SEMA Presents $119,000 in Scholarships to Future Industry Leaders

(September 8, 2009)

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

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Sept. 8, 2009) – A total of $119,000 in scholarships is being distributed to 73 students through the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund (SMSF), a program administered by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) to foster leadership opportunities in the specialty equipment marketplace and to support educational goals for students.

“We’re honored to present the awards to this year’s SEMA scholarship winners,” said Tom Myroniak, SEMA Vice President of Marketing. “The applications that came through were truly impressive and reflective of an amazing and talented group. We’re now looking forward to watching these individuals continue their education and pursue careers in the exciting SEMA industry.”
The SMSF received 551 qualified applications on or before the deadline in April 2009. From those, 73 individuals were chosen as winners, including 14 recent graduates who applied for the loan forgiveness program.
Introduced five years ago, the Loan Forgiveness Program offers individuals who have been working for a SEMA member company for at least one year the opportunity to receive $1,000 to pay for his or her existing student loan. Like the scholarships, the loan forgiveness program was developed as an incentive for students to seek employment in the automotive specialty-equipment industry upon graduation.
Also of note, 20% of the award dollars went to SEMA member company employees or their dependents.
“Although SEMA affiliation is not a requirement of the scholarships, added consideration is given to employees of, and relatives of employees at, SEMA member companies,” said Myroniak. “It’s great to see SEMA members taking advantage of this benefit.”
The SMSF has awarded more than $1.25 million to over 800 students since 1984. Applications for the 2010 program will be available at in December.

Loan Forgiveness
  1. Derek Birk, Newman University
  2. Erin Cechal, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Raffa Award)
  3. Gene Dickhudt, McPherson College (ARMO Award)
  4. Peter Harksell, Wyoming Technical Institute
  5. Britta Hofmann, Winona State University
  6. Lance Hunter, Utah State University
  7. Kristopher Kojian, University of Michigan
  8. Robert Martin, University of Northwestern Ohio
  9. Lynn Meredith, Southeast Technical Institute
  10. Casey Milano, Ohio University
  11. Patrick Morse, University of Kentucky
  12. Steven Needles, University of Northwestern Ohio
  13. Matthew Quinn, Syracuse University
  14. Nicholas Woolard, University of California: Los Angeles

SEMA Scholarships
  1. Alexandar Alexiev, Art Center College of Design (Weiand Award)
  2. Garrett Alves, Cerritos Community College
  3. William Ambrosini, Universal Technical Institute of Sacramento
  4. Nathan Bailey, Ferris State University
  5. Jessup Baker, University of Northwestern Ohio (SEMA)
  6. Karina Banuelos, San Bernardino Valley College (K&N Engineering Award)
  7. Keith Bartels, University of Northwestern Ohio (Hrudka Award)
  8. Matthew Bennett, Northwestern College
  9. William Besser, University of St. Thomas
  10. Austin Brauser, Columbia University
  11. James Carruth, Auburn University
  12. Joshua Childress, Ferris State University (SEMA)
  13. Julian Choquette, University Of Montreal
  14. Dan Chown, Queens University
  15. David Christianson, Northeastern University
  16. Zac Compton, Spring Arbor University (SEMA)
  17. Robert Dachiu, University of Northwestern Ohio
  18. Tyler Daoust, Queens University
  19. Spencer Depew, Brigham Young University - Idaho
  20. Paul Disher, Niagara College (SEMA)
  21. Kevin Eichinger, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  22. Andrew Fida, Georgia Institute of Technology (Karp Award)
  23. James Finch, University of Windsor (SEMA)
  24. Jared Fiorentine, University of North Texas
  25. Daniel Fourie, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  26. Samuel Gage, Indiana University (SEMA)
  27. David Hardy, University of Georgia (SEMA)
  28. Sean Hayes, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
  29. Jennifer Haynes, San Diego State University (SEMA)
  30. Mara Henderson, University of Northwestern Ohio (Thompson Award)
  31. Tyler Hill, Rochester Institute of Technology
  32. Benjamin Janke, Madison Area Technical College
  33. Joel Knight, Clemson University (SEMA)
  34. Tony Koesters, University of Toledo (Top Student)
  35. Franz Lopez, Oxnard College (SEMA)
  36. Wesley Manno, Universal Technical Institute (SEMA)
  37. Brandon Mase, Pennsylvania College of Technology (Amato Award)
  38. Marcus Mckean, University of Northwestern Ohio
  39. Travis Mcvay, Northwest Iowa Community College (SEMA)
  40. Aaron Miller, University of Northwestern Ohio
  41. Renisha Newton, Kettering University (SBN Award)
  42. Kale Nicodemus, Colorado State University: Pueblo
  43. Daniel Nye, McPherson College
  44. Jacob Pruett, Northwood University
  45. Daniel Raynes, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  46. Jordan Recchia, Center for Creative Studies: College of Art and Design
  47. Sean Richey, Denver Automotive & Diesel College
  48. Junior Carmen, Rodriguez Cypress College
  49. Austin Smith, Auburn University
  50. Wesley Stimach, Universal Technical Institute (SEMA)
  51. Mark Stouffer, College For Creative Studies (SEMA)
  52. Joshua Stout, Colorado State University: Pueblo
  53. Casey Stutz, Linn-Benton Community College
  54. Christopher Taylor, Mesa State College
  55. John Teller, Ferris State University
  56. Satyam Vyas, Clemson University
  57. Adam White, Grant MacEwan College (SEMA)
  58. Tahiem Williams, University of South Florida
  59. Wei Yang, Purdue University (SEMA)
About SEMA

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $31.85 billion specialty automotive industry of 7,144 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