John Waraniak, SEMA vice president of vehicle technology, has been elected an SAE Fellow for his significant technical achievements and industry contributions in both automotive and aerospace. In his role as SEMA’s chief technology officer since May 2006, Waraniak has assisted performance aftermarket companies to integrate their products with the latest advanced vehicle technologies and capitalize on new business and product-development opportunities. He has also helped them to customize with confidence by connecting SEMA manufacturers with engineering resources, capabilities and tools to manage disruptive vehicle technologies and ensure compliance with the latest industry standards and best practices.
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.
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.
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.
You could say that John Johnson’s service to SEMA and the automotive specialty-equipment industry has been “by the numbers.” Hailing from The Spartan Group (TSG) and the industry’s financial side, he has been a significant force in shaping SEMA’s strategy and fiscal discipline. In fact, Johnson led a transformation in the association’s financial reporting to its Board of Directors, helping SEMA staff improve visibility across business units and programs.
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.