SEMA News - March 2010


Recognize your colleagues, mentors and competitors by nominating them for the SEMA Hall of Fame.   

SEMA members, it’s once again time to recognize your mentors, colleagues and competitors and nominate them for the SEMA Hall of Fame—one of the highest honors the industry can bestow on individual members. It is a tribute to those who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership skills and an incomparable dedication to industry affairs and progress.

The process is simple and can be done completely online. Access the SEMA Hall of Fame criteria and nomination form here. Provide information on your nominee, including the candidate’s background and contributions to the industry, and submit the form. The Hall of Fame Task Force follows strict guidelines during the selection process, which means that your input, comments and opinions are essential to a fair and complete evaluation.

Don’t wait! All nominations are due by March 15! See all of the current members of the SEMA Hall of Fame here.

SEMA’s Exciting “Race Green” Program Returns to Toyota Grand Prix

The Motorsport Industry Association (MIA) and SEMA will once again convene a special industry conference on April 16, at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. The conference will focus on green performance developments in the world of motorsports.

Building on the success of last year’s inaugural event, the conference will bring together international leaders in green motorsports with high-performance automotive aftermarket business leaders. Delegates will share ideas and discuss ways in which the industry is developing green technologies to promote solutions for future green products for the world’s car manufacturers and specialty-equipment suppliers.

SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting believes that green performance has the potential to be one of fastest-growing segments of SEMA. “The new generation of clean diesels, gasoline direct injection (GDI), hybrid and battery electric vehicles is leading the reinvention of the automobile and creating exciting opportunities for both SEMA-member companies and bold new OEMs,” Kersting said.

The MIA-SEMA Green Racing and Performance Conference is a great opportunity for specialty-equipment business leaders, engineers, product planners, marketers and salespeople to meet and connect with many of the industry’s experts who are defining the crossroads of green racing and performance. The conference will be held on Friday of the race weekend, and attendees will see green racing up close during practice and qualifying sessions for two of the leading green racing series in America: American Le Mans Series and IZOD IndyCar.

For more information, contact Jeremy Burne of MIA at or SEMA’s John Waraniak  

Fast Facts

Wizards Products (RJ Star Inc.) pledged to donate $1 to Guide Dogs of America for every 22-oz. bottle of Wizards Bike Wash it sold throughout 2009. During the 2009 SEMA Show, Wizards owner John Schlumpberger presented a check in the amount of $2,000 to Steve Cohan, outreach director for Guide Dogs of America. RJ Star Inc., Hanover, MN; 800/356-7223.

Classic Instruments added a new business to the company known as Classic Distribution and is now the master distributor of Veethree Instrumentation. Initially, four series of Veethree-branded gauge sets will be available through Classic Distribution: Premier Black, Premier White, Amega and Genesis. Classic Instruments, Boyne City, MI;

Ohio Technical College received the 2009 MarCom Gold Award in the Overall Website category for its website, Administered and judged by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals, the awards recognize outstanding creative achievement by marketing and communications professionals. Ohio Technical College, Cleveland, OH; 800/322-7000.

Auto and specialty-parts industry Internet marketing agency AfterMarketer Club named Chris Ripper vice president and general manager, effective March 1. Ripper, who will report directly to AfterMarketer Club founder and CEO Brian Offenberger, was most recently the vice president of sales and marketing for Chux Trux Inc., a Missouri-based retailer of truck and automotive accessories. AfterMarketer Club, Scottsdale, AZ; 602/412-3426.


Mark Sprague
Mark Sprague was promoted to corporate marketing manager for NGK Spark Plugs (USA) Inc. Sprague has been with NGK since 2003 and previously served as marketing manager for the company’s aftermarket division. Prior to that, he served as product marketing manager. In his new role, Sprague will continue to oversee marketing and product functions for NGK. NGK Spark Plugs (USA) Inc., Wixom, MI; 248/926-6352.

Deeza Chassis Parts has signed agreements with three manufacturers’ representatives firms to help market its premium line of chassis parts for the global aftermarket. Dolan-Lynch Sales will represent Deeza Chassis Parts in Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York. Shane Brown & Associates will represent the company in Florida. SPMI LP will represent Deeza Chassis Parts in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas.

RCH Designs announced that it is the advertising agency of record for Rancho Suspension, Dynomax and Performance Exhaust. RCH will coordinate and execute media buys, ad insertions and ad creation for the three companies in 2010. RCH Designs, Huntington Beach, CA; 714/842-9899.


 Jeff Vanlaningham
Jeff Vanlaningham was promoted to president of RealTruck. Vanlaningham joined the company in 2007 as vice president of operations, having five years of experience as the director of marketing for an accessories manufacturer. Prior to being in the automotive aftermarket industry, he worked at Merck and Kraft Foods. RealTruck, Jamestown, ND; 701/253-5906.

Penray has promoted Howard Laga to president of Penray Companies Inc. In addition to managing the daily operations for the company, Laga will oversee the daily business of Penray and direct the formulation and implementation of short- and long-term operational goals to meet business profitability and growth objectives.

A-1 Automatic Transmissions is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2010 and has moved into a new 15,000-sq.-ft. facility at 2826 Kauffman Ave. in Vancouver, Washington. Company founder Marv “2-Speed” Ripes, is still active in the technical side of the company, while day-to-day operations are handled by veteran racer Alan Bowdish and his son Adam. A-1 Automatic Transmissions,
Vancouver, WA; 360/574-9966.

Martins Industries launched a new website for its tire and wheel racking, handling and display division. According to the company, 16 new products have been added to the site, and it plans to introduce seven new products during the next two months. Martins Industries, St. Alexandre, QC, Canada; 866/409-7225.

BodyShop Business Publisher Scott Shriber was named the publisher of Counterman magazine and has been given additional responsibilities as publisher of aftermarketNews. Both are Babcox publications. Shriber joined Babcox in August 2008 as publisher of BodyShop Business magazine, a role that he will continue in addition to his new responsibilities with Counterman and aftermarketNews. Babcox also promoted Chief Financial Officer Greg Cira and Group Publisher Jeff Stankard to vice president positions within the company. Greg Cira has served as CFO of Babcox since 1992 and is responsible for all corporate operational needs. Stankard has been with Babcox since June 1999 and is now responsible for Brake & Front End, ImportCar, Underhood Service, TechShop, Tomorrow’s Technician and Servicio Automotriz magazines as well as the autocarepro:news e-newsletter.  

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