SEMA Member News - January/February 2010

SPC at the 2009 SEMA Show

Industry Awards Highlight a Successful Mixer

Oliver Rathlein (right), shown here with SPC’s Brian Reese, accepted the 2009 Business of the Year award on behalf of Eibach Springs at the annual SPC mixer during the recent SEMA Show.

The 2009 SPC Person of the Year award was presented to Michael Ferrara (right) of DSport magazine, shown here with Ed Burgy of the SPC Select Committee.

Tracie Nuñez (left), chairman of SPC, presented the 2009 Industry Icon award to Kipp Kington of KTC Marketing for his representation of and contributions to the industry.

There was a full house during the Street Performance Council (SPC) annual mixer at the 2009 SEMA Show. The evening provided great networking opportunities and a platform for announcing the winners of the SPC awards.

“In addition to a fun and relaxing atmosphere, the mixer allowed people to catch up with industry friends and associates,” said SPC Chairman Tracie Nuñez. “It also provided a great opportunity to promote SPC and the programs and tools available to its members.”

Business of the Year

The Business of the Year award is presented each year to a company that has provided innovation and leadership in the street-performance scene. The nominees are companies that have made substantial contributions to the street-performance industry during the past year. Eibach Springs was chosen as the 2009 Business of the Year. Oliver Rathlein accepted on behalf of Eibach Springs.

“Thank you SPC for selecting Eibach as the Business of the Year,” Rathlein said. “No matter how tough times may get, you have to keep pushing forward in quality product, support of your customers and support for your industry. If you are not already involved in a SEMA committee or council, don’t wait to be invited like we did. Get involved now. The benefits only multiply when you contribute a little time, experience and knowledge to our great industry.”

Person of the Year

The SPC Person of the Year award is given to an individual who has made a significant impact on the street-performance industry. The nominees each year are people whose creativity, integrity, industriousness and accomplishments have made a substantial contribution to the street-performance industry during the previous 12 months. The 2009 winner was Michael Ferrara with DSport magazine.

“Amongst the great company of nominees, it’s an honor to receive the SPC Person of the Year award,” Ferrara said. “While this award recognizes a single person, make no mistake that it takes a team of dedicated enthusiasts to produce quality products that contribute to our industry. This past year has been a challenging one for most businesses, but we’ve proved at Hard Media and DSport that hard work and intelligent financial investment can produce more significant results in a slow economy than in a healthier economy. We’ve captured more market share this year than in the past two years combined. We increased the frequency of our DSport DVDs, added a new-car buyer’s edition of the magazine and spent nearly $1 million in expanding our print runs and newsstand distribution. This has allowed our advertisers to reach a larger consumer pool while our editorial now educates even more enthusiasts to the merits of aftermarket performance tuning. Thanks again for the recognition, and I look forward to helping as many companies as possible become successful while supporting our market.”

Industry Icon

This award was established to acknowledge a person who has positively impacted the image of the street-performance industry and the lifestyle that it generates. The nominees must have been in the industry for at least a decade, be well known and fully represent the industry through their personal contributions beyond the call of duty in their jobs. The 2009 Industry Icon is Kipp Kington of KTC Marketing.

“One of the most important factors in me getting this award was being in the right place at the right time,” said Kington. “As the market starts to return to normal, I would urge everyone to put extra effort into being in that right place, as those who do will get an increased market share of an expanding market, while those still licking their wounds and complaining about one of the worst years ever will, in most case, lose some share.”


The SPC President’s Award was bestowed posthumously on Shaun Carlson, a pioneer in sport-compact drag racing, an NHRA Pro Stock driver and a professional drifting team owner, who passed away in late 2009.

President’s Award

The final award of the night, the SPC President’s Award, is chosen by the council leadership and is given to an individual or a company that has made a significant contribution to the street-performance industry. This year, the award was presented to Shaun Carlson, a pioneer in sport-compact drag racing, an NHRA Pro Stock driver and a professional drifting team owner. Tragically, Carlson passed away earlier in the year from ongoing health issues. A special video tribute was played at the reception with testimonials from many of Carlson’s friends and teammates.

“As chair-elect of Street Performance Council, it was my honor to recognize one of my generation’s most innovative and talented individuals,” said Tyler Tanaka. “Shaun Carlson personified the SPC and its member companies. He continually pushed the boundaries of conventional thinking and acceptable performance, always looking ahead for new ways to succeed. Shaun was one of the most gifted people I have known, and his contributions to the automotive aftermarket will be missed. The SPC President’s Award recognizes his tremendous impact, not only for the cars he worked on but also for the many lives that he touched along the way.”

LRP Announcement

The SPC Long-Range Planning meeting (LRP) will be held on January 25, 2010, at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California. Visit here for more information.