Getting Involved With SBN: From MRP to Select Committee

SEMA Member News—March/April 2014

Getting Involved With SBN: From MRP to Select Committee

By Christina Kwan


SBN’s leadership celebrated the network’s 20th anniversary at the 2013 SEMA Show. Nominations are now open for the 2014 Select Committee elections.
SBN’s leadership celebrated the network’s 20th anniversary at the 2013 SEMA Show. Nominations are now open for the 2014 Select Committee elections. 

Heading into the 2013 SEMA Show, the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) re-evaluated its core mission statement, and it now reflects the group’s proactive and ongoing advocacy for women in the aftermarket industry. SBN’s mission is to provide networking, education and recognition opportunities for professional women in the automotive specialty-equipment industry that will enhance their careers and positively impact the growth of the entire automotive aftermarket.

Many find themselves wanting to become more involved with SBN but unsure of how to go about it. How does one become part of SBN’s leadership? Instead of listing a guided approach of how to become more involved, here are three examples of women who have gone from participating in SBN’s Member Resource Pool to being elected select committee members.

“Growing up a ‘gearhead girl’ in the ’60s, arguably the greatest era in American auto racing, I found myself dreaming of racing and owning a race team one day. A relentless pursuit of that dream brought the opportunity, and membership in SEMA and SBN connected me with women who shared my passion for performance. The 2012 SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women changed my life and inspired me to take an active role in SBN.

“Through the build, I met many fellow ‘gearhead girls.’ Having simply loved the entire experience, it was in a spirit of gratitude that I made the decision to run for a seat on the SBN select committee, where I could give back to the industry by working with the group.

“An educator by profession, I believe the greatest investment we can make in this world is in people; in helping them seek and follow their dreams as well as recognizing those who have made a difference in our industry. SEMA, SBN and our work together through this great organization truly make a difference in people’s lives. I’ve seen it firsthand and am grateful to be a small part of building a legacy of bringing passionate automotive and motorsports enthusiasts together to advance our industry to even greater heights.”

—Dr. Karen Salvaggio,
Thunder Valley Racing

Lee McGuire of Skyjacker Suspensions invited me to the SEMA Speed Networking Breakfast, Powered by the SBN, a few years back. At the time, Lee was a member of the select committee.

Select Committee Nominations Now Open

SBN is currently seeking nominations for the 2014 Select Committee elections. For more information about how to nominate yourself or another individual, contact Senior Manager of Networks Bryan Harrison by phone at 909-978-6692 or via e-mail at All nominations must be received by March 21, 2014.

“It was a great networking event. I connected with so many people in the industry, and many friendships were started. After that event, I wanted to help other women in the industry grow and be mentored.

“With every year, I continued to grow more involved with SBN. The SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women was when I really got involved. After working closely with so many of the other SBN members on this intense project, I was nominated to be on the ballot for the SBN select committee. We have a great group of ladies, and I enjoy working with all of them in achieving SBN’s mission.”

—Sherry Kollien,
Ford Motor Company

I learned about SBN through the SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women. A co-worker sent me the information, and after I applied, I was selected as the week-eight lead. By working on the build, I learned more about SEMA and SBN.

“At the 2012 SEMA Show, I was present at the Mustang Build’s unveiling. When e-mails were sent out about SBN’s events at the SEMA Show, I replied to the SBN Event Task Force, offering to volunteer. At the SEMA Show Volunteer Orientation Breakfast, I was recognized as one of the individuals who had proactively raised their hand to get more involved with SBN over the course of the year.

“In 2013, I was asked to consider running for a seat on the Select Committee. I was elected and began my two-year term on the select committee in July. In just one year, my connection with SEMA and SBN had grown so much. It is amazing to look back and to see how the simple act of raising my hand has led to so many incredible experiences and opportunities.”

—Jennifer LaFever,
Roush Yates