SEMA News—January 2022

SEMA Member News

Council & Network Leadership

By SEMA Editors

ARMOAutomotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO)

ARMO Teams With SAN, Supports Car Culture Awareness

The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) has long provided resources to benefit members, address challenges and raise awareness of the restoration hobby. Going forward, ARMO is poised to tackle some new initiatives.


Dave Roberts (center), the 2021 ARMO Hall of Fame Inductee.

Collaborating to Preserve the Hobby

ARMO has been at the forefront on several issues affecting the restoration segment, including vehicle scrappage “clunker” laws, titling regulations and trademark licensing. With legislative issues still top of mind, ARMO plans to collaborate with the SEMA Action Network (SAN).

“A big push for ARMO will be cross collaborating with SAN,” said Chair Ben Tucker. “We believe it fits in ARMO’s wheelhouse.”

SAN was established in 1997 to unite vehicle owners, enthusiasts and members of the automotive specialty-equipment industry as a political voice to help stamp out legislative threats to the automotive hobby and pass favorable laws. SAN members have played a role in fighting to preserve enthusiasts’ rights to enjoy the hobby. Tucker sees it as an opportunity.


“We want to work more closely with SAN on legislation affecting the restoration segment,” he said. “We want to learn how we can help with resources through SEMA or ARMO.”

ARMO will also support SAN’s Collector Car Appreciation Day (CCAD) program, officially celebrated nationwide in July.

“We want to push CCAD because we think ARMO can help that program grow, which will also benefit our members and the restoration segment,” he added.

Promoting Car Culture

One of the responsibilities of the SEMA Board of Directors is to establish strategic priorities and goals to address members’ evolving needs. To help activate those initiatives, the Board has tasked councils and networks with incorporating some aspect of these priorities into their agenda. ARMO plans to wrap its arms around promoting car culture awareness, Tucker said.

“The SEMA Board has come out with a strategic plan,” he explained. “As a council, we want to focus on promoting car culture. We think ARMO is perfect for this. We’re looking to maybe rebrand some programs we’ve done in the past. Our focus is to promote car culture in general, not just the restoration side, and come up with something all SEMA councils and networks could use. Our select committee is really excited about these new projects.”

ARMO Bestows Honors

Members of the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) took a trip down memory lane during ARMO’s musclecar-themed reception at the 2021 SEMA Show on Tuesday, November 3. The affair featured a playlist of oldies hits from the ’60s and ’70s, refreshments, beverages and an awards ceremony.

R.E.M. received the ARMO Business of the Year Award. Steve Ames was posthumously recognized as the ARMO Person of the Year, and the award henceforth will be renamed in his honor. Tray Smith of H&H Classic Parts received the IPC Award, while Dave Roberts was inducted into the council’s Hall of Fame—an honor bestowed on individuals who have enhanced the industry’s stature and contributed significantly to its growth.

ETTNEmerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN)

ETTN Symposium to Deliver Tools, Technology and Knowledge

Since the get-go, the Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) has centered its sights on providing aftermarket engineers, product developers and programmers with essential knowhow about vehicle trends and evolving technologies. Going forward, ETTN is ramping up efforts to deliver resources to ensure members’ continued success.

“We have three major initiatives,” said Network Chair Rob Simons. “We’ll continue with our interactive Facebook Live Chats but with a more technical focus featuring individuals with an engineering or product-development background. The new simulive education series will combine prerecorded technical content with a live online broadcast featuring the instructor. But the one I’m most excited about is what we’re calling our NERD Symposium.”


The upcoming NERD Symposium at the SEMA Garage Open House will offer a variety of technical resources for ETTN members.

Lest the name conjure image of a geeky sort with horn-rimmed glasses and a pocket protector, think again. NERD is an acronym for Networking, Education, Resources and Development. The inaugural multi-day, in-person symposium—to be held in conjunction with a SEMA Garage Open House—will put the latest tools, resources and knowledge in the hands and minds of ETTN members and create a unique networking opportunity for engineers and product developers. If you are interested in the NERD Symposium, contact Nicole Bradle at

Expanding Knowledge, Creating Connections

“Part of our mission is to help engineers and product developers succeed,” Simons said. “There are a lot of skills that are necessary, but there aren’t necessarily many resources to obtain those skills. We want to be the source for some of those skills.”

