SEMA Member News—September/October 2015

MPMC Open Meeting at the SEMA Garage

MPMC Meeting
The MPMC select committee holds regular meetings to seek solutions to emerging industry challenges.

On May 28, 2015, the MPMC hosted its open general membership meeting at the SEMA Garage. The half-day event provided a venue for local members and the select committee to connect face-to-face about SEMA’s Board initiatives and the hot-button issues faced by motorsports parts manufacturers. Members gathered for breakfast and an introduction by MPMC Chair Rich Barsamian, who gave local members a fantastic primer on how to get involved in the MPMC and stressed the potential of the member connection to SEMA.

Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO, was present to review SEMA’s board initiatives. Kersting highlighted the push for next-generation involvement, the Board’s efforts to be abreast of trends in technology, consumer awareness and the effort to do more outside of the industry to promote growth. Attending members had an exclusive opportunity to then have an open question-and-answer session with Kersting, which was valuable for SEMA staff, the general membership attendees and the select committee.

The next event on the agenda was a Garage tour with Mike Spagnola, SEMA vice president of OEM and product development. Spagnola gave a comprehensive overview of the Garage and all its current efforts to be an open resource to all members. Attendees toured the photo coves, the installation center and the emissions lab, and they saw the 3D printing tools provided by the Garage. Compliance Center Manager Peter Treydte followed up with an introduction on the state of emissions in the industry and how the SEMA Garage is making an effort to make the emissions-testing process less painful and more efficient than ever before.

After the tour, Barsamian and Chair-Elect Chris Douglas gave the attendees an overview of MPMC activities and projects, including council events at the SEMA Show and the importance of continued outreach to prospective members. Barsamian and Douglas thanked everyone for their volunteerism and closed their discussion by noting how active participation makes the council, SEMA and the motorsports manufacturing industry operate at their absolute best.

Data was a notably hot topic over the course of the morning, coming up in nearly every agenda topic. Gavin Knapp, SEMA’s senior manager of market research, was present to give a presentation on the market research department and extended himself to the membership as the point person for all data and market research concerns. Allen Horwitz of the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC) presented the data issues facing manufacturers and discussed how the SDC is available to help member companies standardize their data process to expand their impact in the industry and increase sales.

The open general membership meeting closed after lunch that afternoon, and all the members who participated left with insights on SEMA and the efforts of the MPMC. The event gave attending members a firsthand look at what it means to be a council member and the opportunity to have their concerns addressed, ideas heard and the chance to network with other member companies and the industry leaders on the select committee.

For more information on the next MPMC general membership meeting, please visit, and stay tuned for more opportunities to connect.

Introducing Three New Leaders

SEMA Member News had the opportunity to reach out to new MPMC members to hear their insight on what it means to be a part of the MPMC. Here are some excerpts from their interviews, which give their perspectives on council membership.

SEMA Member News: What advice do you have for members who want to get more involved?

Ben Knaus, Hellwig Products: The biggest piece of advice is just to talk to other people who are involved. Everyone I have met in MPMC has always been more than helpful with advice and knowledge. I realized by jumping into conversations and asking questions that you learn a ton that can help you and your company.

SMN: Why do you feel that it’s important to serve on the select committee?

Sean Crawford, Performance Motorsports International: Motorsports parts manufacturers face regular challenges with sanctioning-body rules, government regulations and an always-changing business landscape. It’s important that those of us who are involved and passionate about this industry coordinate our efforts to keep the motorsports industry moving in a positive direction.

SMN: What is most exciting to you about MPMC?

Ed “Blake” Burgy, Flaming River: There are two key things that I truly enjoy about serving on a council: the great networking opportunities and the feeling that you are giving back to the industry as a whole and contributing to something greater than yourself or even your company.

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