SEMA News—October 2020


Fast Facts


Centerforce has announced that Harold Menke will join the Centerforce team as its new director of sales. Menke will work to expand Centerforce’s sales, drawing upon his expertise and strong relationships in the automotive aftermarket. Having worked for various auto-parts manufacturers, Menke will utilize his experience to develop key sales strategies and explore new markets as well as strengthen current ones. Menke brings more than 29 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket, specializing in sales through traditional warehouse distributors, retail chains, specialty accounts, performance specialists and export customers. He joins Centerforce following 10 years at brake component manufacturer Centric Parts.

Garrett Motion Inc. announced that Sean Deason was named CFO. Deason will relocate to the company’s global headquarters in Switzerland. Previously, Deason was the CFO of WABCO Holdings Inc., a global supplier of advanced technologies for commercial vehicles. He will assume responsibilities as the principal financial officer of Garrett from Peter Bracke. Before joining WABCO, Deason spent four years with Evraz N.A., a steel products manufacturer, where he served as vice president of financial planning and analysis. Deason also worked 12 years with Lear Corp., where he held finance, treasury and corporate planning roles covering multiple regions.


CRP Industries appointed automotive industry veteran PT Muldoon as the company’s director of engineering. Muldoon will be responsible for all engineering activities and initiatives in the development of new automotive opportunities with OEMs and tier-one suppliers as well as the improvement and expansion of current products and product lines. Prior to joining CRP Automotive, Muldoon served as the director of new product development for electronics remanufacturing for BBB Industries, where he headed the company’s Detroit technical center. Muldoon also spent more than 23 years with FCA Chrysler, where he served as senior product engineer for powertrain electrical and powertrain adaptation, manager of remanufactured product development engineering, and chief engineering lead for MOPAR.

Based in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Marx Buscemi Eisbrenner Group, a full-service marketing communications agency focused on the automotive, mobility, trucking, technology and consumer goods industries, promoted Kaleigh Jerzykowski to account executive. Jerzykowski joined Marx Buscemi Eisbrenner Group in 2017 and previously held the position of assistant account executive. In her new role, Jerzykowski will lead initiatives for B2B and B2C clients that include public relations, event management and social-media marketing, as well as continuing to guide advertising campaigns and digital strategies.

Carl Boyer

Stertil-Koni announced that Carl Boyer was named Midwest regional sales manager. Boyer brings nearly three decades of client-focused sales management, business development and customer-service experience to this key Stertil-Koni role. Boyer will manage a territory that includes Illinois, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and parts of Wisconsin, supporting Stertil-Koni’s exclusive distributor network serving those states. Most recently, Boyer served as shop equipment specialist at Stertil-Koni, where he focused on the expansion of the company’s product line and customer base in the heavy-duty equipment field.

Sparta Evolution announced Yoni Kellman as its new sales and marketing manager. Kellman will be responsible for driving revenue, marketing and business strategies. As a member of the aftermarket industry for more than 15 years, Kellman has sales and marketing experience working with various manufacturers, distributors and retailers, including Exedy, Motovicity and DBA USA.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. announced that Paula Whitesell will join the company as senior vice president and chief human resources officer. Whitesell joins Cooper from Peapod Digital Labs in Chicago, where she served as vice president for human resources and was responsible for human resources, communications and customer care. Prior to Peapod, Whitesell had an 18-year career with Whirlpool Corp., where she most recently served as senior director for global human resources, a position she attained after progressing through a number of diverse leadership roles in human resources and within the business, including finance, customer care and integrated supply chain.


Westin Automotive announced the addition of industry veteran Chris Carr as southern regional sales manager. Carr is a native of Louisiana currently residing in Texas and will operate between his home office and Westin’s Dallas/Fort-Worth distribution center.

Tenneco Inc. announced that its board of directors appointed Kevin Baird as the COO. In that role, Baird joins the executive leadership team and will lead and support critical strategic and operations initiatives that deliver margin-expansion and cash-generation improvements. Baird joins Tenneco from Guardian Industries, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc., where he served since 2014 as president and CEO of its Guardian Glass business. In addition, Tenneco announced that its board of directors appointed Matti Masanovich as its CFO, effective August 10, 2020. He will succeed interim CFO Ken Trammell. Before joining Tenneco, Masanovich was the CFO of Superior Industries International Inc., a global supplier of light-vehicle aluminum wheels for the original equipment and aftermarket.

Energy Suspension hired Dennis Grau as its new sales and marketing manager. Grau has more than 20 years of sales and marketing leadership experience within the automotive and heavy-duty aftermarket. Most recently, he held the position of senior director of sales for K&N Engineering, where he was responsible for the strategic direction and leading the North America team to drive sales with a primary focus on the warehouse distributor side of the business. He gained significant automotive experience during his time with companies such as MAT Holdings, Exide and Honeywell.

Randys Worldwide Automotive, the parent company of Yukon Gear & Axle, announced Ted Caldwell as its new COO and Tim Spiller as its new director of distribution operations. In his new position with the drivetrain products provider based in Everett, Washington, Caldwell will focus on creating a scalable operational structure, optimizing warehouse growth, system automation, supply-chain management and more, according to published reports. Spiller, who has been coordinating distribution and logistics involving mass-market fulfillment for a decade, comes to Randys from Europe-based Funko, where he was responsible for its expansion in the United States.

Quadratec Inc. announced the launch of its newly redesigned digital media channel Torque, which features written and video content that focuses on all facets of Jeep ownership, vehicles, products, trends and lifestyle. The new site offers users a modern design with fresh, engaging information that is searchable by vehicle type or category and includes a navigation bar that highlights topics from a library of information. The site also includes product reviews, how-to advice, Jeep vehicle builds, feature stories, profiles, event coverage, and insights into current trends such as overlanding.

Hypertherm announced its selection as a Business of the Decade winner by Business New Hampshire magazine and the New Hampshire Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives. Hypertherm earned the top spot for the manufacturing and technology category, joining organizations in eight other categories, including health care, financial services and insurance, retail and wholesale, and tourism and hospitality. Nearly 50 judges participated in scoring applications through two rounds of competition to determine the winners. In considering Hypertherm, judges were impressed by the respect the company has within the fabrication industry and its reputation for technological and manufacturing excellence. In addition, judges cited the breadth and depth of Hypertherm’s work in the community.

Hot Shot’s Secret (HSS) announced that more than 500 trucker appreciation care packages were delivered to truckers working during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep essential medical supplies and groceries stocked. Beginning in April, the company began distributing the care packages that included a bottle of HSS Everyday Diesel Treatment, HSS hand sanitizer, a company decal, LSI magazine, an HSS product guide, and a 15% product discount. The initiative wrapped up with a final giveaway event at the company’s headquarters in central Ohio on July 1–2.

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