With that thought in mind, ETTN structured the symposium to mirror the “speed-dating” format used in the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council’s Media Trade Conference. In this scenario, service providers and subject-matter experts will fill the role of media, sharing expertise on such topics as emissions testing, CAD drawings, advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) calibration, machinery manufacturing, intellectual property, 3-D printing and more. ETTN members will choose from the list of participants and schedule meetings to learn about the technology behind the products and services and discuss collaborative opportunities.

In addition to the in-person meetings, the symposium will include an educational component for engineers consisting of in-depth technical training sessions to enhance their knowledge of engineering trends. The event also will include several networking opportunities, giving ETTN members a chance build valuable new connections.

“To say that we’re excited about the symposium is an understatement,” Simons said. “To be able to piggyback on the SEMA Garage Open House in Detroit, see the new ADAS and emissions labs, coordinate a measuring session and dive deeply into technical topics and network is an exceptional opportunity for ourm members.”

HRIAHot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)

Chronicling HRIA’s History

Drum roll, please. The long-awaited “History of the Hot Rod Industry Alliance” is now available for the reading pleasure of Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) members.

While putting the book together was not easy, the result is a credit to the volunteer spirit that made it possible. In drawing on members’ recollections, assembling photos and documenting milestones, HRIA has memorialized the achievements of the hot-rod community, but it’s more than a chronicle of events and people. It’s a testament to the council’s evolution and a guiding light for future generations.

“Preserving the history of HRIA is beneficial to all,” said Immediate Past Chair Jeff Major, who spearheaded the project as chair. “When we embarked on the task of compiling our history, I learned that many members thought that SEMA started HRIA and all of the other councils. They had no idea of the true origin and evolution of HRIA. Documenting our history has allowed our story to be told and preserved.”

HRIAPreserving the Past for the Future

There are nine SEMA councils and networks. Each has a unique narrative worth sharing and preserving, which was what sparked the idea for HRIA to document its history. Dennis Overholser of Painless Performance was drafted as point person. It took two years of research—with help from many industry veterans—to go from concept to reality.

“There were many HRIA alumni who helped document the history,” Major said. “Dennis, Debbie Walls, Bill Mullins and many others played major roles, providing historical photos, documents and sharing their memories of milestones through the years.”

As HRIA Chair Danny Agosta sees it, the published history “is a marriage between paying respects to where we came from and to the people who laid the groundwork for us to have the flourishing industry we have today. I don’t know some of the people mentioned in the book, but knowing what they did is inspiring. These people made gigantic contributions, and it’s important for all of us—especially future members—to understand.”

What’s next? HRIA envisions a living document.

“As I passed the torch of HRIA leadership, I challenged all future chairs to build upon this document, to track and preserve the milestones and events that will continue to shape HRIA for generations to come,” Major said. “I encourage all councils and networks to document their origins and histories for both current and future members and the industry as a whole. While the work will be done on a council level, the entire SEMA organization and its membership will reap the benefits.”

“History of the Hot Rod Industry Alliance” is now available for the reading pleasure of HRIA members.

The 2021 HRIA Industry Awards Reception—Hail to HRIA Heroes


The 2021 HRIA Industry Awards Reception

The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) Industry Awards Reception is a highly anticipated event for members of HRIA. It’s a place where newcomers and old-timers come to swap stories and revel in the opportunity to rub shoulders with industry legends and leaders. During the awards ceremony held at the 2021 SEMA Show and emceed by hot-rod builder Tim Strange, HRIA handed out top honors to industry icons.

Ed Capen, director of corporate partnerships for Barrett-Jackson Auctions, was presented with the Industry Recognition Award. Immediate Past Chair Jeff Major received the IPC Award. The 2021 Business of the Year Award went to In the Garage Media, publishers of All Chevy Performance, Classic Truck Performance and Modern Rodding. Industry veteran Joe Petlick was inducted in the HRIA Hall of Fame.

MPMCMotorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC)

MPMC Media Trade Conference to Build on Success of Online Platform

When Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) members met for their first long-range planning meeting in 1997, they proposed a novel idea: to create a forum whereby motorsports parts manufacturers and media representatives could meet privately to talk about product launches, new technologies and other topics that would result in increased media coverage and greater consumer awareness.

