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Movers & Shakers: Race Winning Brands Promotes Ross Berlanga; Toyo Tire Strengthens Sales Department

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Ross Berlanga
Ross Berlanga

Race Winning Brands Promotes Ross Berlanga to Director of Content

Race Winning Brands (RWB) has named Ross Berlanga director of advertising. Berlanga comes to RWB with more than two decades of marketing, agency, advertising and graphic design expertise. He will lead advertising efforts for all brands under the RWB umbrella, including JE Pistons, K1 Technologies, ProX Racing Parts, Wiseco Performance Products and others. Additionally, Berlanga will be responsible for brand messaging, trade-show management and promotional activities. Berlanga’s tenure in the automotive industry began in 1998 at McMullen-Argus as a graphic designer for publications including Hot Bike, Sport Compact Car and Custom Rodder. Later, he spent time at Edelbrock, KTC Media Group, MagnaFlow, Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG) and K&N Engineering. Berlanga also worked on the marketing team at JE Pistons. Mark Gearhart will transition from his role as senior content marketing manager to the newly created role of director of content, where he will lead the content team and manage all sponsorship-related initiatives. He began his career in the automotive performance industry in 1995, and was the editorial director at Power Automedia before working at RWB. 

Dennis Losey
Dennis Losey
Todd Gilbert
Todd Gilbert 

CRP Automotive Announces the Retirement of Dennis Losey, National Sales Director; Appoints Todd Gilbert as OES Business Development Manager

CRP Automotive has announced the retirement of industry veteran and longtime national sales director Dennis Losey. He joined CRP Automotive in 2008 and played a major role in helping CRP Automotive develop and grow its domestic warehouse distributor business in the United States. In addition to CRP, Losey also served in national sales management positions with Henkel/Loctite, Radiator Specialty, Blue Coral/Slick 50 and Loctite Corp. He will continue to work with the CRP team on special projects through the remainder of the year.

In addition, CRP Automotive has named Todd Gilbert business development manager for its OES business. He will be responsible for identifying and developing new opportunities for the company’s products. Previously, Gilbert held various positions in product development, commercial sales and account management with Freudenberg-NOK. Most recently, Gilbert was the distribution sales manager for the Transtec brand of transmission and steering rebuild kits in the United States and Canadian markets.

The Builder’s Block was created to feature top builders and key performance parts manufacturers in one concentrated area.

AMSOIL INC. Signs on as Presenting Sponsor of the Builder’s Block at Syracuse Nationals

The PPG Syracuse Nationals has announced AMSOIL INC. as the presenting sponsor for the newest addition to the event, the Builder’s Block presented by AMSOIL. The Builder’s Block was created to feature top builders and key performance parts manufacturers in one concentrated area, which will also feature vehicles from pro builders and emerging builders looking to make a name for themselves in the hot-rod and restoration world. More than 8,000 hot rods, 450 vendors and 90,000 people representing 34 different states and six Canadian provinces will come together to celebrate the 19th Annual PPG Syracuse Nationals presented by Ford and Hot Wheels Car Care Products.

Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. Strengthens Sales Department to Support Growing Business

Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has announced several changes within the sales department to support the company’s growing business and dealer network. Joining the company as director of sales, national strategic accounts is Rob Lovi, who has 14 years of tire industry experience, including in management at Michelin North America. He served the last 10 years as vice president of sales and marketing for Vector Fleet Management LLC. Lovi joins Sam Felberbaum, director of sales for the west, and Mike Snyder, director of sales for the east. All report to Randy Gaetz, senior vice president of sales for Toyo Tires. In the commercial sales division, Mike Graber has been promoted to director of sales, commercial tires. He most recently served as senior product manager for commercial truck tires, and prior to that was a member of the Toyo Tires commercial sale team. Bill Barfield, former director of sales for commercial tires, has taken on the brand-new role of corporate training manager to support a growing field staff and network of commercial tire dealers. Both Barfield and Graber also report to Gaetz.

Patrick Sommerfeld
Patrick Sommerfeld

Premium Guard Inc. Acquires Auto 7 Inc.

Premium Guard Inc. (PGI) has reached an agreement to acquire the assets of Auto 7 Inc. PGI will move all of the Auto 7 inventory into its main distribution center in Memphis, Tennessee, to consolidate operations and logistics. For the past three years, Patrick Sommerfeld has served as Auto 7’s vice president of sales, and has now joined the PGI team as director of Auto 7. Prior to Auto 7, Sommerfeld served in various leadership roles in sales, marketing and product at Wells Vehicle Electronics and Goodyear Tire & Rubber for 17 years.

