The evening’s festivities for 2012—hosted by PRO and supporting sponsors—included hors d’oeuvres and liquid libations plus a ceremony honoring the 2012 PRO awards recipients in four categories: Restyler of the Year, Manufacturer of the Year, Nat Danas Person of the Year and Jim Borré Lifetime Achievement. The awards are detailed in the accompanying photos and captions.
The SEMA organization that serves manufacturers’ reps in the automotive aftermarket industry has changed from the Manufacturers’ Representatives Council to the Manufacturers’ Representatives Network (MRN). The new name reflects the group’s desire to better serve the needs of the membership by becoming an individual-based professional network, compared to its previous agency-based membership format.
“MRN is very excited about these changes and feels this will best serve, promote and elevate our industry,” said MRN Chairman Thomas Jourdan of True High Performance Sales.
“The LAX Embassy Suites in El Segundo, where we have held so many of these events, notified SEMA staff very early on that their facility would be under major renovations during the same time as our conference,” said MPMC Chairman Vic Wood of Hedman Performance. “We are grateful to them for being proactive with the information and allowing us time to search out alternatives. After careful research, staff suggested we move the event to the Santa Ana Embassy Suites. The facility offers different challenges but also different opportunities. We are very excited to try this new venue.”
“We benefitted from the fact that SEMA was holding its own reception in the same location the following night,” said LTAA Chairman George Lathouris of Keystone Automotive Operations. “They set up their stage and some of the lighting a day in advance, giving us a fantastic atmosphere and the best reception venue of the entire Show.”
The YEN Vanguard Award is presented to an individual, business, organization or sanctioning body that has had a positive affect on the careers of young executives within the automotive industry. The following criteria are used in determining each candidate: Must be a current or past member of SEMA (no age requirement), and must have demonstrated exceptional service, integrity and business ethics. The Vanguard Award is presented to a person, company or sanctioning body that has influenced the professional growth and/or cultivation of talent for young executives through its actions, mentoring, visions and/or contributions for the past, present and future.
The 2012 SEMA Show featured a night to remember for hot-rodding professionals. The Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) kicked off its annual industry reception in dramatic fashion, as Mike Kinney of Moonlight Auctioneering Services led the way through the council’s first-ever live auction to benefit the two charities supported by SEMA Cares: Childhelp and Victory Junction Camp. The live auction featured three participants from HRIA’s Pinewood Builder’s Challenge and got the crowd of nearly 700 into a bidding frenzy.
“The presentation of the awards is still the focal point of the evening,” said ARMO Chairman Alex Tainsh of Parts Unlimited Interiors. “However, we are getting great feedback on our increased emphasis on networking and socializing. Being on Tuesday night, the first night of the Show, it’s the perfect time for folks to sit down, catch up with each other and just relax. We ran out of food, shut the bars down at 7:30 p.m., and folks were still there after we packed up and left. I think they like the new format!”
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund has increased its award amounts to aid students who are seeking careers in the automotive industry. The Top Student award has been raised from $4,000 to $5,000. Scholarships for students attending four-year programs have been increased from $2,000 to $3,000. The awards for students attending two-year programs will rise from $1,000 to $2,000. And the Loan Forgiveness awards will also rise from $1,000 to $2,000.
Each year, the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) recognizes top individuals for their contributions to women in industry. The organization honored the winners of these awards at the 2012 SEMA Speed Networking Breakfast Powered by SBN on November 1, 2012, at the Las Vegas Hotel during the SEMA Show. The honorees for 2012 included Ford Motor Company, winner of the Athena Award; Doug Evans of Source Interlink Media, winner of the Mentor of the Year Award; and Lauren Fix of Classic Tube/Automotive Aspects, winner of the Woman of the Year Award.
Typically more than 200 businesses join the association during the SEMA Show. Special Show incentives and discounts make SEMA membership a no-brainer for many companies. But even though the SEMA Show and the deadline for Show-only incentives to join have passed, SEMA wants to extend the SEMA Show satisfaction guaranteed offer to you. Join SEMA today, and if you are not completely satisfied with your membership, simply let us know within three months and SEMA will refund your membership dues in full.*