Melissa Scoles

The inaugural MPMC Media Trade Expo was launched in 1998. The event drew a mere 23 manufacturers and a modest media turnout. To differentiate the program from a buy-sell trade show, the name was changed in 1999 to Media Trade Conference (MTC). Over the years, the MTC continued to expand, though manufacturer involvement was eventually limited to 100 member companies.

While the format remains unchanged, the media landscape has transformed. There are fewer print magazines and more new-media outlets (digital publications, videos, blogs, podcasts and other social-media platforms). In revving up for the 2020 MTC, the select committee began educating members on the evolving media landscape and how to best communicate message points to a new audience.

“Working with social-media influencers and other new media is different from working with a printed publication, so we wanted to help our manufacturers understand how to work with these media and identify which platforms are best to connect to their customers,” said MPMC Chair Melissa Scoles.

The effort paid off, and the intent was to replicate the success in 2021. When the pandemic put a hold on in-person events, MPMC swiveled to an online platform, which mirrored the overall look of an actual suites-hotel setting.

“We were very fortunate that SEMA staff did a great job of finding a platform that mimicked our event,” Scoles said. “It worked really well.”

So well, in fact, that this year’s three-day conference, slated for January 25–27, will again take place entirely online.

“Not only is it more affordable for manufacturers to attend on a virtual basis, but it also gives us the flexibility to lift the limit on the number of our member companies that can participate,” Scoles said. “The virtual platform also did something absolutely incredible: For the first time, we had international media. We’re excited to grow both our manufacturer and media presence this year.”

PROProfessional Restylers Organization (PRO)

PRO Tackles Training, Salutes Influencers

After missing out on face-to-face gatherings during the pandemic, the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) hosted a general membership meeting prior to the 2021 SEMA Show. The two-day event, held at Auto Additions in Columbus, Ohio, centered around installer training and group discussions.


PRO Chair Josh Poulson (left) and Chair-Elect Colby McLaughlin at the PRO general membership meeting.

Attendees were divided into two groups. Technicians participated in hands-on training led by Katzkin, Brandmotion, LLumar, Champion and Auto Additions trainers. Select-committee members and members-at-large met to share ideas and discuss everyday issues.

“The meetings went well,” said PRO Chair Josh Poulson. “The first gave technicians a chance to learn different skills and best practices. Manufacturers loved it because they could come to one shop and train several people at one time, and the second group gave shop owners and managers a chance to talk about what PRO is working on and the challenges we’re facing.

“We talked about hiring and retaining employees, challenges with product and vehicle-inventory shortages and how we’re overcoming some of the those. We even came up with a new idea of how PRO could work with SEMA to recruit employees. It was productive, and we want to do more of these events.”

“The event was a huge value add for being a member of PRO,” added Chair-Elect Colby McLaughlin. “Part of being involved with PRO is working collectively, making sure we’re moving our industry forward.”

Celebrating Achievements and Craftsmanship


These three examples from the second annual 2021 SEMA Show PRO Cup Challenge spotlighted restylers’ craftsmanship and creativity.

In keeping with tradition, PRO put its best foot forward during the SEMA Show, showcasing creativity and design skills and highlighting the achievements of leaders and influencers. PRO presented four awards during its industry reception.

Specialty Auto Treatments/SAT was chosen Restyler of the Year. Trim Illusion earned accolades as Manufacturer of the Year. Rod Bennett of Chrome Enhancements received the Nat Danas Person of the Year Award, named after the late founder of Auto Trim & Restyling News.

The Jim Borré Lifetime Achievement Award, named in remembrance of the late PRO chair and SEMA Hall of Famer, was bestowed posthumously on Joe Johnston, founder of Tops & Trends. Borré’s daughter and son-in-law, Aimee and Scott Duff, were on hand as Johnston’s wife Betsy accepted the award.

“Joe was a trailblazer, a pioneer who set the standard for restylers across the country,” Poulson said. “With Joey, the second generation, and Betsy, Joe’s legacy
lives on.”

But the awards ceremony wasn’t the only event to highlight council members’ accomplishments. The second annual PRO Cup Challenge spotlighted restylers’ craftsmanship and creativity. The competition is aimed at showcasing vehicles upfitted with easily replicated styling packages that other restylers can reproduce locally to spark dealership sales and profits.

