SEMA Hall of Fame Pays Tribute to Three Pioneers

May 6, 2009

Media Contact: Della Domingo
909/396-0289, ext. 130

SEMA Hall of Fame Pays Tribute to Three Pioneers
Honor Presented To Bill Perry, Rolan “Jeep” Worthan, Henry “Smokey” Yunick

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (May 6, 2009) — Bill Perry, Rolan “Jeep” Worthan and Henry “Smokey” Yunick will be inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame, an elite group of industry innovators who have played a key role in shaping the automotive specialty-equipment market.

"The SEMA industry is built by hard-working men and women who share a deep passion and love for the automotive hobby," said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. "The SEMA Hall of Fame honors and pays tribute to those extraordinary individuals who have made a significant impact in advancing and growing the market."

Since 1969, the SEMA Hall of Fame has paid homage to the leaders and innovators who have contributed to the health and success of the automotive specialty-equipment market. Honorees include businessmen, government officials, race car drivers and entrepreneurs.

"This year's inductees include three outstanding individuals," said Kersting. "When you learn about their histories and how they have impacted this industry, it's clear to see why they are being honored."

Bill Perry: Perry was serving his third consecutive term as a SEMA Board member when he passed away earlier this year. Before opening his own rep agency in 1985, Perry worked at a jobber store selling parts. A member of several organizations, Bill Perry & Associates instantly became one of the industry’s most successful and respected agencies. His company has been honored with the SEMA Manufacturers’ Representative of the Year award, and Perry was the recipient of the 2008 MRC (Manufacturers’ Representatives Council) Hall of Fame award.

Rolan “Jeep” Worthan: When Worthan joined Autometer in 1974, he worked in the sales department. However, as a long-time enthusiast and innovator, Worthan quickly moved to other areas of the business and soon found himself out on the race tracks developing new products for what is now a leading manufacturer of automotive performance instrumentations and gauges. Worthan continued to be an advocate for the industry and has served on the SEMA Board of Directors 16 years.

Henry “Smokey” Yunick: Already a member of more than 30 Hall of Fames throughout the world, Yunick – who passed away in 2001 – was a world-renowned mechanic, car designer and racer. By the end of his racing career, Yunick’s teams included 50 of the most famous drivers in the sport, winning 57 races and two Grand National championships. He also became Chevrolet’s unofficial factory race team, and headed NASCAR efforts for Ford and Pontiac. Much of the high-performance development of the Chevrolet Small-Block engine involved Yunick in design, testing – or both.

The hall of fame inductees will be officially recognized at the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, Saturday, August 1, 2009, at the Pasadena Convention Center in Pasadena, California. The event, which is part of SEMA’s Leadership Days program, includes dinner and includes the formal induction of the newly elected SEMA Board members. Tickets and details are available at, or may be obtained from Lisa Moreno at, 909/396-0289, ext. 105.

About SEMA
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $31.85 billion specialty automotive industry of 7,358 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel: 909/396-0289, or visit  and