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Movers & Shakers: Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation Adds George Afremow, Michael Coccio to Board; Roadwire Raises $40,000 for Hurricane Matthew Victims

By SEMA Editors

Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation Adds George Afremow and Michael S. Coccio to Board

George Afremow
Michael S. Coccio

The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) announced the addition of George Afremow and Michael S. Coccio to its Board of Directors.

Afremow is SEMA’s vice president, chief financial officer, and brings a cross-functional background to his AACF Board duties. In his role as VP/CFO, Afremow is responsible for overseeing day-to-day accounting, HR and administrative activities for SEMA.

Prior to joining SEMA, Afremow was the Southern California practice leader of Business Performance Improvement initiatives for Grant Thornton LLP, the 5th largest public accounting and consulting firm. His areas of expertise include finance function transformation, operational efficiency enhancement, streamlining and automating accounting, finance and operational processes. He is also a board member and president of the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) Beach Cities Chapter.

Coccio is Manager, Strategic National Accounts at AutoZone. During his 15 years with AutoZone, Coccio has worked on the commercial side of the business, developing their national accounts portfolio. Coccio's extensive experience in the automotive aftermarket and his deep understanding of the business-to-business as well as retail sectors extends beyond his time at AutoZone. Prior to joining AutoZone, he was the principal owner of an automotive warehouse distribution and retail auto parts store network. He started his career in the manufacturers representative agency business, working his way through the organization to become the principal owner while representing some of the largest manufacturers in the automotive aftermarket.

Drake Automotive Names Keith Belair New CEO

Drake Automotive
Keith Belair

Drake Automotive Group LLC announced that Keith Belair has joined the company as its new president and CEO. Belair joins Drake Automotive Group after spending eight years at Shelby American, where he helped guide company growth and expansion, most recently as COO. Prior to working at Shelby American, Belair gained valuable experience with several companies and private equity groups focused on growth through acquisitions.

As CEO, Belair will provide strategic direction to the Drake executive team and oversee the day-to-day operations. He will also be actively engaged in seeking future acquisitions.

Iconic 1936 Bugatti 57 SC Atlantic Wins Arizona Concours d’Elegance Best of Show

One of the world’s most famous automobiles, a 1936 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic, won Best of Show honors at the fourth annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance at the Arizona Biltmore resort in Phoenix.

1936 Bugatti Atlantic
This '36 Bugatti Type 57 SC Atlantic won Best of Show honors at the fourth annual Arizona Concours d’Elegance at the Arizona Biltmore resort.

The magnificent handbuilt car is owned by Peter and Merle Mullin and Rob and Melani Walton. The car usually is housed at the Mullin Automotive Museum in Oxnard, California, but had been on loan to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, where it has been part of a special display.

Ninety cars were arrayed on the show field for the Arizona Concours d’Elegance, divided into 17 classes. The cars judged to be the best in each class were rejudged to determine Best of Show. Four class winners emerged as finalists for the event’s highest accolades.

In addition to the Bugatti Atlantic, they were: a '37 Lagonda LG45 Rapide sport tourer, one of only 25 Rapides ever built, owned by the Stephens family of San Francisco; a '55 Ferrari 250 Europa coupe with coachwork by Vignale; and a '33 Marmon V16 convertible coupe, owned by Aaron and Valerie Weiss of San Marino, California.

Net proceeds from the nationally recognized Arizona Concours d’Elegance, as well as generous donations from participants and spectators, benefit Make-A-Wish Arizona, the founding chapter of the international organization that grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions.

Rev’n Launches on WHNE in Detroit

Luken Communications LLC and Tait Broadcasting LLC have joined forces to bring Rev’n to Motor City. Viewers can now find Rev’n over-the-air on WHNE channel 14.6 in Detroit (DMA 13). Rev’n joins its sister network, Retro TV, which can be found on WHNE channel 14.2.

Rev’n, a network geared toward the performance enthusiast, officially launched on December 1, 2014. With proven automotive content such as "The Appraisers," "Stacey David’s GearZ," "Two Guys Garage," "Truck U," "Sam’s Garage," "My Classic Car" and "World of Collector Cars," Rev'n is a hit with fans and advertisers alike.

Roadwire Raises $40,000 to Feed 130,000 Hurricane Matthew Victims

In keeping with its mission to bridge the gap between the resources of business and service to humanity, Roadwire Inc. announced that Roadwire Cares—a 501c3 nonprofit entity established to provide humanitarian aid—successfully raised $40,000 to help Haitian victims devastated by Hurricane Matthew.

The project—funded in part by contributions from customers, suppliers and employees who raised $10,000—was matched by a $10,000 contribution from Roadwire Cares. These funds, in turn, were gifted to Mission of Hope in Haiti, which then matched the fundraising effort with an additional $20,000. The resulting $40,000 donation was used to feed more than 130,000 children affected by the hurricane.

The faith-based initiative is at the core of Roadwire Inc.’s philanthropic commitment to dedicate 10% of its organizational profits to support humanitarian outreach. In addition to the recent fundraising efforts, Roadwire has provided funding and other in-kind resources in Haiti. This includes donating unused leather and industrial sewing machinery to Three Cords, which employs women with disabilities who sew handbags and other products, and whose profits support the island’s only prosthetics lab.

VIPAR Heavy Duty Names Deval Joshi Senior Program Manager

Deval Joshi
Deval Joshi

VIPAR Heavy Duty has appointed Deval Joshi as its new senior program manager. Joshi will report to Larry Griffin, director of program management, and will be responsible for developing industry-leading supplier programs with VIPAR Heavy Duty and its family of companies.

Joshi brings 14 years of experience in strategic global purchasing, engineering and management to his new role. He has more than eight years of experience in several roles with Navistar, including sourcing and procurement for the company’s parts procurement group and production purchasing group. In addition, Joshi was the director of global procurement at Milton Industries.

Yokohama Tire Corp. Names Jeff Barna as COO

Yokohama Tire Corp. announced that Jeff Barna joined the company as chief operating officer. Barna will report to Yokohama Tire Corp.’s Shinichi Takimoto, and will have responsibility for sales, marketing and product planning. Barna will also be on YTC’s executive committee.

Prior to Yokohama, Barna was successful in management, sales and logistics positions, most recently at Nilfisk-Advance Inc., an international company in the professional cleaning products and service industry. Previous to that, he was with Exide Technologies, a global battery manufacturer. Barna began his career at Tenneco Automotive selling Monroe shock absorbers to dealers and retail stores in the metropolitan New York market.

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