SEMA Member News—July/August 2011
A Few Words With the Incoming Chairman
Industry Veteran Lee McGuire Assumes Lead Position With YEN
Lee McGuire, director of marketing and operations for Skyjacker Suspensions, will assume the YEN chairmanship in July. An industry veteran of eight years, she and her husband are also enthusiasts, as shown in this recent shot of McGuire with the family’s ’97 Jeep TJ on the Kane Creek Trail at Moab, Utah.
Lee McGuire, director of marketing and operations for Skyjacker Suspensions, will assume the chairmanship of the Young Executive’s Network (YEN) in July. She has been involved in the automotive specialty-equipment industry for eight years and will attend her ninth SEMA Show in November. She became a member of YEN in 2005 and, after a Loan Forgiveness Award that same year from the SEMA Scholarship Fund, determined that she should serve the industry as a way to give back. She says that being a volunteer and serving on the YEN Select Committee have been great experiences. She recently answered a few questions about her passions and goals.
SEMA Member News: What drives your high level of passion for our industry? What got you started?
Lee McGuire: I am a very passionate person and am driven from within, so if I am involved in something, I am going to give it 110%. Finding an industry dedicated to automobiles and all the fun things you can do with them was great for me. I couldn’t help getting involved in motorsports, off-roading and the other great events I get to do while working for Skyjacker. I got started in this industry by pure chance, but I have made it a career by choice and feel very fortunate to be a part of it.
SMN: What do you see as priorities for YEN this year?
LM: The priority for YEN this year is to really engage our membership. We are one of SEMA’s largest groups in terms of members, and we really want to get every member active and involved in the networking and educational opportunities we have. We started a Member Resource Pool as an added way for members to get involved and help shape our programs. We have had great success with it, and I encourage every member of YEN to consider signing up to see what it is all about. Please contact yen@SEMA.org to sign up.
SMN: What are your priorities as the incoming YEN chair?
LM: My priorities coming in are to focus on our current programs, improve upon them and find ways to get our members involved. SEMA and YEN already offer so many great tools, and we want to get our members active and ensure that they take advantage of the networking opportunities that are available.
SMN: What specific things do you want to accomplish in the next two years as YEN chairwoman?
LM: With the help of the Select Committee, I want to accomplish some of the goals we identified in our Long-Range Planning meeting. I want to aggressively pursue those important goals that we highlighted as being the most important for our membership. We want to have a YEN-specific education track in the SEMA Education Institute. We want to offer training that will be of value to the YEN membership and relevant and helpful for their career development. I want to make sure we get more networking events planned each year. A perfect example is the SEMA Town Hall event in Fort Worth that YEN participated in. We want to continue with our social networking outreach, bring people in and show them what this great industry is all about.
SMN: What is the one piece of advice you’d offer young executives in the industry to help them in their business and professional lives?
LM: There really are so many things that a young person needs to know in this industry, so the first I’d advise is to get involved in YEN so that we can help you navigate the industry. Second, I would say show some initiative in everything you do. Ask questions, and never stop learning. What inspires me and keeps me going is the hope that someday I can make a difference. The only way to do that is to look for areas to get involved. There are so many ways to make a difference and leave that lasting impression so that my daily pursuits all bring me toward that goal.
SMN: Let’s get personal: Do you have a customized vehicle? If so, tell us about it.
LM: I have several customized vehicles. My daily driver is a Chevy Tahoe, and my husband’s daily driver is a Chevy 2500HD with a 3-in. Skyjacker lift, Warn bumpers, KMC wheels and BFG tires. We are in full support of the industry with everything that we buy for our vehicles.
Then there are our toys. Our family, which includes our three-year-old daughter, has a ’97 Jeep TJ that is built for trail riding, complete with a 6-in. Rock Ready kit and all the bells and whistles. We also have a new project—a ’68 Chevy Chevelle that we are restoring. We have already converted it over to a big-block from a small-block engine, and now the fun begins.