SEMA’s Solution to Professional Momentum

SEMA News—December 2017


By Katie Carson

SEMA’s Solution to Professional Momentum

 Councils and Networks
There are 10 SEMA councils and networks where you will find people who have similar interests, goals and specialties to connect with, no matter what niche market you are in.

“Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.” We have heard it in seminars, seen it posted on professional networking sites, and framed as motivational artwork on the wall. What does it mean? Is it achievable, and if so, how?

The automotive aftermarket is a large industry—an estimated $43.7 billion industry, to be exact, per the 2017 SEMA Market Report. The industry was built by the passion of innovative people who dreamed big and didn’t believe in limits. In other words, it’s made up of hard-working, lively pioneers who want to go faster, build better and use their creativity to push the industry to new heights.

If you are reading this, you are most likely one of those people or can relate to their way of thinking. SEMA has an outlet where automotive aftermarket professionals can connect with the industry, learn, give back, engage, thrive and, yes, love what they do.

SEMA Councils and Networks

There are 10 SEMA councils and networks where you will find people who have similar interests, goals and specialties to connect with, no matter what niche market you are in. When you surround yourself with people who motivate you and share similar passions, you begin to realize that what you do every day serves a purpose and is greater than yourself.

The SEMA councils and networks offer opportunities for leadership experience and training, industry recognition, collaboration on a task force, charitable programs and events, professional development, and connections through networking.


The council and network memberships are made up of the leading companies and professionals in the automotive aftermarket industry. Collectively, the councils and networks have more than 50 events throughout the year that attract hundreds of automotive professionals. By attending those social events, you will be rubbing elbows with some of the leading members of the industry. Through networking and creating relationships with key industry players, you will feel a greater connection to the industry.

Gain a Voice in the Industry

Each SEMA council and network has a select committee that serves as the leadership for that group. The select committee leaders are elected into their positions and volunteer their time to work together on producing programs, events and resources based on the current trends and needs for their niche market of the industry. The select committees work alongside SEMA staff, using their resources to drive their concepts to fruition.

Serving in a leadership role provides a unique insight into the inner workings of the industry and puts you in a position to effect real change and solutions. Learning from and collaborating with peers broadens your horizons by listening and understanding those with similar interests but different backgrounds and perspectives. When volunteering as a select committee member for a council or network, you naturally grow your professional and leadership skills.

“The councils and networks are powered by some of the best and brightest in our industry, and it stands to reason that it makes you a better leader when you are in that type of talent-rich environment,” said Chris Douglas of COMP Cams, who served on many council and network select committees and now serves on the SEMA Board of Directors. “My SEMA service has directly improved my ability to look at problems from a higher-level viewpoint.”

Gain Recognition

Hard work, innovative products and outstanding organizations deserve to be celebrated by their industry. Each council and network has an annual awards program to collectively honor more than 20 leading companies and professionals. Receiving one of those awards on the stage in front of peers at a council or network event at the SEMA Show is something to take pride in and shines a spotlight on you and your company.

What’s the Difference Between a Council and a Network?

Council memberships are company-based, whereas network memberships are individual-based. Similar to a SEMA membership, a company’s council membership extends to all current employees of the member company, so they can take advantage of the benefits. All employees of SEMA-member companies are eligible for a network membership.

What’s the Cost?

Council memberships range from $50 to $150 yearly per company. Networks are free for individuals to join.

Get Started

The first step to getting involved in a council or network is to join! You can visit to learn more about each group, who they represent, what their initiatives are and which is the best fit for you and your company.