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SEMA Council & Network News: How Volunteering Presents Opportunities

Strengthen Your Company Through Community

No matter what niche you're in—rods, restoration, racing, restyling, 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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Jonathan Mill (center) won YEN’s inaugural SEMA Launch Pad competition.
How Volunteering Presents Opportunities
By Jonathan Mill
The first time I got to shake the hands of some of the biggest automotive aftermarket moguls was when I was working the door for the YEN reception. This task is a simple volunteer position that only takes 30 minutes of your time, but is a prime example of how giving back to the association ends up giving you opportunities that you otherwise wouldn’t have had. What you do with those opportunities and what you get out of them is up to you.
When you volunteer your time, you will not get paid, but stay with me. What you end up gaining is something that is priceless—the feeling that you made a difference in someone’s life in a selfless act. I personally had the opportunity to lead a group of students on a tour of the SEMA Show floor. The time that I spent with them did not advance my career, but the look of inspiration on their faces told me that I had just given back. Who knows? Maybe one of those students could grow up and become a SEMA Hall of Famer one day.
There hasn’t been one time when I have volunteered that I didn’t walk away with enough motivation to last a lifetime. Another shining example was when I helped out with the SEMA Launch Pad competition last year as a time keeper. As I was setting up in front, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Jessi Combs before she went up on stage to judge the competition. Getting to bounce ideas off of the world’s fastest woman on four wheels was an opportunity I didn’t foresee. Her passion for the industry filled my inspiration meter and sent me away from that experience that much more ready to achieve my goals.  
Getting involved is important to the progression of your career. Sometimes opportunities to give back are hard to spot. If that is the case, then reach out and create them. Many people are open to getting more involved and volunteering their time but they may not know where to begin or with whom to speak. General membership meetings are the perfect opportunity to stop in, meet fellow Yensters, and learn more about what the network does. We oftentimes will ask for volunteers for upcoming opportunities, so raise your hand and try it! If you have an area in which you specialize, such as social media or content development, let us know and we will find an opportunity to get you plugged in.
A general membership meeting and mixer will be held at the 2016 SEMA Show. We hope to see you there!
If you have questions about YEN, or would like to learn more about volunteering, contact SEMA Director of Networks Bryan Harrison at or 909-978-6691.

Jonathan Mill of Keyway Innovations is an active member of the Young Executive Network (YEN), currently serving as a select committee member. He is passionate about volunteering his time and becoming more involved in the industry that he loves. Below, he recalls how volunteering has opened his eyes and doors to professional opportunities. 

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