People Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: Chrissy Gilmore Returns to Thermo-Tec as CEO; Omix-ADA Hosts Second Annual Jeep Heritage Expo

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Chrissy Gilmore

Chrissy Gilmore Returns to Thermo-Tec as CEO

Chrissy Gilmore has returned to Thermo-Tec Automotive as CEO. The daughter of Thermo-Tec founders Jim and Donna White, Gilmore returns to the heat- and sound-management products company where she started at a young age, having held various positions in the packaging, shipping and receiving, and accounting departments. She will immediately begin working with her brother Jeremy to bring a new approach to marketing and advertising and expanding the Thermo-Tec product line. Prior to re-joining Thermo-Tec, Gilmore spent time with the United States Postal Service as a rural carrier associate, local union steward and on-the-job training instructor.

Omix-ADA Hosts Second Annual Jeep Heritage Expo to Benefit Atlanta Habitat for Humanity

Omix-ADA has announced it will donate all proceeds from its upcoming Jeep Heritage Expo to Atlanta Habitat for Humanity. The event will take place June 3, 2017, at the company’s headquarters in Suwanee, Georgia, and will celebrate the history and culture behind one of America’s most iconic vehicle brands. For the Jeep Heritage Expo, Omix-ADA will offer the opportunity for Jeep enthusiasts to receive a behind-the-scenes look at its 230,000-sq.-ft. facility. Visitors will tour the warehouse that houses more than 20,000 Omix-ADA, Rugged Ridge and Alloy USA parts and accessories. Also available for attendees will be the company’s comprehensive Jeep Collection, which showcases rare and vintage Jeeps from the past 75 years. The Jeep Heritage Expo will also feature a car-show area that will showcase a variety Jeeps, dating from ’41 to present.

Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. Welcomes New Lines

Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. welcomes GRID Off Road, Plombco, Revolution Supply, HUF North America, Intellitronix and JW Speaker to its selection of inventory. Grid Off Road brings a line of off-road wheels, and the additions of Plombco, Revolution Supply and HUF North America provide diverse options within the wheel accessory category. JW Speaker provides Jeep lighting, and Intellitronix delivers digital gauges for vehicle-specific and universal applications. Keystone has more than 165,000 unique stocking SKUs. In addition, Keystone has announced a new partnership with GReddy Performance, of which Keystone will be the exclusive WD in Canada.

Donato Bonacquisto

Bonacquisto Named Director of Marketing for VP Racing Fuels

VP Racing Fuels has announced the appointment of Donato Bonacquisto as director of marketing. In that position, Bonacquisto will be responsible for advertising, sponsorships, event management and public relations in support of all VP business divisions, including race fuel, branding and consumer products. Bonacquisto comes to VP from Hankook Tire America where, as motorsports and events manager, he promoted the Hankook Tire brand in the U.S. market across a mix of professional and amateur motorsports initiatives and top-level events in the consumer, aftermarket and commercial sectors. Prior to that, he held management positions at multiple NASCAR Cup Series teams in both marketing and business-development capacities, in addition to tenures with JHE Production Group managing elements of the Sprint title sponsorship with NASCAR and SPEED Channel as event marketing manager. Bonacquisto has also held roles in the automotive industry producing media/press launches at APEX Performance and managing luxury brands, including Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche, Aston Martin and Bentley. In a related move, VP Chief Marketing Officer Chris Wall is transitioning to a new position as senior director–branded retail, responsible for wholesale brand development, including both VP-branded gas stations/convenience stores and VP FASTLUBE service centers. In his new role, Wall will lead a team of regional sales managers and pursue large customers both nationally and internationally.

King’s new e-catalog can filter by make, model, dimensions and cross-references or any combination thereof.

King Engine Bearings Launches New Printed Catalog and New Online e-Catalog Interface

King Engine Bearings has launched a new comprehensive online e-catalog interface that offers more search options and cross-referencing features. This new e-catalog can filter by make, model, dimensions and cross-references or any combination thereof. The new e-catalog is in addition to King’s new 2017-2018 printed catalog, which is now available and features all of King's new applications. The new e-catalog offers searches by the ACES format for United States customers, and the European Tecdoc format. Search results can be viewed in inches or metric and can be easily cross-referenced. There is also a quick search feature to easily find an item by inserting either partial or full engine description, King part number or competitor number. The i-King system provides users with the ability to validate the authenticity of their King bearings and track the warranty information on every set of bearings purchased. Now with direct access from the e-catalog, i-King users can manage their bearing purchases and warranty information.

