By Jenna Jefferies
“She Is” Awareness Campaign Launched
Share who “She Is” on social media by using #SheIsSEMA. Learn more at www.sema.org/sheissema.
At the 50th SEMA Show this past November, the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) introduced a new awareness campaign entitled “She Is.” The campaign launched at the 2016 SEMA Industry Awards Banquet on Thursday evening of the Show with a video featuring successful women in the automotive aftermarket industry and the diverse roles they play.
Who is “She?”
In the automotive aftermarket “She Is” many things, and sometimes something completely unexpected. SBN is proud to answer that question with this campaign designed to raise awareness of successful women in the industry by featuring those women who have excelled in their careers. By doing this, SBN hopes to grow appreciation of these talented women as well as inspire young women looking to get into the industry.
What Is “She Is?”
“She Is” will feature what these women do, how they landed their careers and how they continue to thrive in this predominately male industry. Through “She Is,” SBN aims to bridge the gap and inspire the next generation of women. This program is an integrated campaign that brings recognition to women in all aspects of the automotive aftermarket industry. It will bring awareness to the strong women not just in the high-profile segments, such as racing and building, but also the behind-the-scenes segments, such as office managers, human-resource professionals and counter sales.
Spread the word, and tell the industry who “She Is” by using the hashtag #SheIsSEMA on social media. For more information, visit www.sema.org/sheissema.
Race Car Driver and Vice President of Marketing at GTS Customs, Corvette Specialists
Jane Thurmond was one of the professional women featured in the “She Is” video. SEMA Member News caught up with her to learn about how she got into the industry and her love for anything automotive.
SMN: What is your story? How did you get into this industry?
Jane Thurmond: I am 52, a wife and the mother of three grown humans! As a little kid, my father would take me to the boat drags, and he taught me to drive at the age of 12. It was about that same time when he bought his first Corvette. Virtually all of his friends were into cars, drag boats or vintage motorcycles, and they were painters and had bodyshops. I grew up around cars, and when I was old enough to drive, I bought a ’72 El Camino and really only hung out with car people. When I was 17, I met Greg, my husband, and as luck would have it, he was totally into cars and his folks owned an upholstery shop. Our first official outing was the NHRA Winter Nationals! Gearheads for life!
SMN: How many years have you been in the industry?
JT: After Greg and I married, we decided to open our own shop. He was quite accomplished at body and glass work, along with upholstery. We’ve been in business for 30 years now, and our specialty is restomod Corvettes. We’ve built close to 50 of them, with a couple of them hitting the Barrett-Jackson and Mecum auctions and selling for $200,000 plus. The coolest part of that was how Bob Varsha literally gushed over the car, Greg and the shop!
SMN: What inspires you?
JT: I am inspired by many things. I’m easily inspired by my kids! Or rather young people, because they have a way of seeing things with such different eyes, and in many cases, they haven’t been jaded by the ‘no’s’ of the world. They still see challenges as opportunities to break from convention, to dream, to be hopeless romantics. What do I believe inspires me the most? Someone saying, ‘You can’t do that.’ I’ve never been one to sit quietly and accept the status quo. I’ve always rooted for the underdog and accepted a challenge for what it was.
SMN: If you had one piece of advice to pass on, what would it be?
JT: Always, always trust your gut, regardless of gender, economic status or geography. Be a rule breaker. Stand for something—anything. Just stand up! And most of all, approach every day with a grateful heart. People who are grateful are always happy.