SEMA Member News—November/December 2012
MPMC Hall of Fame, Class of 2012
In 1994, a small group of original SEMA-member manufacturing companies formed the World Motorsports Society. Their goal was to refocus collective efforts specifically on issues facing motorsports parts manufacturers. Chuck Blum, then president of SEMA, quickly recognized the potential of a segment-focused group and brought it under the SEMA banner as the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) in 1995.
Today, the MPMC Hall of Fame honors those who have made significant contributions to MPMC and/or the motorsports parts manufacturing segment of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Nominations are solicited from the MPMC general membership, and an MPMC Hall of Fame task force votes on the final selection of inductees based on stringent criteria. The official induction for this year’s honorees will take place at the annual MPMC Hall of Fame Breakfast on Friday, November 30, 2012, at the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Show in Orlando, Florida.
MPMC proudly congratulates this year’s inductees. Each of the four played a crucial role in the formation of the council and continues to support it even today.
Jim Cozzie has more than 30 years of experience in the automotive aftermarket with companies such as Hurst, B&M and Zoom, and he is currently executive vice president at RTM Productions. Cozzie was an original MPMC select committee volunteer and served as the council’s second chairman from 1998 to 2000. Since then, he has been one of SEMA’s most active volunteerleaders.
Cozzie was named SEMA Person of the Year in 2004, served multiple terms on the SEMA Board of Directors and was Board Chairman from 2007 to 2009. Being an avid enthusiast, he continues to support the MPMC and the motorsports parts manufacturing segment through his work at RTM.
Keith Dorton established Automotive Specialists in 1965 and has been turning out race-winning engines ever since. His success spans many different motorsports categories, including NASCAR, ARCA, Sprint Cars, drag racing and even land speed racing. He was also a driving force in the formation of the World Motorsports Society.
When WMS became the MPMC in 1995, Dorton was unable to be a member because his business is not “manufacturing.” Nonetheless, he has been a valuable SEMA member and a steady contributor to MPMC projects and efforts to this day.
“When we (MPMC) wanted to do a panel seminar of engine builders at PRI last year, I called Keith to pitch the idea,” said MPMC Immediate Past Chair Kyle Fickler of Weld Racing. “I think he had the whole panel of six engine builders on board the same day. I’ve spoken with other SEMA and MPMC members who have similar examples of Keith never hesitating to offer assistance or input to an MPMC project over the years. He is locked out of being an MPMC member simply because his business is not manufacturing. But Keith is as much a part of MPMC as any offiical member.”
Ron Funfar has been with Hedman Performance since 1974, working his way through the company from the warehouse to his present position as president and CEO. His SEMA career seems equally long and storied.
Funfar has served multiple terms on the SEMA Board of Directors, been on numerous committees and task forces, chaired the SEMA Show Committee, Nominating Committee and Technical Committee, been a member of the Executive Committee, served as SEMA Treasurer and was inducted to the SEMA Hall of Fame in 2007. But as a passionate performance and racing enthusiast, it is Funfar’s involvement in forming the World Motorsports Society back in 1994 and pushing for the formation of MPMC that paves his way into the MPMC Hall of Fame.
As a member of the SEMA Board, Funfar always kept motorsports and performance manufacturer issues at center stage. Today, as an employer in the motorsports segment, he encourages and supports his employees to be actively involved with MPMC and SEMA.
Chris Thomson has spent his entire career in the automotive aftermarket. His experience spans distribution, wholesale and retail sales and manufacturing at companies such as Holley, Mr. Gasket, Flowtech and Airaid Filter Company, where he is currently national sales manager.
In addition to serving on numerous SEMA committees and task forces as well as the SEMA Board of Directors, Thomson served three consecutive terms on the MPMC Select Committee. During that time, he helped with the completion of the MPMC Business Guidelines Manual, proposed the name change of the Media Award to the Robert Petersen Award and championed the establishment of the MPMC Hall of Fame.
He continues to offer input and guidance to the council and is active in the ongoing development of standard operating procedures related to awards and the Hall of Fame.