SEMA News—June 2022

PEOPLE

The 2022 SEMA Board of Directors Candidates

Get to Know the Nominees

By Mike Imlay

The SEMA Board of Directors provides strategic direction to the association and plays a critical role in shaping the future of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. There are a total of eight candidates running for four open seats on the Board for the 2022 election cycle.

Online voting began May 10 and will continue through May 19. Voting is open to current SEMA-member companies, and votes must be cast by each company’s primary contact. Details on the election were sent to each member-company’s designated contact beginning April 29. For more information about the Board of Directors election, e-mail Staci Bostock at stacib@sema.org or call 909-978-6689. If you would like more information about each candidate, visit www.sema.org/2022-bod-candidates.

The winners will be announced by June 1 and will be featured in an upcoming issue of SEMA News. The new Board members will also be formally inducted at the SEMA Awards Gala on July 29 at the Anaheim Westin in Anaheim, California. All SEMA-member companies are invited to join the festivities, but seating is limited. Register for the event at www.sema.org/gala.

Read on for the biographical information and statements of this year’s candidates. As a reminder, the remarks and opinions expressed by the candidates are solely their own. SEMA does not take responsibility for the accuracy or content of the candidates’ messages, and statements made by the candidates do not necessarily represent the views of SEMA.

2022 SEMA Board of Directors Candidates

Manufacturer (three open seats):

  • Brian Herron, President and CEO, Opus IVS
  • Norris Marshall, President and CEO, Marshall Engines/BluePrint Engines
  • Kathryn Reinhardt (Incumbent), Director of Retail Marketing, 4WP Factory/Pro Comp/Rubicon Express/Smittybilt
  • John Torvinen, COO, Performance Assembly Solutions
  • Marcus Umlauff, General Manager–Truck, Toyota Motor North America
  • Melanie White (Incumbent), President, Hellwig Products

Manufacturers’ Rep (one open seat):

  • Richard Butler, CEO, R&R Marketing Consultants
  • Mark Taylor, Vice President, KAM Marketing
Brian HerronMANUFACTURER CATEGORY

Brian Herron

Hello, my name is Brian Herron. I am running for the SEMA Board of Directors because I can drive change. I have made real change in the automotive industry through Right-to-Repair; automaker relationships; growing the company I run, Opus IVS, to nearly 400 employees; founding several start-ups; and even helping one of the first companies I managed, SCT, through its startup period.

I am ready to engage SEMA’s resources to address a rising problem we need to act on now.

You are probably aware that some autonomous vehicle technology is showing up as features in cars today and will be mainstream soon. This technology is called ADAS, or advanced driver-assist systems. What you may not know is that ADAS systems can malfunction when vehicles are modified. Any type of modification, from cosmetic to wheels and tires, raising or lowering, or even paint and wraps, can impact these systems.

My solution is to activate the full strength of SEMA and its network to engage automakers, regulators, members and the industry and lead change. Vehicles must be designed with modification in mind, and there must be a partnership and transparency with the aftermarket.

My Career:

  • President of Opus IVS
  • Tech company specializing in remote diagnostics ADAS calibration products and services
  • 390 employees, including 150 technicians, seven offices in three countries

Past Jobs:

  • President, ETI
  • CEO, Autologic
  • President, DrewTech
  • Co-Founder, Diag.net
  • Co-Founder, e-Motion
  • General Manger, SCT
  • President, Apten

Achievements:

  • Active in Right-to-Repair
  • Inventor on more than 60 patents
  • University of Michigan Ross eMBA
  • SAE/CES speaker on ADAS/advanced technology

Passions:

  • Driving change and fueling growth.
  • Entrepreneurship and small business.
  • NHRA-licensed racer.
  • Restomods with modern powertrain (the last was a ’75 K5 Blazer with a 5.3).
  • Building and driving fast cars (today I have a ’18 CTS-V with more than 1,000 rwhp).
  • Pilot and aviation enthusiast, instrument-rated with jet experience.
  • Hobbyist collector car broker and airplane dealer.

I have the experience, technical expertise, relationships, leadership, motivation and drive to push the full force of SEMA towards this challenge facing us with ADAS vehicles. All I need to get started is your vote.

www.Herron4SEMA.com

www.linkedin.com/in/brian-herron

brian@herron4sema.com

Norris MarshallNorris Marshall

Founder/Owner of BluePrint Engines

As a SEMA Board member, I will serve the members, and I have the experience to do just that. A large focus would be placed on tackling regulatory issues, emissions compliance, and interacting with the political world that these challenges stem from.

