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Movers & Shakers: Skyjacker Suspensions Hires Wayne Murray; Marx Group Rebrands

Compiled by SEMA Editors

wayne murray
Wayne Murray

Skyjacker Suspensions Announces Hiring of Wayne Murray

Skyjacker has announced the appointment of Wayne Murray as an outside salesperson who joins the sales team to call on customers nationally. He will be available to service new and existing customers on the wholesale and jobber level. Murray started his career in the industry in 1984 and has more than 30 years of experience in off-road and the automotive aftermarket. Most recently, Murray worked for another suspension manufacturer as sales manager focusing on sales and customer service, tech support and sales calls. Announces Vendor Awards Winners announced the winners of the company’s 2016 Vendor Awards. In its fourth year, the Vendor Awards series aims to recognize companies that provided a superior product and go above and beyond in their commitment to RealTruck and its customers in 2016. A panel of four judges cast votes and assigned each finalist a point value.

2016 RealTruck Vendor Award Winners

  • Rookie of the Year: Decked
  • Customer Service: Covercraft
  • Data Geek: Curt
  • Vendor of the Year: Westin

Winners will receive a 2016 RealTruck Vendor Awards trophy and matching lapel pins. A high-resolution RealTruck Vendor Awards logo will be applied to each winner’s brand and product-line page banners on and will be provided to the company for use at their discretion. Read more about the 2016 RealTruck Vendor Awards.

Marx Group Rebrands Company with New Name, Logo and Website

Marx Group—a full-service agency for the automotive aftermarket—has announced the launch of its corporate rebranding. Long known to the industry as The Marx Group, the company has simplified its name to Marx Group and launched a new website at featuring a new logo. Visitors to the new and updated website will find it easy to navigate, allowing them to access information about the agency’s services and portfolio of work. From digital to traditional advertising, branding, event management, research, strategy and public relations, Marx Group’s portfolio showcases the variety of services it offers. The new website is fully responsive on all devices.

steve turner
Steve Turner

Power Automedia to Launch FordNXT Magazine for Next-Gen Ford Enthusiasts; Hires Steve Turner as Executive Editor of Ford Group

Power Automedia has announced plans to expand its all-Ford magazine StangTV into two new magazines: FordMuscle and FordNXT. To lead the new titles, Power Automedia has also hired magazine industry veteran Steve Turner as executive editor. will cater to traditional Ford performance—Fox Mustangs and earlier, more traditional Ford hot rods. It will feature engine tech ranging from pushrod 5.0L to three-valve and earlier modulars. Both magazines will feature Ford tech articles, car features, event coverage, the latest industry news, and the scoop on the newest and hottest products. Turner has more than 20 years of experience in the industry, most notably working for Super Ford, Focus Fanatic, and as the editor of 5.0 Mustang & Super Fords. Most recently, he helped create and launch a digital content platform for, where he served as editor-in-chief for the last two and a half years.

Flex-a-lite Hires Account Managers and Manufacturing Manager

Flex-a-lite has hired Alan Beals and Lowell Klapperich as sales account managers and Michael Clifton as manufacturing manager. Beals brings more than 30 years of automotive sales experience to this new position as Eastern North American sales account manager for Flex-a-lite. During his career, he secured significant contracts and sales gains for companies including Holley Performance and Ideal Tridon. Klapperich joins Flex-a-lite as the Western North American sales account manager. His 25 years’ experience includes work for Hastings Filter, KYB America and a Pacific Northwest distributing company. New Fife Plant Manager Clifton has 30 years of production and manufacturing experience, most recently at Consolidated Container Company and Davis Wire, in addition to owning and operating Clifton’s Oil.

david wanhala
David Wanhala
andrei katibnikov
Andrei Katibnikov

VIPAR Announces Leadership Changes

VIPAR Heavy Duty recently held its annual business conference, which was highlighted by the announcement of Chris Baer becoming the organization’s new president. It was also announced that Steve Crowley will remain with the organization as CEO during a transition period. In addition, David Wanhala was named program manager. He will be responsible for developing industry-leading programs with suppliers for VIPAR Heavy Duty and its family of companies. Andrei Katibnikov has been named the organization’s director of information technology. He will be responsible for all IT solutions, including infrastructure design for VIPAR Heavy Duty and its family of companies. Katibnikov has served in an advisory role at VIPAR Heavy Duty since 2001, helping develop and provide support for the company’s information technology infrastructure.

Global Shop Solutions Names Nick Knight Sr. Director of Customer Services

Nick Knight
Nick Knight Sr.

Global Shop Solutions has named Nick Knight as the firm’s new senior director of customer services. A Global Shop Solutions employee for more than a decade, Knight previously served as a member of the service team, consulting project manager and, most recently, as director of consulting.

In those positions, he helped drive record growth in successful ERP implementations and consulting services revenue while leading the company’s global expansion into China, Asia-Pacific, Mexico, Australia and Canada. As senior director of customer services, Knight will oversee the consulting group, custom group, account representatives, and four international offices totaling nearly 70 employees.

Maverick Performance Products to Distribute VP Racing Lubricants

Maverick Performance Products (MPP) has announced a long-term trademark license agreement with VP Racing Fuels to market, manufacture and sell VP-branded lubricants in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The agreement comes on the heels of VP’s recent introduction of VP Racing Lubricants—a family of professional-grade racing oils, high-performance motor oils, engine break-in oils, assembly lube and high-performance gear oils. The product line will boast an initial portfolio of 90+ SKUs, available early in first quarter 2017. With the agreement, MPP will manufacture VP Racing Lubricants according to VP’s specifications, and both companies will market the product line through targeted retail channels and select wholesale petroleum distributors, according to Shane Terry, managing director of Maverick Performance Products.

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