By Amanda Gubbins
More than 110 SEMA members joined local business leaders, the SEMA Board of Directors and staff for last week’s Town Hall Meeting at the SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, California. The meetings are ideal for members to build a network of professionals to discuss ideas, challenges and opportunities, while learning how to get the most from the association’s business tools and benefits. In addition to networking and strengthening business relationships, attendees also toured the SEMA Garage—Industry Innovations Center and the product development and marketing tools at their disposal.
An engaging discussion followed tours of the Garage, and served the dual purpose of allowing members to ask pressing questions and giving SEMA staff and board representatives a better understanding of the industry’s top challenges and concerns. Topics of conversation centered on next-gen initiatives, connecting through council and network groups, SEMA’s partnership with Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) and legislative resources available to members.
Panelists Doug Evans (TEN: The Enthusiast Network), Tim Martin (K&N) and Nate Shelton (Driven Performance Brands) shared about SEMA involvement from a board of directors perspective, along with tips on how to best make use of the resources available through the association. A few comments in particular stood out.
Evans familiarized the group with the association’s youth engagement efforts, including supporting shop classes in high schools and collaborating with the Alex Xydias Center for Automotive Arts in Pomona, California. He also shared that the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow engine-building contest has been incorporated into both the SEMA and PRI Shows, giving talented students many opportunities to interact with industry veterans.
The evening closed with the trailer of the SEMA Ignited Battle of the Builders special, which will air on the Velocity Network March 8.
For more information about SEMA Town Hall Meetings and future dates, visit SEMA's Town Hall Meetings website.