BluePrint Engines humbly began in 1982 with a garage I rented from a widow. Eventually, we became a production engine remanufacturer. Over the next 25 years, we produced more than 300,000 engines. As that industry changed, we modified our direction to performance crate engines and launched the BluePrint Engines brand. BluePrint Engines is an OEM-level manufacturer of all-new crate engines. We also produce EPA-certified OEM industrial engines under our sister brand Origin Engines.

I love cars and engines; I built my first engine at 14 by following a Hot Rod article by Jack Roush. I’ve been a drag racer and dirt oval racer. Also, I’ve lobbied in D.C., and worked with multiple federal and state agencies. Emissions compliance is something BluePrint Engines excels at. Whether it’s a musclecar or an industrial engine, we know how to get it certified. We currently have 28 engines certified with the EPA.

Awards:

  • SBA Businessman of the Year, Nebraska
  • House of Representatives, Award: “Excellence in Economic Development”
  • PERA Manufacturer of the Year

SEMA:

  • SEMA Show participant, 15 years
  • Multiple SEMA Garage projects for CARB EOs
  • SEMA Certified-Emissions, certificate number 1

Other:

  • Governor Appointee: NDEE Board (Nebraska EPA).
  • Governor Appointee: Nebraska Game and Parks Commissioner/Chairman.
  • First National Bank Omaha, Regional Director.
  • PERA, Director/Chairman.
  • Raised $1,000,000 for cancer research, hosting the Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska.
  • Created a much-copied apprenticeship program for high schoolers, including trade school scholarships.

I’m most proud of helping my employees grow. “Great companies are made up of regular folks who were given the opportunity to be great.”

I’ve learned a lot about leadership, success and overcoming challenges. Now I’d like to pay that back. On the SEMA Board, I’ll make sure you come first with an emphasis on giving back to this great industry.

Kathryn ReinhardtKathryn Reinhardt

I am a current SEMA Board member with 20+ years of automotive aftermarket experience.

I am running for my second term on the SEMA Board of Directors. Why? Because I want to be a fierce voice to effect change to help your small business grow and, ultimately, make sure this industry is positioned to continue thriving for the next generation of gearheads. This Board is in charge of driving the future of the automotive aftermarket and having motivated and proactive Board members who want to put in the work will make our industry successful.

  • 20+ years in the automotive aftermarket.
  • 15+ years in performance distribution.
  • 13+ years in manufacturing.
  • 10+ years in off-roading.

Achievements:

  • TORA Jessi Combs Ambassador Award
  • SEMA Person of the Year
  • YEN Vanguard Award
  • SBN Woman of the Year
  • LTAA Chairman’s Award
  • SEMA News 35 Under 35 award winner

Volunteerism: I have extensive volunteer experience with a variety of councils, networks and working directly with staff to complete projects quickly and effectively. Plus, as the SEMA Cares chairwoman, our committee just raised $250,000 for SEMA’s children’s charities.

  • FLN
  • SBN
  • TORA/LTAA
  • HRIA

Committees/Task Forces:

  • SEMA Cares
  • SEMA POTY
  • SEMA WD
  • SEMA Hall of Fame
  • YEN Launch Pad
  • SEMA eNews
  • TORA Awards
  • SBN Awards
  • HRIA Board Resource
  • SEMA DC Rally
  • SEMA International Ambassador

Personality:

I am “still waiting” for my ’22 Ford Bronco Raptor. I love being at tracks, racing, off-roading and competing in sports. I have two small boys who fuel my passion to make this industry enjoyable and a future opportunity for them to be a part of. No one will work harder than I will to protect the future of our industry.

Your vote is imperative for our industry to move forward. Your vote for me will do just that. My drive, my track record and my dedication to get the job done is my commitment that your vote will be to serve your business.

Director of Retail Marketing, 4 Wheel Parts/4WP Factory/Pro Comp/Smittybilt/Rubicon Express
kreinhardt@4wp.com
714-404-0027
FB: Kathryn4SEMA
IG: KathrynReinhardt

John TorvinenJohn Torvinen

My name is John Torvinen, and I am running for a Manufacturer seat on the SEMA Board of Directors. As COO at Performance Assembly Solutions, I am responsible for the manufacturing, testing, supply chain, quality and delivery of crate and race engines, superchargers and other extremely fun aftermarket products. I have had a passion for cars and trucks my entire life. Born and raised in Michigan, the automotive world has been my career focus due to this love of products. I have a wonderful family and two awesome grandkids. With more than 25 years of experience in automotive, I have held multiple director to C-level positions at OEMs and Tier-1 levels. I want to share this experience by serving you as a SEMA Board member.

My Goals: Retaining our right to modify, improving/finding talent, technology application and strengthening the SEMA Show.

