SEMA Member News - September/October 2010
Many New Faces on MPMC Select Committee
MPMC member company banners will again hang from the balconies of the Embassy Suites LAX South in El Segundo, California. The banners as well as the exhibitors and media attendees at the 14th annual MPMC Media Trade Conference will stay warm and dry this year, no matter the weather.
William Baty, Centerforce Clutches, has been involved in the automotive aftermarket for 21 years as a consumer and employee of Centerforce and would like to return something to the industry that has given him so much. He is an advocate for educating and mentoring younger people in our industry. “I believe in Take a Kid to a Car Show and Take a Friend to a Race,” Baty said. “Those programs help our industry grow and, ultimately, survive. I want to contribute and be part of the organization protecting our industry: SEMA.”
Todd Gartshore, Baer Inc., was involved in the original charter of the MPMC and has previously served multiple terms on the MPMC Select Committee. He has also served on the HRIA Select Committee, the SEMA Board of Directors, the executive committee and the SEMA tech committee that originally developed the pathway for Air Resource Board Executive Orders of Exemption.
Scott Hall, Moroso Performance Products, has mechanical and manufacturing engineering degrees from New Hampshire Technical Institute and more than 13 years of experience developing parts at Moroso and Fragola Performance. Being an active drag racer and engine builder, however, he not only builds and sells parts, he uses them. “I grew up around my father’s machine shop and the drag races, surrounded by people who make this industry what it is,” said Hall. “I already have a lifetime of experience in many facets of our high-performance industry, but at only 35 years of age, I still have many decades left to give back to the industry that molded and directed me into the person that I am.”
John Sonnefeldt, Holley Performance, has a lifetime passion for cars and more than 15 years of experience in the high-performance aftermarket. Prior to Holley Performance, Sonnefeldt held positions at VP Racing Fuels, Eaton/Detroit Locker, 76 Racing Gasoline, Auto Meter Products and Matco Tools. In his own words, “I have spent plenty of weekends with many other MPMC members in the pits working with racers and at display trailers talking with consumers. I regularly attend meetings and functions with fellow MPMC members, and their passion makes me eager to serve on the MPMC Select Committee and contribute to the industry that has done so much for me.”
Steve Williams, K&N Engineering, has extensive experience running successful business operations. After obtaining history and engineering degrees from Loma Linda University, Williams opened Empire Construction in 1984, purchased Precision Crankshaft in 1987 and ran both companies until 1997. At that time, he sold both businesses to work fulltime at K&N Engineering. In 2000, Williams became executive vice president, a position he still holds today. He also sits on the NHRA PAAC committee, the Filter Manufacturing Council, the NHRA Drivers Commission and the Motorcycle Industry Council.
Gary Wright, Painless Performance Products, is another industry veteran who brings diverse experience to the MPMC Select Committee. His résumé includes positions with various manufacturers of performance, off-road, racing and general automotive hard parts. He also managed a retail off-road shop in Southern California and a custom wheel warehouse distributorship in Dallas/Fort Worth. His reason for joining the MPMC Select Committee is similar to that of many other industry volunteers: “Having worked through many of the changes and challenges in the aftermarket, I would now like to put that experience to work and return some time and talent back to this industry.”
“This year saw quite a turnover in the Select Committee,” said Chairman Kyle Fickler of Weld Racing. “We have an interesting mix of returning incumbents and fresh faces, which has, so far, made for a dynamic group.”
Media Trade Conference Moves Back Inside
The MPMC Media Trade Conference is so much more than three days of 30-minute meetings. It’s about building and renewing relationships. At the Tuesday-night reception and mixer, manufacturers and media relax and socialize while waiting to see which media personality is awarded the prestigious Robert E. Petersen award for outstanding contributions to the motorsports industry.
“When the weather is sunny and California-like, the outdoor atmosphere at the Covina property would be fantastic,” said Fickler. “Even the ‘normal’ January rains might not have been that big a deal. Unfortunately, the only thing anyone
remembers from last year was the horrendous weather and the impact it had on media getting around the property.”
“The venue change last year was a worthwhile experiment,” Fickler said. “However, rain in January is really more of a constant than a variable. So we are very pleased that the Embassy Suites worked with SEMA staff on a contract that makes it economically reasonable to return there. No need to pack an umbrella this year.”
Online media registration will open on or about October 4, 2010. Exhibitor registration is closed, and all 100 exhibitor slots have been filled.