SEMA Member News—January/February 2014
SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Celebrates 20th Anniversary and Awards Top Achievers in the Industry at the 2013 SEMA Show
The 2013 year was especially significant to the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). Celebrating the past, the present and the future, the SBN reveled in its significant growth in membership and achievements over the past 20 years. SBN paid homage to some of the most influential women who have shaped the aftermarket industry during a special red carpet-themed reception that was held at the Oasis Lounge at the Las Vegas Hotel.
The Mentor of the Year award recipient was Lauren Fix of Automotive Aspects. The was award created to honor an individual for their wisdom, encouragement and willingness to help others along as a foundation for growth within the industry, and Fix has long been an inspiration to many women entering the industry.
Fix, a past Woman of the Year award winner, is known as “The Car Coach.” She uses her automotive expertise to mentor both students looking to have a career in the industry and established professionals wanting to further their career in the industry. Fix works with the Girl and Boy Scouts of America, local seniors groups and Summer Stock programs for young actors. She is a motivational public speaker at colleges and universities and is involved with multiple charities.
Joel Ayres of Bedslide/Takit Inc. was this year’s Athena Champion Award winner, an award created to honor an individual or company for their outstanding contributions and support of women in the automotive aftermarket. Ayres has been a long-time supporter of SBN and has mentored many women. Having served as the SEMA Board Liaison and advisor to the SBN from 2011–2013, Ayres has tirelessly championed for the growth and impact of women in the industry. “Joel was a strong advisor and one of our biggest cheerleaders during our SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women project,” said Rose Kawasaki, SBN chair.
The Woman of the Year award recipient was Marla Moore of Coker Tire. An award created to honor a woman for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the aftermarket industry. Moore, who was honored as the 2012 SEMA Person of the Year is also the SBN’s Immediate Past Chair.
A 30-year veteran of the automotive aftermarket, Moore led the 2012 ground-breaking SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women. Her perseverance, integrity and leadership significantly contributed to the project’s success. Making national news, the vehicle build demonstrated the extensive experience, knowledge and impact of women in the industry. Moore was also presented a gavel in appreciation for her service on the SBN Select Committee from 2005-2013 and she continues to be a role model for women aspiring to develop a career in the aftermarket industry.
Gear-Up Girl was a networking event for established women in the industry to lend their expertise to the next generation of female automotive professionals. A SEMA Education Institute student program, the event connected students with professionals in the industry.
The SEMA Speed Networking Breakfast was sold out for a fifth consecutive year. One of the show week’s most popular events, attendees had the opportunity to network with dozens of new industry contacts.
The two-hour event treated attendees to a breakfast and short presentation before heading into the speed networking area.
Another sold-out networking event by SBN was Café SEMA. The 100-seat limited attendance event paired industry experts with attendees looking for an exclusive environment that allowed for direct interactions and questions.