Compiled by SEMA Editors
National Auto Body Council Executive Director Announces Retirement
Chuck Sulkala, founder, first president and executive director of the National Auto Body Council (NABC), has announced his retirement, effective the end of 2017. During Sulkala’s 22-year tenure, the National Auto Body Council has become a leading voice to highlight the professionalism and integrity of the collision-repair industry through community service involvement. Under his leadership, NABC’s member network of collision-industry companies and professionals has united to collaborate on community service programs that help change and save thousands of lives across the country, including:
- Introducing NABC’s Recycled Rides program in 2007, which has resulted in nearly 1,300 vehicles, valued at $17 million, donated to individuals and service organizations in need of reliable transportation.
- The First Responder Emergency Extrication (FREE), which provides opportunities for first responders to practice life-saving skills on complex late-model vehicles.
- Partnering as a business advocate with AT&T’s “It Can Wait” campaign to focus awareness of the dangers of texting while driving through the Distracted Driving Initiative.
- Exponential membership growth, with more than 2,000 shop locations, numerous insurers and vendors representing all facets of the collision industry.
Power Automedia Hires Charles Pages as Senior Associate Editor of Turnology Magazine
Power Automedia has announced Charles Pages as senior associate editor of online magazine Turnology.com. Focused on performance driving, Turnology is the magazine for autocross, road-racing and time-attack racers. Pages will manage all magazine content, including editorial articles, news, event coverage, freelance assignments, photography, social media and in-house project vehicles. He will work alongside Turnology’s staff writer Kyle Kitchen, and will report to Turnology Editor Trevor Anderson. Pages comes from a management position at online parts reseller ModBargains, and has an extreme passion for performance driving. His past experience includes creating blog posts, writing tech articles, social media marketing, photography and SEO analytics.
Prestone Appoints Randy Fisher Vice President of Marketing
Prestone Products Corp. has announced that it has hired automotive and aftermarket industry veteran Randy Fisher as its vice president of marketing. Fisher joins Prestone with more than 20 years of industry experience, and will oversee the brand’s marketing strategy as the company plans for its 90th anniversary taking place next year. Fisher will be responsible for Prestone’s ever-growing brand awareness, channel marketing and consumer engagement initiatives in North America. He will manage strategic partnerships, public relations, digital content planning and traditional marketing. Fisher previously served as a marketing consultant for Prestone beginning in July 2016, playing an integral role in Prestone’s inaugural SEMA Show appearance in November. He was previously the marketing director for Royal Purple for nearly five years.
Motovicity Appoints New Distribution Center Manager
Motovicity Distribution has announced the promotion of Gary McCombs from warehouse supervisor to distribution center manager. He started his career as a team lead with the company in 2012. Day-to-day responsibilities included supervising team member activity and ensuring the seamless completion of warehouse tasks. He also helped implement Motovicity’s warehouse management system in 2014, drastically improving throughput and helping Motovicity Distribution achieve and maintain one of the best accuracy ratings in the industry.
Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation Reports Record Golf Outing Results
The Automotive Aftermarket Charitable Foundation (AACF) has reported raising a record of more than $500,000 from its annual golf outing event that was held at the start of Industry Week in Las Vegas. Diamond-level sponsors for the tournament were Advance Auto Parts, AutoZone, Interstate Batteries, O'Reilly Auto Parts and NAPA. Platinum-level sponsors were TBC Corp., Tenneco and Valvoline. Individuals slated to attend Industry Week in 2017 are encouraged to start planning now to participate in next year’s golf outing, tentatively scheduled to take place Monday, October 30, at Las Vegas Country Club—the event’s annual host. In addition to the golf tournament, the event also includes a continental breakfast and award luncheon just prior to and after the golf outing. There’s also a pre-event reception, tentatively scheduled to be held Sunday evening, October 29, from 5:30 p.m.–8:30 p.m., also at Las Vegas Country Club. The golf outing and all sponsorship opportunities are open to all industry participants.
MOPAR Celebrates 80 Years
The MOPAR brand, born August 1, 1937, as a contraction of the words “Motor Parts,” celebrates 80 years in 2017, marking an evolution over eight decades. First introduced as the name of a line of antifreeze products, the MOPAR brand has since transformed to encompass total service, parts and customer care for FCA vehicle owners around the globe. After its introduction in 1937, the MOPAR brand made a name for itself in the musclecar era of the ’60s, cementing a legacy on the streets and at the dragstrip that by decade’s end would have owners referring to their vehicles as “MOPAR” cars. Throughout 2017, the MOPAR brand will mark its 80th year with a large slate of initiatives, including limited-edition anniversary vehicles, 80th anniversary-themed service, parts and customer-care offers, special merchandise, events, celebrations and more. The year-long celebration will kick off at the 2017 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, January 8–22. Befitting the brand’s global expansion, media and industry leaders from around the world will have the opportunity to experience the start of the MOPAR brand’s year-long birthday party and view the 80th anniversary-themed MOPAR Garage NAIAS display.
Michael Patenaude, PPG regional sales manager, accepts the Sponsor of the Year award from SCC chapter director Cheryl LaPrade.
Speedway Children’s Charities Names PPG Sponsor of the Year
The New Hampshire chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC) honored PPG by naming it the organization’s Sponsor of the Year for 2016. The announcement was made by Chapter Director Cheryl LaPrade at SCC’s annual grant distribution ceremony, held December 8, at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, New Hampshire. Michael Patenaude, PPG regional sales manager, accepted the honor on behalf of PPG. It was the second time in three years that PPG has been recognized as Sponsor of the Year. PPG has supported SCC in New Hampshire since 2009 with the organization’s Track Walk and Red Bucket Brigade collections. PPG is the sole sponsor of the Track Walk—an annual fundraising event that takes place during the July NASCAR racing weekend held at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. This year, the walk followed an afternoon XFINITY Series race. Approximately 250 participants walked the one-mile circuit, raising more than $15,800. Through its relationship with Team Penske, PPG invited NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Joey Logano to join the walkers.
Voyomotive Joins SAS’ Partner Program to Bring Its Customers Advanced Vehicle Data Analytics
Voyomotive LLC—developers of VOYO connected car technology—has joined SAS’ Partner Program to help Voyomotive bring vehicle data analytics to vehicle owners, auto parts manufacturers, car service providers and OEMs. This agreement will enable the creation of apps and cloud-based solutions by Voyomotive that further enhance the connected car experience for the user. In addition, VOYO data is now available to drive new business opportunities, including machine learning analytics and AI development. The Voyomotive data will also enable streaming data to be ingested and examined in real-time using SAS's Event Stream Processing in order to trigger personally relevant interactions with vehicle owners, OEMs, dealers and the extended ecosystem.
Season 3 of “The Lifted Life” to Air on Velocity Network
The third season of “The Lifted Life” television show will begin airing on the Velocity Channel, Saturday, February 18, from 10:00 a.m.–11:00 a.m. (EST). Dedicating three one-hour episodes to “The Road to SEMA,” the reality-based show follows Five R Trucks—a four-generation custom truck shop based in Golden, Colorado—in its quest to build mind-blowing trucks for display at the 2016 SEMA Show. Steve Hill originally started Five R as a trailer sales and repair company in 1972 at age 16, entering the custom truck industry 10 years later. Hill’s sons Jake and TJ grew up in the business and have become partners. Hill’s father, 85, a retired union ironworker, supervises the shop and excels as the official shop storyteller.
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