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Movers & Shakers: Industrial Opportunity Partners Acquires The COMP Performance Group; PRI Announces New Industry Sales Director

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Industrial Opportunity Partners Acquires The COMP Performance Group

Industrial Opportunity Partners (IOP), an operations-focused private equity firm based in Evanston, Illinois, and owner of Edelbrock LLC, has announced the acquisition of the COMP Performance Group. Edelbrock LLC and the COMP Performance Group and their respective management teams will currently operate as independent organizations. According to IOP, both teams will continue to provide the same designs, products and service that have made them respective market leaders as they explore opportunities to drive increased product and customer offerings.

Jeff Dahlin
Jeff Dahlin

PRI Announces New Industry Sales Director, Additional Personnel Moves

Jeff Dahlin has joined Performance Racing Industry (PRI) as an industry sales director, where he will oversee a portfolio of client accounts and drive revenue for the PRI Trade Show, held annually in Indianapolis, as well as its accompanying monthly publication and media channels. Dahlin brings with him 20 years of automotive sales, marketing and executive-level publishing experience. Notably, he spent 16 years at Source Interlink and the MotorTrend Group, where he rose through the ranks at several publications as a director, group publisher and eventually to the position of general manager of the Hot Rod Network. Most recently, Dahlin served as chief marketing officer for Bullet Proof Diesel. Dahlin was also named one of SEMA’s “35 under 35” in 2007.

In related news, PRI has announced that company veteran Reham Gharib will take on the new position of sales operations project manager. In this role, Gharib will manage the records of all PRI and SEMA sponsorship contracts, help ensure deliverables are accounted for and communicate with all appropriate stakeholders. She also will be the key stakeholder and project manager for the PRI Show’s Featured Product Showcase and SEMA Show’s New Products Showcase. Gharib has been with PRI since 2014. In addition, PRI Industry Sales Manager Brendan Gillespie, who previously served in a sales/operations hybrid role, will now focus strictly on sales opportunities—specifically exhibit space and sponsorship sales for both the PRI and SEMA Shows, as well as advertising sales for both PRI Magazine and SEMA News. Gillespie, a six-year veteran of the company, will concentrate on the racing and performance market.

Hypertherm to Award Powermax Systems to 12 North American Schools as Part of Spark Something Great Grant Program

Hypertherm is now accepting applications for its Spark Something Great educational grant program. In total, Hypertherm plans to award a Powermax45 XP plasma system, an AWS SENSE-approved plasma-cutting curriculum kit and in-person training to 12 North American schools. The Spark Something Great grant program, now in its sixth year, is meant to support the next generation of welders and metal fabricators by making the newest generation of plasma-cutting equipment and standardized instruction available to schools. To date, the company has awarded systems to 52 schools. This year, applications are due on or before April 1 with grant decisions communicated by May 1. More information, including instructions for applying, are available at In addition to the grant program, Hypertherm will continue to make all 10 hours of its AWS SENSE-approved “Plasma Cutting Technology: Theory and Practice” curriculum available for free download to teachers. Electronic versions of each lesson, a facilitator’s guide, student workbook, and supporting reference material are all available on Hypertherm’s website.

(L–R): Max Dull, vice president and general manager of Alliance Parts Warehouse; James McGonagle, head of sales at Continental; Michael Westrom, manager of sales – traditional aftermarket at Continental; and Nick Chapin, product manager at Alliance Parts Warehouse. 

Continental Named Diamond Award Winner by Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance

Continental Commercial Vehicles & Aftermarket has received the “Diamond Award” from the Aftermarket Auto Parts Alliance. The award was presented during the Alliance’s annual winter shareholder meeting and channel partner awards banquet, December 10, 2019, at the JW Marriott Turnberry in Aventura, Florida. Continental received the recognition for exceptional performance and excellence in 2019, delivering the highest year-over-year sales increase of any product line at APW with a growth of 155% and an average fill rate of over 96%. The Diamond Award was created to recognize Alliance Parts Warehouse (APW) channel partners who distinguish themselves from all others.