The seven accessorized entries ran the gamut from a VW Atlas, a Ford Bronco and an F-150 to a Kia Sorrento and Telluride, a Chevy Silverado and a Gladiator. The 2021 PRO Cup Challenge Winner was the ’22 Volkswagen Atlas package built by DPS Automotive. Automotive Concepts took the 2021 Fan Favorite award with their ’21 Ford Bronco package. The display drew crowds of enthusiastic Showgoers to the PRO booth in the West Hall.

SBNSEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN)

SBN Introduces Leadership Forum, Presents Professional-Growth Opportunities

The Women’s Leadership Forum is an in-person event for women in the automotive industry designed to provide focused education, help create lasting relationships among peers, while instilling the leadership skills to help them thrive and advance in their careers.

Empowering women in this field enhances the company’s culture, has proven success to advance the company and creates mentorships to guide our future generations.

Professional-Development Resources

A few years ago, SBN proposed a women-centric forum that it intended to launch in 2020. The concept included a CEO/leadership retreat plus professional-
development workshops and networking events for women in entry-level and middle-management positions.

When the pandemic scuttled the idea, SBN launched a virtual webinar series. Sessions were segmented into tracks defined by job category. Current offerings are more inclusive.

The new format includes 11 sessions on a range of career-building topics as well as professional growth topics and designed for all SBN members, noted Chair Cathy Clark.

“Our previous tracks were categorized primarily by job,” she said. “This year, we’ve approached it differently. We want all SEMA members to be able to join in and take advantage of SBN’s resources to help advance their careers.”

High-Impact, Women-Centric Forum


A 2021 SEMA Show Education seminar panel, powered by SBN.

Mastering essential skills is crucial to success in any career. Whether aiming for career advancement or to improve current capabilities, the inaugural SBN Leadership Forum will help women in leadership positions leverage their knowledge and skills to become more effective leaders.

The two-day educational and networking event will focus on refining leadership skills and community building. The robust content will help participants create and build skill sets through education, mentorship and small group discussions. Emphasis will be placed on inspiring leadership and creativity, fostering a sense of community among SBN members, and deepening their commitment to SBN and SEMA.

“SBN has always focused on giving our members tools and resources to improve their careers and navigate challenges,” said Immediate Past Chair Lana Chrisman, who was SBN chair when the retreat concept was first proposed. “The Leadership Forum is a great opportunity for women leaders to expand their knowledge and build relationships with other women in the industry.”

Community-Building Opportunities

Last year, SBN co-hosted a networking mixer at the Keystone Big Show in conjunction with the Truck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA) and the Young Executives Network. SBN will collaborate this year with other SEMA groups at the Grand National Roadster Show, the King of The Hammers, the Keystone Big Show and the Easter Jeep Safari.

“At the Keystone show last year, we had such success partnering on a mixer with TORA that we decided to do additional regional events this year where women would already be congregating,” Clark said. “We’ve chosen ones where there will be other councils and networks we can team up with to have more successful events and continue to build our community.”

SBN Hosts Gear-Up Girl Event

Theresa Contreras

The SEMA Show offers an ideal platform to bring together female professionals at the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network’s (SBN) networking event entitled Gear-Up Girl. The gathering gave female automotive students and young businesswomen a chance to connect with seasoned female professionals.

SBN also singled out two high-achieving women in the automotive industry.

Katie Lyons, a mechanical engineering student at Iowa State University, received the Jessi Combs Rising Star Award, named after the late race-car driver. The award honors a woman under the age of 30 who has made significant strides in the advancement of her career.

Theresa Contreras, chief creative officer of LGE-CTS Motorsports, was named SheIsSEMA Woman of the Year. An industry veteran with a long list of accomplishments, Contreras was selected for her leadership, knowledge, expertise and management abilities as well as for mentorship and active involvement in the

TORATruck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA)

TORA Networking Events to Target Key Regions

Last March, the Truck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA) co-hosted a successful cross-council mixer with the Young Executives Network (YEN) and the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). The event was held during the Keystone Big Show.


Last March, the Truck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA) co-hosted a successful cross-council mixer with the Young Executives Network (YEN) and the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN).

