On July 1, the Wheel and Tire Council (WTC) installed three newly elected select committee members, though none of them are strangers to the council. Carl Robinson is product manager at Mickey Thompson Tires. With almost 40 years of experience in the performance aftermarket, he brings a seasoned perspective to the committee. He has been involved with WTC for six years and previously served as a select committee member.
Each year, members and volunteer leaders of the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) gather to discuss council priorities and strategic goals at an annual long-range planning meeting. This year, more than two dozen members participated in the meeting, which was held on June 18 and 19 near Detroit, Michigan.
On May 28, 2015, the MPMC hosted its open general membership meeting at the SEMA Garage. The half-day event provided a venue for local members and the select committee to connect face-to-face about SEMA’s Board initiatives and the hot-button issues faced by motorsports parts manufacturers. Members gathered for breakfast and an introduction by MPMC Chair Rich Barsamian, who gave local members a fantastic primer on how to get involved in the MPMC and stressed the potential of the member connection to SEMA.
This past spring, 41 SEMA-member companies participated in SEMA’s four-day Middle East program in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). The program featured an all-day measuring session with commonly customized vehicles not sold in the United States as well as a chance for participants to exhibit at the trade-only section of the Custom Show Emirates, network with international buyers and explore local shops. Among the participants were several active Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) members, who shared a few of their takeaways from the experience.
This summer was a busy one for the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA), with the usual council events plus a few changes. The new select committee terms began on July 1. In this year’s election, HRIA welcomed back four incumbents: Scott Bowers (Ron Francis Wiring), B.J. Elmore (Ridetech), Jeff Major (Bed Wood and Parts) and Angela Schoof (TEN: The Enthusiast Network). In addition to these veteran HRIA leaders, Carmen Bélanger-Martin of AM Hot Rod Glass joined the team.
SEMA held two successful Town Hall meetings in 2015, giving members and prospective members a chance to catch up with each other and the state of the association. The first SEMA Town Hall was held in 2011, in an effort to keep an ear to the ground for feedback and challenges in the industry. Since then, the association has held 14 of these meetings at various locations around the country, finding it an effective way to listen and respond face-to-face.
The Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA) installed new leadership on July 1. Lee McGuire, the new chair, first joined the aftermarket industry in 2003. She brings a great deal of volunteer experience to the position, having served previously on the select committees of the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC), the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network and the Young Executives Network. McGuire is currently the Superlift Suspension Systems director of marketing.
In January, the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) transitioned to new leadership, with John McLeod leading the charge as chair. McLeod is the owner of Classic Instruments in Boyne City, Michigan, a manufacturer and seller of custom instrumentation for automobiles and boats. Before entering the automotive industry, McLeod was a police officer for 16 years.
For more than a year, the select committee of the Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) has been discussing how to best address council members’ need for data access and organization. Quite a bit of vehicle data from the ’80s and ’90s is unavailable—information that manufacturers could use for product research.
Members have heard a lot lately from SEMA’s membership department about some exciting new benefits. In addition to expanding services such as data management through the SEMA Data Co-op and product-development tools through the SEMA Garage, the association still collaborates with strategic partners to offer programs aimed at saving members on their business expenses. Here is a closer look at what First Data, the Specialty Equipment Insurance Alliance and UPS offer to members.