Strengthen Your Company Through Community
No matter what niche you're in—rods, restoration, racing, restyling, reps, trucks or wheels and tires—there's a SEMA council or professional network that's right for your company. SEMA councils and networks offer members a variety of market-specific programs and activities designed to provide educational and networking opportunities while promoting their particular industry segment.
|Visit MRN's website.|
The Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN) will host a collection of business-critical discussions for reps, November 2, 3:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. in Ballrooms D&E of the Westgate Las Vegas (formerly the LVH). Through roundtable discussions, attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions and receive practical solutions that address real issues. The event will also include a group discussion on trending topics. The cost is $25 for SEMA-member reps, $35 for others.
2014 Discussion topics will include:
- "How to Recruit Next-Gen Talent in the Rep Industry" – Amy Hirsh Robinson, principal, Interchange Consulting Group
- "Future Automotive Trends Affecting Reps: OE, Manufacturers, WDs" – Gavin Knapp, senior market research manager, SEMA
- "Trends in Healthcare: How Rep Agencies Navigate Obamacare" – Gladys Zolna Esq., partner, Freeborn & Peters LLP
- "How MRERF Can Help Reps Conduct Business" – Karen Jefferson, CSP, CMPR, executive director, MRERF
- "Business Apps for Reps" – Tyler Tanaka, president, Cie Studios
- "Reps as SDC Receivers—Value Add Proposition" – Jon Wyly, president and CEO, SEMA Data Co-op
|Visit TORA's website.|
The TORA Industry Awards Reception will be held November 5, 2014, from 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m. at the Westgate (formerly the LVH), Ballroom C, in Las Vegas. Open to all employees of TORA-member companies and prospective members, the reception will feature networking opportunities and three award presentations—the TORA Hall of Fame, TORA Retailer of the Year and TORA Ron Webster Memorial Award for Engineering Excellence.
|Visit MPMC's website.|
The exhibitor application for the 2015 Media Trade Conference is now closed. To fill the 100 exhibitor spots, applicants will be chosen on Friday, September 12, using a random-number lottery system. Applicants will be notified of their status the week of September 15. Members who submitted an application but are not selected for the 2015 event are automatically guaranteed a spot in 2016, if they submit a new application next year. Media Registration will open in October 2014. For media inquiries, contact Della Domingo at firstname.lastname@example.org, 909-978-6723.
|Visit PRO's website.|
The Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) will hold its annual Industry Awards Reception, November 4, from 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m., at the Westgate (formerly the LVH), Ballrooms F and G, in Las Vegas.
The reception is open to all employees of PRO-member companies and others interested in learning more about the council. It will feature networking opportunities and award presentations to honor leaders in the restyling industry, as chosen by peers.
|Visit SBN's website.|
During the SBN Speed Networking Breakfast, attendees can have quality conversations, exchange business cards with dozens of new contacts, network with industry leaders and ignite new business alliances in a matter of minutes.
By Jenna Jefferies
The annual Speed Networking Breakfast, Powered by the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN), will take place Thursday, November 6, from 7:00 a.m.–9:00 a.m. at the Westgate (formerly the LVH), Ballroom A.
This event is the quickest and easiest way to meet peers, prospects, vendor associates and valuable contacts in one setting. Make more than one-dozen new contacts in a fast-paced environment that is structured to keep the introductions flowing.
While you enjoy a nice hot breakfast, the SBN award ceremony will take place, honoring this year’s Athena Champion, Athena Woman of the Year and Athena Rising Star. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet movers and shakers and make new contacts.
Until October 18, the cost for SEMA members is $35 and $45 for non-members. After October 18, $49 for SEMA members and $69 for non-members. Reserve your tickets today through your SEMA Show dashboard.
|Visit WTC's website|
The Wheel & Tire Council (WTC) will hold its annual Industry Awards Reception, November 4, from 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m., at the Renaissance Hotel Pool in Las Vegas. The reception, open to all employees of WTC-member companies and prospective members, will feature networking opportunities and an award presentation for the WTC Hall of Fame.
|Visit YEN's website|
Describe yourself in your own words.
My name is Nicholas Gramelspacher, and I am vice president, sales and marketing, at Meyer Distributing, and a member of the SEMA Board of Directors. I have a wife, April, and son, Ajay.
What type of education do you have?
I have a degree in business management.
Did you choose the aftermarket or did the aftermarket choose you?
I chose the aftermarket—I was tinkering on and fixing up trucks in early high school and fell in love with it. We have a family business in the furniture industry, but I wanted to plow my own path to do what I love and love what I do: cars, trucks and Jeeps. That, along with working for a great company like Meyer, which has had tremendous growth, and having a hardworking team made it a great decision 16 years ago.
What has your career path looked like?
I started with Meyer in the shipping department and worked there for about six months before moving into sales. We were a single location, 25,000-sq.-ft. company back then, selling about 40 lines.
When and how did you start volunteering within SEMA?
I started with YEN back in 2004.
Do you feel volunteering has helped grow your personal career and your company?
Yes, the networking is unbelievable if you put yourself out there and engage rather than being passive. On the other hand, I’ve seen where some can speak too much or try and dominate the conversation or conference calls. There is a happy medium of participation for sure.
What are your personal and professional goals for the future?
Personally, I keep work and home life balanced, so I’m a good husband and dad. It’s easy to get caught up in this crazy, busy work life. I want to start traveling abroad with my wife and see some bucket-list places. Professionally, I will continue and finish my career with Meyer Distributing. I want to fill out our logistical map, delivering to the lower 48, and add more automotive and non-automotive lines to our product mix. Additionally, I’d be honored to be elected to another term on the SEMA Board of Directors, continue to volunteer in the industry I love so much and, hopefully, one day, be elected into the SEMA Hall of Fame.
As a WD, what are some growth opportunities you see?
LED lighting, exhaust, tires and wheels and tonneau covers are the hottest products for us right now. The high-performance segment is also new to us, but growing nicely.
What are the most important things YEN members can do to have a successful SEMA Show experience?
Attend the council and network receptions to connect with industry leaders. Try and stay focused on your career path or business segment—it’s easy to get lost and lose focus at the Show. I’d recommend spending the majority of your time with those in your respective segment, if that’s what you want to do for your career.
What career advice would you give YEN members?
Don’t expect it to come easy; it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to succeed. If you slip or fall, use it as a learning experience to better yourself.