SEMA Member News - January/February 2010

WTC Establishes Hall of Fame

Dick Horasian Is 2009 Inductee

Dick Horasian has been involved in the wheel and tire industry since 1959, when he worked for Ansen Automotive. He has worked with some of the most prestigious companies in the country during his nearly 50-year career.  


Horasian (right) was honored with the 2009 WTC Lifetime Achievement award—which includes automatic induction into the newly formed WTC Hall of Fame—at the council’s reception during the recent SEMA Show. WTC Chair-Elect David Insull presented the award.     

The SEMA Wheel and Tire Council (WTC) announced the establishment of a WTC Hall of Fame on Wednesday, November 5, 2009. The announcement came during the annual WTC industry awards reception, held this year at the Renaissance Hotel in Las Vegas during the 2009 SEMA Show.

“WTC has recognized industry leaders with a Lifetime Achievement Award since 2001,” said WTC Chairman Tim Dietz. “When we decided to establish this Hall of Fame, it made sense that it should be immediately populated by those Lifetime Achievement winners. Moving forward, future Lifetime Achievement Award winners will automatically be inducted into the Hall of Fame as well. That does not preclude the option of inducting someone else from the industry who may have not received a Lifetime Achievement Award.”

Industry Icon Honored by WTC

WTC honored an industry icon by awarding Dick Horasian the 2009 WTC Lifetime Achievement Award. The packed room at the WTC reception burst into applause at the announcement, leaving no doubt as to their feelings for this man who only recently retired after devoting nearly 50 years to the automotive aftermarket industry. Horasian is a veteran of the Korean Conflict, where he honed his mechanical skills working on the Skyraider attack aircraft of the U.S. Navy’s VC-35 squadron. He also served as a Los Angeles County Firefighter. Horasian began his automotive aftermarket career in 1959, working with another industry legend named
WTC Hall of Fame

2009    Dick Horasian
2008    Greg Weld
2007    Louis Senter
2006    John “Ed” Hill
2005    Frank Duca
2004    John Arthurs
2003    Joe Suddreth
2002    Jim Kavanaugh
2001    Art Hale Sr.

Louis Senter at a new startup company called Ansen Automotive. From Ansen, Horasian moved on to work for or represent companies, such as American Racing, Jackman Wheels, Roadrunner Wheels, Progressive Custom Wheels, Cragar Industries and Prestige Autotech Corp. During his career, he held titles such as sales manager, regional and national sales manager, vice president, senior vice president, president and business owner. He attended the first SEMA Show in 1967 under the bleachers at Dodger Stadium and attended every SEMA Show thereafter through 2007.

His contributions to the aftermarket industry and the companies he worked for go far beyond simple year-over-year sales volumes. Throughout his career, he gave the industry innovative ideas on customer development, business development, product development, market development and program development. While pushing himself, Horasian also continually pushed the industry forward with his ideas. He has been a mentor to countless individuals and, as a result, has helped launch many successful careers in the automotive aftermarket. Horasian is truly one of the original aftermarket industry pioneers.

Reception Changes Successful Overall

WTC moved its annual awards reception from the Las Vegas Hilton Hotel to the Renaissance for 2009.


WTC wishes to thank the following reception sponsors for their generous support:

  • American Tire Distributors
  • Discount Tire
  • Mickey Thompson Performance Tires & Wheels
  • Standards Testing Labs
  • Konig Wheels
  • Steele Rubber Products
  • Ultimate Wheel & Tire Plus Sizing Guide  
“The geography certainly makes sense,” said WTC Chairman Tim Dietz. “The wheel and tire exhibitors are in South Hall, and the Renaissance is just outside. It’s nice not to have that long walk over to the Hilton. In spite of our efforts, it was obvious that a lot of folks didn’t get the news about moving to the Renaissance. We’ll be sure to get the word out earlier next year.”

Dietz said this about the venue change itself: “The end result was a packed room, good food and a couple hours of networking and reconnecting with our friends and colleagues from the industry. We unveiled the WTC Hall of Fame—something that we’ve talked about for a couple of years now—and it was a good evening. Thanks to everyone who attended. And to those who missed it because they were unaware of the venue change, I apologize and hope to see them next year!

“I also want to thank our reception sponsors as well. It’s certainly a tough year for everyone, but several companies came through and helped us put the reception together. We couldn’t have done it without them.”