SEMA Member News—January/February 2014
Celebrating 2013 and Looking Ahead to 2014
The Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) industry awards reception took place on Tuesday evening, November 5, during the SEMA Show. According to Chair Alex Tainsh, the decision to make networking the central focus of the evening was an important step in facilitating connections among council members. Tainsh knows that many individuals join ARMO to network with others, and the annual reception is one of the best venues for interaction.
“Members from all areas of the industry can discuss cars or the hobby, or just get advice from some of the most experienced people,” said Tainsh.
Members also took a break from mingling during the reception to recognize a few of the individuals who have made a significant impact on the restoration industry. Each year, ARMO members have the opportunity to nominate and vote for the individuals and businesses they feel have contributed most to the restoration industry.
The Business of the Year can be from any of ARMO’s membership categories but must have demonstrated exceptional service, integrity and business ethics throughout year. The 2013 ARMO Business of the Year was Dennis Carpenter Reproductions, a leading manufacturer of Ford reproduction products that has served the specialty-equipment market for more than 40 years.
Jim Pennekamp of Trim Parts Inc. was honored as ARMO’s Person of the Year. The annual award goes to an individual who has made a substantial contribution to the industry and has an ongoing record of service and support to the restoration market. The honoree must be employed by an ARMO-member company.
Pennekamp has served on the ARMO select committee and chaired task forces dedicated to planning the council’s annual reception and promoting the Take a Kid to a Car Show program, which exists to encourage the next generation of collector-car hobbyists.
In addition to those two awards, Chuck Blum of Chuck Blum and Associates was inducted into the council’s Hall of Fame. Blum is not only a long-time ARMO member but also served as SEMA’s president and CEO for 22 years.
Venue Change for Small Business Bootcamp
ARMO’s annual Small Business Bootcamp will take place at the Detroit Autorama on Saturday, March 8, in conjunction with the 2014 Education Day held by the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA).
In the past, the council-sponsored event offered seminars geared toward owners of small shops as a bookend to the HRIA event. In recent years, the Bootcamp grew to include four seminars. Based on feedback from attendees and the venue change, however, the council leadership decided to focus on one seminar for 2014.
The 90-minute seminar entitled “The Business of Restoration” will allow attendees to hear from a panel of car builders in the restoration and hot-rod industry.
The panelists will discuss the ups and downs of making a living in the industry. Topics will include personal experiences about business ideas that worked well, why a few did not work, and what has changed throughout the panelists’ years in the industry.
Aspiring gearheads as well as those who have owned shops for years will benefit from the perspectives shared by these experts.
2014 Hot Product Showcase
The annual ARMO Hot Products Showcase will again take place this spring at the Spring Carlisle Collector Car Swap Meet and Corral in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This event gives ARMO-member companies the opportunity to introduce their products to attending enthusiasts.
All products are professionally photographed and added to an online gallery. The photos are also included in a video at the ARMO booth and the industry awards reception at the SEMA Show. This product exposure is available to ARMO members for only the cost of shipping the products to the event.
The event was expanded last year to include not just new products but also any product an ARMO-member company wanted to promote. In 2014, the format will stay the same, and the event will be held April 23–27.
For more information about any of these events, contact Council Director Jim Skelly at or 909-978-6690.