Cruising into SEMA Show 2023: The Road to Automotive Innovation
In this post, we delve into the most current news and updates leading up to SEMA Show 2023. The SEMA Show is a flagship event organized by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a nonprofit trade association established in 1963. Since its inaugural debut in 1967, the SEMA Show has consistently stood as the premier platform for uniting automotive specialty equipment industry manufacturers and buyers. The SEMA Show showcases a diverse array of products designed to elevate the aesthetics, functionality, comfort, convenience, and safety of automobiles and trucks. Herein, you will find the latest announcements directly from SEMA.
News and Press Releases for SEMA 2023
- INAUGURAL SEMA SHOW PROGRAM TO EMPOWER WOMEN IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
- New SEMA Show exhibit to highlight future vehicle propulsion technology
- New Report: Specialty Automotive Aftermarket Supports More Than 1 Million American Jobs $100 Billion in Wages and Benefits
- SEMA launches new industry award for Best Engineered Vehicle of the Year
- 2023 SEMA Show to feature the world’s largest collection of new automotive products
- SEMA Show Overland Experience expands to new, more immersive location
- SEMA Awards More than 100 Scholarships to Individuals Pursuing Careers in the Automotive Aftermarket
- Tickets on Sale Now for Inaugural SEMA Fest
- Industry leaders and legends to be honored at prestigious celebration
- Best-selling author, star athlete Tim Tebow highlights SEMA Show Main Stage Experience
- 2023 SEMA Show to feature expanded education program
- SEMA and EcoLogic Partners Lawsuit Seeks to Protect Motorized Recreational Access at Oceano Dunes SVRA
- SEMA Announces Board Election Results
- 2023 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees announced
- 2023 SEMA Show registration opens May 1
- Vette Vues Magazine Links
INAUGURAL SEMA SHOW PROGRAM TO EMPOWER WOMEN IN THE AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY
The new SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium offers professional development programs geared toward helping women in the automotive aftermarket.
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Sept 27, 2023) — The 2023 SEMA Show, the world’s leading automotive trade show taking place October 31-November 3 in Las Vegas, will feature a new program designed to help women advance their careers in the automotive aftermarket. The inaugural SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium will provide networking, mentoring, and professional development opportunities that will give attendees invaluable new tools and essential skills.
With the support of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN), this new program will include an inspiring opening keynote, a power networking luncheon and fireside chat, a four-part micro-learning workshop segment, and a discussion panel delivered by iconic industry executives and thought leaders. It will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity for women in the automotive industry to come together and learn from each other’s experiences.
“This year’s SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium is lining up to be a groundbreaking opportunity to prepare women for addressing challenges and overcoming adversity,” said Pamela Brown Matthis, SEMA Director of Education. “The ultimate goal of this program is to help women elevate, empower, and engage themselves with the tools for success needed to accelerate and advance their business and career.”
The 2023 SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium will take place Wednesday, November 1, in the North Hall (Room N258) beginning at 11:00 a.m.:
• 11:00 a.m.-11:45 a.m. — Opening Keynote: “Drive: How to Gain and Maintain a Competitive Advantage”
Featuring Julia Landauer (two-time race champion and entrepreneur)
• 11:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. — Power Networking Luncheon & Fireside Chat
Hosted by Amanda Busick (FOX Sports reporter) and featuring Carolyn Jackson (Vice President-Brand Strategy, Barrett-Jackson).
• 1:00 p.m.-2:45 p.m. — Micro-Learning Lab (15-minute, rapid-fire-style workshops)
Featuring Melanie White (CEO and Owner, Hellwig Products), Jacki Lutz (Senior Manager of Marketing Communications-Corporate, Sensata Technologies), Deanna Singh (Managing Partner, Uplifting Impact), and Shaundra Dineen (award-winning motivational speaker and podcaster).
• 3:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m. — Panel: “Driving the Future of Automotive: C-Suite Insights”
Co-hosted by SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN) and moderated by Cheryl Thompson (President/Founder, Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement) and featuring Axel Cooley (President, Metallon), Kim Less (Vice President-Aftersales, Nissan North America), Subi Ghosh (EVP-Marketing & Strategic Partnerships, Stream Companies), Matilda Johnson (Director of Business Development & Chief Experience Officer, City Classic Cars), and Jayme Blasiman (Founder of Femcanic Garage and Founder/Co-Owner of Women’s Motor Fest).
“The SEMA Show is the only place where women in the automotive aftermarket can take part in such an exciting and empowering experience, taught by industry thought leaders and experts from all facets of the industry,” said Andy Tompkins, SEMA Trade Show Director. “This great lineup of speakers, panels, and workshops will help attendees be more competitive and knowledgeable about how to succeed in the industry.”
The SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium is free for all 2023 SEMA Show attendees. To learn more and register to attend, visit www.semashow.com.
New SEMA Show exhibit to highlight future vehicle propulsion technology
The SEMA FutureTech Studio, located in the new EV & Future Propulsion section, will give SEMA Show attendees an in-depth look into emerging technologies —
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Sept. 20, 2023) – The SEMA FutureTech Studio, a new exhibit at the 2023 SEMA Show, will give attendees at the world’s leading automotive trade show an opportunity to learn about what the future of vehicle propulsion may look like. Located in Central Hall, the SEMA FutureTech Studio will be part of the new EV & Future Propulsion section that evolved from the popular SEMA Electrified exhibit at recent SEMA Shows.
“The automotive aftermarket has always been at the forefront of vehicle innovation and technology, and this new section will help showcase how our industry is leading the way in the creation of new engine and fuel options,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA Vice President of Events. “The FutureTech Studio is a visionary space designed to inspire and support innovation across all segments and vehicles.”
Through various spotlights and showcases, the new immersive Show environment will feature parts and equipment that cater to the new technology, as well as vehicles that will highlight how these are employed. The exhibit will also include a SEMA Education stage, named FutureTech LIVE, where industry leaders will discuss different propulsion technology, including EV, hybrid, hydrogen, alternative fuels, and other advancements in technology.
Additionally, the new EV & Future Propulsion area will include more than 15 exhibitor booths showcasing parts and tools that cater to this emerging technology, and over 75 vehicles will help highlight the future of automotive innovation.
“The FutureTech Studio will help attendees understand what’s happening in the industry and how the industry is already pushing the creative envelope with new innovations, parts, and services,” said Luis Morales, SEMA Director of Vehicle Technology. “The EV & Future Propulsion section embodies our commitment to featuring the latest and future trends at the SEMA Show, and it is a testament to SEMA’s dedication to helping the community remain at the forefront of technological advancements.”
The 2023 SEMA Show, taking place October 31-November 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is the ultimate business gathering for the multi-billion specialty-automotive industry and is the place to discover the latest products and trends, connect with industry leaders, and network with fellow aftermarket professionals. To learn more and register to attend, visit www.semashow.com.
New Report: Specialty Automotive Aftermarket Supports More Than 1 Million American Jobs $100 Billion in Wages and Benefits
Financial impact spans the country and supports America’s economy
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (September 21, 2023) – New economic data released today shows the significant impact that the specialty equipment aftermarket for motor vehicles has on America’s economy – and just what it means for people across the country.
Amid the ongoing United Auto Workers strike at the big three car manufacturers, the report provides compelling data that the specialty automotive aftermarket is robust, despite the challenging economic environment.
The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) commissioned the research, which was conducted by John Dunham & Associates and is based on 2023 U.S. economy data. SEMA represents more than 7,000 member businesses, the vast majority of which are small businesses, across the U.S. The industry manufactures, sells and distributes aftermarket performance and accessory parts for passenger cars, trucks and 4-wheel off-road vehicles.
The SEMA Economic Impact Report shows the financial output and support to the U.S. economy of the specialty equipment market.
There are several key findings in the report:
- Nationwide, the specialty equipment industry supports more than 1.3 million American jobs.
- More than $104 billion worth of wages and benefits earned by American workers annually are supported by the industry.
- The industry accounts for more than $40 billion in taxes, including $24 billion in federal taxes and $16 billion in state and local taxes), which support the development of critical national and local infrastructure.
- The industry contributes more than $336 billion to the American economy annually.
These businesses employ more than twice the number of people as the U.S. aircraft industry and more people than the entire motion picture and video production industry. The aftermarket industry helps small businesses to grow, create new jobs and hire more workers, and builds partnerships that expand local economies across the U.S.
This economic impact study complements the industry’s annual market report on consumer trends. Consumers spent $52 billion on specialty automotive aftermarket products in 2022.
SEMA has released an interactive map that provides users state-by-state, congressional and state house and senate data in addition to the national numbers.
“We’re extremely proud that our industry represents such a key part of America’s economy, affecting any motorist who has upgraded their vehicle for a host of needs,” said Mike Spagnola, SEMA’s President and CEO. “SEMA’s 7,000 plus members, which are primarily small businesses, and the more than one million workers in the specialty aftermarket are extraordinary contributors to making the U.S. and local economies stronger across the country. It’s an industry that, one way or another, everyone has a stake in. It provides people with good-paying jobs and our local, state and federal coffers with taxes that grow our country’s economy. SEMA’s ecosystem is a powerhouse economic engine driving positive change, innovation and opportunity to America’s big cities and small towns, working families and small businesses. The specialty equipment aftermarket has proven to be a vibrant industry that delivers economic support to all 50 states.”