DENSO Announces New Director of Americas Operations

DENSO Products and Services Americas Inc. has named Brett Lowie as director of Americas operations. In the new position, Lowie is responsible for overseeing all DENSO Parts Department shipping operations across North America. Lowie comes to DENSO with more than 30 years of experience in high-volume parts distribution, warehousing and supply-chain management. His areas of expertise include optimizing practices and facilities through innovation and training that increase efficiency, reduce product handling and lower costs. Lowie’s career in the automotive industry dates back to 1986 as a parts-distribution center manager for Chrysler LLC. He also worked for Penske Logistics, where his responsibilities as general manager included overseeing 25 West Coast distribution centers and related transportation and installation services for a major home appliance account. Prior to joining DENSO in February, Lowie spent more than eight years at Mercedes-Benz USA as its department manager of parts distribution and related operations.

Hot Rodders
Finishing in first place was Team QA1 from Forsyth Central High School with a time of 20:04.

Three More Teams Qualify for Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge Dual National Championships

Twenty teams went to the Summit Racing Motorama in Hampton, Georgia, last weekend to either qualify for the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow (HROT) Engine Challenge Dual National Championships held at the SEMA Show and PRI Trade Show later this year or to improve their playoff time. To qualify for the Dual National Championship, a team must finish disassembling and reassembling a small-block Chevrolet engine in less than 33 minutes, including penalties. Three new teams from Georgia qualified. Team MSD from Peach County High School finished in 10th place, qualifying with an average time of 30:46. From Forsyth Central High School, Team Autometer came in eighth place with a time of 28:08. Coming in sixth place, Team Holley from Effingham College & Career Academy qualified with a time of 27:31. Overall, in third place came Team Energy Suspension from Sequoyah High School with a time of 23:12. In second place was Team Weld Racing from East Ridge High School with a time of 22:18. Finishing in first place was Team QA1 from Forsyth Central High School with a time of 20:04. The next Hot Rodders of Tomorrow competition will be hosted at the Universal Technical College in Exton, Pennsylvania, April 29. Visit to view last weekend’s complete results.

ididit Now ISO Certified to World-Class Specifications for Quality, Safety and Efficiency

ididit LLC recently announced certification to the ISO 9001:2015 standard as of April 19, 2017. ISO 9001 is an internationally recognized family of quality-management standards. It is designed to help ensure a company has the processes and procedures in place to provide superior product, service, quality and traceability. By adhering to ISO’s 9001 standard of quality measurements, ididit LLC’s manufacturing processes are certified to world-class specifications for quality, safety and efficiency. ididit also released a video showcasing their growth and dedication to quality craftsmanship. ididit partnered with Smithers Quality Assessments, an accredited quality and environmental management systems certification body, to achieve the ISO certification.

(L–R): Wade Sheffer (GM), Daniele Castiglioni (Brembo), Dan Sandberg (Brembo), and James Danahy (GM).

Brembo Recognized by General Motors as a 2016 Supplier of the Year 

Brembo was named a GM Supplier of the Year during General Motors’ 25th annual Supplier of the Year awards ceremony held Friday, March 31, in Orlando, Florida. GM recognized 118 of its best suppliers from 15 countries that have consistently exceeded GM’s expectations, created outstanding value or brought new innovations to the company. The announcement represented the most suppliers GM has recognized since debuting the Supplier of the Year event in 1992. This is the second time Brembo has received the award. Winning suppliers were chosen by a global team of GM purchasing, engineering, quality, manufacturing and logistics executives and selected based on performance criteria in Product Purchasing, Indirect Purchasing, Customer Care and Aftersales, and Logistics.

JRi Shocks to Become FIA Formula 1 World Championship Supplier

As JRi Shocks’ 10-year anniversary approaches, the company has announced that in 2018, it will become a damper supplier for the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

MagnaFlow has been awarded a Gold ACPN Content Excellence Award in the field of Web Catalog Excellence.

MagnaFlow Wins ACPN Content Excellence Award

MagnaFlow has been awarded a Gold ACPN Content Excellence Award in the field of Web Catalog Excellence. The ACPN Content Excellence Awards recognize the best examples of print and electronic cataloging in the vehicle aftermarket. Each year, winners are chosen from dozens of entries and recognized at the Annual ACPN Knowledge Exchange Conference. ACPN Committee members select the best-in-class winners. Web and Mobile Applications catalogs are evaluated on criteria such as design, navigation, use of technology, innovation, interactivity and quality of content.

Timken Earns Recognition as John Deere “Partner-Level Supplier” and Hall of Fame Supplier

The Timken Company has earned recognition for the fifth consecutive year as a partner-level supplier for 2016, and was inducted into the Supplier Hall of Fame in the John Deere Achieving Excellence Program. Hall of Fame status is given after a supplier attains a partner-level rating for five consecutive years. The partner-level status is Deere & Company’s highest supplier rating. The North Canton-based company was selected for the honor in recognition of its dedication to providing products and service of outstanding quality as well as its commitment to continuous improvement. Company representatives accepted the recognition during formal ceremonies held recently in Bettendorf, Iowa. The Timken Company is a supplier of bearings and power transmission components to multiple John Deere operations around the world.

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