Ashley Ailsworth was appointed SEMA’s corporate counsel. Ailsworth, a recent graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, first came to SEMA in 2009 as an entry-level researcher in the SEMA Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C. In her new capacity, she will serve as an adjunct to the SEMA general counsel and will provide assistance on a variety of issues and projects to enable the association to carry out its mission in compliance with applicable laws.
Wes-Coast Marketing announced that Scott Bisch is the newest addition to its team. Bisch has more than 30 years of sales experience, the majority of which was spent in the automotive aftermarket industry. He has previous manufacturer experience with companies such as Extang, Surf City Garage and Meguiar’s, providing him with a solid understanding of the retail and WD experience, with a focus on new-product distribution and line expansion. Wes-Coast Marketing, Upland, CA; 909-946-6899.
Anne Johnson joined Truck Accessories Group LLC West as district sales manager for the Northwestern United States and British Columbia, Canada. Johnson has been in the automotive aftermarket industry for more than 26 years. She is a former co-owner of California Truck Works Inc. Johnson has served on the SEMA Board of Directors and on the select committee of the Truck and Off-Road Alliance. Truck Accessories Group, Elkhart, IN; 574-522-5337.
Air Lift Co. appointed Chip Rabey as its group marketing manager. He will oversee the company’s marketing department to guide product promotion, marketing communications, new-product initiatives and partner-relationship development of towing and performance vehicle products. Rabey brings 21 years of marketing experience to Air Lift, with previous posts in distribution, agency and trade association environments. Air Lift Co., Lansing, MI; 517-322-2144.
VP Racing Fuels Inc. appointed Kelley Hendel as its general manager of consumer products. Based at the company’s corporate headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, Hendel will oversee customer service and support for distributors, dealers and retail customers. Hendel has been with VP Racing Fuels since 1995, most recently managing operations and customer service for the seven-state Western sales region. In a related move, Josh Hoffner was promoted to office manager for the VP Western Region office, replacing Hendel. VP Racing Fuels, Elmendorf, TX; 210-635-7744.
Jerome Lentz of Challenger Lifts was elected chairman of the Automotive Lift Institute (ALI) board of directors for 2015. Voting took place at ALI’s annual membership meeting in November in Las Vegas. Lentz’s 2015 term will be his third as chairman of the ALI board. Returning board members for 2015 include Jeff Kritzer of BendPak Inc., Peter Liebetreu of Hunter Engineering Co., Stet Schanze of Gray Manufacturing Co. Inc. and O’Gorman. New members include Stan Poweska of PKS Equipment & Engineering Inc., Matt Webster of Vehicle Service Group and Associate Class representative Gary Wainwright of Weco Inc. Automotive Lift Institute Inc., Cortland, NY; 607-756-7775.
Flaming River has received certification for ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Systems standards. The ISO 9000 family of quality management system standards ensures that Flaming River Industries Inc. meets or exceeds customer needs and the standards of manufacturing excellence as set forth by the guidelines of ISO 9000 and OEM standards per regulatory authorities. Flaming River, Berea, OH; 440-826-4488.
Slamstop announced an expansion in the United States, with a new headquarters, distribution center and certified installer network. The company reported that the launch was influenced by its recent success during the 2014 SEMA Show. Michael Oakes, now vice president of business development and sales at Slamstop, explained that the company is starting quickly with its U.S. company, Slamstop USA LLC, through the development of a Southern California-based distribution and customer service center as well as an installation facility. Oakes will join CFO Dmitry Iurgens and Director of Marketing Anton Dyshkant as they continue to raise awareness about Slamstop.
Avery Dennison Graphics Solutions announced that John Scott of 360 Tint in San Antonio, Texas, won the Chrome Sweet Chrome grand-prize full-car makeover, which includes installation of an Avery Dennison car wrap of Scott’s choosing, Giovanna wheels, a DUB audio package and Croftgate cleaning supplies. 360 Tint, which specializes in window tints, graphic wraps and paint-protection films, plans to customize its company car—a ’07 Chevy HHR LTD Panel SS Front. The promotion highlighted the versatility of vehicle wrap films. Enthusiasts entered the promotion through text messages and an online form prior to and during the 2014 SEMA Show. Avery Dennison, Mentor, OH; 800-282-8379.
BMW’s i3—an electric car built with a lightweight, carbon-fiber passenger cell and an aluminum drive module—was named Green Car Journal’s 2015 Green Car of the Year at the L.A. Auto Show. Green Car of the Year finalists included the Audi A3 TDI, the Chevrolet Impala Bi-Fuel, the Honda Fit and the VW Golf. The award is widely recognized as the auto industry’s most important environmental accolade. The first all-electric vehicle to win Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year, the i3 benefits from BMW’s years-long “project i” initiative, which focuses on future mobility and strategies for sustainable transportation. While the i3 is designed as a battery-electric car, its optional REx gasoline engine-generator enables extended driving range with electricity created on board.
Rigid Industries LED Lighting entered a joint marketing partnership with A.R.E. Accessories—the result of both companies working together on industry project truck builds. They include the Wounded Warrior project truck, professional angler Justin Lucas’s 2014 Tundra SR5 Double Cab and A.R.E.’s 2014 Fishing Team Toyota Tundra. A.R.E. Accessories recently began offering Rigid Industries’ E-series LED light bars as optional equipment on its fiberglass MX-series truck caps. Rigid Industries, Gilbert, AZ; 480-655-0100.
Brian Huck was promoted from vice president of marketing and sales to president and chief operating officer of The Eastwood Co. In his new role, Huck will oversee the entire Eastwood Co. business unit, including channels, product development and the expansion into retail, which also includes strategic planning, acquisitions and business development. He will be based out of Eastwood’s corporate headquarters in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. Eastwood Co., Pottstown, PA; 610-705-5402.
Weld named Richard Greenblatt the company’s new vice president of operations. Greenblatt has more than 30 years of experience in production, machining, operations and manufacturing management. In addition, the company added Keith Kern as general manger for the its new Weld Complete Custom Wheels (CCW) Forged Performance division. Kern joins Weld with a history in the performance wheel and accessory industry, most recently as the director of sales and marketing for Billet Specialties Inc. Weld also recently acquired CCW of Holly Hill, Florida—a manufacturer of premium forged road race, sports car and luxury car wheels—creating CCW Forged Performance. Weld Racing, Kansas City, MO; 800-788-9353.
Husky Liners received the 2014 Data Geek of the Year award from RealTruck.com. The award was presented at the 2014 SEMA Show and is part of RealTruck.com’s vendor awards series. Now in their second year, the awards honor partner companies that demonstrate a commitment to excellence in the areas of communication, problem solving and support while providing high-quality products and top-notch customer service. Only one company per category won, and the winners represent the partners that stood out during the September 2013 to August 2014 period. RealTruck.com, Jamestown, ND; 877-216-5446.
Tuff Stuff Performance Accessories announced that Tim Andrews accepted the position of national sales manager. Andrews is an industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience in the performance aftermarket. His previous industry experience included positions as vice president of sales for Fidanza, sales director of Global Performance Parts and, most recently, as North American territory manager for Superpro Suspension and Mantic Clutch. Tuff Stuff, Cleveland, OH; 800-331-6562.
Covercraft kicked off the celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary with a special display featuring a 1965 Mustang at the 2014 SEMA Show. Founded by Bob Lichtmann in 1965 in San Fernando Valley, California, Covercraft was the pioneer in custom vehicle covers. Still family-owned and now headquartered in Oklahoma, Covercraft offers more than 80,000 custom patterns and a complete line of interior and exterior vehicle protection solutions. Covercraft, Pauls Valley, OK.