I am excited about SEMA’s future, its impressive member companies, its excellent people and the fantastic products they provide. Let’s work together to grow our industry!

I truly want to hear the voice of the SEMA membership. Contact me via email at john.torvinen@performanceas.com.

Employment Summary:

  • CEO, Performance Assembly Solutions–Livonia, MI–6/2016–Present
  • COO, Innova UEV, Innova Global LLC–Chicago, IL–5/2015–6/2016
  • Metallic Purchasing Director, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles–Auburn Hills, MI–3/2012–4/2015
  • Chemical and Electrical Purchasing Senior Director, Case New Holland Industrial (Fiat Group)–Chicago, IL–3/2007–3/2012
  • Purchasing Manager, Purchasing Supervisor, Supplier Quality, FCG, Ford Motor Co.–Dearborn, MI–3/1993–1/2007
  • Summer Intern, High School Co-op, General Motors Corp.–Milford & Warren, MI–9/1987–9/1992

Achievements/Awards:

  • Six Sigma Greenbelt certified
  • National Ski Patrol–EMR–Paul Jones Award recipient

SEMA Committees/Councils:

  • ETTN
  • SEMA Scholarship Committee
  • PRI Individual Member
  • PRI PAC

Prominent Positions Other Organizations:

  • National Ski Patrol–MHSP Board of Governors–Chairman
  • National Ski Patrol–EMR Snowboard Advisor

Related Interests:

  • F1 and F4 racing
  • Drag racing
  • SCCA road racing, HPDE
  • Off-road trucks and ATVs
  • Personal vehicle modding, performance parts
  • Car shows (Woodward Dream Cruise, Cars and Coffee)

Social-Media Link:

www.linkedin.com/in/john-torvinen-9100165

Marcus UmlauffMarcus Umlauff

SEMA is built on the passion and ingenuity of its members. It has a strong set of strategic priorities. I will grow and complement the Board—bringing new experience, insights and relationships.

When SEMA and the OEMs align, we can build strength and sustainability together, and I am uniquely qualified to make this a reality.

My focus items are critical for the future of SEMA:

  • The Customer of Tomorrow: Respect existing customers that make SEMA so strong but also actively embrace the next generation.
  • Adapt to Technology: Technological change is inevitable, but we must turn threat into opportunity. Through deep collaboration with OEMs, I will ensure that vehicles are easier to modify, data is available, and SEMA members are better educated, informed and ready to adapt.
  • OEM Allies: True partnerships between OEMs and the aftermarket build strength and sustainability. We can all rally around the common goal of the entire customer experience.

My entire career has been dedicated to the automotive industry—racing, performance, personalization and OE vehicles. I am a mechanical engineer and have my MBA in marketing.

I have founded automotive companies in engineering and motorsports—conversely, I have many years of experience as a leader in the world’s largest OEM. As lead of Toyota North America Truck business, I challenge the organization to think and act differently—be entrepreneurial—and realize new levels of success—with much coming through a focus on strategic partnerships with the aftermarket.

Family and community are core to me. I love supporting my family’s passions—and I love when those passions intersect. Teaching my son to build an engine or hearing him passionately dream of his first car warms my heart. Automotive passion is alive and well in the next generation!

Now is the time for me to give back to an industry that has given me so much.

It would be an honor to serve the SEMA members and leverage my experience to ensure a strong and sustainable SEMA future.

Please connect with me on LinkedIn:

For more details, including experience and endorsements, go to www.marcus4sema.com.

Melanie WhiteMelanie White

My name is Melanie White, and I am running for re-election to the SEMA Board of Directors. I have served on the Board during one of the most challenging times in SEMA’s history, and I ask for your vote for a second term because I have important work to finish—from safeguarding our industry and from government overreach to ensuring the Show remains healthy and vibrant. I’m so passionate about the work we are doing on the Board, and I want to continue to make a difference.

I am the fourth generation of my family to run Hellwig Products, which was founded by my great-grandfather in 1946. We have exhibited at every SEMA Show since its inception, and I am committed to ensuring we have a bright future for years to come.

After running a family manufacturing company and working with small shops and major OEMs, I know the challenges our members face every day. I have 17 years in the industry and have a long runway ahead of me. I want to keep my seat at the table to help steer our future.

An active SEMA Board member for the last three years, I’ve participated in weekly Board meetings and was a prominent voice in the Board room to guide the association back to its core principles of representing the automotive aftermarket and protecting both the business owner’s and the consumer’s right to modify, build and maintain automobiles.

I was the 2018 SEMA Person of the Year, 2016 SBN Woman of the Year and served as chair of LTAA and SEMA Cares. I have served on six councils and networks, and I fought for the RPM Act on Capitol Hill.

