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Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation Names Two New Board Members

Kathryn Reinhardt
Kathryn Reinhardt

The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has announced the addition of two new members, Kathryn Reinhardt and Jacki Lutz, to its board of trustees.

Reinhardt is senior vice president marketing and events for Hemmings. She brings more than 20 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket and has a track record of delivering unique and effective content and her history of planning and executing marketing campaigns. “I am honored to be part of this elite group of volunteers who donate their time, resources and experience to making a difference in the lives of our automotive aftermarket community,” said Reinhardt. “I am grateful to be able to join the board and give back to an industry that has given me so much.” Reinhardt serves on the SEMA Board of Directors. She was awarded SEMA’s Person of the Year and was recognized as one of SEMA News’ 35 Under 35, along with a number of other industry accolades.

Jacki Lutz
Jacki Lutz

Lutz is global head of communications, training & e-commerce, auto at Sensata Technologies, and brings 14 years of marketing experience and nine years in the automotive aftermarket. “I have admired AACF from afar for many years,” said Lutz. “I have always respected their mission and the positive impact the AACF has on so many lives from all over the automotive aftermarket. Over the past few years, I supported their fundraisers and promoted their mission on LinkedIn. I am thrilled to be given the opportunity now to play a larger role in their mission and I am honored to have been selected to serve.” Lutz sits on several other association boards, including Young Auto Care Network Group and Women in Auto Care and was the past president of the Automotive Communications Council.

“The AACF board realizes the importance of diversity of its members and relies on a variety of industry experiences to further the mission of helping families,” said Joel Ayres, AACF executive director. “Bringing on two female professionals will no doubt improve the reach of the foundations’ mission.”

For more information or how to get involved, contact Ayres at

Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer Project Boasting 800 hp to Be Revealed February 28

Honda Performance Development (HPD), Auto Development Center (ADC) and designers from North America Auto Design Division of American Honda have conceived and constructed the high-performance Honda CR-V Hybrid Racer project vehicle with some 800 electrified hp. The CR-V Hybrid Racer will be revealed on February 28.

VP RacingVP Racing Announces New Slate of Licensees Launching in 2023

VP Racing Fuels Inc. has announced a lineup of additional new licensees, further expanding the brand’s reach into new distribution channels.

“VP Racing's licensing program is run with one objective in mind, to expand the brand reach and play a significant role in building the brand in the United States and globally,” said Bob Merz, director of brand management and licensing at VP. “Our licensees are chosen for their quality design, manufacturing capabilities and varied distribution networks.”

Pacific Swell Brands, VP Racing’s exclusive licensing agency, secured deals in a broad range of automotive and lifestyle products, including:

  • Stainless steel wall art from Chrome Domz
  • Apparel and headwear from CPTN Apparel
  • Apparel and headwear for racetracks from Craton
  • Barware from Cymba
  • Decals from Decalcomania
  • Metal signs from Desperate Enterprises
  • Die-cast vehicle replicas in 1:18, 1:24, 1:43, and 1:64 scale, scale gas pumps, dioramas, shop tools and vehicle lifts from Greenlight
  • Auto cargo management from Hoch Brands
  • Licensed paintings, prints, posters and T-shirts from Kelly Telfer

For more information about VP Racing and its products for racers, enthusiasts and general consumers, visit

Matt Patrick Joins DeatschWerks as Technical Director

Matt Patrick
Matt Patrick

DeatschWerks has appointed Matt Patrick as its new technical director. Patrick joined the team on January 16, in the newly created role of technical director. In this role, he will be leading the DeatschWerks’ product development, product management, engineering and technical support functions. Patrick comes to DeatschWerks from Edelbrock where he served as vice president of product development. He has 25 years of engineering, product development, group management and leadership experience. Some highlights of his career include Zex product manager (nitrous systems), Lunati commercial manager (engine components), FAST product manager (fuel and ignition), and Comp Cams group director of product development. 

Valvoline’s Global Products Business Launches Fourth Annual Mechanics Month Campaign

Valvoline’s global products business has kicked off its fourth annual Mechanics Month, a campaign to celebrate the impact of mechanics around the world. The month-long initiative will highlight the contribution of mechanics in more than 60 countries worldwide. The effort will celebrate the importance of mechanics as knowledgeable professionals who are critical to keeping engines running and people moving forward. Participating countries will show appreciation for industry professionals through social media, giveaways, paid advertising, and individual market-specific events to enhance consumer awareness.

Valvoline supports trusted mechanics around the world all year long through trainings, scholarship programs and business growth initiatives, but during the month of March, the brand looks for others to join in the celebration and support of mechanics. Participation in the campaign has grown from 15 countries to more than 60 in 2022 and continues to gain momentum.

Tony Carvallo Joins Steer Smarts as Senior Engineer

Tony Carvallo
Tony Carvallo

Steer Smarts has announced that Tony Carvallo has joined its product development team and will assume the role of senior engineer. He will primarily focus on developing products that support the rapid expansion of the Steer Smarts catalog. He brings with him a career that spans almost three decades and an eternal love for everything Jeep. Fueled by this passion, he spent 10 years as an engineer on Wrangler, five years with Mopar Performance and four years on the product planning team for the Jeep Wrangler JL and Gladiator JT. From there he joined the teams at Dynatrac, and later Bestop, supporting their engineering, marketing and product-development efforts.

