Member News

Post on: 07/01/2011 - 2:20pm

Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) - SEMA CouncilThe 2011 Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Media Trade Conference (MTC) returned to the Embassy Suites LAX South after a one-year detour in 2010. This marks the eighth time in the last nine years that the event was hosted at the location in El Segundo, California, and by all accounts, the return proved to be the right move after record-setting rains during the 2010 event at a facility with an open-air setting.

“This property continues to serve the event well,” said MPMC Chairman Kyle Fickler of Weld Racing Inc. “The layout lends itself to our purposes, and it’s completely under a roof—something we will never again take for granted after last year! The hotel staff was very attentive to our needs, responded to feedback from previous years and was very accommodating to last-minute changes on site. It’s cliché, but 2011 was definitely the best Media Trade Conference yet!”

Post on: 07/01/2011 - 2:08pm

Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) - SEMA CouncilThe Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) and its member companies are gearing up for the second annual LTAA New Product Showcase. Carlisle Events will once again host the Showcase at the Carlisle Truck Nationals, August 5–7, 2011, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Last year’s inaugural event drew 35 products from 15 LTAA-member companies, including two fullsize display trucks. This year’s event promises to be even bigger and better.

“The event came together very quickly last year,” said LTAA Chair-Elect Melanie White of Hellwig Industries. “Even with minimal time to market it, the response from our members was very positive, and the post-event feedback made it easy to plan for a second event in 2011. If you are an LTAA-member company and have not signed up a new product or products, there is still time to get in. Registration is online and takes just a few minutes.”

Post on: 07/01/2011 - 1:52pm

Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) - SEMA CouncilCustomer service is nothing more than communication. We are not selling just metal, chrome, rubber or plastic. We are selling information and services.

So what does the customer really want from you? Well, think about what you would want if you were the customer. You are perfectly willing to pay a fair price for a product that you have decided best serves your purpose. Your selection criteria may range widely based on price, quality, delivery, features, reputation and so on. When you are ready to make a purchase, you have formed expectations about all of these categories. All you want is to have those expectations fulfilled.

Post on: 07/01/2011 - 12:09pm

Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) - SEMA CouncilLike other SEMA councils and committees the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) came to be out of necessity. As SEMA membership grew to encompass all aspects of the automotive specialty-equipment market, industry leaders recognized the need for a volunteer group to focus on the specific needs of the restoration market.

In early 1991, Jim Wirth attended a SEMA management conference and was impressed by the way SEMA-member companies were working for the betterment of the automotive aftermarket. Already heavily involved in the restoration industry as an enthusiast and the founder of the Springfield Auto Swap Meet and Car Show, Wirth suggested to several friends that restoration companies could benefit from a similar organization. By the end of that year, ARMO was formed and recognized as a SEMA committee.

Post on: 07/01/2011 - 11:15am

Lee McGuire, director of marketing and operations for Skyjacker Suspensions, will assume the chairmanship of the Young Executive’s Network (YEN) in July. She has been involved in the automotive specialty-equipment industry for eight years and will attend her ninth SEMA Show in November. She became a member of YEN in 2005 and, after a Loan Forgiveness Award that same year from the SEMA Scholarship Fund, determined that she should serve the industry as a way to give back. She says that being a volunteer and serving on the YEN Select Committee have been great experiences. She recently answered a few questions about her passions and goals.

Post on: 07/01/2011 - 9:06am

SEMA Scholarships CommitteeThe SEMA Education Institute (SEI) has added a new SEMA Social Media Course to its comprehensive online library, which is designed to help industry professionals develop career-advancing skills. The six-session course, available for a limited time without charge at, begins with Social Media Foundations, an introduction to the social-media concept. The five subsequent sessions describe how automotive specialty-equipment companies can leverage outrageously popular social media channels to help promote and market their businesses.

Post on: 07/01/2011 - 8:51am

Marla Moore has been involved in the automotive specialty-equipment industry for 30 years, working with mentors that included SEMA icons such as Mark Heffington, Ron Coleman, Scooter Brothers, Jim McFarland and Amy Faulk. In fact, it was Faulk—a founding member of both the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) and the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN)—who encouraged Moore to become active with SEMA.


Post on: 07/01/2011 - 8:40am

Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) - SEMA CouncilOver the past 100 years, tires and the wheels that support them have gone through significant changes as a result of technical innovations in design, technology and materials. No single factor affects the handling and safety of a car more than the tires and wheels it rides on and how the two work together as a unit.

One nagging question has been whether rims designed for bias-ply tires can handle the stresses placed on them by radial-ply tires. The answer depends on how the rim was originally designed and built as well as the number of cycles on it and how it has been used. Most importantly, it depends upon the construction of the tire and how it transmits the vehicle’s load. A new white paper, now available under the “WTC Resources” box on, describes how bias and radial tires differ in working with the rim to provide a safe ride.

Post on: 07/01/2011 - 8:27am

Street Performance Council (SPC) - SEMA CouncilThe next chairman of the Street Performance Council (SPC) has been involved with the organization since it was a fledgling committee trying to get attention for tuner manufacturers and enthusiasts. Tyler Tanaka, vice president of business development for PostRelease, a developer of next-generation interactive entertainment and rich Internet applications, has been an active participant in the automotive aftermarket for more than 20 years. Foreseeing the importance of forums and social networks, he became an early adopter and firsthand user. SEMA Member News recently engaged in a Q&A session with this forward-thinker.

Post on: 07/01/2011 - 7:53am

Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) - SEMA CouncilIn the years since the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) first burst on the industry scene, it has taken the lead in providing valuable tools and resources to its members. But to understand how and why PRO came to be calls for a look at where it began—and how far it’s come.

Originally known as customizing, restyling emerged as an outgrowth of the soft trim industry as new suppliers entered the market in the ’70s and ’80s. Among the first products introduced into the market were body-side moldings, vinyl pinstripes and graphics, sunroofs, ground effects and roof treatments.