SEMA News—May 2012


PRI Announces Transition and Sale to SEMA

• John Kilroy, with 21 years of experience at PRI as editor, associate publisher and vice president, continues to lead PRI.

• SEMA plans to maintain the hard-core racing identity and heritage of the PRI Trade Show and Performance Racing Industry magazine.

• PRI founder Steve Lewis will focus on his son’s racing career.

Performance Racing Industry (PRI), producers of the PRI trade show and Performance Racing Industry business magazine, finalized plans to be purchased by SEMA.

With 20-plus years of publishing and management experience at PRI, John Kilroy will serve as vice president/general manager of PRI and assume day-to-day operations for the group. All of the operations, employees and offices will remain intact at PRI’s current location in Laguna Beach, California.

“Steve Lewis launched the PRI concept a quarter of a century ago as an organization dedicated solely to the racing industry,” said Kilroy. “It was Steve’s dream that PRI continue to serve the racing community and to ‘nest’ PRI with an organization that clearly understands PRI’s heritage and the role we play in how the racing industry conducts business. We are pleased to have found that strategic partner in SEMA.”

Lewis, founder and current CEO of PRI, will now dedicate his time and energy to pursuing his lifelong passion for motorsports, which includes management of his Nine Racing midget team and supporting the racing career of his son Michael—2011 Formula 3 Italia Rookie of the Year.

“We carefully considered all our options, and SEMA was the obvious choice to carry on the legacy of the PRI brand,” Lewis said. “SEMA is financially sound and has an experienced management team. They bring a long-term outlook to the table as well as exceptional insight into the trade-show business overall. I have no doubt that the PRI brand will continue to deliver value to the racing community, and I know John Kilroy and the current management group will keep the basic business themes that have been established as they continue to work out of the current location here in Laguna Beach that has housed the PRI family for all these years.”

Many current and past SEMA Boards of Directors have been involved with PRI through the years as exhibitors and advertisers and bring a keen understanding of how the two organizations complement each other.

“We’re very excited about the continuation of the great business offerings for the performance and racing community from this acquisition,” said Scooter Brothers, SEMA Chairman of the Board. “Having worked with the folks from PRI for many years, I know the show and magazine are appreciated and used by the racing industry to further their marketing efforts and that racing entrepreneurs look upon the PRI Trade Show as a unique event and a valuable voice. The transition will preserve and protect that voice and the show’s unique character and authenticity. We look forward to the PRI team carrying on the legacy and traditions of Steve Lewis.

“We also want to thank Steve Lewis for all he’s done for the racing industry and for creating PRI. Performance Racing Industry magazine and the PRI Trade Show have played a key role in the growth of the racing industry over the past 25 years, and we look forward to its continued success.”

SEMA President Chris Kersting said: “The Performance Racing Industry Trade Show and magazine are great complements to the SEMA mission: They help their customers’ businesses to succeed. SEMA looks forward to providing the PRI team with the resources and support to continue delivering great value to the racing and performance segment.”

The 25th annual Performance Racing Industry Trade Show takes place November 29 through December 1, 2012, in the North/South Building of the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. It features exhibits from 1,100 racing companies in 3,100 booths, requiring 700,000 square feet to house the event. More than 38,000 buyers will attend from across the U.S. and 72 countries.

Candidates Announced for SEMA Board of Directors

Automobile Trade Show, Automotive Trade Show, Automotive Trade Shows, Automotive Industry News
There are five open seats within three categories for the 2012–2013 SEMA Board of Directors election. Photos and backgrounds of all of the candidates will be posted on in early May.
Eleven individuals will be running for seats on the SEMA Board of Directors. With the election to take place in May through mid-June, the candidates are vying for five open seats within three categories. Candidates and categories are as follows:

Distributor/Retailer Category (two open seats):

• Jim Bingham, Winner’s Circle Speed & Custom Inc. (Incumbent)
• Tom Brooks, Truckin’ Thunder Inc.
• Nick Gramelspacher, Meyer Distributing

Services Category (one open seat):

• Luanne Brown, eTool Developers (Incumbent)
• Bob Moore, J&B Service (Incumbent)
• Bill Holland, Holland Communications

Manufacturer’s Category (two open seats):

• John Hotchkis, Hotchkis Performance (Incumbent)
• Adrian Murray, Painless Performance (Incumbent)
• Tim Watts, Superlift Suspension Systems (Incumbent)
• Tracie Nunez, Advanced Clutch Technology Inc.
• Russell Stephens, MSD Performance

Photos and backgrounds of all of the candidates will be posted on in early May. Election materials, including online voting instructions, will also be sent to the primary contacts at eligible SEMA-member companies in early May. Voting will close in mid-June.

For more information about the 2012–2013 SEMA Board of Directors election, contact Judi Ritchie at, 909-978-6671, or Arlene Wood at, 909/978-6689.

Industry Veteran Jon Wyly Leads SEMA Product Data Service

Automobile Trade Show, Automotive Trade Show, Automotive Trade Shows, Automotive Industry News
There are five open seats within three categories for the 2012–2013 SEMA Board of Directors election. Photos and backgrounds of all of the candidates will be posted on in early May.
Bringing 30 years of automotive specialty-equipment experience to the table, Jon Wyly has been hired to launch and manage the new SEMA Data Cooperative.

“We are pleased and excited to have Jon taking the lead as we roll out this key industry initiative,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “The SEMA Data Co-op will create order from chaos in the world of digital product information. No one understands better than Jon that sales today are driven by complete, accurate and standardized product data, available from a single, affordable and easily accessible source. That makes him the ideal person to bring the SEMA Data Co-op to life; we couldn’t be more thrilled to have him on board.”

Wyly’s career spans 30 years and has included key roles in sales, marketing, e-commerce, business technology and data management. A lifelong automotive enthusiast, he is well known to the specialty parts industry, having co-founded the SEMA Business Technology Committee and having served six years on the SEMA Board of Directors. His background includes 25 years at Arrow Speed Warehouse, ending as executive vice president, and more recently as vice president of e-commerce at Keystone Automotive Operations Inc. He was named SEMA Person of the Year in 2005.

“While I have enjoyed operating in the WD and e-commerce arenas of the specialty parts aftermarket for over 30 years now,” Wyly said, “the opportunity to point my efforts and experience toward building the SEMA Data Co-op was simply too exciting to pass up.”

Wyly’s immediate priorities will include launching a “beta” phase of the Data Co-op, which will precede a full-scale rollout. The SEMA Board of Directors has identified the Data Co-op as a critical strategic issue and has authorized funding to support the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the system.

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