Eight Young Executives Network (YEN) members rode along on the YEN Power Tour in June, a journey of more than 1,500 miles from Madison, Wisconsin, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. In addition to visiting each of the seven stops scheduled for the Hot Rod Power Tour, the YEN program added a twist of its own: Josh Backes, Tim Brueggeman, Jared Chavez, Cathy Clark, Matthew Davis, Keith McWilliams, Troy Spackman and Tyler Wesely each became advocates for the network and the industry, highlighting the variety of career choices available in the automotive specialty-equipment market. By the end of the week, the participants had become good friends.
Over the past 52 years, SEMA has developed a track record of assisting members in a variety of areas related to industry and business development. The mission of “helping members’ businesses succeed and prosper” is steeped in history and first grew out of a need for consistency and community among racing industry members.
In the early years, as the industry grew, specifications remained a challenge. It became clear that a partnership was needed for manufacturers. Regulations were necessary in order to keep moving forward, but the manufacturers needed to organize. Discussions began on how to create specifications and legitimize products and, on March 26, 1963, the Speed Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) was formed in response.
Good, clean data ensures that all parties in the distribution chain can do their jobs and that consumers get the best products possible. The challenge comes in the variance of formats that are used by different organizations to classify and store their own product data.
Patty Putcharkan, data intelligence manager at MagnaFlow, explained that automotive product data historically has not adhered to any kind of industry standard, creating issues for organizations that need to exchange information. But Putcharkan has noticed that beginning to change.
This year marks SEMA’s 50th birthday—a remarkable milestone for the association. Many trace the specialty-equipment market’s official beginning to 1928 when George Wight opened the Bell Auto Parts speed shop, but the roots go much deeper. People have been looking for ways to travel faster and in more style and comfort since the invention of the automobile.