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Volunteer Appreciation Week: How SEMA Volunteers Enhance the Automotive Aftermarket

By Ashley Reyes

SEMA represents the automotive specialty-equipment industry and provides benefits and resources to help businesses in the industry succeed, and while the association has a team of professionals who execute the day-to-day operations, SEMA relies on volunteers from the industry to direct, guide and lead its efforts.


In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 17–23), SEMA is recognizing the contributions of the volunteer groups and individuals who give so much to the industry.

In honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Week (April 17–23), SEMA is recognizing the contributions of the volunteer groups and individuals who give so much to the industry. The following are some of the programs and services that originated from SEMA volunteers in the past year—from idea and inception to development and execution.

  • The SEMA Future Leaders Network (FLN) select committee launched the first-ever Professional Development Program for its members at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California. Facilitated by Dale Carnegie trainers, the program included interactive exercises, peer-to-peer networking, and in-depth discussions on Dale Carnegie’s book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. The event concluded with high satisfaction ratings, and left FLN members inspired and prepared to be better communicators, networkers and leaders in their personal and professional lives.
  • The SEMA Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) is finalizing plans for the first-ever SEMA PRO Auto Show. Thanks to the volunteer-led initiative, SEMA and PRO will exhibit at new car shows throughout the United States, using booth vehicles to spread awareness of restylers and packages offered in each region.
  • In 2022, volunteers from the SEMA Truck & Off-Road Alliance, SEMA Businesswomen’s Network and SEMA Wheel & Tire Council have spearheaded networking events and mixers at Overland Expo West, Keystone Big Show and Easter Jeep Safari.
  • The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) select committee launched the first-ever SBN Women’s Leadership Forum for its members. The two-and-a-half-day in-person program educated, inspired and prepared women in automotive to thrive in the workplace through interactive seminars and networking. The select committee is now in the process of executing an all-female build that will be showcased at the 2022 SEMA Show and sold to support SEMA Cares.
  • Volunteers from the SEMA Emerging Trends & Technology Network, SEMA Wheel & Tire Council and SEMA Businesswomen’s Network continue to provide live virtual education to their members on topics that impact them the most. The seminars help members advance their careers while also creating a community through interactive breakout groups.
  • SEMA Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) volunteers are partnering with SoCalSAE to host a student day and career fair at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California. The event will connect SAE students with representatives from SEMA-member companies, who will provide feedback on the students’ business presentations.
  • The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) and Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) have hosted virtual general membership meetings and panel discussions, making it easier than ever for members across the country to connect and discuss industry hot topics.
  • The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) hosted a three-day virtual Media Trade Conference, connecting motorsports parts manufacturers with 140-plus media outlets, including leading social-media influencers. The event resulted in increased awareness, brand exposure, and partnerships for many participating MPMC members.
  • The SEMA Cares committee is hard at work fundraising for its partnering children’s charities, which include Victory Junction, Austin Hatcher Foundation and Childhelp. A total of $250,563 was generated in 2021 from a Hemmings vehicle auction, the annual pinewood drag races, celebrity cars and a $100,000 match from SEMA.

SEMA appreciates everything volunteers do for the members and community.