SEMA Member News—September/October 2015

Rep Roundtable Returns to the SEMA Show

Save the Date for MRN’s Premier Event
 MRN Roundtable
Tickets are on sale now for MRN’s Rep Roundtable at the SEMA Show.

SEMA’s Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN) will host a collection of business-critical discussions moderated by industry thought leaders on Sunday, November 1, from 3:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. prior to the official start of the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Through intimate roundtable discussions, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive practical solutions that address pertinent issues. This event is open exclusively to manufacturers’ reps. Tickets are $25 for members and $35 for non-members. They can be purchased through the SEMA Show dashboard at

Meet Your New Select Committee Members

On July 1, MRN welcomed three new leaders to the select committee. Each recently caught up with SEMA Member News to share information about their backgrounds along with some thoughts about the network.

Bernard Bolisig is a principal at Upshift Marketing. Finding his start in product merchandising and marketing in 2004, he moved on to manage purchasing operations at CarDomain Network. Bolisig was one of the original automotive aftermarket buyers at Amazon, and he continues to support many vendors in the e-commerce realm. He has also presented a number of learning sessions for SEMA and AAIA.

Brian Hosenfeld joined the automotive aftermarket following his high-school graduation, when he started working at Reliable Automotive. There he worked in the warehouse and with the phone room for a couple years before moving on to manage a performance shop. He served in the Army for eight years before returning to Reliable and working outside sales in the Midwest. Hosenfeld was instrumental in helping SEMA with its education institute. He is currently a marketing representative at R&R Marketing Consultants.

John Keyes started in the aftermarket performance industry in 1991 with Super Shops Inc., where he managed several stores over seven years. After the company closed, he moved on to Dart Machinery Ltd., where he advanced from salesperson to sales manager to tech department manager. Next, he worked for PBM-EPW and then in a new manufacturing job in Florida. For the last two years, Keyes has been on the rep side of the industry. He is now territory sales manager at Josco Sales.

SEMA Member News: How might your experience and goals benefit the network?

Bernard Bolisig: I see this opportunity as a way to reinvent the traditional manufacturer’s rep stigma and raise the industry’s expectations on how reps and manufacturers can excel in technology-driven, non-traditional channels. I would also like to have the manufacturers’ rep profession presented to a younger crowd in the hopes of drawing more youth and savvy entrepreneurs into this line of work.

Brian Hosenfeld: I believe that education geared specifically to the special needs of our association is an excellent way to develop and keep good talent. Coupled with this is outreach to high-school automotive technology students to let them know about all the opportunities available to them post-graduation. My goal will always be to find opportunities to support those two pillars. Having a background with SEMA Education has given me focus on education and outreach, and I look forward to bringing this topic to discussion when appropriate.

John Keyes: I feel that my vast background can be an asset working all sides of the business. This gives me perspective and understanding of the challenges we face in our industry. My goals would be to help our industry grow, develop and continue to
be amazing.

SMN: What is most exciting to you about MRN?

BB: I am interested in the chance to bridge old-school practices with today’s e-commerce retailer needs and opportunities to help manufacturers/brands succeed.

BH: Getting involved with something that I have never experienced before and all the great folks who have and are currently participating in the network.

JK: A new challenge, networking and being part of an industry I absolutely love and have been so blessed to be part of.

Any advice for members wanting to get more involved?

BB: I would suggest that other members share their passion and expertise to see how their challenges/wins could help other members find success with their own accounts and business.

BH: Don’t wait. Get involved. Taking action always causes greater opportunities to arise. I’m so glad I decided to come off the bench and help this fine network and an industry that I admire and love.

JK: Do it! Be part of the solutions, get in the game; we can all make a difference. Let your voice be heard.

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