By SEMA Editors
SEMA councils and networks honor leading companies and professionals in their niche market of the automotive aftermarket industry annually at the SEMA Show. The awards programs for each group is meant to recognize the innovation, dedication, passion and meticulous works of their members.
The following companies and individuals were honored with a council or network award at the 2017 SEMA Show.
Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN)
The ETTN held its awards presentation at the 2017 SEMA Show to honor and celebrate professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the automotive aftermarket industry and to the network. Three awards were presented: the Ambassador Award, Genius Award and Techie Award.
The winner of the Genius Award was SEMA Ken Farrel (middle) of FiTech.
Kent Bradley of Performance Business Media (middle) earned the ETTN Ambassador Award.
The Ambassador Award winner is Kent Bradley of Performance Business Media. The award is presented to an ETTN member who has demonstrated exceptional volunteer contributions or increased membership and awareness of the ETTN during the past year.
The winner of the Genius Award is Ken Farrel of FiTech. The award is given to honor and recognize outstanding individuals whose creativity and genius innovation have made significant contributions toward advancing technology that has a positive impact on the growth and progress of the automotive industry.
Seen here with SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting (right), the ETTN Techie Award winner for 2017 is Pete Gonzales of Darkside Scientific.
The ETTN Techie Award winner is Pete Gonzales of Darkside Scientific, who also won SEMA’s GEN-III Innovator of the Year Award. The Techie Award recognizes an individual for engineering achievements of a product, process or component that demonstrates innovative and original engineering development and/or advances state-of-the-art technology as it pertains to the automotive industry or product sector.
More information on the ETTN is available at www.SEMA.org/ettn.
Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)
The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) held its Industry Awards Reception during the 2017 SEMA Show. The reception brings HRIA members together to celebrate the year’s accomplishments and to honor the achievements of its volunteers through the council’s annual awards presentation.
Billet Specialties Named HRIA Business of the Year
The council’s Business of the Year award is presented to a company who has made an exceptional contribution to Hot Rod industry.
Presented to current members of the HRIA, the council’s Business of the Year award is presented to a company who has made an exceptional contribution to Hot Rod industry.
Billet Specialties was founded in 1985 by Glenn Grozich, who recognized a growing trend by hot-rod builders of the period to machine billet parts. Grozich was already a master machinist and fabricator at the age of 26, having learned his craft in his father’s Chicago-area machine shop. The company started with radiator caps and license-plate frames. Today, it boasts an inventory of more than 900 part numbers. Their two- and three-piece wheels have been the choice of many of the top builders, and have graced many award-winning rides. Everything is done in house in a 10,000 sq.-ft. facility, with more than 50 state-of-the-art CNC machines, and what is said to be one of the largest and best equipped polishing shops in the Midwest. With Grozich’s attention to detail and customer satisfaction, strict quality control standards are in place.
Hot Rod Industry Recognition Award
This year’s winners of the HRIA Industry Recognition Award is Kyle Tucker (middle) of Detroit Speed and Engineering.
HRIA’s Industry Recognition Award is presented to an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to the hot-rod industry over the past 10 years. The recipients are employees or principles of an HRIA-member company.
This year’s winner of the HRIA Industry Recognition Award is Kyle Tucker of Detroit Speed and Engineering.
Tucker has devoted his entire life to the hot-rod industry, ever since he debuted the Twister 69 Camaro on the Hot Rod Power Tour in 2000. While building Detroit Speed and Engineering into one of the premier manufacturing and car-building businesses in the industry, Tucker earned a reputation as a loyal friend and businessman. His builds continue to win awards, and he is considered one of the top influencers among hot-rod builders. Tucker is always available to assist with council functions and events, and many young builders are already benefitting from his advice, which Tucker offers freely.
HRIA Hall of Fame
Ken and Jane Callison of ididit inc. were inducted into the HRIA Hall of Fame.
Ken and Jane Callison of ididit inc. were inducted into the HRIA Hall of Fame.
Born out of the American entrepreneurial spirit, ididit emerged out of a small garage in 1986 and has grown into one of the hot-rod industry’s leading aftermarket steering column manufacturers. ididit has been making the finest quality steering columns and related accessories for the hot-rod and musclecar enthusiast for the past 30 years. Located in Tecumseh, Michigan, ididit manufactures top quality, American-made steering columns for the automotive aftermarket, as well as steering systems for industrial, commercial and government vehicles.
For more information on the HRIA, visit www.SEMA.org/hria.
Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA)
The Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA) held an industry reception at the 2017 SEMA Show, where professionals from the light-truck segment gathered to network and present the group’s awards.
TORA Hall of Fame Adds Greg Adler, Don Balizet
The TORA Hall of Fame recognizes and honors outstanding individuals in the light-truck accessory industry whose creativity, dignity, integrity, industriousness and accomplishments, on a national/international basis, have enhanced the stature of and significantly contributed to, the light truck accessory industry’s growth. For 2017, TORA inducted Greg Adler and Don Balizet.
