SEMA Member News—March 2020

By SEMA Editors

YEN Lunch and Learn

YEN hosts a variety of regional Meet Ups, most often in conjunction with industry events like the meet up during Formula DRIFT Round 8: Title Fight at the Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California.

For up-and-coming, under-40 industry professionals, SEMA’s Young Executives Network (YEN) has long provided resources to help its members cultivate connections, sharpen skills and advance their careers through networking and education.

There are face-to-face networking events with fellow members and industry leaders as well as a social-media presence that includes a YEN Facebook page, a private Facebook group and Instagram for day-to-day interaction, plus a YEN website.

The SEMA Launch Pad competition, presented by YEN at the SEMA Show, is considered the network’s flagship program, while the YEN awards reception, also at the Show, is without question the premier networking event of the year.

YEN has also hosted regional Meet Ups—most often in conjunction with industry events. Last year, for instance, a Meet Up was held in October during the Formula Drift Round 8: Title Fight at the Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California. In December, another Meet Up took place in Indianapolis during the Performance Racing Industry Trade Show.

But while YEN events at the SEMA Show and regional Meet Ups are always well attended and earn high marks, there are many YENsters and would-be members who are unable to attend those events. With more than 1,500 members spread across the country, the question became how the network could better serve its membership with meaningful and more accessible regional opportunities. The answer lay in a pilot program.

Refocusing on Learning Experiences

With more than 1,500 members spread across the country, YEN leadership looks to better serve its membership with meaningful and more accessible regional opportunities.

Last year, YEN hosted the network’s first-ever Lunch and Learn at the SEMA Garage. Designed to engage young professionals whose employers may be unwilling or unable to send them to the SEMA Show in Las Vegas or to other long-distance industry functions, the initial Lunch and Learn, gave Southern California YENsters an opportunity to network and learn about social-media best practices from an expert presenter.

The event was hailed a success, and YEN has now moved forward with a game plan to present Lunch and Learn events regionally once each quarter. As of press time, tentative locations include Detroit, Michigan; Dallas, Texas; Orlando, Florida; and California.

“Building on the success of last year’s YEN Lunch and Learn at SEMA headquarters [in Diamond Bar, California], the Young Executives Network is excited to announce a new series of networking events to be held throughout the country in 2020,” said YEN Chair Kirstin Stone.

Each event will feature a talk presented by an expert in the field. Topics under consideration include sales strategies, social-media best practices, and entrepreneurship. Following lunch, members will have a chance to network with other young professionals in their area and participate in facility tours of local industry-leading businesses, when possible.

“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to provide even more value to our membership than we have in years past,” Stone said. “Regional networking events with an educational component are a new and exciting way we plan to do that.”

Welcome New Members (October 1–November 30)

  • Alex Ortega, Aero Exhaust
  • William Fikhman, Amazzia
  • Ray Liu, APB USA LLC
  • Brayden Odette, ASET/Anest Iwata-Medea Inc.
  • Stephen Lietzow, Auto Meter Products Inc.
  • Jordan Molina, AutoAnything
  • Charles Moore, Battle Born Offroad
  • Brock White, Bob Cook Sales-LO (Metaire)
  • Jason Sanderbeck, Classic Industries/OER
  • Brett Morton, Colorado Junk Cars
  • Thomas Dillingham, The Detail Garage
  • Trevor Clarke, Dirt Nerds Motors
  • Tim Germinario, Dirt Nerds Motors
  • Tom Sylvester, Dirt Nerds Motors
  • Elizabeth Niemi, Edelbrock LLC
  • Preston Ryan, Evo Motion
  • Jason Sutula, FatFour Customs
  • Ryan Snyder, Finch Companies LLC
  • Michael Robins, Ford Performance Parts
  • Samuel Gearheart, Fueled Motorsports LLC
  • Zachary Clevenger, Grand Venturer Inc.
  • Joshua McLean, The Higher Class
  • Yiel Wuol, The Higher Class
  • Keith Printz, Keith Michael Printz
  • Travis Doney, Keystone Automotive Operations Inc.
  • Chris Thompson, Main Event Brands LLC
  • Brandon Smith, Metal Union LLC
  • Mike Teal, Motorwerks Marketing
  • Monique Teal, Motorwerks Marketing
  • Charles Frantz, Navy Run Automotive
  • Jacob Cunningham, ORACLE Lighting Inc.
  • Brandon Funck, ORACLE Lighting Inc.
  • Rachel Higgins, ORACLE Lighting Inc.
  • Anthony Hostetler, ORACLE Lighting Inc.
  • Justin Perret, ORACLE Lighting Inc.
  • Ben Roscher, Platinum Custom truck and Car Care LYD
  • Kelly Flynn, Quake LED
  • Alex Ramirez, Racing Power Co.
  • Alex Kemple, RhinoPro Truck Outfitters
  • Brian George, RV Camp Champ
  • Chris Behnken, Rvenge Transmissions LLC
  • Jesus Delgado, Santa Ana Wheel
  • Nina Edstrom-Sitra, SecureTech Innovations Inc.
  • J. Scott Sitra, SecureTech Innovations Inc.
  • James Sanpakit, SSRTuning
  • Nathan Bogya, Tanuki Auto Parts
  • Logan Somerville, Tepui Outdoors Inc.
  • Mike Sitar Jr., TooHighPsi Performance
  • Alec Ainger,
  • Sergio Arias,
  • David Cuddihy,
  • Tim DeCampo,
  • Rocky Hamid,
  • Matthew O’Keefe,
  • Yoona Ro,
  • Kevin Shi,
  • Michael Davis, WeatherTech

Total YEN Members: 1,375

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