SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Announces 2010 Award Winners

SEMA Member News
—February 2011

  Ron Coleman, Wade Kawasaki of Exports International.
Ron Coleman (left), winner of the 2009 Athena Award, presented the 2010 honor to Wade Kawasaki of Exports International.
The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) announced its annual awards to three deserving industry professionals at the SEMA Networking Breakfast, Powered by the SBN, on Thursday, November 4, 2010, at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. The SBN Woman of the Year award was presented to S. Kellie Colf from AfterMarketer Club. Wade Kawasaki from Exports International received the coveted Athena Award, and John Menzler from Comp Performance Group was honored with Mentor of the Year.

Woman of the Year

The SBN Woman of the Year Award was created to honor an industry woman for outstanding achievements and contributions made in the automotive aftermarket. Over the past five years, S. Kellie Colf has provided insight to almost every facet of the automotive aftermarket industry. Her service reaches from the performance segment to restoration and technology, touching just about every SEMA-member company. Since 2005, Colf has served on several SEMA Select Committees and advisory boards, including the Young Executives Network, the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers’ Council, the Business Technology Committee, the SEMA Cares Council Subcommittee, the Hot Rod Industry Alliance, the Styling & Performance Editorial Advisory Board and the New Products & Development Committee.

Athena Award

The Athena Award is presented annually to a person, company or sanctioning body that has influenced the professional growth and/or cultivation of talent for women through actions, mentoring, vision and/or contributions in the past, present or future. Wade Kawasaki certainly measures up to these standards. Part of the automotive aftermarket industry for over
 S. Kellie Colf, Laurel Dasher, TammyHolland, Marla Moore
S. Kellie Colf (center right) accepted the SBN’s 2010 Woman of the Year award from 2009 winner Laurel Dasher (center left), Chairman TammyHolland (right) and Chair-Elect Marla Moore

John Menzler, Jason Bruce, Chair-Elect Marla Moore, Joe St. Lawrence, Tammy Holland
John Menzler (second right) of Comp Performance Group accepted the SBN’s 2010 Mentor of the Year award from (from left to right) 2009 winner Jason Bruce, Chair-Elect Marla Moore, Joe St. Lawrence of RTM Productions and SBN Chairman Tammy Holland 

three decades, Kawasaki served as the SEMA Board of Director’s liaison for the SBN from 2007 through 2009. His 30 years of experience has been shared with countless individuals due to his unselfish attitude and his desire to give back by helping people entering the industry. As the president and CEO of Exports International, Kawasaki leads by example and never hesitates to share his career advice and knowledge of the industry with anyone he comes across.

Mentor of the Year

When John Menzler was announced as the winner of the Mentor of the Year award at the Networking Breakfast, he received the only standing ovation of the morning. Having been involved in the automotive aftermarket for several decades, Menzler’s service and volunteer efforts extend well beyond the mentor program. Sharing knowledge is just one of the many traits that make Menzler a great asset to the industry, but it is his mentoring skills through the years that earned him this award, which was created to acknowledge and honor an individual for his or her wisdom, encouragement and willingness to “help others along” as a foundation for growth within our industry.

Every member of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network is proud to acknowledge these individuals as major contributors to the industry. It was a great start to this year’s SEMA Speed Networking Breakfast, Powered by the SBN, which culminated in the usual fast-paced and productive networking session.