SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Focuses on Education, Networking and Recognition

SEMA Member News—January 2019

By Katie Carson

SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Focuses on Education, Networking and Recognition

 SBN SEMA ShowA U.S. map with photos taken by SBN members showing where they are from.

In keeping with its mission to provide opportunities for professional women in the automotive specialty-equipment industry, the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) hosted several successful events during the SEMA Show. To kick off the education program on Monday, the morning keynote address, which was presented by actress, author and correspondent Megan Alexander. During the session, titled “Thriving in Your Career While Staying True to Your Beliefs,” Alexander shared practical advice on how women can succeed and achieve excellence in
their careers.

SBN also powered two women-only seminars during Show week. The first session, “Body Politics: The Nonverbal Differences Between Men and Women,” was held on Tuesday afternoon. The second seminar, “Good Enough Now: Women at Work,” took place on Wednesday afternoon.

Building Camaraderie, Acknowledging Achievements

Lana ChrismanSBN Chair Elect Lana Chrisman spoke to everyone at Gear-Up Girl. 

On Monday afternoon, SBN hosted its ever-popular, women-only networking event. Gear-Up Girl drew a standing-room-only crowd of more than 150 network members who mingled, nibbled on snacks and had their photos taken with a Polaroid camera. Each woman’s photo was then posted in her specific region on a large, color-coded map to make it easy for members from the same national or international region to connect with one another.

Gear-Up Girl is also where SBN salutes women in the industry for their contributions and achievements. In recognition of her leadership, knowledge, expertise and management abilities, Kim Pendergast of Magnuson Superchargers was honored with the Athena Woman of the Year award. Ellen McKoy of EMK Marketing received the Athena Champion award for lifetime contributions and dedication to supporting and mentoring women in the specialty-equipment industry. The Athena Rising Star award, presented to student Taylor Bostick, recognizes a woman under 30 who is making significant strides in advancing her career in the automotive aftermarket.

 SBN AnniversarySBN celebrated 25 years of excellence and commitment to advancing women in the automotive aftermarket industry.

An SBN reception, held in a packed Westgate ballroom on Wednesday evening, continued to build on the camaraderie among industry women as they gathered to celebrate #SheIsSEMA. The map that had earlier appeared at Gear-Up Girl was again on display, giving many more women a chance to post their Polaroid photos. With gourmet food, a flower wall to serve as a photo backdrop and some fun Halloween costumes, the evening was a blast.

“All of our SBN events went really well,” said Chair-Elect Lana Chrisman. “The Monday morning keynote was outstanding, and our reception went really well. We also couldn’t have been more pleased with the turnout at Gear-Up Girl—the room was packed. Going forward, we’re looking to expand our reach at other major industry events, such as the PRI Show. It’s an exciting time to be involved in SBN.”