SEMA Member News—July/August 2012
Five Minutes With the New MPMC Leadership
Vic Wood, national sales manager at Hedman Performance Group, assumed the duties of chairman of the MPMC in July.
Vic Wood and Rich Barsamian moved into the leadership roles of the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) as chairman and chair-elect in July. SEMA Member News recently caught up with both of them to get acquainted and to see what might be in store for the council over the next couple of years.
SEMA Member News: What is your history in the industry and in MPMC?
Vic Wood: This year will be my 35th SEMA Show, the first 15 of which I attended from Australia. I opened the SEMA office in Australia in 1997 and oversaw the association’s Asia Pacific operations from 1998–2001. I came to the states to work at SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, [California] as the senior director of membership and councils. I also served as executive director of Light Truck Accessory Alliance. After leaving SEMA, I spent two years at B&M as general manager of McLeod Industries Division and have been national sales manager at Hedman Performance Group since 2007.
Rich Barsamian: I began my career in 1985 at Sumrall Odell Anderson, a manufacturer’s rep agency, and I attended my first SEMA Show in 1987. In 1994, I made the switch to manufacturing and went to work for Grant Products. I became national sales manager at Edelbrock in 2000. I returned to Grant Products in 2003 as vice president of sales to be part of the team to help rebuild Grant after its New York holding company went under. In 2010, I went to work for Advanced Clutch Technology, where I am currently national sales manager. I joined the MPMC Select Committee in 2004 and served three terms.
SMN: What do you see as priorities for MPMC this year?
VW: Over the past two years, we have been able to refocus the objectives of the council and establish specific programs and objectives that are in line with the SEMA Board of Directors recommendations. Those objectives need to be nurtured and expanded.
Rich Barsamian, national sales manager for Advanced Clutch Technology, also began his term as chair-elect of MPMC in July.
RB: MPMC is dedicated to networking and finding solutions to what the motorsports parts manufacturers face in our ever-changing industry. Echoing what Vic said, we need to keep the council focused on finding solutions to the challenges faced by our manufacturer membership.
SMN: Is there anything specific that you want to accomplish as chairman or chair-elect of MPMC over the next two years?
VW: My primary objective has always been to have an MPMC that members can be proud to say they are members of and that qualified non-members want to be part of. We should never have to “sell” MPMC membership; it should be an “I want to be a member” situation.
RB: I look forward to moving in the direction that this council was originally based on. Some of the founding members of MPMC have been tremendous sources of knowledge and information to help us make sure we stay true to the original intent of the council and prepare to strategically take it to the next level.
SMN: Why should companies join SEMA and MPMC?
VW: Everyone wants to be associated with success. That’s why companies should join SEMA and MPMC; we have tools and resources to help your company be successful. Of course, there is the annual SEMA Show. But the “real SEMA” is so much more. SEMA offers a wide range of products and services such as rapid prototyping for only the cost of materials, measuring sessions with new OEM vehicles, industry research and marketing reports, just to name a few.
RB: Likewise, MPMC is more than the Media Trade Conference. The MPMC Business Guidelines Manual, now available online through the SEMA Education Institute, was written and is maintained by MPMC members for MPMC members. It offers real-world answers to common issues faced by our manufacturer members and is used as a handy reference document by MPMC companies old and new. MPMC works hard to try to provide meaningful solutions to industry-specific issues and the challenges that we face every day so that we can perpetuate the growth and prosperity of motorsports parts manufacturers. We also work closely with SEMA’s legislative and technical staff to address those matters that may affect motor-sports parts manufacturers.
SMN: Is there anything else you would like to emphasize?
VW: Yes! We need to reinforce the fact that MPMC has much more to offer than the Media Trade Conference. Rich already mentioned the MPMC Business Guidelines Manual. Beyond that, it should be noted that only manufacturing companies may join MPMC. More specifically, those manufacturers must produce parts that are used in sanctioned motorsports activities. This means that all of the council’s efforts are directed exclusively on issues and solutions that pertain to those types of companies.