DENSO Partners with Plug and Play to Advance the Future of Mobility

DENSO has announced its Silicon Valley office’s partnership with Plug and Play, joining 40 other automotive players, including Ford, Bosch, Nissan and Toyota Financial Services, as corporate partners in Plug and Play’s mobility program. DENSO will work with Plug and Play’s network of startups to accelerate its business and technology development in four core areas: connectivity, autonomous driving, shared mobility and electrification (CASE). As a member of the Plug and Play ecosystem, DENSO will also contribute firsthand to the growth and success of the startups and entrepreneurs involved. Last year, Japan-based DENSO Corp. partnered with Plug and Play Japan.

Mark and Dennis Mariani’s ’29 Ford Tudor was named Street Rod of the Year, while Stuart Adams’ ’69 Camaro won Street Machine of the Year.

Goodguys Crowns the Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year and PPG Street Machine of the Year in Columbus

The Goodguys 2018 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year and Goodguys 2018 PPG Street Machine of the Year winners were crowned Saturday, July 7,  at the Goodguys 21st PPG Nationals. Mark and Dennis Mariani’s ’29 Ford Tudor sedan was named Goodguys 2018 Classic Instruments Street Rod of the Year. Built by Troy Trepanier and at Rad Rides by Troy, the hand-crafted sedan rides on a one-off chassis with an adjustable front and rear torsion bar suspensions and custom-machined 19- and 20-in. wheels. Power comes from an aluminum small-block Chevy backed by a five-speed. The winner of the Goodguys 2018 PPG Street Machine of the Year was Stuart Adams’ black ’69 Camaro, built by Detroit Speed. It has a Detroit Speed front subframe and QuadraLink rear, with one-off chrome-plated 19- and 20-in. Forgeline wheels. It’s powered by a Kurt Urban-built LS2 topped with a Harrop supercharger and backed by a Bowler-built Tremec six-speed.

Diesel Brothers
“Diesel Brothers,” returns to Discovery, Monday, July 30, at 10:00 p.m. (EDT/PDT) as part of the network’s Motor Mondays lineup. 

“Diesel Brothers” Returns to Discovery Channel on July 30 

Heavy D, Diesel Dave and the Dieselsellerz crew are back in an all-new season of “Diesel Brothers,” which returns to Discovery, Monday, July 30, at 10:00 p.m. (EDT/PDT) as part of the network’s Motor Mondays lineup. This season, viewers will see ordinary rigs transformed into decked-out diesel trucks. The show is produced for Discovery Channel by Magilla Entertainment.

VOXX Automotive Forms Strategic Partnership with UniKey

VOXX Automotive and UniKey Technologies have announced a strategic partnership that will see the two companies bring secure, keyless products and vehicle access solutions to the automotive market. A contract awarded to VOXX Automotive by an electric vehicle (EV) maker has the two companies already working on a keyless solution for an EV model to be delivered in 2019. This partnership is expected to yield family key-sharing and car-sharing services as well as similar uses by car-rental firms and auto fleet operators.

Kenneth Selinger
Kenneth Selinger

APC Automotive Technologies Names Kenneth L. Selinger Vice President of Product Management for Centric Parts

APC Automotive Technologies LLC (APC) has announced Kenneth L. Selinger has joined the company as vice president of product management for Centric Parts. He will be responsible for all market research, competitive analysis and pricing, new part introduction, cataloging and product lifecycle management for Centric Parts and its Qualis Automotive division. Selinger comes to Centric Parts after a 19-year career at Akebono Brake Corp., where he held several executive positions, including director of sales, marketing and product development; director of marketing and product development, OES and aftermarket; and marketing and product development manager. Prior to Akebono, Selinger spent three years at Federal Mogul as director of marketing for their global aftermarket. He also served as a senior product manager at Raybestos.

Jimmy Dilamarter
Jimmy Dilamarter

Jimmy Dilamarter Chosen as 2018 Bryant Awardee

Jimmy Dilamarter, mechanic, fabricator, car builder, crew chief and team manager, has been named the 2018 recipient of the Peter Bryant Challenger Award for Excellence in Engineering. Dilamarter’s name will be placed on the perpetual award as part of the evening’s activities at The Racing History Project’s special “Riverside Revisited” dinner event, which will be held on the evening of September 8, at the Automotive Driving Museum in El Segundo, California. Dilamarter worked on cars that raced across the world’s most famous racetracks. His name is almost always paired with his boss and long-time friend Parnelli Jones. Dilamarter’s work on race cars with the “Vel’s Parnelli Jones” logo on them includes victories at the Indianapolis 500 and a host of other races.

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