It is my pleasure to welcome more than 160,000 exhibitors, attendees and enthusiasts to the 2019 SEMA Show. This week-long event in Las Vegas celebrates the innovation, creativity and excitement of the automotive aftermarket. Thousands of exhibitors display an incredible array of products and technology. Amazing custom cars, modified trucks and unique displays showcase emerging trends and new business opportunities.
People And Places
On behalf of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), welcome to the 2019 Global Tire Expo (GTE)—Powered by TIA, in the exciting city of Las Vegas. GTE is the section of the SEMA Show devoted to tires and wheels. As you surely know because you are here, the SEMA Show is the place to be if you love cars, enjoy working on them and like giving them a different personality. The SEMA Show is an automotive feast for those with a passion for restyling their vehicles.
The SEMA Board of Directors is composed of industry representatives who volunteer their time to lead and guide the association. They are elected by all SEMA-member companies and represent the trade association’s key membership categories: manufacturers, distributors/retailers, manufacturers’ representatives, and services. There were five open seats on the Board for the 2018 election cycle, including the chairman-elect position. Online voting opened May 14 and concluded May 28 with the following results.
The year 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the SEMA Hall of Fame. Created in 1969, the Hall of Fame is the association’s highest recognition, established to honor outstanding persons in the automotive specialty-equipment industry whose creativity, dignity, industriousness and accomplishments have enhanced the stature of, and significantly contributed to, the industry’s growth.
On July 26, I begin a two-year term as SEMA Chairman. I am focused on improving SEMA and helping our association provide solutions to help our members solve problems. There are many SEMA programs that benefit our member businesses, and most of them are explained regularly in our magazines and newsletters.
SEMA provides its nearly 7,000 companies a plethora of benefits, including access to the SEMA Garage; industry-leading market research; education; world class trade shows; networking opportunities; a regulatory and advocacy program to fight for industry-friendly legislation in Washington, D.C.; international programs to reach potential overseas customers; and more. Whether you're a manufacturer, retailer, jobber, distributor, rep or installer, SEMA has something to offer everyone. For more information, visit www.sema.org/benefits.
Among the several distinguished honors bestowed at the annual SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet, the Person of the Year award stands as perhaps the most prestigious. More than their own personal or career achievements, individuals who have received the award were selected in recognition of their tremendous service and contributions to the industry in advancing the success of the entire marketplace. At the recent 2018 SEMA Show ceremonies held in Las Vegas on Thursday night, November 1, the association named Melanie White of Hellwig Products as its 2018 Person of the Year.
SEMA is governed by a Board of Directors, with directors nominated and elected by the trade association’s membership at large. Directors serve three-year terms, while the chairman-elect automatically assumes the role of chairman after completing a two-year term. The 2018–2019 Board was recently empaneled at the annual SEMA Installation & Gala, held July 20, 2018, at the Hilton Los Angeles, Universal City, California.
On behalf of the Tire Industry Association (TIA), it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 2018 Global Tire Expo (GTE)—Powered by TIA and the SEMA Show in the wonderful city of Las Vegas. We are confident that our partner, SEMA, has worked tirelessly to bring another successful four-day event for all car and tire enthusiasts to enjoy.
Welcome to the 2018 SEMA Show, now in its 52nd year! This is where we get to see the newest products, vehicles and innovations that the automotive world has to offer. The industry is growing—now valued at $43 billion—and our research forecasts the upward trend will continue as we head into 2019. As your association chairman, I’m excited to welcome you to the place where passion meets progress in our industry, and I’m confident in saying that success starts here.