Fast Facts

SEMA News—October 2016


Fast Facts

  Lonnie Grim
Lonnie Grim

ProMedia Events & Publishing promoted Lonnie Grim to event technical director for the NMRA, NMCA and NMCA WEST event series. Grim is currently the technical director for the Chevrolet Performance Challenge Series and will continue those duties as well. He is a 20-year drag racing veteran, assuming many roles through those years. The Arkansas resident currently holds an NHRA silver-level SFI certification and has been an NMRA/NMCA tech inspector since 2007. Grim sits on various SFI and NHRA councils, spent seven years as a fulltime Sportsman racer in NHRA drag racing, and also operates Lonnie Grim Motorsports. ProMedia LLC, Santa Ana, CA; 714-444-2426.

Mile Marker Industries confirmed its acquisition by private equity firm HRH Boca LLC. The new ownership comes with a strategic vision, building upon the company’s heritage of professional-quality products. Mile Marker will retain its name and headquarters in Pompano Beach, Florida. The announcement promises developments for Mile Marker’s base of off-road enthusiasts and wholesale distributors, bringing with it new business leadership, product development and global expansion.

Brenton Productions
Seth Fogle

Brenton Productions appointed Seth Fogle as the company’s new director of sales. Fogle will lead Brenton’s sales-media staff in support of the company’s client marketing programs. Fogle comes to Brenton from NBC Charlotte and TEGNA Broadcasting, where he served as sales manager and regional digital director of sales since 2011. Prior to joining TEGNA/Gannett, Fogle was the Atlantic Division digital sales manager for Vivial/Berry. He began his career in media working for the Gibbons/Peck Marketing and Erwin Penland Advertising agencies. Brenton Productions Inc., Mooresville, NC; 800-572-7798.

Turn 14 Distribution added Retrax Retractable Bed Covers and EBC Brakes to the company’s warehousing operations. Retrax manufactures polycarbonate and aluminum manual and motorized retractable bed covers for pickups from domestic and import manufacturers. EBC Brakes manufactures cast-iron brake rotors in four different styles, along with aramid, sintered, ceramic and carbon brake pads for every vehicle on the road today. Turn 14 Distribution Inc., Horsham, PA; 267-468-0350. Retrax Truck Bed Covers, Grand Forks, ND; 701-746-5596. EBC Brakes U.S.A. Inc., Las Vegas, NV; 702-826-2400.

  Dan Funkhouser
Dan Funkhouser

Yokohama Tire Corp. (YTC) promoted Dan Funkhouser to senior director of commercial sales. His responsibilities include all business segments in the commercial division, according to Rick Phillips, YTC vice president of sales. Funkhouser was promoted to director of commercial dealer business in 2014. He joined YTC in 1994 as a district sales representative in Minnesota and was promoted to national account manager in 1998. In 2008, Funkhouser was promoted to manager of national accounts.

Denso Manufacturing Tennessee Inc. broke ground on a 186,528-sq.-ft. consolidated warehouse, located on its campus in Maryville, Tennessee. The warehouse is due to be completed by October 2017. The new warehouse allows Denso to consolidate its various warehouse operations in the Maryville area and free up manufacturing space that can be used to produce products such as head-up displays, instrument clusters and electronic control units.

Jack Cameron
Jack Cameron

Jack Cameron joined Brake Parts Inc. (BPI) as national sales manager, commercial vehicle. In his new role, he will lead the company’s sales efforts in the heavy-duty and fleet aftermarket. Previously, Cameron held a variety of roles at different companies in the aftermarket. He came to BPI from a commercial business development role at Genuine Parts Company.

West Coast Customs announced plans to open a technical trade school to motivate, train and provide students with technical skills relative to the automotive aftermarket trades. West Coast Customs Academy will offer a comprehensive 48-week training program featuring a curriculum format comprised of six trade-level instructional segments, including auto body, upholstery, fabrication, wheels and tires, electronics and wrap and tint. With West Coast Customs Academy classes commencing early in 2017, plans for a two-hour WCCA special on Fox Sports have already been green-lighted. West Coast Customs, Burbank, CA; 951-284-0680.

  Brian VanCamp
Brian VanCamp

BettsHD hired Brian VanCamp as its new strategic account manager. VanCamp will be responsible for managing customer relationships and promoting growth for BettsHD products in the original-equipment and aftermarket business segments. VanCamp was most recently aftermarket segment manager for Hendrickson, where he worked extensively with OEMs and independent aftermarket customers. VanCamp oversaw product management, pricing and marketing while establishing and growing Hendrickson’s Pro-Genuine Program and the company’s service training program. Before Hendrickson, VanCamp was the marketing manager for ITW Shakeproof.

The one-of-a-kind, aviation-inspired Ford “Ole Yeller” Mustang, developed by the design and engineering teams at Ford Motor Co., sold for $295,000 at the Gathering of Eagles charity. The auction was held during the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Oshkosh 2016. Hank Menke, president and CEO of OFS Brands in Huntingburg, Indiana, was the winning bidder. All proceeds from the car donation and sale benefit EAA’s youth education programs, including the Young Eagles, which has provided free introductory flights to 2 million young people since 1992. Ford Motor Co., Dearborn, MI; 313-322-3000.

