Young Executives Network at a Glance

SEMA Member News—March 2018

Young Executives Network at a Glance

By Jenny Galvan

  Attendees watched as the 2017 Launch Pad competition swung into high gear.

The mission of the Young Executives Network (YEN) is to cultivate young talent in the automotive aftermarket industry by implementing educational seminars and networking events. YEN does this by taking advantage of the resources available through social-media networking as well as in-person networking at industry trade events.

YEN members (YENsters) are entrepreneurs and young executives who lead top businesses that are thriving, as well as burgeoning businesses on their way to unprecedented success. They are young professionals who are actively pursuing a higher level of proficiency in the automotive specialty-equipment market. They hail from various automotive industry professions, including technology, marketing and sales, operations, and various other fields.

Through their involvement with the network, YENsters have a unique chance to listen and learn while providing the industry with youthful voices to be heard.

Notable Events Throughout the Year

YEN hosts and co-hosts various events throughout the year, with the most prominent events taking place at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas as well as the PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis. However, there are several smaller-scale regional events that are held nationwide to help YEN members connect with each other in person several times per year.

Regional Networking Events

YEN hosts regional networking events around the country as an opportunity for members to connect with local peers in relaxing environments. These casual gatherings normally take place at automotive events. Examples of past meetup locations include the Formula Drift Championship at Irwindale Speedway in California, The Speed Ring motorsports competition in Pontiac, Michigan, and other entertaining sites.

YEN at the SEMA Show

While there is an abundance of exhibits to see, seminars to attend and people to meet at the SEMA Show, YEN likes to host several events there. The most anticipated YEN event is the SEMA Launch Pad.

SEMA Launch Pad—Powered by YEN

The SEMA Launch Pad is designed to help entrepreneurs under the age of 40 launch their new products or services into the marketplace. The annual competition offers young innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs a platform from which to pitch their businesses to a panel of iconic industry judges. Ten finalists compete for the ultimate prize, which is designed to take the winning product to the next level through brand exposure, access to business resources, face time with key industry influencers, and more business-launching opportunities.

If you have a new automotive aftermarket product or service and are under the age of 40, you can apply! Applicants do not need to be SEMA or YEN members to submit their industry-disruptive products or services. Enter to compete in this year’s Launch Pad at

SEMA Show YEN Reception

Besides hosting the SEMA Launch Pad at the Show, the network also hosts the YEN reception. This well-attended annual affair is also highly anticipated by YEN members and non-members alike. Although no two YEN receptions are the same, last year’s event featured a Rocket League and Grand Turismo gaming station, a designated selfie station, appetizers, beverages and, of course, a DJ supplying the music.

In addition to being a fun-filled function, the reception serves the higher purpose of informing those in attendance about the many benefits of joining the network. YEN also takes this time to honor top young professionals in the industry for their outstanding accomplishments. The Young Executive of the Year award and the YEN Vanguard Award are presented during the lively soiree.

YEN General Membership Meeting

Also held at the SEMA Show, the YEN general membership meeting is a great opportunity to catch up with fellow YENsters and hear updates on the latest network initiatives from the select committee. The mixer is especially beneficial for those young professionals interested in joining the network, as it is the perfect setting to mingle with network leadership and learn about the benefits of a YEN membership.

YEN Networking Meetup at the PRI Trade Show

During the PRI Trade Show, YEN hosts a networking event for attending members. YENsters enjoy the company of industry peers while addressing topics specific to advancing young professionals in the automotive aftermarket.

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