People Places & Racing News

Movers & Shakers: Permatex Promotes Eva Pitts, Yamaha Delivers Essential Support to Public Lands for Outdoor Recreation

Compiled by SEMA Editors

Eva Pitts
Eva Pitts

Permatex Promotes Eva Pitts to Director of Sales for Traditional and International Business

Permatex has promoted Eva Pitts to director of sales. In her new role, Pitts will manage Permatex’s traditional and international businesses, driving continued growth through strong sales programs, new product initiatives, and customer partnerships. Pitts joined Permatex’s parent company, ITW, in 2015 as brand manager for Rain-X wiper blades and appearance products with the car care division in Houston. She was promoted to group brand manager in 2017 and oversaw the launch of Rain-X Silicone AdvantEdge wipers blades. In 2019, Pitts transitioned into operations with the engine repair division, where she served as quality and EHS manager at Permatex’s Solon, Ohio, facility. Prior to joining ITW, Pitts worked in brand management at The Boston Beer Company.

Yamaha Delivers Essential Support to Public Lands for Outdoor Recreation

Yamaha Motor Corp. USA has announced the completion of the 2020 Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative (OAI) grant cycle with funding decisions for the fourth quarter. In total, Yamaha granted more than $350,000 in 2020 while supplying essential support to public lands providing vital access to outdoor recreation across the country. The Yamaha OAI program continues to lead the powersports industry in providing direct monetary support to grassroots efforts helping to protect, expand and improve entry to public spaces off-road for motorized recreation.

“The pressure on public lands during the pandemic has been enormous due to people finding solace outdoors. Their adventures gave off-road enthusiasts a much-needed breather from the stress we’ve all experienced over the past year,” said Steve Nessl, Yamaha’s Motorsports marketing manager. “Public land belongs to everyone and we all have a responsibility to take care of it. Yamaha is proud to continue supporting our riders’ favorite outdoor activities, including OHV riding, hunting, camping and fishing, through the Outdoor Access Initiative.”

The fourth quarter 2020 Yamaha OAI grants totaling more than $90,000 were awarded to the following organizations:

  • Blue Ribbon Coalition – Pocatello, Idaho
  • East Branch Sno-Rovers & ATV Club – Medway, Maine
  • Idaho Single Track Alliance – Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Reno Area Dirtriders – Reno, Nevada
  • Swampsiders Snowmobile Club – Bigfork, Minnesota

For more than 12 years, Yamaha has issued quarterly grants to non-profit organizations supporting the needs of riding groups, outdoor enthusiasts, land stewardship organizations and public land managers to improve access to public land for outdoor recreation. Since inception, Yamaha contributed over $4.5 million in aid to more than 380 projects across the nation.

The deadline for submission to the second quarter 2021 funding cycle for the Yamaha Outdoor Access Initiative is June 30, 2021, and applications must be postmarked by then. Submission guidelines and applications are available at Connect with Yamaha on social media via @YamahaOutdoors or search any of the following hashtags on all platforms: #Yamaha #YamahaOAI #REALizeYourAdventure #ProvenOffRoad.

The Hurco Field Service Apprenticeship (FSA) is a two-year program,
beginning with a 12-week industry training that merges hands-on
training and repair of CNC machines with classroom materials.

Hurco North America Announces New Apprenticeship Program

Hurco North America has announced the launch of a new apprenticeship program. The Field Service Apprenticeship (FSA) is a two-year program, beginning with a 12-week industry training that merges hands-on training and repair of CNC machines with classroom materials. While candidates with a degree or working toward one are encouraged to apply, candidates who are mechanically inclined with no industry or engineering experience are also encouraged to apply for the FSA.

Field service engineers will ultimately be ambassadors for Hurco Companies, Inc.—working to provide technical support, training and service of state-of-the-art CNC machines at customers’ facilities across the country. Continuous training on emerging technologies in CNC controls, robot integration, 5-axis machine, and multi-spindle lathe installation, repair, and applications will also be provided after completion of the apprenticeship. The FSA program will take place at Hurco’s headquarters in Indianapolis. For more information, visit

QA1 Acquires Gerst Tubular Suspensions

QA1 has announced the expansion of its classic Mopar suspension line with the acquisition of Gerst Tubular Suspension, a manufacturer of coil-over systems for classic Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler platforms. Gerst has produced classic Mopar coil-over systems, including Mopar A, B & E body systems, and D-100 truck systems, for nearly a decade. The acquisition pairs Gerst’s Mopar products with the manufacturing capability and distribution of QA1, the provider of suspension solutions for American musclecars. QA1’s facility in Lakeville, Minnesota, enables expanded and efficient production.

DPI Off-Road Brands Acquires J.T.’s Parts & Accessories Inc.

DPI Off-Road Brands has announced the acquisition of J.T.’s Parts & Accessories Inc.—the manufacturer of the Nitro Gear & Axle brand. J.T.’s Parts & Accessories and Nitro Gear & Axle will operate as a division of DPI Off-Road Brands. Nitro Gear & Axle offers ring-and-pinion sets, semi- and full-float rear axles, C-Clip rear axles, front axles, full and mini spools, pinion yokes and more. The brand was one of the first to offer one-part-number front and rear gear packages and has won three SEMA Global Media Awards in 2016 for its UAZ 5.14 ratio gears. DPI Off-Road Brands includes Daystar Products International, Performance Accessories, Tuff Country, Leveling Solutions, Revtek, VooDoo Offroad, MCE Fenders, and HCT.

Jeff Barna

Yokohama Tire Corp. Announces Organizational Changes

Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) has announced several organizational changes, including Jeff Barna’s promotion to president and CEO. Barna, a managing officer of Yokohama Rubber  (YRC), joined YTC as COO in 2017, and was named president of YTC in 2018. This latest promotion will allow Barna greater oversight of YTC’s U.S.-based operations, including the Yokohama Development Center America (YDCA) in Cornelius, North Carolina.

Shinichi Takimoto, the senior managing officer of YRC and current CEO of YTC, will retain his role as chairman of YTC, as well as president and CEO of Yokohama Corporation of North America (YCNA), chairman of Yokohama Tire Canada (YTV), and chairman of Yokohama Tire Mexico (YTMX).

Additional organizational changes include the following:

Takehisa Morimoto is the new chairman and president of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi (YTMM). Morimoto, who formerly held a role at Yokohama’s consumer tire plant in Salem, Virginia, and is currently president of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Thailand (YTMT), replaces Hikomitsu Noji, who will return to YRC as a senior advisor.

Tom Kenny, currently the senior director of research and development at YDCA, has been promoted to vice president of YDCA. Kenny will now report directly to Barna.

Jeremy Kahrs has been promoted from the director of technical services at YDCA to senior director of technical services. Kahrs will continue to report to Kenny.

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