YENsters Expand Horizons, Honor Peers

SEMA Member News—January 2019

YENsters Expand Horizons, Honor Peers

  YEN SEMA Launch PadSEMA Launch Pad—Presented by YEN finalists with Matt Beenen (Center, holding check) of BuiltRight Industries.

Cultivating young talent and nurturing the next generation of industry leaders and innovators is a high priority across the board within the SEMA community, and most especially for the Young Executives Network (YEN).

To that end, YEN provided members with unique networking and professional-development opportunities during the 2018 SEMA Show, beginning with a general membership mixer on Monday, October 29. The event included drinks and appetizers and gave 65 YENsters ample opportunities to make new acquaintances and build relationships as well as reconnect with colleagues in an informal and collegial setting.

YEN ramped up the excitement at its annual reception on Tuesday evening at the Westgate. Billed as the prime networking event of the year, the reception drew an enthusiastic crowd of more than 500 young industry peers. Apart from building their professional networks, attendees were interviewed for YEN-member spotlights and had the opportunity to get professional headshots on-site.

The event also included drinks, appetizers, lawn games, a boomerang photo booth and, of course, awards presentations. During the ceremony, the Vanguard Award was presented to Theresa Contreras of LGE-CTS Motorsports, and the Young Executive of the Year award went to Zach Denney of Wholesale Horsepower LLC-ECUMaster USA.

Theresa Contreras Zach Denney
The Vanguard Award was presented to Theresa Contreras of LGE-CTS Motorsports. The Young Executive of the Year is Zach Denney of Wholesale Horsepower LLC-ECUMaster USA.

“The YEN reception is the largest and easiest place to meet other young professionals in the industry,” said network Chair Rory Connell. “If you were looking to connect with other likeminded individuals, it was the place to be on Tuesday night.”

To close out the week’s event schedule, the SEMA Launch Pad Roundtable, held on Wednesday, gave 20 participants an opportunity to meet one-on-one with industry professionals from different backgrounds and segments of the aftermarket industry. The speed-dating-style event gave Launch Pad attendees seven minutes with each professional to gain valuable knowledge and advice, along with a chance to network and trade business information.

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