Adient Sells its Recaro Automotive Seating Unit

Adient has sold its Recaro Automotive Seating business to Raven Acquisitions LLC. The transaction was effective January 1, 2020. With the new corporate structure, Recaro Automotive Seating will be able to focus on its core business—performance seats, ergonomic seats and special applications—with shorter and faster decision-making processes allowing greater flexibility to better meet the requirements of the market. The license agreement and therefore the right to use the Recaro brand on license for the development, production and marketing of premium car seats is transferred to the new owners. The brand license is granted by Recaro Holding GmbH, Stuttgart/Germany, the holding company of Recaro Aircraft Seating and Recaro eGaming.

RIGID Industries Names New Marketing Director

RIGID Industries has announced Brian Hosford as its new director of marketing, effective January 27. Hosford has more than 30 years’ experience in the motorsports and automotive industries and 20 years of marketing experience. Prior to accepting his new role, Hosford was a project manager with RIGID’s new product development engineering team, where he led new-product introductions working closely with the RIGID marketing team. He has spent his life involved in the off-road industry and started racing go-carts competitively at just six years old. Before his RIGID career, Hosford’s experience included NASCAR, where he coordinated media obligations for each race while working with team sponsors and worked as a spotter. He was also the principal/driver of the Go Motorsports Professional Sprint Car Team, where he managed and created sponsorship programs. He has also been a professional driving instructor with Bondurant, a precision driver with Universal Pictures and coordinated and participated in Ride and Drive events for Ford, Toyota, Hyundai and Bridgestone/Firestone. He has also driven in the Baja 1000, Baja 500, San Felipe 250, Mint 400 and Vegas to Reno races. In addition, he had numerous years of automotive sales and marketing successes prior to joining RIGID.

Larry Ashley
Larry Ashley 

Performance Online/Western Chassis Hires Larry Ashley as Operations/Marketing Manager

Performance Online/Western Chassis has announced a new addition to the team. Larry Ashley, new operations/marketing manager, joined the team January 20. He brings more than 30 years of professional experience in the automotive aftermarket, having worked in key management positions at various companies that have revolutionized certain areas of the aftermarket. Some recognizable brands include California Custom USA, American Products Co., and most recently TMI Products.

Eric Newell Joins AirPro Diagnostics

AirPro Diagnostics LLC has announced the addition of Eric Newell to its senior leadership team as its vice president field operations/business development. Newell has a background in collision-repair operations and remote and on-site diagnostics. Newell most recently held the position of director of field operations with Astech. Newell has been a presenter at SEMA Repair Driven Education (RDE) programs and served as a panelist on various Collision Industry Conference (CIC) panels. 

Johnson Barrick (left) and Jeff Stacy (right).

Aeromotive Promotes Two Key Employees

Aeromotive has announced the promotion of two employees into senior management roles. Johnson Barrick has been named vice president of sales and marketing, while Jeff Stacy has been promoted to executive vice president of both Aeromotive and its Waterman Racing Components sister brand. These promotions took effect January 13. Barrick, who formerly held the position of sales and marketing manager at Aeromotive, surpassed sales goals and pushed Aeromotive into double-digit growth in 2019. In his new role, Barrick will be responsible for communicating sales plan objectives and organizational expenditures; developing, implementing and managing new and existing distribution strategies; and leading strategy for marketing, public relations and creative projects. Barrick’s previous experience has been in both government and corporate markets, working with Belmont University, the Air Force Academy and the University of Texas, San Antonio.

Stacy, previously the vice president of Aeromotive Inc., brings his more than 30 years of experience in the automotive industry to both Aeromotive Inc. and Waterman Racing Components. During his three-year term as vice president, he pushed Aeromotive into new markets and expanded its body of distributors. Now as the executive vice president of Aeromotive Inc. and Waterman Racing Components, Stacy will guide the companies’ executive leaders in formulating and implementing strategic plans and overseeing their operations in accordance with the competitive landscape. Previously, he has served as the company’s sales and marketing manager, vice president of operations and, most recently, vice president. Stacy has also previously worked for APW/Keystone, Fragola Performance Systems/FK Rod Ends and R&R Marketing Consultants Inc.

AMSOIL Partners With Banks Power as First-Fill Lubricant for Patented Differential Covers

Amsoil Inc. has announced a strategic partnership with Banks Power. AMSOIL will be the lubricant of choice for all Banks applications, including the new patented Ram-Air differential cover. Banks Power is offering its new differential cover bundled with Amsoil Severe Gear Synthetic Gear Lube easy-packs as the first-fill lubricant.

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