I grew up in a family where off-roading and desert trips are a major part of our life. My son Jensen is named after F1 driver Jensen Button and is a budding car guy. I daily drive a Ford Raptor and have helped design several award-winning SEMA vehicles.

Thank you for your support. Learn more at www.Mel4sema.com and follow me on Facebook and LinkedIn:

Rich ButlerRich Butler

I have worked to support the needs of SEMA-member businesses for more than 20 years. Interacting with thousands of manufacturers, retailers, distributors, jobbers, installers, engine builders, chassis builders, machine shops, media outlets, influencers and more, I have real, diverse experience working with small and large companies across all segments of the automotive aftermarket. I understand the challenges you face because I’ve been there—working alongside these businesses for more than two decades. I will be your voice on the SEMA Board of Directors. I will work diligently to understand the priorities of all members and ensure that those priorities are well represented to the Board. There are challenging times ahead for our industry and what we do now will help shape a successful future for all our businesses.

Career Highlights:

  • Director, RRMCI Board of Directors 2013–2016
  • Co-Chairman, RRMCI Board of Directors 2016–Present
  • Liaison, Performance Warehouse Association (PWA/CAN) Board of Directors 2017–2019
  • Director, Custom Automotive Network (formerly PWA) Board of Directors 2020–2021
  • Chair-Elect, Custom Automotive Network (formerly PWA) Board of Directors 2022–Present
  • Director, Painless Performance Products Board of Directors 2019–Present
  • Co-Chairman, Sales & Marketing Opportunity Partners 2013–Present
  • Chairman, BC Capital Investments Company 2014–Present
  • SEMA Person of the Year Committee
  • Various MRN Activities
  • SEMA PAC Redline Club Member
  • Parenting Children With Special Needs-Volunteer/Contributor/Advisor
  • North Kansas City High School Automotive Vocational/Technical-Volunteer/Contributor
  • Multiple SEMA Rep of the Year Awards
  • Multiple industry awards for performance

I began my automotive career in 1996 when I began working for Hight Automotive/VAMP Racing. I was introduced to RRMCI in 1999 and started a position as a service representative for them in late 2000. I worked my way up within the organization, holding various positions and serving a variety of territories and customers. I assumed the role of vice president in 2011 and in 2016, I became CEO and co-chairman. Throughout the years I have studied business, financial principles and organizational development and how they apply to our business and industry. I have been fortunate to work with many amazing people and businesses as part of the operation of RRMCI, learning a great deal along the way.

MANUFACTURERS’ REP CATEGORY

Mark TaylorMark Taylor

My name is Mark Taylor. I am a manufacturers’ representative in the automotive aftermarket and have been for more than 35+ years. I am honored to have been considered as one of the 2022 SEMA Board of Directors candidates. I believe that with my background, experience and integrity, I will bring a wealth of knowledge to the table as a SEMA Board member. My goal would be to continue the challenging work of the Board by increasing further awareness of SEMA to the current members and potential new members by helping to grow the discussions of the importance of the RPM Act. Also, to continue the dialog of the rights of the motorsports industry as we know it today. We as an industry need to embrace the next steps in the evolving changes with electric vehicles (EVs) and other innovative technologies in the coming years that will further our mission as an industry. As a lifelong enthusiast, my goal is and has always been to be an advocate and spokesman for the advancement of the next generation of industry leaders.

Employment Summary:

  • KAM Marketing, 1995–present, vice president
  • Stephen Lapidus Sales, 1990–1995, sales manager, limited partner
  • Liedel Associates Inc., 1982–January 1990, salesman

Awards/Achievements:

  • SEMA Representative of the Year, KAM Marketing 2015
  • Edelbrock Outstanding Sales Award 2019
  • Magnaflow Performance Salesperson of the Year Award 2014–2015
  • Steel Horse: Outstanding Sales Award, Bob Bondurant Four-Day Driving School 2001
  • Shell Oil Company Salesperson of the Year 2000
  • Reese Hitch Sales Excellence Award 1998
  • California Terminal Outstanding Sales Award 1989

Other Achievements:

  • Florham Park, NJ, mayor 2013–present
  • Florham Park, NJ, council president 2006–2013
  • New Jersey League of Municipalities second vice president 2018–present
  • Member of SAL American Legion, Post 43 Florham Park, NJ
  • Florham Park, NJ, Jaycees past president and member 2004
  • New Jersey Jaycees Presidents Award of Excellence 2005

Hobbies:

  • ’68 SS 396 Chevelle show car

Social-Media Links:

  • Facebook: Mark Taylor
  • Instagram @marktaylor7054

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