It was TORA’s last in-person gathering until autumn, when the council again teamed with YEN to co-host mixers at two off-road adventure events: the Overland Expo West in Flagstaff, Arizona, and the Overland Adventure Festivus in Big Bear, California. The goal of these events is to give members—and potential members—a chance to engage with like-minded colleagues while learning about council and network resources and volunteer opportunities. With that in mind, TORA plans to expand its regional show participation throughout 2022.

“Our initial plan was to do six networking events yearly, but we were unable to accomplish that over the last two years,” said Troy Wirtz, council chair. “This year, we’ll spread them out in different regions of the country so that we have more opportunities to meet new people, talk about issues and tell them about TORA.”

What’s on Tap


TORA looks forward to kicking off 2022 by returning to the King of the Hammers.

To kick off 2022, TORA will return to the King of The Hammers in the barren California desert. The off-road race event, slated for early February, draws thousands of enthusiasts and industry players, creating an ideal backdrop for a cross-council meetup with SBN.

TORA will return to Dallas in March for the Keystone Big Show. According to Wirtz, TORA will collaborate again with SEMA networks.

“The networking event at the 2021 Big Show was very successful,” he said. “We had a great turnout. The partnering aspect has been beneficial, and we are looking forward to the meetup.”

In April, TORA will host a mixer at the Easter Jeep Safari in Moab, Utah, and other meetups are in the works. Though the specifics are not finalized, possibilities include an activity at the new SEMA Garage in Detroit and a tie-in with an off-road or truck-related event.

“Our membership is very diverse, so it’s important to be inclusive of the truck-
accessory and off-road aspects of it,” Wirtz said. “We want to bring our TORA members together to shoot the breeze, make new contacts, meet our select committee and encourage them to get involved.

TORA looks forward to kicking off 2022 by returning to the King of The Hammers.

TORA Toasts Award Winners, Supports SEMA Cares


(L–R): Matt Reasoner, Kathryn Reinhardt and Troy Wirtz at the TORA Reception at the 2021 SEMA Show.

For members of the Truck & Off-Road Alliance (TORA), the council’s awards reception at the 2021 SEMA Show in Las Vegas was a long-overdue celebration of a vibrant industry segment. The reception was held on Wednesday, November 3, on the outdoor terrace of the Las Vegas Convention Center’s West Hall, where guests savored refreshments and beverages and cheered winners of the Pinewood Derby, a at the fundraiser supporting SEMA Cares.

During the awards ceremony, Bill Silva of Tri-Country Tops was named TORA Retailer of the Year in recognition of accomplishments within his community. Kathryn Reinhardt of 4Wheel Parts received the Jessi Combs Ambassador Award, named in honor of the late race-car driver. The award salutes an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to or impression on the light-truck and off-road industry.

Top honors went to industry veteran Kelly Kneifl. Kneifl, COO of Truck Hero, was inducted into the TORA Hall of Fame, which honors exceptional achievements on a national/international level that have enhanced the stature of and significantly contributed to the growth of the light-truck accessory industry.

WTCWheel & Tire Council (WTC)

WTC Underscores Value of Education, Engagement

The Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) presented The Stage in the South Hall Members Lounge at the Las Vegas Convention Center during the SEMA Show. The event featured twice-daily sessions moderated by WTC select-committee members. Speakers representing a cross section of the aftermarket addressed various topics, launching new products, e-commerce strategies, regulations and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) technologies.

According to WTC Chair Todd Steen, the event was designed to deliver value to a diverse audience.

“I believe that everything we do should bring value to our members through education,” Steen said. “I have a cheat sheet that reminds me that manufacturers, reps, retailers, jobbers, mobile installers and even auto dealerships are part of our council or are potential members. Our intent was to come up with topics that could benefit everyone.”

WTC hosted its annual reception in the Members Lounge to attract all exhibitors and members to this can’t-miss event. At the reception, Tyson Boyer was presented with the Immediate Past Chair Award. During the industry reception that followed, members gathered for an evening of good fellowship.


Tyson Boyer (left) received the WTC Immediate Past Chair Award in honor of his significant contributions and outstanding dedication to the growth and progress of the wheel and tire industry.

Engaging Through Education and Networking

WTC also keeps members informed and engaged in other ways. Having succeeded with a virtual wheel and tire track series, the council now plans a broad-brush approach.

