(Nov. 9, 2012)
NAT DANAS SCHOLARSHIP ESTABLISHED
Endowment to Provide Financial Aid to Students in Auto Trim and Restyling
DIAMOND BAR, CA (Nov.
9, 2012) - A
Nat Danas Scholarship, to be presented annually to students pursuing or
advancing a career in the auto trim and restyling industry, has been
established as part of the SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund with an endowment of
$58,000. The announcement was made by the Nat Danas Scholarship Committee at
the SEMA Industry Awards Banquet, held during the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.
Danas, who passed away in
May, was the founder and publisher of Auto Trim & Restyling News magazine.
A restyling industry icon, Danas began his career in the 1940s as owner of an
auto trim business. He founded the magazine in 1952 to serve the trim,
restoration and restyling industries. In 1953 he formed the industry's first
trade association, the National Association of Auto Trim Shops.
Danas produced numerous
trade shows and conferences showcasing emerging trim and restyling trends, and
offering the industry's first formalized educational workshops and technical
training clinics. He also pioneered the concepts of adherence to best practices
and recognition of skill-level achievement through the establishment of a
voluntary code of ethics and the Master Craftsman Award.
In 1988, Danas was
instrumental in founding the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO). He
later worked with former SEMA President Chuck Blum to bring PRO under the SEMA
umbrella in 1990. A long-time SEMA member, he served multiple terms on the PRO
Select Committee and received the council's lifetime achievement award in 1995.
"Nat's knowledge and
experience, combined with his dedication to education and training, had a
profound impact on the trim and restyling industry," said Ellen McKoy of EMK
Marketing and a member of the Danas Scholarship Committee. "Throughout his
career, Nat not only earned the respect of colleagues nationwide. He also
helped to establish the restyling industry as a vital segment of the specialty
automotive equipment marketplace. With this endowment, we know that Nat's
vision and legacy will live on in perpetuity."
According to McKoy, the
scholarship was initially established at a Midwest university in 1987 with a
bequest of $25,000 raised at a restyling industry tribute to Nat Danas. When
the auto-trim degree program was discontinued, the Danas Scholarship Committee
set its sights on moving the endowment to the SEMA Scholarship Fund. Other
committee members include Phil Edwards, Infinity Sales & Marketing; Maria
Roman, Roman Chariot; and Neil Rosenberg, ITTCO Sales.
"We are excited by the
prospect of offering Nat Danas scholarships to worthy students seeking to
advance their career in the restyling industry," said Joel Ayres, chairman of
the SEMA Scholarship Committee.
The SEMA Memorial
Scholarship Fund is a nonprofit group dedicated to fostering industry
leadership by supporting the educational pursuits of current and future
automotive professionals. The Nat Danas Scholarship will be among the many
scholarships SEMA awards annually to students pursuing careers in the
automotive aftermarket. A total of $130,000 was awarded to 69 individuals in
2012. Potential applicants can apply now at www.SEMA.org/scholarships, with applications due March 29, 2013.
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963,
represents the $29.99 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,537
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