SEMA Member News—July 2021

SBN Nurtures Professional Growth

The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) continues to experience success with its virtual education platform tailored to a diverse membership. The Resource Committee created four separate series to help members in entry-level, management level and C-Suite positions. The topics range from career advancement to work-life balance to challenges that they are experiencing.

The first series is for C-suite executives. The second, a management series, targeted mid-level employees and managers. The third series, titled “Sharpen Your Soft Skills,” has been segmented into six parts. Topics included navigating career-advancement conversations, asserting oneself in the workplace, effective conflict management, and creating beneficial connections through
networking.

“That series offered so much information,” said Lana Chrisman, SBN chair. “I was really happy to see several men involved, and we expect the next series, “Perfecting Your Job Search,” will also see a good mix of men and women.

“We’re not just about helping women. We want to help SEMA-member employees across the board to advance their careers.”

Live Chats to Wine Night
Chrisman
Lana Chrisman.

Facebook Live Chats, featuring women leaders, are another SBN component. Recent presenters included Laurel Dasher of Paramount Data Management; Kathryn Reinhardt of 4 Wheel Parts; Melanie Hellwig White of Hellwig Products; Erika Marquez of Warn Industries; and Marla Moore of Coker Tire.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, SBN highlighted members in Facebook posts and asked them to share details about who they are, where they work, and which woman they would nominate to the SEMA Hall of Fame.

“We wanted them to think about who could be a Hall of Famer so that more industry women could gain that level of recognition,” Chrisman said. “It was also important to acknowledge successful women in our industry. Helping members become better acquainted builds our community.”

Community building is also about fun and about utilizing online platforms to connect members across the miles in entertaining ways. Two virtual events, Wine Night and Game Night, gave members after-hours opportunities to kick back, relax and celebrate kinship.

“Both events were hugely successful and so much fun,” Chrisman said. “Networking is such an important part of what SBN is all about. For members to be able to connect virtually and build camaraderie is incredibly rewarding.”

After two years as SBN chair, Chrisman will assume the role of immediate past chair in July. She credits her team members with helping to bring the network’s initiatives to fruition.

“I’m extremely proud of this group of women and all that we have accomplished,” she said. “They are visionary and passionate.”

SBN kicked off three SEMA Virtual Education series focused on helping SBN members enhance their business and professional development.

Cathy Clark, Bob Cook Sales
Cathy Clark
Cathy Clark.

“My company is very involved in SEMA, and our owner has always encouraged us to volunteer. My mentor, Denise Waddingham (now SEMA council director), was on the SBN select committee. She suggested that it would be a great place to start my volunteer career. I’ve been on the committee for four years.

“The biggest benefit of being an SBN member is meeting and getting to know all of the amazing women in our industry. Before I joined the SBN, I wasn’t living up to my full potential, and these women have encouraged me and championed me to grow and learn.

“I am extremely excited about becoming the SBN chair. We have an incredible group of women who are accomplishing some amazing things, and I am so proud to be part of this group at this time.”

Sara Morosan, LGE-CTS Motorsports
Sara Morosan
Sara Morosan.

“I first heard about the SBN when we were asked by Ford and SEMA to help out on the Mustang build in 2011. It was life-changing. Mike Spagnola [SEMA vice president of OEM and product development] encouraged me to volunteer. I joined the LTAA/TORA select committee and served eight years. I wanted to stay involved, and I love being part of
the SBN.

“We bring together a community, a place to bring up ideas and ways we can grow as women and grow our industry. Everyone has a different story to tell on their journey. We need to tell our story to help inspire the next generation and continue to make this the best industry.

“I am excited and honored to be part of the leadership team. Lana and Cathy are inspirations. I hope to keep up the momentum that they have created and to continue to work with Cathy to bring ideas to reality.”

Every two years, each SEMA council and network chooses a new chair and chair-elect. On July 1, Cathy Clark will take over as SBN chair. Sara Morosan will serve as chair-elect. SEMA Member News asked Clark and Morosan to share their thoughts on SBN and their new roles.

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