The Timken Co. announced that Brett Blauner has been named national sales manager for automotive aftermarket, where he will be responsible for managing U.S. sales development for the light-vehicle automotive aftermarket. He reports to Brian J. Ruel, who was appointed vice president of Americas at The Timken Company earlier this year.

Bestop has acquired Baja Designs (BD) of San Marcos, California. For more than 20 years, BD has been engineering lighting systems to stay at the forefront of off-road racing and on- and off-road driving. The acquisition reflects Bestop’s priority of growing both organically and through acquisitions in the automotive aftermarket. The company continues to invest in brand development and aggressive product innovation while evaluating opportunities to extend into new product categories. Bestop, Louisville, CO; 800-845-3567. Baja Designs, San Marcos, CA; 760-560-2252.

Chris Thomson
Chris Thomson

Baer Brake Systems announced the addition of Chris Thomson, who will be handling sales/business development. Thomson has more than 40 years of experience in the performance aftermarket and has been involved with companies such as K&N, Airaid, Flowtech, Mr. Gasket and Holley Performance. Baer Inc., Phoenix, AZ; 602-233-1411.

Tim Rogers, vice president of finance for Continental Tire the Americas LLC and vice president and treasurer for Continental Automotive Inc., was recognized by the Charlotte Business Journal as the 2016 CFO of the Year in the large-business category. Rogers played a key role in Continental’s investments across the Americas’ region. Rogers was also recognized for the Business Turnaround Award, which honors an area CFO who has achieved financial success for his business, particularly during times of change. Continental Tire The Americas LLC, Fort Mill, SC; 704-583-3900.

Chip Foose debuted his latest custom creation—the ’39 Cadillac “Madam X” Coupe—this summer. Originally built for automotive dealership magnate Wes Rydell and his wife Vivian, Madam X was originally designed more than 80 years ago as a concept vehicle for Cadillac, but it was never built. Foose Design, Huntington Beach, CA; 714-842-0880.

1-800EveryRim—OEM Wheels closed escrow on its new one-acre facility in Santa Fe Springs, California. Operations commenced during the month of September. The new location is at 12078 Florence Ave., Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670. All phone and fax numbers will remain the same. 1-800EveryRim, Santa Fe Springs, CA; 800-383-7974.

Denso Products and Services Americas Inc. named Yijun “Henry” Peng general manager of its remanufacturing operations in Murrieta and Long Beach, California. In the newly created position, Peng will oversee all aspects of Denso’s existing remanufacturing business as well as its major expansion initiatives to meet growing market demand for top-quality remanufactured products in North America. Peng joins Denso with nearly 15 years of experience in the automotive and financial industries. Denso Products and Services Americas Inc., Long Beach, CA; 888-963-3676.

The University of the Aftermarket Foundation will award scholarships to two students each year who are enrolling full time at four-year colleges. The scholarships will be awarded in memory of Jim Moss, founder and long-time publisher of Truck Parts and Service magazine. Moss, who passed away in April 2016, started Truck Parts and Service in 1966 and Successful Dealer in 1978. Moss also started the Council of Fleet Specialists, which later became the Commercial Vehicle Service Network and was instrumental in the development of Heavy Duty Aftermarket Week.

Scott R. Smith, who has been with the NHRA since 2002, was named NHRA director of media relations. Smith will direct the communications efforts of the NHRA, the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series and other entities within the world’s largest motorsports sanctioning body. The position will continue to build upon the strong relationship the NHRA has with media outlets across the country. Smith will continue to be based out of Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis. National Hot Rod Association, Glendora, CA; 626-914-4761.

Truck Hero Inc. announced the appointment of Marla Zwas as general counsel, reporting to company president and chief executive officer Bill Reminder. Zwas joins Truck Hero with nearly 25 years of legal experience. Most recently, she was senior vice president and deputy general counsel of Flagstar Bancorp, where she led the corporate and human-resources legal functions. Zwas holds a Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law. She serves on the national board of the Society for Corporate Governance and is also active in the Women’s In-House Counsel Leadership Institute. Truck Hero Inc., Ann Arbor, MI; 734-372-8126.

Motovicity Distribution announced the addition of Dinan to its line card. Founded in 1979, Dinan is a premier BMW tuner and also develops, manufactures and markets a comprehensive line of high-performance products and systems. Dinan products are now available for wholesale purchase through Motovicity Distribution. Motovicity Distribution, Madison Heights, MI; 888-773-3316.

Kahn Media was named the agency of record for Top Fuel drag racer Doug Herbert’s Be Responsible and Keep Everyone Safe (B.R.A.K.E.S.) Teen Pro-Active Driving School—a non-profit aimed at providing teens and their parents with a free, four-hour safe-driving class to prevent injuries and save lives. Kahn Media will handle public and media relations for B.R.A.K.E.S. while developing dynamic media engagement strategies to increase awareness of the program.

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