SEMA Show Highlights

SEMA Presents Person, Gen-III, Content Creator of the Year and Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Award

By SEMA News Editors

SEMA has announced the 2023 SEMA Person of the Year is Ian Lehn, BOOSTane Octane Engineering; the 2023 SEMA Gen-III Innovator of the Year is Jon Delgado, Repairify; and the 2023 SEMA Content Creator of the Year is Vin Anatra, Hoonigan. In addition, Roy Brizio, Roy Brizio Street Rods is the recipient of the Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award

2023 SEMA Person of the Year Ian Lehn

Ian Lehn (left) of BOOSTane Octane Engineering was named the 2023 SEMA Person of the Year.

The industry leaders were celebrated during the 2023 SEMA Industry Awards Banquet, yesterday, Thursday, November 2, at the Westgate in Las Vegas, as part of the 2023 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

The SEMA community celebrated the specialty-equipment aftermarket during the event, which was emceed by Jarod Deanda (voice of Formula DRIFT) and Alex Taylor (HOT ROD Garage) this year. 

2023 SEMA Content Creator of the Year

The inaugural SEMA Content Creator of the Year Larry Chen (right) presented Vin Anatra, Hoonigan, with the 2023 SEMA Content Creator of the Year Award.

"We've been to the SEMA Banquet before, and it's always different [with] new entertainment and great music; always a good time. I'm glad that I'm able to be here," said Emily Reeves, builder and host of the Flying Sparks Garage YouTube channel. 

Meanwhile, SEMA President and CEO Mike Spagnola shared key points of SEMA's recent economic impact report--which found the specialty-equipment industry accounts for about $336.91 billion in output for the national economy--and how, as an industry, we are uniting in one voice to protect our rights and freedoms to modify cars and trucks, a passion that transcends generations and those to come.

2023 SEMA Gen III Innovator of the Year

Mike Burns (right), the 2022 Gen-III Innovator of the Year, presented the 2023 SEMA Gen-III Innovator of the Year award to Jon Delgado, Repairify. 

The event also paid homage to the most recent SEMA Hall of Fame inducteesSteve Ames, Ames Performance Engineering; John Iannotte, Kunzman & Associates; and Mitch Williams, Rigid Industries. In addition, the evening included a moving tribute to the late Ken Block, with a talented speed artist creating a portrait of one of the industry's most influential legends created before the audience's eyes. 

"SEMA congratulates the recipients of this year's SEMA Industry Awards, which was once again the perfect place to unite the industry representing past, present and future leadership in a one-of-a-kind setting," said Tom Gattuso, SEMA vice president of events.

Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award winner Roy Brizio

(from left to right) Bruce Meyer, car collector and former motorcycle racer; Robert E. Petersen Lifetime Achievement Award winner Roy Brizio, Roy Brizio Street Rods; and Terry L Karges Sr, Petersen Museum executive director.

As part of the festivities, Emmy Award winner and Las Vegas staple band Patrick & the LVB entertained guests with a live set, reprising their entertainment role at the SEMA Show by popular demand, while Jade Patteri began the ceremony with the national anthem.

"We can't wait to see you at next year's SEMA Industry Awards, held Thursday, November 7, 2024, in Vegas. Mark your calendars!" said Andy Tompkins, SEMA trade show director.