TORA Retailer of the Year, Charles Morrison, Truck’n America
Truck’n America accepts the TORA Retailer of the Year honor.
The TORA Retailer of the Year Award recognizes outstanding light-truck accessory retailers whose creativity, dignity, integrity, industriousness, professionalism and accomplishments have enhanced the stature and annual growth of the industry within the candidate's community. The 2017 recipient of the TORA Retailer of the Year award is Truck’n America.
TORA Ron Webster Memorial Award for Engineering Excellence - Scott Williamson, Rugged Liner
Scott Williamson (middle) of Rugged Liner receives the Ron Webster Memorial Award for Engineering Excellence.
For 2017, the TORA presented the Ron Webster Memorial Award for Engineering Excellence to Scott Williamson of Rugged Liner.
The Ron Webster Memorial Award for Engineering Excellence was created in honor of Ron Webster, president and founder of Guidon Truck Covers. Webster was one of the original members of TCIA, which later became TCAA, then TORA.
An engineer by education, Webster developed many early innovations in the truck-cap industry. He was a mentor to many leaders in the industry, and was posthumously elected into the TCAA/TORA Hall of Fame after his death in a white water river rafting accident in the early ’90s.
More information on the TORA is available at www.SEMA.org/TORA.
Manufacturers Representative Network (MRN)
During the Manufacturers Representative Network (MRN) annual reception, Joel Rosenthal, owner of Gantt-Thomas & Associates Inc., was inducted into the network’s Hall of Fame., and Bestop received the Sales Team Annual Recognition (STAR) award.
Joel Rosenthal Inducted Into MRN Hall of Fame
Newest MRN Hall of Fame member Joel Rosenthal (middle) has been involved in the automotive aftermarket for more than 25 years.
Joel Rosenthal has been involved in the automotive aftermarket for more than 25 years. He is known as an active volunteer within SEMA, assisting on the SEMA Scholarship committee, leading as MRN Chairman and helping guide the MRN as a long-time select committee member. Rosenthal is known as a person who looks for ways to be involved.
The MRN Hall of Fame was designed to honor outstanding manufacturers’ representatives within the automotive aftermarket. The MRN’s Hall of Fame is the most prestigious award presented by the network, and it is reserved for dedicated individuals who enhanced the stature of, or significantly contributed to, the manufacturers’ rep profession or the network’s growth.
Bestop Earns MRN’s STAR Award
Jim Chick (middle) accepts the 2017 STAR award for Bestop.
Each year, the general membership of the MRN selects an outstanding sales team to honor with the group’s STAR award. The award serves as a testament to the high professional standards that a sales team demonstrates throughout the year. The MRN presented its 2017 STAR award to the sales team at Bestop.
According to MRN members, the Bestop sales team treats reps as true partners and valued team members. No only does the Bestop team provide reps with a high level of support, they consistently strive to exceed all expectations.
More information on the MRN is available at www.SEMA.org/mrn.
SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN)
During the 2017 SEMA Show, the SBN presented the Athena Woman of the Year award to Sara Morosan (left) of LGE CTS Motorsports, and the Athena Rising Star award to Krista Baldwin of McLeod Racing LLC.
The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) presented the group’s Athena Woman of the Year and the Athena Rising Star awards at the 2017 SEMA Show.
During the 2017 SEMA Show, the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) presented the SBN Athena Woman of the Year award to Sara Morosan of LGE CTS Motorsports, and the SBN Athena Rising Star award to Krista Baldwin of McLeod Racing LLC.
The Athena Woman of the Year recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions made by a woman in the specialty equipment industry throughout the year. Considerations for the award include the candidate’s leadership, job and industry knowledge, management abilities, serving as a mentor or role model, and industry involvement.
The Athena Rising Star recognizes a woman under the age of 30 who is making significant strides in advancing her career in the automotive aftermarket. Athena Rising Stars take advantage of the resources for career development, including networking, education, leveraging the wisdom of others, along with any volunteer efforts within the industry.
More information on the SBN is available at www.SEMA.org/sbn.
Young Executives Network (YEN)
The Young Executives Network presented the YEN Vanguard Award and the Young Executive of the Year award during the 2017 SEMA Show.
The YEN Vanguard Award is presented to the individual, business, organization or sanctioning body that has had a positive effect on a young executive’s career within the automotive industry. This year’s YEN Vanguard Award recipient is Diode Dynamics.
Trent Goodwin, 2017 Young Executive of the Year.
Paul McCain accepts the YEN Vanguard Award on behalf of Diode Dynamics.
The Young Executives Network Young Executive of the Year award is presented to an individual who has had a positive impact on the industry. The Young Executive of the Year for 2017 is Trent Goodwin of COMP Performance Group.
More information on the YEN is available at www.SEMA.org/yen.