By Carr Winn
SEMA News is looking to highlight top-tier talent in the automotive aftermarket industry who are under the age of 35 through its 35 Under 35 program. We need your input. If you know of a leader who is under 35—whether they are in manufacturing and design, marketing, retail, events and media or distribution—we would like to hear from you.
The following is a short profile on one of last year's 35 Under 35 winners—Jason Starkey, 27. Starkey is the president and owner of Starkey Products.
Jason Starkey, 27, President, Owner—Starkey Products
Jason Starkey began his aftermarket career with VMP Tuning at a mere 13 years of age before joining Superchips in an entry-level capacity. Eventually, the encouragement of his Superchips manager Laurel Dasher and his older brother Justin led Jason to launch Starkey Products, which has grown from manufacturing a single wiring harness into a fully staffed company producing 50 different wiring assemblies.
“The aftermarket is rapidly evolving, and it’s difficult for small companies like us to keep up with changes,” observed Starkey. “Specifically, OEMs are adopting complex technology and making frequent adjustments to their vehicles, making the design of safe and effective aftermarket products more challenging than in the past. On the flip side, we can now leverage technology like never before, allowing us to cut down significantly on our administrative and support costs and reach customers in new ways.”
“Part of our business model in the past was to support niche markets,” he continued. “This involved listening more to what customers desired than creating products we hoped they would buy. Amid the adversity of rising costs for designing, engineering and manufacturing products also comes opportunity.”
In his briefcase: Starkey carries a backpack with an always-open, 17-in., ProWorkFlow-equipped laptop for project management as well as an iPhone and a flash drive with all his business files constantly backed up.
Do you have a friend or colleague who deserves to be recognized? If so, please contact the editorial team at SEMA News and submit a nomination for the 2016 SEMA News 35 Under 35. Nominations are due May 31, 2016. Winners will be chosen based on their business success, contribution to their organization, industry knowledge and community involvement. We'll honor the winners in the September issue of SEMA News and on www.sema.org.
For more details on the 35 Under 35 program and complete details on all of last year's winners, read through this article taken from the September 2015 issue of SEMA News.