It is my pleasure to welcome exhibitors, attendees and enthusiasts to the 2017 SEMA Show. It’s here that more than 160,000 attendees with a common interest come together to see the latest trends in automotive innovation reflected in revolutionary new products and vehicles showcasing them in a highly effective marketplace. There’s no question about it: If you are looking for opportunity, you have come to the right place.
People And Places
Kawasaki has been working in the industry for nearly 40 years and began volunteering for SEMA when he started his first company, Exports International, in the late ’80s. Since then, Kawasaki has held key elected positions and appointments, including three terms on the SEMA Board of Directors as SEMA secretary/treasurer and as chairman of the SEMA Show Committee, and he was appointed by the United States Secretary of Commerce to the Automotive Parts Advisory Council.
From a generational perspective, the early days of the automotive specialty-equipment industry were exciting times. Pioneering names became the legendary “garage innovators” of speed and performance products who ultimately changed not only how racers competed on the track but also the ways average consumers everywhere drove on the street.
The SEMA Hall of Fame was established in 1969 to honor the contributions of leaders in the automotive aftermarket industry whose creativity, diligence, generosity and industriousness have significantly contributed to the industry’s growth. The award is the automotive aftermarket’s highest honor, and the Hall celebrates the legacies of a pantheon of automotive legends from the racing, manufacturing and media sectors.
Results of the 2017 SEMA Board of Directors election are in, with Tim Martin of K&N Engineering Inc. chosen as chair-elect, Greg Adler of Transamerican Auto Parts selected to represent the distributor/retailer category, and James Lawrence of Power Automedia elected to represent manufacturers.
Jon Wyly was named chief executive officer of the then newly formed SEMA Data Cooperative (SDC) in March 2012. Now, with a career in the specialty parts marketplace spanning more than 35 years, Wyly is retiring from the SDC as of April 1.
The core mission of SEMA is to help its members succeed and prosper, and a spirit of volunteerism permeates that mission. To grow the automotive specialty-equipment industry and address the broad range of issues facing association members, SEMA continues to rely on the vision and leadership of dedicated individuals from every industry segment who give freely of their time and energy for the benefit of all. In that spirit each year, SEMA bestows its highest honor—the Person of the Year Award—on an individual who embodies the association’s mission. For 2016, that person is Tim Martin of K&N Engineering.
As chairman, it’s my pleasure to welcome exhibitors and attendees to the 2016 SEMA Show. As we celebrate our 50th anniversary of the Show, I feel we should all take a moment to reflect with pride on how far we have come and what we have built.
It is with great pride that I welcome you, on behalf of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), to the 2016 Global Tire Expo (GTE)—Powered by TIA and the SEMA Show. Our valuable partner SEMA has worked tirelessly to put together a world-class Show that is unmatched in the industry.
In what has become a highly anticipated September tradition, SEMA News is once again pleased to present the annual “35 Under 35” listing of rising industry talent. This marks the fifth anniversary of this special feature, and we think readers will agree that the young trendsetters profiled in the following pages once again prove that the future of the automotive specialty-equipment industry is in extremely capable hands.