By Tim Sayers
ETTN Networking Event, Awards and Upcoming Roundtable
Rodney Esteban (center) of PriusChat received the ETTN Ambassador Award.
The Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) held its second annual networking event at the 2016 SEMA Show. The event brought together engineering professionals who are passionate about automotive innovation, trends and technology.
Held in SEMA Central, located in the grand lobby of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the event surrounded attendees with some of the hottest feature vehicles of the Show and the SEMA Garage Industry Innovations Center. SEMA Garage staff was present to discuss the cost-saving product-to-market services that are provided to members.
Attendees enjoyed food, beverages and great conversation about the latest and greatest trends and technology. Engineers from multiple automotive OEMs were in attendance, along with SEMA ETTN members and SEMA members who were interested in growing their network of technical executives and professionals.
The ETTN held its inaugural awards presentation at the networking event to honor and celebrate professionals who have made outstanding contributions to the automotive aftermarket industry and to the network. Three awards were presented.
The Ambassador Award winner was Rodney Esteban of Clazzio/Priuschat. The award is presented to an ETTN member who has demonstrated exceptional volunteer contributions or increased membership and awareness of the ETTN during the past year.
The Genius Award winner was SEMA Hall of Fame member Mark Heffington of Hypertech. The award is given to honor and recognize those outstanding individuals whose creativity and genius innovation have made significant contributions toward advancing technology that positively impacts the growth and progress of the automotive industry.
Robert Vogt IV (center) of Voyomotive received the ETTN Techie Award.
When the concept of computer-controlled engines began to emerge, Mark Heffington understood how computer-controlled tuning could significantly impact the performance industry. In 1985, he founded Hypertech Inc. and began to develop and manufacture onboard computer reprogramming devices.
The company introduced the Power Chip in 1986 and, in 1994, Hypertech released the first Power Programmer. Fueled by his love of the aftermarket, Heffington pioneered the computer reprogramming product segment of the industry, which changed the performance aftermarket.
Hypertech has received five SEMA best performance or engineering awards, and Heffington was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame for his contribution to advancing performance technology.
The ETTN Techie Award winner was Robert Vogt from Voyomotive. The award recognizes an individual for engineering achievements of a product, process or component that demonstrates innovative and original engineering development and/or advances state-of-the-art technology as it pertains to the automotive industry or product sector.
Vogt is an auto engineer, a computer scientist and an auto industry inventor. Since 2011, he has been the CTO of Voyomotive, leading the team of engineers behind Voyo, a groundbreaking connected-car platform. He is the developer of one of the world’s most powerful OBD-II data loggers, which is used by OEMs worldwide and is the cornerstone of the Voyo system. He is a member of the board of directors of the Equipment and Tool Institute and was the 2015 SEMA Launch Pad winner.
ETTN Motorsports Tech Roundtable
Mark Huffington of Hypertech received the ETTN Genius Award. His wife, Evelyn Huffington (center), accepted the award on his behalf.
In late January, the ETTN will host its second annual Motorsports Tech Roundtable at the 2017 SEMA Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council Media Trade Conference in Santa Ana, California.
The roundtable event offers open conversations with top industry talent and innovative minds on emerging technical trends in the motorsports industry that can impact product development and testing presently and in the near future. This year’s roundtables will offer a chance for participants to meet with multiple experts to discuss a variety of topics that may include:
- OEM performance and motorsports accessories.
- OE CAN Bus technology interfacing with aftermarket motorsports products.
- The latest/hottest motorsports product tech trends.
- Protecting the technical integrity of performance products.
The roundtable will be held on Monday, January 23, 2017, from 2:00 p.m.–4:30 p.m. at the Embassy Suites, Santa Ana. This is a free event, and any employee from a SEMA-member company can attend. To register, visit www.sema.org/ettn.