WISSOTA Names New Director Of Operations, Executive Assistant

WISSOTA Promoters Association has announced longtime employee Callie Sullivan has been named director of operations. Sullivan has been employed with WISSOTA since 2001 and was the organization’s first full-time employee in 2007 when she was named office administrator and points and licensing director—roles she’s held since the recent appointment. She began as Midwest Modified point director before later assuming the role of Sprint Car and Late Model point director as well.

In addition, Kayla Siercks has been named executive assistant. Her primary focus will be in partner/sponsor follow-through, support and relations. She will also be instrumental in the Structural Buildings WISSOTA Challenge Series, the WISSOTA 100 and the 2023 EXPO, which will be held during the annual meetings and national awards banquet in November.

AMA Pro Racing Names Gene Crouch CEO

Gene Crouch. Credit: Tim Lester/AMA Pro Racing

AMA Pro Racing has announced that its board of managers has named Gene Crouch CEO. Crouch, who has served as the company’s COO since 2020, brings a wealth of multidisciplinary expertise and leadership capabilities gained from nearly two decades of motorsports experience.

Crouch has played an instrumental role in shaping the direction of AMA Pro Racing since joining the company when it was founded in 2008. He’s spearheaded several critically important initiatives, including developing AMA Pro Racing’s timing and scoring as well as the livestreaming service. Crouch has also played a critical role in securing major sponsorship and media rights agreements for the series brands that are operated out of the company’s Daytona Beach headquarters, including Progressive American Flat Track and American Hillclimb.

As CEO, Crouch’s primary directives include developing growth strategies for the company’s professional racing disciplines and fostering synergistic relationships with strategic partners and licensees, including the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), MX Sports Pro Racing and Feld Motor Sports.

Crouch takes the baton as CEO from predecessor Michael Lock, who led the strategy to revitalize Progressive American Flat Track after taking the helm in 2016. Lock will now transition to the role of executive consultant for AMA Pro Racing, where he will also support NASCAR and IMSA with special projects, such as international racing strategies and NASCAR’s Garage 56 program for the 100th running of the 24 hours of Le Mans, scheduled for June 10–11 of this year. Both Crouch and Lock will assume their new roles effective immediately.

Team Allied Distribution Adds California Warehouse

Team Allied Distribution—the Benicia, California-based independent warehouse distributor of automotive exhaust components—has announced the opening of its fifth Californian location. The new Stockton, California, facility is a fully integrated warehouse formerly operated as Wicked Flow’s Northern California distribution center. Earlier this year, Team Allied entered a definitive agreement to acquire Wicked Flow’s Nor-Cal facility, warehouse equipment, distribution operations, assets and onsite inventory. Team Allied will extend permanent positions “to a majority of the talented staff already in place.” Team Allied has more than 20 locations in the United States. For a complete list, visit here.

Gregor Germana
Gregor Germana

Gregor Germana Appointed BOLT Lock Product Business Manager

STRATTEC Corp.’s BOLT Lock division has named Gregor Germana to the position of product business manager. In his new role, Germana will be responsible for developing and executing BOLT Lock’s sales management strategy to expand the brand’s market share within the aftermarket industry, while meeting and exceeding customer requirements. He will work closely with several cross functional teams within the organization, including program management, sales, engineering and operations. Germana is taking over for Steve Gilles, BOLT Lock’s former director of new business development, who has assumed additional responsibilities within the parent company, STRATTEC Security Corp.’s, OEM division.

Gregor has worked for STRATTEC Security Corp. since 2005, starting as an engineering co-op. He went on to serve as a latches product engineer as well as an advanced sales engineer at STRATTEC’s OEM office in Detroit. Most recently, he was a program manager responsible for executing new product launches and product changes. He brings 17 years of sales and advanced product engineering experience to his new role for the BOLT Lock brand. 

Tread Lightly! Announces Funding Award From the Legacy Trails Program

Tread Lightly! has announced a funding award from the Legacy Trails Program by American Trails to support trails in the Tonto National Forest in Arizona.

The project will reduce erosion in the Camp Creek watershed by removing unauthorized, user-created and previously closed routes that are unsustainable and actively eroding. Decommissioning these routes will reduce sediment within the drainages but may also decrease other water quality parameters such as E. coli. Camp Creek, the primary drainage within the watershed empties into the Verde River, which is one of the two primary rivers that supply surface water to the city of Phoenix and surrounding cities through the Salt River Project. Because this watershed and the project is below the lowest dam on the river system, any sediment from Camp Creek flows directly into the Verde and then the water treatment facilities for the municipal water supply system, making controlling sediment in Camp Creek particularly important.

This is the first year of trails projects funded by the Legacy Trails Program. Tread Lightly!’s project has risen above many other proposals to gain this funding. This new program is administered by American Trails and funded through a cost-share agreement with the United States Forest Service to distribute $1.4 million per year to support trails projects on forests and grasslands managed by the USFS through 2027.

For more information on American Trails Legacy Trail Program, visit

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