SEMA News—June 2021


Fast Facts

NASCARNASCAR announced that Eric Ryan was named to the position of vice president of communications. Ryan will provide leadership across strategic initiatives and day-to-day operations of the sanctioning body’s communications and public relations work in his new role. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, Ryan will report to Chief Communications and Social Responsibility Officer Eric Nyquist. Working across Fortune 100 companies and some of the world’s most respected brands, Ryan has managed teams responsible for integrated internal and external communication initiatives across numerous corporate functions.

QA1 announced the expansion of its MOPAR suspension line with the acquisition of Gerst Tubular Suspension, a manufacturer of coil-over systems for classic Dodge, Plymouth and Chrysler platforms. Gerst has been producing high-end classic MOPAR coil-over systems for nearly a decade. The acquisition pairs Gerst’s popular MOPAR products with QA1’s manufacturing capability and distribution network.

ClassicClassic Instruments announced that Scott Avery was added to the team as the company’s performance gauge division manager. “Scott joined our team a little over a year ago and has been a great addition,” said owner John McLeod. “He has really stepped up to get our performance gauge offerings out into the performance world.” The Classic Instruments performance division is responsible for adding nearly 3,800 new parts to the company’s current product offerings.

DPI Off-Road Brands announced the acquisition of J.T.’s Parts & Accessories, manufacturer of Nitro Gear & Axle, which has been awarded three SEMA Global Media Awards for its product line. Customers will benefit from having access to DPI’s complete offering of industry-leading off-road products and one-stop-shop sourcing.

DynabradeDynabrade Inc. announced the retirement of President and CEO Hardy Hamann, effective March 31. Hamann served as the 98th president of the Industrial Supply Manufacturers Association (now part of ISA), representing 550 North American Manufacturers in 2002–03. Dynabrade will announce its new company president at a later date.

Several organizational changes were announced by Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC). Jeff Barna, president of YTC, was promoted to president and CEO of YTC. Shinichi Takimoto, a senior managing officer of The Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. (YRC) and current CEO of YTC, will retain his role as chairman of YTC as well as president and CEO of Yokohama Corp. of North America (YCNA), chairman of Yokohama Tire Canada Inc. (YTV), and chairman of Yokohama Tire Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V. (YTMX). Takehisa Morimoto is the new chairman and president of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi (YTMM). Tom Kenny, currently senior director of research and development at YDCA, was promoted to vice president of YDCA. Jeremy Kahrs was promoted to senior director of technical services at YDCA.

Following the company’s recent announcement of its acquisition of Cooper Tire, Goodyear announced that Ryan Patterson, currently president of its Asia Pacific business unit, will lead the integration effort as senior vice president for business integration. Nathaniel Madarang, currently managing director of Goodyear China, will succeed Patterson as president of Goodyear Asia Pacific. Prior to his role in Asia Pacific, Patterson was president of Goodyear’s North America consumer business, where he developed the company’s consumer strategy and its focus on high-value segments.

OTCOTC Daihen Inc., a supplier of advanced manual and robotic welding systems, announced the promotion and appointment of Dr. Yasuhiro Kojina as president/CEO. Kojina replaces Shinsuke “Luke” Kadota, who is returning to Japan to become the deputy general manager of sales and marketing for the planning and administration department of the FA Robot Division at Daihen Corp.

Holley will become a public company as part of a definitive merger agreement with Empower Ltd.—a publicly traded special-purpose acquisition company. As a result of the agreement, Holley will become a publicly listed company on the New York Stock Exchange under the new ticker symbol HLLY. Holley President and CEO Tom Tomlinson and the current management team will continue to lead the combined company. Empower’s management team is led by CEO Matt Rubel and President Graham Clempson. Rubel is expected to serve as chairman of the board of directors. Holley is controlled by Sentinel Capital Partners LLC, a private-equity firm that will remain Holley’s largest shareholder upon closing.

The University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) announced a new degree in motorsports marketing. UNOH will now educate students to run this multi-billion dollar industry’s marketing side. According to the university, the new program marks the only four-year bachelor-degree program in the country focused on motorsports marketing. With one required internship, students have the chance to work within the motorsports field of their choice, from grassroots racing to the pinnacles of motorsports such as NASCAR, IndyCar and more. For more information, visit

Eva PittsPermatex promoted Eva Pitts to director of sales. In her new role, Pitts will manage Permatex’s traditional and international businesses. Pitts joined Permatex’s parent company, ITW, in 2015 as brand manager for Rain-X wiper blades and appearance products with the car care division in Houston. She was promoted to group brand manager in 2017 and oversaw the launch of Rain-X Silicone AdvantEdge wiper blades. In 2019, Pitts transitioned into operations with the engine repair division, where she served as quality and EHS manager at Permatex’s facility in Solon, Ohio.

The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) announced a new board structure, designed to expand the Foundation’s reach to additional markets and underserved aftermarket segments. Effective immediately, the board will consist of 30 members. Additionally, AACF also announced the appointment of two vice presidents to serve on the realigned executive committee: Luanne Brown, president and CEO of eTool Developers; and Jon Owens, national sales manager for Epicor Software.

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