, Charles Morrison Jr.
Cap World
Ron DiVincenzo (left) accepted the Retailer of the Year award for Cap World Inc.

In 1989, Morrison took six months off to start the Truck Cap Industry Association (TCIA), which later became the TORA, and personally hired an association director to get TCIA off the ground. He organized the first TCIA meeting in 1989 in Omaha, Nebraska, where Dillard Fletcher was nominated and then elected the first TCIA president. By August of that year, he, along with other TCIA committee members, met in Chicago to finalize plans for TCIA’s future and the first TCIA Show. He served as the first TCIA show chairman, which was held February 25–27, 1990,  in Orlando. He is a decorated veteran and officer. At almost 84 years old, he had not missed a SEMA Show up until a few years ago.

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Visit MRN's website. 

MRN Award Winners

Congratulations to the Manufacturers' Representative Network (MRN) 2015 award winners!

STAR Award: B.J. Leanse of Big Country/Go Rhino
MRN Hall of Fame: Jeff Bates of Bob Cook Sales

Bates began his rep career in the mid ’80s with Sam Compton & Associates and moved to Bob Cook Sales in 1989. His experience began in his home state of Pennsylvania working for retailers and wholesalers in the performance aftermarket before moving to the Charlotte area. Bates handles a diverse customer base that includes large performance warehouses, niche marketers, professional race teams, engine builders and the Advanced Auto Parts retail chain. 

BJ Leanse
Big Country/Go Rhino was awarded with MRN’s Sales Team Annual Recognition (STAR) award. From left, Chair Les Rudd, B.J. Leanse, Chair-elect Vic Bennett and Director of Networks Bryan Harrison.
Jeff Bates
Jeff Bates, (third from left) Bob Cook Sales, received the MRN Hall of Fame award.

Bates also enjoys a strong relationship in and around the NASCAR/Circle Track racing industry, based in and around the Charlotte area. He serves on the SEMA Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. He has received multiple awards from both the customer/WD side of the industry and from manufacturers. Bates also serves as the lead for many manufacturers in negotiations with NASCAR and their other categories.

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PRO Logo 
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PRO Award Winners

Congratulations to the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) 2015 award winners!

PRO Manufacturer of the Year: Brandmotion

Nat Danas Person of the Year: Josh Poulson, Auto Additions

Restyler of the Year: John Prosser/Dino Perfetti, Automotive Concepts

Jim Borre Lifetime Achievement Award: Dwight Forrister, Distinctive Industries

Prosser Perfetti
John Prosser (center left) and Dino Perfetti (center right) of Automotive Concepts received the Restyler of the Year award.

Brandmotion was PRO’s 2015 Manufacturer of the Year.

Nat Danas
Chair Scott Wolin (left) and Chair-elect Ellen McKoy (right) congratulate Josh Poulson (center), PRO’s 2015 recipient of the Nat Danas Person of the Year award.

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SBN Logo 
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SBN Award Winners

Congratulations to the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) 2015 award winners!

Athena Champion: Nan Gelhard of Summit Racing

Athena Woman of the Year: Rose Kawasaki of Exports International

Athena Rising Star: Kristin Stone of Reaction Time Marketing

Rose Kawasaki
Rose Kawasaki (left) of Exports International LLC was SBN’s Athena Woman of the Year.

Kristin Stone
From left, Chair Erin Gilhuly, 2015 Athena Rising Star Kirstin Stone of Reaction Time Marketing and Chair-elect Camee Edelbrock.


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WTC Inducts Jim Smith into Hall of Fame
Jim Smith: Ultra Wheel Company
Founding owner and director of Ultra Wheel Company, Jim Smith is an entrepreneur and racer who has dedicated his life to the automotive industry. Smith has been involved in the aftermarket wheel business for several decades and is an active philanthropist and racing advocate.
Ultra Wheel is currently one of the largest U.S. aftermarket wheel manufacturers; a fully integrated company that engineers, designs, produces, sells and distributes throughout the United States and internationally. He has been a mentor to many in this business and deserves the honor.
Jim Smith
Jim Smith, Ultra Wheel Company (right), was inducted into the WTC Hall of Fame. His wife Gina (left) joined him at the award presentation.

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YEN Logo
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YEN Award Winners

Congratulations to the Young Executives Network (YEN) 2015 award winners!

Vanguard Award: Kathryn Reinhardt of MagnaFlow
Young Executive of the Year: Jared Chavez of MagnaFlow



Kathryn Reinhardt (right) of Magnaflow accepts the Vanguard award from Director of Networks Bryan Harrison.
Jared Chavez  (right) of Magnaflow was named Young Executive of the Year.

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