People, Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: VIPAR Heavy Duty Completes Succession Plan; Chris Baer Named CEO

Compiled by SEMA Editors

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SEMA Hall of Famer Chip Foose and 3M have formed an expanded multi-year partnership.

3M Expands Partnership With Automotive Designer Chip Foose

3M has announced an expanded multi-year partnership with Chip Foose to not only include 3M’s Automotive Aftermarket Division Collision and Repair branches, but also expanding to include products from 3M’s Commercial Solutions Division and Auto Care Business Unit. Through this partnership, Foose will represent and promote a variety of 3M’s automotive repair and maintenance products along with 3M Window Film solutions. The expanded agreement, which began in January 2017, includes joint programs and initiatives with all three divisions including promotions, media outreach and appearances by Foose with 3M customers worldwide. Foose will also continue to support 3M’s joint community and philanthropic events through United Way, Hire Our Heroes Program and others.

Wes-Coast Marketing Inc. to Represent Truck Covers USA Inc., Weigh-Safe

Wes-Coast Marketing Inc. has announced that it has been selected to represent Truck Covers USA Inc. in 13 Western states. Based in San Diego, Truck Covers USA Inc. has manufactured retractable hard tonneau covers and truck bed racks for the past 10 years. In addition, Weigh-Safe—winner of a SEMA Show New Products Award in the Best New Tools and Equipment category—has announced that Wes-Coast Marketing Inc. will represent its line of towing safety products in 13 Western states. Weigh-Safe is a designer and manufacturer of towing hitches, which incorporate a built-in scale that measures tongue weight—a safety feature unique to the hitch market—and a full line of drop hitch receivers.    

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Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) strives to introduce kids to an opportunity to showcase workmanship and the awareness of complex mechanisms in a contest that will be featured and hosted as a part of the HROT JR Dragster Series and the Midwest Junior Super Series at nine events all across the central United States in 2017.

Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Junior Engine Challenge a Hit

In order to help fuel the passion for racing and performance, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) strives to introduce kids to an opportunity to showcase workmanship and the awareness of complex mechanisms in a contest that will be featured and hosted as a part of the HROT JR Dragster Series and the Midwest Junior Super Series at nine events all across the central United States in 2017. The Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Junior Engine Challenge presented by Racequip kicked-off February 25–26 at the Race and Performance (RP) Expo in Schaumburg, Illinois. In this contest, a team comprised of two individuals, in which one team member must be between 5–18 years of age, must completely disassemble/reassemble a complete single cylinder OHV engine utilizing only basic hand tools. Contest goals include helping individuals develop communication skills and increasing self-esteem. The contest is designed to help youngsters develop problem-solving skills and an understanding of an internal combustion engine. The next event will be featured as part of the Piston Power show in Cleveland, March 18–19. Students will demo and be trained on the single-cylinder engine. The official kick-off for the 2017 season will be at Gateway Motorsport Park April 7–9, in Madison, Illinois. For more information, view the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Junior Drag Racing schedule.

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Chris Baer

VIPAR Heavy Duty Completes Succession Plan; Baer Named CEO

VIPAR Heavy Duty chairman Bill Nolan has announced that the organization has completed its leadership succession plan with the board of directors naming Chris Baer as its new CEO, effective immediately. Baer adds the CEO duties to his responsibilities as president of VIPAR Heavy Duty, a position he assumed in late October 2016. Baer succeeds Steve Crowley, who retained his role as CEO during a transition period. After serving more than 16 years as the organization’s president and CEO, Crowley has now officially retired. In January, Baer introduced a new management structure and new leadership roles to help the company achieve its aggressive growth goals. Before joining VIPAR Heavy Duty in 2002, Baer was with Chicago Rawhide/SKF for 17 years in a variety of sales management roles, including his last role as director of automotive sales. Baer has served as a member of the AWDA Young Executive Society (YES) committee and earned the Automotive Aftermarket Professional (AAP) designation from the University of the Aftermarket. He is a 2014 recipient of the Northwood University Automotive Aftermarket Management Education award, and currently serves on the board for NEXUS North America LLC as vice president.

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