Edelbrock and Chrisman Head Up SBN

SEMA Member News—July 2017

By Katie Carson

Edelbrock and Chrisman Head Up SBN

The SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) welcomes new leadership beginning July 1, 2017. Camee Edelbrock is the new SBN chair, and Lana Chrisman of McLeod Racing is the new SBN chair-elect. The SBN works toward the advancement of women in the automotive aftermarket industry. Through education and networking programs, the network provides women with community and resources to advance their careers.

Camee Edelbrock

  Camee Edelbrock
Camee Edelbrock, a third-generation automotive enthusiast, steps in as the new chair of the SBN.

Camee Edelbrock is a third-generation automotive enthusiast, race car driver and participating member of the automotive aftermarket industry. Her grandfather, Vic Edelbrock Sr., raced across the dry lakes of Southern California in his ’32 Ford roadster, setting a speed record of 121 mph just before Word War II. His knowledge of speed was applied to business when he founded the Edelbrock Equipment Co. in 1938.

Camee Edelbrock’s father, Vic Edelbrock Jr., took over the business in 1962. After she graduated from the University of Southern California, Edelbrock joined her dad in the family business. Her role as a production artist quickly grew into advertising and public relations. After 10 years learning the craft, she was promoted to vice president of advertising. As a company spokesperson, she worked on both sides of the camera, with appearances in “Overhaulin’,” “Rides,” “Hot RodTV” and other television programs.

Edelbrock’s competitive spirit is equal to those of the earlier generations and is evident in her racing history. She started competing on water skis in the sport of speed skiing, where races typically ranged in length from 50 to 75 miles on the lakes and oceans of Southern California. She earned championship status one year, along with first place in the legendary Catalina Ski Race, which traverses the channel between Long Beach, California, and Avalon Harbor on Catalina Island.

Eventually, it was time to hit dry land and tackle the sport of road racing. After she completed a course at the Bondurant High-Performance Driving School, Edelbrock and her dad raced cars all over the country in the growing sport of vintage road racing. She earned several awards while racing her ’66 Shelby Mustang, including the Tom Senter award for performance and presentation at the Monterey Historics, Presented by Ford Motor Co. Edelbrock earned the respect of her fellow race car drivers as well as a following of fans that included young ladies who were thrilled to see that women could race just like the men.

Lana Chrisman

Lana Chrisman
Lana Chrisman is the new chair-elect for the SBN and volunteers her time because she wants to give back to the industry that has provided for her friends and family.

Lana Chrisman grew up in her family’s garage, where her father, Jack Chrisman, built some of drag racing’s most famous cars, including Chrisman’s Comet—the first nitro blown Funny Car. In college, Chrisman partnered with her brother to create a mail-order parts company that specialized in gears and differentials. During her time with CalGear, Chrisman was met with the daily challenges of being a female selling products typically sold by men.

“Numerous times, customers would request to speak with a man, only to have the phone turned back to me to close the sale,” Chrisman recalled. “It took some time for clients to finally realize that I really did know the parts and applications.”

Her experience in building the business’ structure, along with working with attorneys and accountants, led her to study business law with the ambition of helping people restructure and build successful businesses. In addition to raising two daughters, her current role is vice president of McLeod Racing.

Chrisman volunteers her time to the SBN because she wants to give back and serve in the industry that has provided for her friends and family.

“Preserving our industry’s grassroots history and supporting future generations of innovators is exciting,” Chrisman said.

She also sees volunteering as an opportunity to educate herself more about SEMA.

“SEMA is more than going to Las Vegas once a year, and that is what I wanted to experience,” she said. “Once I joined the SBN, I immediately became aware of and have a new appreciation for the association beyond the Show.”

The SBN also welcomed two new members and four incumbents to the select committee. They include:

  • Coelette Chenier, Transamerican Auto Parts (Incumbent)
  • Cathy Clark, Bob Cook Sales
  • Tiffany Dorin, Magnaflow (Incumbent)
  • Sherry Kollien, Ford Motor Co. (Incumbent)
  • Jennifer LaFever, Roush Yates Engines (Incumbent)
  • Jane Thurmond, GTS Customs
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