SEMA News—January 2012

INDUSTRY NEWS

Industry Leaders Gather to Support Aftermarket Foundation

   Tony Schumacher’s Top Fuel Army dragster
Aftermarket Foundation board members Richard Scovner (center) of Tenneco Automotive and Terry O’Reilly (right) of Pricedex Software take a moment to pose with DSR representative Scott Noth in front of Tony Schumacher’s Top Fuel Army dragster.
   
Aftermarket industry leaders hit the links at the 2011 Aftermarket Foundation Celebrity Golf Tournament—held on the eve of the 2011 SEMA Show/AAPEX—to raise awareness of the Aftermarket Foundation. The event, which took place at the Las Vegas Country Club and was attended by more than 144 golfers, set a new fundraising record by bringing in more than $350,000.

The cause is one that applies directly to those working in the automotive aftermarket. For more than 50 years, the Aftermarket Foundation has been assisting individuals and families from the automotive aftermarket industry who have fallen on extreme hard times because of death, serious illness or other financial hardship. The tournament’s fundraising will assist in the launch of an industry-wide awareness campaign intended to let people know that the Foundation is there to help in times of emergency.

The event included a number of celebrity notables, such as NHRA racing legend Don Schumacher and drivers Johnny Gray and “Fast” Jack Beckman. The morning started with a breakfast gathering and a clinic by PGA Golf Pro Bruce Fleisher, who gave some valuable tips to the golfers in attendance.

“This is the Foundation’s single largest event of the year,” said Bob Schoeberl, emcee for the event, “and it’s a time when industry leaders can get together and take a short break from competing in business and compete on the golf course instead—and all for a really good cause.”

The organizing committee included Schoeberl and Andy Dudash of TBC, who chaired the team and paid special tribute to committee teammates who put the event together. The team included John Nicholson of Auto-Gard Triple P, Lynn Parker of TBC, Rich Scovner of Tenneco and Marita Powell, executive assistant. Dudash and Schoeberl also acknowledged the special involvement this year of Don Schumacher Racing (DSR), the Aftermarket Foundation’s newest partner and co-sponsor. Schumacher, owner of DSR and president of Schumacher Electric Corp., was not only present but was also an active player on the course.

“Schumacher Electric Corp. is a longstanding member of the automotive aftermarket, and the success of the Don Schumacher Racing team depends on the spirit of innovation for which our industry is renowned,” Schumacher said. “The good work of the Aftermarket Foundation in supporting and helping those within our industry who have fallen on hard times and find themselves with no place to go for help is an exceptionally noble cause and one with which we are very proud to be associated. It is unique and, to my knowledge, is the only industry-run and industry-driven benevolent organization of its kind.”

More than 120 aftermarket companies supported the event. Foundation board and golf committee member Parker of TBC coordinated the Schumacher participation in the golf tournament.

“Don Schumacher and his team already know how much we have appreciated this support, and with their help, we blew the top off our previous record, which is one fantastic achievement,” Parker said. “But at the end of this very special day, the real heroes are all those aftermarket people and companies who contribute to this event with sponsorships, cash and prizes. They know who they are, but we want them to know that our hats are truly off to them for recognizing the cause and stepping up to meet the need. Our golf tournament supporters are a veritable ‘who’s who’ of this great industry, and they have our genuine admiration for supporting this event.”

Activities at the golf course included an ESPN film crew and media team following the drivers and the golfers, taking footage for an upcoming video profiling the Aftermarket Foundation.

“The Aftermarket Foundation is embarking on a new awareness campaign focused on ensuring that people from across all segments of the aftermarket are aware of the Foundation and know to reach out to us when they or someone they know is in dire circumstances with nowhere else to turn,” said Terry O’Reilly, a Foundation board member and member of the executive committee. “People in our industry can expect to hear more from the Foundation in the weeks to come as we put together material to help our supporters and partner companies spread the word about the Foundation to their employees and families.

“We would like every company in the aftermarket to partner with us in our no-cost awareness program. Some people are embarrassed or afraid to come forward themselves when they need help or simply don’t know about us. By partnering with us on awareness, aftermarket companies can ensure that their employees know and take comfort in the fact that this is a very special industry with a special safety net to help those in financial trouble due to a death, serious accident, illness or other causes, when all else fails.”

Outstanding Contributions and Service Recognized During SEMA Industry Awards Banquet

In addition to spotlighting the parts, technologies and companies that generate the heartbeat of the specialty-equipment industry, the annual SEMA Show also serves as the industry’s stage to honor the efforts of individuals whose contributions have shaped an industry enjoyed by millions worldwide. Below are the recipients of awards presented during the 2011 SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet.

2011 SEMA Person of the Year: John Menzler

One of SEMA’s most prestigious honors, the SEMA Person of the Year Award recognizes individuals for their distinguished service to the trade association and the industry. “[Menzler] is quick to offer advice and guidance to anyone who needs it,” said emcee Dave McClelland during the banquet. “Helping others bring their ideas alive is a common thread running through his active involvement in SEMA councils and committees and in his mentoring and volunteer work, such as during this year’s Childhelp and Victory Junction Pinewood drag race.”

2011 SEMA Person of the Year: John Menzler  
   
Chairman’s Service Award: Dan Gresham

The SEMA Chairman of the Board has the opportunity each year to present the Chairman’s Service Award to one outstanding individual. However, that prerogative is not acted upon annually, making the honor especially prestigious. SEMA’s current Chairman, Paul “Scooter” Brothers, welcomed Gresham to the stage during the SEMA Industry Awards Banquet with the following statement: “My choice for this award is a man who’s been invaluable to me, SEMA and the industry as a whole. His wisdom and guidance have helped with huge SEMA projects, such as the Data Pool, as well as some exciting future SEMA initiatives, so his outstanding service is not over yet.”

Chairman’s Service Award: Dan Gresham  
   

SEMA Warehouse Distributor of the Year: Motor State Distributing

Quality performance parts and accessories, prompt, courteous service and fair pricing were important in 1964, when the company started as a part-time venture in George Lane’s tiny garage. Today these attributes still guide day-to-day operations at Motor State Distributing.

SEMA Warehouse Distributor of the Year: Motor State Distributing  
   
SEMA Manufacturers’ Rep Agency of the Year: Bob Cook Sales

Bob Cook Sales was created in June of 1979 with a goal to provide superior representation on behalf of its manufacturer clients to the automotive aftermarket. Through a quality mix of performance and accessory products, Bob Cook Sales covers mass retail, farm stores, fleet accounts, imports, restoration, speed and performance, expediters, export, accessory boutiques, race teams, traditional warehouses, performance distributors, jobbers and street-rod markets.

SEMA Manufacturers’ Rep Agency of the Year: Bob Cook Sales  

PWA Manufacturer of the Year: Painless Performance

PWA presents its Manufacturer of the Year Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the specialty-equipment industry and in appreciation of conscientious efforts in support of the warehouse-distributor concept of merchandise distribution.

PWA Manufacturer of the Year: Painless Performance  
   
PWA Person of the Year: Rich Barsamian, Advanced Clutch Technology

PWA presents its Person of the Year Award in recognition of outstanding contribution and in appreciation of conscientious dedication as an individual member to the specialty-equipment industry.

PWA Person of the Year: Rich Barsamian, Advanced Clutch Technology  
   

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