SEMA Driving Women

SEMA Member News—March/April 2016

SEMA Driving Women

  SBN Gear-Up-Girl
The SBN hosts an annual event at the SEMA Show entitled Gear-Up Girl. The high-energy, female-only event is designed to connect students aspiring to get into the industry with successful industry professionals.

More than 500 women professionals in the automotive aftermarket industry belong to the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). The women of the SBN are a dynamic group of individuals who are passionate about the advancement of women in the industry. The network provides members with programs and opportunities for personal growth. One of the network’s main initiatives is to reach out to the younger generation and act as mentors.

“We want young women to know that their passion for cars and aftermarket accessories and parts can be turned into rewarding careers,” said Camee Edelbrock, SBN chair-elect.

All-Female Hot-Rodders Team

Team Edelbrock is an all-female Hot Rodders of Tomorrow team hailing from the automotive department at Belvidere North High School in Illinois. The girls competed in the 2015 Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge, where the competitors raced to disassemble and then reassemble a small-block Chevy engine in front of judges, striving for the fastest time. Led by Coach Jill Arata, the ladies made it to the final competition, which took place at the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, and finished in 11th place out of 22 teams with an impressive time of 25:17.

Congratulations to freshmen Eileen Bunt, Katelyn Savage and Makayla Stein, sophomores Alex Madura and junior BreAnna Lucas. Congratulations also to Arata as the only female coach in the competition, leading not only Team Edelbrock but also Team Taylor Cable in the Hot Dual Championship.

Gear-Up Girl

The SBN hosts an annual event at the SEMA Show entitled Gear-Up Girl. The female-only event is designed to connect students aspiring to get into the industry with successful industry professionals.

“The room always has a high-energy buzz to it,” explained Tiffany Dorin, a member of the SBN select committee. “It’s a much-anticipated event each year. I personally love the Gear-up Girl event because I get to share and instill my passion for the industry with tomorrow’s generation.”

The SBN also gives its industry awards during this event to show students who attend that successful women in the automotive aftermarket industry are recognized.

SBN Members on the Most Satisfying Aspects of Their Profession

“Seeing all the really cool cars and trucks our customers own or are building. Plus, the wonderful car people I meet each day. Car (and truck) people are the best around, I say. You talk automotive, you have a friend almost instantly with like-minded folks!” —Angie Parrish of Keys to Car Care

“Meeting owners of lovingly restored classic cars, interviewing them and photographing their prized possessions.” —Sue Wilkerson of Big Dog Performance Parts

“I’m an automotive enthusiast myself, so the subject matter of the job doesn’t feel like work. The fact that my job allows me to interact with top names in the industry on a daily basis is amazing.” —Andrea Nicholson of Brenton Productions

SBN Members on How They Got Into the Industry

“A love for fast cars and drag racing.” —Kirstin Stone of Reaction Time Marketing

“I’ve always loved cars, particularly old British convertibles and race cars. I’ve wanted a mid-’60s MGB since the first time I saw one. I started my career writing about education, but when I fell into the automotive-enthusiast world, I was hooked. The people are the selling point in all aspects of this industry!” —Andreanna Ditton of Internet Brands

“I have been involved with drag racing since before I can remember. My father and I have built cars together, and my husband and I compete constantly on the track.” —Tiana Weber of 3pConnect LLC

SBN Members on Their Dream Cars

“A ’64 Mustang with white exterior and red interior. Or a Camaro from the ’60s. Of course, it’d have to have an Aeromotive fuel system on it.” —Amanda Matusek of Aeromotive Inc.

“A ’70 Cuda coupe with a 440 Six Pack.” —Missy Perez of Taylormade Automotive

“A ’66 Corvette Stingray with 427 big-block.” —Kimberly Callahan of Insignia Group

Join SBN

SBN is free to all individuals employed by SEMA-member companies. For more information and to join, visit

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