SEMA launches new industry award for Best Engineered Vehicle of the Year
— The award will recognize a featured vehicle at the 2023 SEMA Show that showcases exceptional engineering —
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Sept. 18, 2023) – The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has announced a special new award that will recognize a featured vehicle at the 2023 SEMA Show that showcases exceptional engineering. The SEMA Best Engineered Vehicle of the Year Award will honor and celebrate a build that demonstrates quality engineering throughout the entire vehicle, or an aspect of the vehicle that goes beyond just physical appearance.
The award aims to inspire more engineers to enter the automotive aftermarket by highlighting their impact on the automotive specialty equipment industry and places a spotlight on the symbiotic relationship between a vehicle’s design and engineering.
“While vehicle aesthetics have always played a crucial role in the automotive aftermarket, this award recognizes the intricate engineering that transforms a vehicle into a masterpiece of design and functionality,” said Chris Standifer, SEMA Manager of Recognition Programs. “It also sheds light on the technical brilliance behind the build and provides a platform for engineers to showcase their transformative innovations.”
To be considered for the award, builders must upload a photo, video, description of the engineering content included in the build, and the location of the displayed vehicle at the SEMA Show into their submission. Entries are being accepted until October 25 at this link.
The SEMA Best Engineered Vehicle of the Year Award winner will be announced at SEMA Central on Thursday, Nov. 2, at the 2023 SEMA Show.
2023 SEMA Show to feature the world’s largest collection of new automotive products
— The 2023 New Products Showcase, featuring thousands of the hottest products in the automotive aftermarket, will serve as the epicenter of innovation and facilitate product discovery across the SEMA Show. —
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2023) – The 2023 SEMA Show New Products Showcase, the world’s largest display of new automotive aftermarket products, is relocating to the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Accessible exclusively to SEMA Showgoers during the Oct. 31-Nov. 3 trade show, the New Products Showcase is the top buyer and media destination and serves as a one-stop shop to easily discover thousands of the hottest products in the industry.
“The New Products Showcase is the most comprehensive collection of what is coming next in the automotive industry, providing attendees a virtual glimpse into the future of the market,” said SEMA Vice President of Events Tom Gattuso. “It is where SEMA Show attendees can also envision how to utilize the latest products and services in their own businesses by learning details about the products, including the exhibitor’s booth number, so they connect directly with the manufacturer on the Show floor. Exhibitors can maximize their ROI by participating in the New Products Showcase, which results in increased brand exposure and more visitors to their booths.”
All SEMA Show exhibitors qualify to submit one New Products Showcase entry at no cost, and they can enter additional products at a cost of $95 before Oct. 6 and $150 after. There is no limit to the number of entries a company can submit (learn more and get involved at www.semashow.com/newproducts).
All New Products Showcase entries receive the added benefit of being featured in SEMA News, listed in the SEMA Show app, and possibly winning multiple Best New Product awards, which are presented in 18 categories, including EV and ADAS, during the official SEMA Show Kickoff Breakfast on Tuesday, Oct. 31.
“The New Products Showcase provides exhibitors a great opportunity to generate leads and exposure for very little cost, especially if they take advantage of early deadlines,” added SEMA Trade Show Director Andy Tompkins. “Having access to thousands of products in one location makes trend-spotting easy for buyers and media. Plus, our mobile app allows attendees to ‘favorite’ products so they can maximize their time at the Show and use the app as a year-round resource. It is like putting the future in your pocket.”
The 2023 SEMA Show, taking place Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is the ultimate business gathering for the automotive specialty equipment industry. It is the place where professionals come to connect with product experts from the exhibiting companies for quality one-on-one discussions, demos, and presentations. To learn more or to register to attend the 2023 SEMA Show, visit www.semashow.com.
SEMA Show Overland Experience expands to new, more immersive location
— The specialized showcase will provide attendees at the 2023 SEMA Show with a customized environment to learn about the popular market segment —
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Aug. 22, 2023) – The SEMA Show Overland Experience, a popular specialized showcase at the leading automotive trade show in the world, is moving to a new location in 2023 to give attendees a more immersive introduction into the world of overlanding. The dedicated display will be prominently featured in the Diamond Lot, adjacent to the West Hall, providing a customized environment to highlight the growing overlanding market.
