Efforts to build excitement in the next generation reach a pinnacle during SEMA Show week in a dedicated program for students. The SEMA Show Student Program gives young people a glimpse of the industry as part of the association’s effort to engage the next generation. After completing the qualification process, students attend the Show with their teachers and participate in a series of organized events designed to expand their knowledge of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. This is often an eye-opening experience for students, who may not know how broad the industry is nor have experienced the excitement of the automotive aftermarket.
It has been a busy year for the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN), and the select committee members played an important role in all of the network’s accomplishments. As of July 1, SBN introduced Erin Gilhuly of Toyota Motor Sales as the new SBN chair and Camee Edelbrock of ProMedia as the new chair-elect. The group is also excited to welcome four newcomers.
SEMA’s Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN) will host a collection of business-critical discussions moderated by industry thought leaders on Sunday, November 1, from 3:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. prior to the official start of the SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Through intimate roundtable discussions, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive practical solutions that address pertinent issues. This event is open exclusively to manufacturers’ reps. Tickets are $25 for members and $35 for non-members. They can be purchased through the SEMA Show dashboard at www.SEMAShow.com/register.
Regis Finn began his automotive career sweeping floors at a local speed shop when he was 15. In his early 20s, he made a cross-country move to California, where he landed at B&M Racing and Performance. He started in the customer service department and has since held many positions in sales and marketing for B&M and other industry-leading companies. For the past year, he has been the marketing manager for Thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America. Finn has past experience serving with SEMA councils and became the chair of the Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) on July 1.
On July 1, the Wheel and Tire Council (WTC) installed three newly elected select committee members, though none of them are strangers to the council. Carl Robinson is product manager at Mickey Thompson Tires. With almost 40 years of experience in the performance aftermarket, he brings a seasoned perspective to the committee. He has been involved with WTC for six years and previously served as a select committee member.
Each year, members and volunteer leaders of the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) gather to discuss council priorities and strategic goals at an annual long-range planning meeting. This year, more than two dozen members participated in the meeting, which was held on June 18 and 19 near Detroit, Michigan.
On May 28, 2015, the MPMC hosted its open general membership meeting at the SEMA Garage. The half-day event provided a venue for local members and the select committee to connect face-to-face about SEMA’s Board initiatives and the hot-button issues faced by motorsports parts manufacturers. Members gathered for breakfast and an introduction by MPMC Chair Rich Barsamian, who gave local members a fantastic primer on how to get involved in the MPMC and stressed the potential of the member connection to SEMA.
This past spring, 41 SEMA-member companies participated in SEMA’s four-day Middle East program in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The program featured an all-day measuring session with commonly customized vehicles not sold in the United States as well as a chance for participants to exhibit at the trade-only section of the Custom Show Emirates, network with international buyers and explore local shops. Among the participants were several active Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) members, who shared a few of their takeaways from the experience.
This summer was a busy one for the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA), with the usual council events plus a few changes. The new select committee terms began on July 1. In this year’s election, HRIA welcomed back four incumbents: Scott Bowers (Ron Francis Wiring), B.J. Elmore (Ridetech), Jeff Major (Bed Wood and Parts) and Angela Schoof (TEN: The Enthusiast Network). In addition to these veteran HRIA leaders, Carmen Bélanger-Martin of AM Hot Rod Glass joined the team.
Breaking news from SEMA members, including Wes-Coast Marketing, Holley Performance Products, Midwest Truck & Auto Parts, Flex-a-lite, Fidanza Performance, The Society of Collision Repair Specialists and more.