SEMA Member News—September/October 2012
New Members Join the YEN Select Committee
Recent council elections brought some new faces to the Young Executives Network (YEN) Select Committee. Here are a few facts about the new members as well as an incumbent.
Matt Cartwright has served in a variety of automotive markets, including auto body, auto detailing, auto and truck sales and, most recently, specialty-equipment truck accessories. He started as an inside sales rep with Meyer Distributing in 2009 and quickly used his extensive sales training and unique abilities to ascend to his current position as prospect and lead-development director.
Cartwright was one of three recipients of the inaugural SEMA Show Scholarship awarded by YEN, and he is passionate about getting young employees of each SEMA-member company engaged and excited to be part of YEN.
As the co-founder of Formula Drift, Jim Liaw and his partner introduced a new motorsports discipline to the United States and, eventually, the world. By doing so, Liaw created a successful business that is thriving even in the harshest economic times and has found a new way to connect with—and create—young motor-sports enthusiasts.
|Each year, the Young Executives Network honors a few industry professionals with awards for outstanding achievement or service to young professionals. The 2011 Vanguard Award was presented to John Hotchkis, who is also the new YEN liaison to the SEMA Board of Directors. On hand were (from left) SEMA’s Bryan Harrison, YEN Chair Lee McGuire, Hotchkis and YEN Chair-Elect Dan Kahn.
Liaw was a car enthusiast long before he was old enough to drive. After graduating from UCLA, he turned the upsurge of the import car racing and aftermarket scene into a career. He has worked with major enthusiast publisher McMullen Argus (now Source Interlink Media) on Sport Compact Car, one of the first import/tuner publications in the United States. He also played a big part in helping to run the first-ever sport-compact drag-racing championships with the Import Drag Racing Circuit, while consulting with Vision Entertainment to help develop more racing and motorsports content.
Gonzalo “Gonzo” Manotas is a 13-year professional in the automotive parts and accessories industry. He is currently the director of purchasing at Omix-Ada Inc., a privately held company specializing in accessories and replacement parts for the Jeep and light-truck markets. Some of Manotas’ responsibilities have included restructuring the supplier base, maximizing inventory levels and launching new distribution centers. His efforts have led the company to 10 SEMA awards and two industry awards in the past four years.
Prior to his work at Omix-Ada, Manotas served as the purchasing manager for VW/Audi Latin America, where he was responsible for worldwide parts and accessories purchases, managing the inventory of three multinational distribution centers and implementing enterprise resource planning systems throughout the company.
Manotas is an active member of the SEMA Data Co-op and the SEMA Mentoring Program. He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s degree specializing in international business, both from the University of Miami. He is active in his community and serves with the Boy Scouts of America in his free time.
Incumbent Jenna Jeffries of K&N Engineering was reelected to the Select Committee. She has been involved in the automotive specialty-equipment industry for more than 12 years, starting with K&N in 1999 in the data-entry department and working her way up. She is currently a national account manager and has held that position for more than six years.
YEN has helped Jeffries grow and become more educated in many areas. There are also many women joining the industry, and she feels that it is important to educate them and ensure that they feel as welcome as she did.