SEMA eNews Vol. 11, No. 18, May 1, 2008

FOUR LEADERS NAMED TO SEMA HALL OF FAME

Raymond Bleiweis, Ben Nighthorse Campbell, Corky Coker and Robert Cook will be inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame, an elite group of industry innovators and pioneers who have played a key role in the automotive specialty equipment market.

Since 1969, the SEMA Hall of Fame has paid homage to the industry leaders who have contributed to the health and success of the automotive specialty equipment market. The induction of the four newest individuals brings the total SEMA Hall of Fame membership to 125, a relatively small and elite group in a $36.7 billion industry.

While there are clear and definite criteria that SEMA Hall of Fame members must meet, this year’s inductees represent a diverse group that includes innovators, businessmen and government leaders.

Raymond Bleiweis: In addition to founding Rocket Industries, the Pico Rivera, CA-based distributor of custom wheels and wheel accessories, Bleiweis is a pioneer in industry safety. He was instrumental in the formation of the SFI Foundation, Inc. (SFI), a non-profit organization that began as a program within SEMA. While the SFI Foundation now operates independent from SEMA, it remains strongly committed to safety.

Ben Nighthorse Campbell: The U.S. Senator from Colorado is the highest elected official on a national level to steadfastly support the industry. Campbell helped found the Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus and helped grow its membership to more than 100. Many credit him with raising the industry’s level of visibility and influence in Washington.

Corky Coker: Coker, well-known for the classic white-wall tires that bear his name, is a former SEMA chairman who also helped establish the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO). Having served on numerous SEMA committees and task forces, he implemented several changes to create new business opportunities for members.

Bob Cook: Cook began his career as a delivery boy for a NAPA store. After working retail for nearly a decade, he moved over to a rep agency and eventually formed Bob Cook Sales. In addition to leading his agency to being named SEMA Rep of the Year Award five times, Cook volunteered time to advancing the industry by serving on the SEMA Board of Directors and participating on several SEMA committees.

The Hall of Fame inductees will be officially introduced at the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, Friday, July 25, at the Hyatt Regency Irvine, in Irvine, California. The event includes dinner and includes the formal induction of the newly elected SEMA board members.

Tickets and details are available at www.sema.org/gala, or may be obtained from Lisa Moreno at lisam@sema.org, 909/396-0289, ext. 105.

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