“Moving the Overland Experience to the Diamond Lot will enable attendees and media to easily access the latest products and innovations in the growing market segment, in an outside setting they were designed for,” said SEMA Vice President of Events Tom Gattuso. “The exhibit will be conveniently accessible to all Show attendees via the LVCC Loop West Hall Station and the West Hall, which will feature the latest in trucks, SUVs, off-roading, powersports, and utility vehicles.”
The SEMA Overland Experience will include dozens of customized vehicles—from pop-top-equipped trucks to sprinter vans to specialty trailers—featuring recreational and utility gear such as refrigerators, storage racks and units, makeshift kitchens, and solar chargers, everything to make off-the-grid travel fun and convenient.
The exhibit will also feature industry experts discussing key overlanding opportunities and trends that can add important new profit centers for aftermarket companies who are looking to diversify and grow their offerings.
“The Overland Experience is a great opportunity for attendees to delve deep into the lifestyle and gear associated with this adventure-driven niche,” added SEMA Trade Show Director Andy Tompkins. “With exhibits like the Overland Experience displayed throughout the SEMA Show, we will showcase what’s trending in the marketplace and what many consumers and enthusiasts are gravitating towards.”
Attendees will be able to engage with several leading brands, including current Overland Experience sponsors American Expedition Vehicles, KW Automotive, LinksWell Automotive, LiquidSpring, Mackin Industries, ORACLE Lighting, Powerbuilt and Caterpillar, Scosche Industries, and first-time exhibitor Winnebago.
The 2023 SEMA Show, taking place October 31-November 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is the ultimate business gathering for the automotive specialty equipment industry. It is the place to discover new products and trends, make new business contacts, strengthen existing ones, and help professionals take their careers from good to great. To learn more or to register to attend the 2023 SEMA Show, visit www.semashow.com.
SEMA Awards More than 100 Scholarships to Individuals Pursuing Careers in the Automotive Aftermarket
– $245,000 distributed to 104 students and recent graduates —
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (Aug. 7, 2023) – The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) has issued a total of $245,000 in scholarship and loan forgiveness awards through its SEMA Memorial Scholarship Fund to help 104 individuals pursuing a career in the automotive aftermarket industry. The winners include 87 students who received scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 and 17 employees of SEMA-member companies who received loan forgiveness awards to help pay off student loans.
“SEMA receives a large number of scholarship applications each year, and the quality of this year’s applicants was truly inspiring and impressive,” said SEMA Manager of Recognition Programs Chris Standifer. “Their passion and innovative mindset were evident in their applications, and it gives us great hope that they will continue to advance the aftermarket industry and make a lasting impact.”
The SEMA Memorial Scholarship Program was established in 1984 to help support the future of the automotive aftermarket industry. Since its inception, more than $3 million has been awarded to deserving students. One of the primary criteria for scholarship recipients is that the winner must have clearly demonstrated a passion for the automotive industry.
The online application for next year’s program will open in January 2024 at www.sema.org/scholarships.
SEMA Scholarship Award Winners
Recipient (Institution Name, Major)
- Aaron Bastian (Thomas Nelson Community College, Automotive Technology)
- Aaron Bodenham (Iowa State University, Mechanical Engineering)
- Adam Phillips (Ozarks Technical Community College, Machine Tool Technician)
- Aidan Carton (SUNY College of Technology at Alfred, Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technician)
- Alexander Riddle (Pennsylvania College of Technology, Automotive Technology)
- Alois McKarns (University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Business)
- Alyssa Hagan (Kettering University, Mechanical Engineering)
- Amy Kurr (University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Energy Science and Engineering)
- Andrew Kemp (McPherson College, Automotive Restoration Technology)
- Andrew Riley (McPherson College, Automotive)
- Caleb Vessey (California State University-San Marcos, Electrical Engineering)
- Cameron Cocalis (University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus, Business)
- Carter Goode (Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Automotive Technology)
- Cedric McKinney (California State University-Chico, Mechatronics)
- Christopher Wesley (Navajo Technical University, Electrical Engineering)
- Christopher White (Erie Community College, Automotive Technician)
- Clark Howe (WyoTech, Autobody Collision)
- Cloey Waterbury (Iowa State University, Mechanical Engineering)
- Coen Fricke (Colorado School of Mines, Mechanical Engineering)
- Colby Price (University of Northwestern Ohio, Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technician)
