A Few Words With the Incoming Chair

SEMA Member News—July/August 2011 

A Few Words With the Incoming Chair

Marla Moore Takes Leadership Role Starting in July

   Marla Moore has been involved in the automotive specialty-equipment industry for 30 years
Thirty-year industry veteran Marla Moore has served on the SBN and MPMC Select Committees as well as a number of other industry organizations. She will assume the chairmanship of the SBN in July. 
Marla Moore has been involved in the automotive specialty-equipment industry for 30 years, working with mentors that included SEMA icons such as Mark Heffington, Ron Coleman, Scooter Brothers, Jim McFarland and Amy Faulk. In fact, it was Faulk—a founding member of both the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) and the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN)—who encouraged Moore to become active with SEMA.

In July, Moore will assume the chairmanship of the SBN, having just completed three terms on the MPMC Select Committee, where she was the Media Trade Conference Task Force chair. She also currently holds a place on the SEMA Scholarship Fund Select Committee and is a member of the Street Performance Council and the SEMA Ambassadors organization. She recently took part in a Q&A session with SEMA Member News.

SEMA Member News: What got you started in the industry, and what drives your passion for it?

Marla Moore: My dad (much to mom’s dismay) was always rebuilding one car or another in the carport. I had two brothers, but I was the one who helped my dad. A boyfriend later introduced me to dirt bikes. I bought a Suzuki 250 and started racing. I was totally hooked on anything fast—cars, bikes or boats.

I became an art director and was hired by Auto Shack (now AutoZone), then Competition Cams and finally Hypertech. My greatest moment in life was when I brought my dad to the SEMA Show and was able to introduce him to all his heroes: Carroll Shelby, Jack Roush, Vic Edelbrock Jr., Mark Heffington, Scooter Brothers and so many others. Everyone was so kind and courteous to him.

It’s really all the wonderful, genuine people I have met in the industry that fire my passion to be a member.

SMN: What do you see as priorities for SBN during your term as chair?

MM: I can sum that up in three letters: M-A-N, for mentoring, awareness and networking. We are working with SEMA to create more of a Match.com set-up to streamline the mentor/mentee matching process for the SEMA Mentoring program, which is open to all SEMA members. It’s a great resource for anyone who needs expert advice on a project, career path or just the answer to a question. We have SEMA Board members, business owners and automotive legends signed up as mentors waiting to share their knowledge.

We also want to expand the SBN Networking Breakfast concept by adding an “Ask An Expert” roundtable-networking event. We hope to engage the other councils to participate in this event to offer information targeted to specific segments.

The SBN is also sponsoring a “Hot Rodders of Tomorrow” engine-building team this year. We want to encourage students—especially young women—to follow their passion and make them aware of the opportunities available in the automotive aftermarket.

SMN: What specific things do you want to accomplish in the next two years?

MM: I want to once and for all dispel the idea that the SBN is a pamper-party group (LOL). There are no sissies in the SBN. We have business owners, executives, race car drivers, a renowned custom painter, a boxing champion, a celebrity and cancer survivors. Tammy Holland, the outgoing chair, is an excellent example, and I would like to thank her for the excellent job she did.

Besides the initiatives already mentioned, I want to reach out to our members by expanding our Member Resource Pool and include at least one member on each SBN Select Committee task force.

SMN: What is the one piece of advice you’d offer other women looking to grow in the industry regarding their business and professional lives?

MM: Work hard. Don’t pretend to know something you don’t. Ask questions, find a good mentor or two and take advantage of all the resources SEMA offers. This is a wonderful industry with men and women who will encourage you, educate you and help you advance if your passion and efforts are genuine.