SEMA News—May 2021


By Juan Torres

Wonder Women

Among the councils and professional networks that SEMA members can join (visit is one that represents women in the automotive aftermarket industry. The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) is comprised of a dynamic group of professionals whose mission is to provide networking, education and recognition opportunities for professional women in the industry to enhance their careers and positively impact the growth of the entire automotive aftermarket. The following are publications that have documented SBN programs and the successes of some of the network members.

The New York TimesNYT

Reporter Mercedes Lilienthal interviewed women who were inspired by the work of pioneer Jessi Combs to pursue an automotive career. Lilienthal highlighted some if the industry support available for women, including the SBN’s annual Jessi Combs Rising Star Scholarship for women under 30.

Road & Track


Julia Lapalme’s feature story on sisters Theresa Contreras and Sara Morosan highlighted their journey to create award-winning car builds for Ford, Kia, Mickey Thompson Tires and Jay Leno, among many other clients. Both women are members of the SBN, which named Morosan its 2017 Woman of the Year.

Engine BuilderEB

When Jenna Jefferies joined PerTronix Performance Brands as a national account manager, the news traveled across the industry, thanks to publications such as Engine Builder. The 2020 SBN SheIsSEMA Woman of the Year had previously spent a combined 20 years in sales at K&N Engineering and Pilot



Heard on Social Media

“The 2020 SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) Jessi Combs Rising Star Award has been presented to Sydney McQueary of the University of Tennessee.”Auto Care Week/The Greensheet, via Twitter

“The SEMA Businesswoman’s Network (SBN) will again host the Gear-Up Girl networking event at this year’s SEMA Show. Started in 2011 as part of the SEMA Education student program, Gear-Up Girl is designed to connect female students with industry-leading female professionals.”Truck Videos, via Twitter

“Tomorrow on the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) Facebook page, one of our founders, Karen Salvaggio, takes over at 12:00 PDT for a #FacebookLive! Karen will be answering your questions on how to overcome challenges, dream big and share what inspires her!”—Shift Up Now, via Facebook

This is such a fun group to be part of! Excited for 2020 with SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN)! If you are part of the industry, you should join in!Bower Media, via Twitter

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