Network and Participate in Professional Development Programs Geared Toward Women at SEMA

By Kenny Wright

SEMA Show management is proud  to present the inaugural SEMAWIAS Women in Automotive Symposium, an all-new event designed to provide a resource for women to network, mentor and participate in professional development programs geared toward helping women accelerate and advance in their careers and business. 

With the support of the SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN), this symposium will also aim to address common challenges faced by women in the automotive industry. Overall, attendees of this program will gain invaluable new tools and learn essential skills to help drive their business and career advancement in a positive direction.

This exciting program will feature an inspiring opening keynote, "A Business Case for Cultivating Purpose," a "Power Networking Luncheon and Fireside Chat," a four-part micro-learning workshop segment and "Driving the Future of Automotive: C-Suite Insights," a panel delivered by iconic industry executives and thought leaders. ​This year's first-ever SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium ​speakers include:

  • Melanie White: CEO at Hellwig Products Co. Inc.
  • Jacki Lutz: senior manager external communications, global at Sensata Technologies.
  • Deanna Singh: managing partner at Uplifting Impact.
  • Shaundra Dineen: CEO/founder at Rubyz Global Coaching and Consulting LLC.
  • Kim Less: vice president, aftersales, Nissan North America.
  • Matilda Johnson: director of business development and chief experience officer, City Classic Cars.
  • Julia Landauer: Two-time champion racecar driver, speaker and entrepreneur at Julia Landauer Racing LLC. 
  • Carolyn Jackson: vice president of Brand Strategy and chief philanthropy officer at Barrett-Jackson Auction Company. 
  • Cheryl Thompson: president and founder at CADIA. 
  • Axel Cooley: president at Metallon LLC.
  • Jayme Blasiman: founder at Femcanic Garage and founder and co-owner of Women's Motor Fest. 
  • Subi Ghosh: executive vice president, marketing and strategic partnerships at Stream Companies. 

There will also be moderated conversations with industry executives, where you will learn what actions leaders are taking to establish gender equity and where they see the greatest challenges and opportunities today. You will also learn what they are personally doing to support women leaders and get the chance to join the SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium for a fireside chat, "Communication Secrets, Secrets of Success and Maintaining a Success Mindset," featuring Barrett-Jackson's vice president of brand strategy Carolyn Jackson. In this interactive fireside chat, FOX News reporter Amanda Busick will interview Jackson and engage the audience with an interactive conversation.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with industry leaders and subject-matter experts representing a variety of different industry segments in 15-minute, rapid-fire-style sessions. Women can also attend the following inspirational micro-seminars: "Becoming Certified Woman-Owned Enterprise"; "Self-Branding: The ACTION Behind Building Your Personal Brand"; "The Power of Mentorship, Sponsorship and Allyship as a Strategy for Success"; and "Make the Jump! Four Steps to Becoming the Authority in Your Industry."

"This great lineup of speakers, panels and workshops presents a truly one-of-a-kind chance for women in the automotive industry to join together and learn from experiences that are similar to their own. This year's SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium is lining up to be a groundbreaking opportunity to prepare for addressing challenges and overcoming adversity. The ultimate goal of this program is to help women elevate, empower and engage themselves with the tools for success, needed to accelerate and advance their business and careers," said Pamela Brown Matthis, SEMA's director of education.

The SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium is free for all 2023 SEMA Show attendees, although online registration for the entire event is encouraged here. Registration for individual sessions is also available at the links below.

2023 SEMA Show Women in Automotive Symposium Schedule

Wednesday, November 1

Room N258

  • 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m PDT/Opening Keynote "Drive: How to Gain and Maintain a Competitive Advantage," featuring two-time race champion and entrepreneur Julia Landauer.
  • 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. PDT/Power Networking Luncheon and Fireside Chat hosted by FOX Sports Reporter Amanda Busick and featuring Carolyn Jackson, vice president brand strategy, Barrett-Jackson.
  • 1:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m. PDT/Micro-Learning Lab (15-minute, rapid-fire-style workshops) featuring Melanie White, CEO and owner of Hellwig Products; Jacki Lutz, senior manager marketing communications, corporate at Sensata Technologies; Deanna Singh, managing partner at Uplifting Impact; and Shaundra Dineen, award-winning motivational speaker and podcaster.
  • 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. PDT/"Driving the Future of Automotive: C-Suite Insights" panel, co-hosted by SEMA Businesswomen's Network (SBN) and moderated by Cheryl Thompson, president and founder of Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement. Featuring Axel Cooley, president, Metallon LLC; Kim Less, vice president, aftersales, Nissan North America; Subi Ghosh, executive vice president, marketing and strategic partnerships, Stream Companies; Matilda Johnson, director of business development and chief experience officer, City Classic Cars; Jayme Blasiman, founder, Femcanic Garage and founder and co-owner of Women's Motor Fest.

Stay tuned for more details on the world-class SEMA Education program for 2023, which will be headlined by keynote speaker, world-renowned athlete, entrepreneur and philanthropist Tim Tebow. Register for the SEMA Show at by September 29 for just $60. After, registration is $120.

Visit the SEMA Businesswoman's Network (SBN) homepage to learn more about related SEMA Show activations.