“Virtual education will be more spiderweb-like than siloed,” Steen said. “We’ll address tires and wheels but also some of the things we’re facing. How can we help people with marketing or with tire and wheel tools, or how does ADAS affect tires and wheels? Whether it’s from a technical, safety or training standpoint, the intent is to keep people abreast of what’s going on in the industry.”

Networking is also top of mind at virtual events and in-person gatherings, including game nights or craft beer and wine tastings.

“Whether they’re motorsports or industry events, the fact that so many people are there or interested in going, we don’t want to miss the opportunity to meet up,” Steen said. “Crowds breed an interest in what’s happening, and the value lies in meeting like-minded people with a shared passion and getting involved. We need to re-engage. We haven’t been networking, so we have to revitalize that effort, because when we re-engage, we reactivate and retain members and we recruit.”

YENYoung Executives Network (YEN)

YEN Teams With Dale Carnegie to Present Professional Development Training

Soon after Nick Caloroso joined The Retrofit Source as national sales manager, then-CEO Brian Reese enrolled him in a 12-week Dale Carnegie leadership training program designed to help up-and-coming professionals develop the knowledge and skills to build relationships and advance their careers.

Nick Caloroso

“I was inspired by the course,” said Caloroso, chair of the Young Executives Network (YEN). “Being identified as an emerging leader incentivizes you to remain in the industry and work hard to justify the investment—not to mention the skills you get to put into practice right away. It’s made a huge difference in my career.”

His experience, shared with fellow YEN select-committee members and SEMA staff, motivated YEN to craft a proposal to offer a condensed version of the Dale Carnegie program to its members. Greenlighted by the SEMA Board, YEN’s Professional Development Training program aims to provide aspiring leaders within the YEN membership with an opportunity to grow and thrive in the aftermarket through in-person learning experiences.

Cultivating Youth Talent, Aligning With YEN Mission

Last April, SEMA brought together key stakeholders—YEN select-committee members and members-at-large, SEMA Board members and staff—who participated in an online focus group. During the session, facilitated by a Dale Carnegie trainer, the group identified essential program elements aimed at cultivating young talent in the industry.

The inaugural YEN Leadership Conference is slated to kick off at the SEMA Garage in Diamond Bar, California, Thursday, March 24, 2022, and Friday, March 25, 2022. The two-day event is open exclusively to YEN members employed by SEMA-
member companies. Attendance is limited to 25 participants.

Program content will be tailored specifically for the conference. It will cover multiple leadership skills in an interactive format designed to introduce concept with practice and coaching for application in the workplace. The conference will also feature an evening networking activity.

To encourage member companies to enroll their employees, SEMA is subsidizing a substantial portion of the cost. Member companies will be charged a nominal fee of $800 per person to cover the cost of hotel accommodations.

“We are very excited to offer this program to YEN members,” Caloroso said, noting that there are plans to host conferences at the SEMA Garage in Detroit as well as at the Performance Racing Industry Show in a lead-up to a graduation certificate ceremony to be held during the YEN Reception at the 2022 SEMA Show.

“The YEN Professional Development program aligns perfectly with our core mission to help develop the next generation of industry leaders,” Caloroso said. “To be able to partner with Dale Carnegie carries tremendous weight, and the networking event is another value-added component. It’s a benefit to the member, to the business and to the industry. It’s a win-win for everyone. As chair, I’ve hoped to have an answer to, ‘What does YEN do for me?’ This is how we answer that question.”

If you are interested in this training program, contact Denise Waddingham at

Young Executives Network Lauds Leaders


Oracle Lighting was honored with the Vanguard Award.

On Tuesday, November 5, members of the Young Executives Network (YEN) gathered at the Renaissance Hotel garage rooftop to network and celebrate at their first in-person gathering at the SEMA Show since 2019. YEN used the occasion to salute two network notables: Oracle Lighting and Rory Connell.

Oracle Lighting was honored with the Vanguard Award, presented in recognition of the company’s positive effect on a young executive’s career within the automotive industry.

Rory Connell of Advanced Accessory Concepts, a former YEN chair, received the Young Executive Award in honor of his positive impact on the industry and exceptional service, integrity, professional growth and ethics.

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