SEMA Member News - July/August 2010


SEMA YEN to Celebrate 20 Great Years!

The Name Has Changed, But the Focus Remains the Same


The Young Executives Network (YEN) will be 20 years old in 2010. While the creation of the group was discussed and planned in the late-’80s, the Young Executives Council (as it was known originally) didn’t become recognized as a member group until 1990. Throughout this year, SEMA and YEN members (old and new) will celebrate the group’s 20th anniversary.
We can credit Tim Brackett, the original YEC chairman, with leading the first group of members, which included Matt Bagne, Kathy Bergoff, Jeff Goldberg, Tony Rhodes and Harry Schwartz. In the early years, YEC was charged with:

  • Getting young executives involved and educating them on SEMA and the industry.
  • Getting input from young executives about the industry’s and SEMA’s direction.
  • Dissecting SEMA’s long-term plan, with the intention of giving YEC’s point of view.
  • Becoming a young executives network.

Seeing that today’s YEN has grown to nearly 700 of our industry’s top young leaders, it appears that the original vision of the group has been met!

“While networking is the single most important benefit of membership in YEN, we are striving to provide today’s young executives with access to new networking tools that many couldn’t have dreamed of back in 1990,” said current YEN Chairman Greg Parker. “The YEC had its mixers and e-mail was on the horizon, but today we have a trade show that is attended by more than 100,000 industry professionals, the vast resources offered by the Internet and social media sites, such as Facebook and LinkedIn.”

Back in 1990, education was a top priority for YEC. That priority hasn’t changed much here in 2010. As a matter of fact, education will be a key component of the group’s annual objectives, with the continuation of YEN seminars at the annual SEMA Show and support of the successful Student Program—which ensures a constant stream of future YENsters into our industry.

  SEMA Member News-July/August 2010-YEN      SEMA Member News-July/August 2010-YEN 

Mark your calendar for YEN’s annual awards reception, which will take place at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on November 2 from 5:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel pool.     

    At last year’s YEN reception, the Vanguard Award was presented to Chris Thomson in recognition of his actions, mentoring, vision and contributions to young executives. Presenting the award were YEN Chairman Gregory Parker (left) and Chair-Elect Lee McGuire.  

The group’s members are, more than ever, an integral piece of the SEMA puzzle. You’ll find current and former YEN members on the SEMA Board of Directors, active on council Select Committees and leading the development of new programs for tomorrow’s young leaders.

So what has changed with YEC/YEN in the last 20 years? Besides many new faces, a new acronym and the increase of the age limit from 35–40 years of age, the group is finding that what was old is new again. The priorities are the same, and the goals haven’t wavered—the focus remains on networking, education and leadership, even today.

What do we have in store for YEN in the next 20 years? You can help determine the group’s direction by joining YEN or by visiting our groups on MySEMA, Facebook and LinkedIn. Also, mark your calendar for YEN’s annual awards reception, which will take place at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas on November 2 from 5:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Hotel pool. Not only will this be the networking event of the year for young executives, but you’ll also be able to join us in celebrating 20 great years!