- Connor Thompson (Elizabethtown Community & Technical College, Diesel Mechanic)
- Cooper O’Hair (College for Creative Studies, Transportation Design)
- Dalton Weiser (California State University-Chico, Mechanical Engineering)
- Daniel Clawson (Missouri University of Science & Technology, Mechanical Engineering)
- David Ramos (Arizona State University Campus Immersion, Mechanical Engineering)
- Edwin Buiter (McPherson College, Automotive Technology)
- Emma Ricketts (Career Center of Southern Illinois, Automotive Engineering & Technology)
- Gabe Janitch (University of Northwestern Ohio, Automotive Aftermarket)
- Gage Allen (University of Tulsa, Electrical Engineering)
- Grace-Anne Stine (Missouri University of Science & Technology, Mechanical Engineering)
- Guillermo Garcia (School of Automotive Machinists & Technology, Automotive)
- Hailey Petsch (Arizona State University at Tempe, Mechanical Engineering)
- Hunter Bailey (University of Northwestern Ohio, Automotive Technology/High Performance Motorsports)
- Ian Stravers (Iowa State University, Agricultural Systems Technology-Industrial Technology)
- Ihfaz Islam (Wayne State University, Electrical Engineering)
- Jack Doyle (California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, Mechanical Engineering)
- Jack Lorenz (University of Northwestern Ohio, Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technician)
- Jacob Matties (California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, Mechanical Engineering)
- Jaden Helfman (Roger Williams University, Mechanical Engineering)
- Jaedyn Imhoff (California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo, Mechanical Engineering)
- Jalen Guerrero (Farmingdale State College, Automotive Technology)
- Jon Crenshaw (WyoTech, Diesel Mechanic)
- Jonah Williamson (West Virginia University, Mechanical Engineering)
- Jonathon Damzyn (Michigan State University, Electrical Engineering)
- Joshua Maymon (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, Mechanical Engineering)
- Josiah Romero (Texas A&M University-College Station, Aerospace Aeronautical)
- Kade Kohl (Parkland College, Diesel Mechanic)
- Kaitlyn Zubia (University of Texas at El Paso, Mechanical Engineering)
- Keeley Whitmer (Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Automotive)
- Kenton Kyger (Kettering University, Engineering: Mobility Systems)
- Kolby Tran (University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Electrical Engineering)
- Kyle Janssen (University of Wisconsin-Madison, Marketing)
- Lantz Riggio (University of Northwestern Ohio, Automotive Aftermarket)
- Lawson Cheek (University of Mississippi, Business)
- Liam Richardson (Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Automotive Technology)
- Logan Jorgensen (Ferris State University, Automotive Engineering & Technology)
- Madyan Khidir (M State-Moorhead Campus, Automotive Engineering & Technology)
- Marco Ramirez (Brigham Young University-Idaho, Automotive Engineering & Technology)
- Masen Schneider (University of North Dakota, Mechanical Engineering)
- Mason Durham (University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Electrical Engineering)
- Mason Surgener (Kettering University, Mechanical Engineering)
- Matthew Traum (Missouri University of Science & Technology, Mechanical Engineering)
- Max Lovell (Miami University-Oxford, Computer & Information Sciences)
- Maximilian Redfearn (University of St. Thomas, Mechanical Engineering)
- Megan Layton (Weber State University, Automotive Technology)
- Micah Duke (Colorado School of Mines, Mechanical Engineering)
- Miles Mack (Temple University, Business)
- Owen Kreutzfeldt (South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Mechanical Engineering)
- Payton Lee (Kansas State University, Mechanical Engineering)
- Rachel Garrett (University of Northwestern Ohio, High Performance Technology)
- Riley Schlick-Trask (Connecticut College, Engineering Mechanics)
- Robert Schonberner (McPherson College, Automotive)
- Robert Wareham (Lewis-Clark State College, Autobody Collision)
- Ryder Lestrud (North Iowa Area Community College, Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technician)
- Rylee Disterheft (University of Northwestern Ohio, High Performance Motorsports)
- Sabra Laschanzky (Ozarks Technical Community College, Automation Technology)
- Sasha Luich (University of Texas at Dallas, Mechanical Engineering)
- Savannah Sprague (Northwood University, Automotive)
- Spencer Moody (University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Mechanical Engineering)
- Steven Scott (Earlham College, Mechanical Engineering)
- Stran Denton (WyoTech, Automotive Technology)
- Taylor Hoover (Texas Tech University, Business, Management)
- Valerie Best (Cuesta College, Automotive Technology)
- Whitney Elliot Lundy (Ozarks Technical Community College, Autobody Collision)
- William Chambers (North Carolina State University at Raleigh, Mechanical Engineering)
- William Surratt (University of Northwestern Ohio, Automotive Technology)
- Zachary Dosey (Wayne State University, Electrical Engineering Technician)
SEMA Loan Forgiveness Award Winners
Recipient (Employer, Institution Name, Major)
- Anh Le (Original Parts Group, Inc., University of California Irvine, Computer Science)
- Autumn Schwalbe (Ford Motor Company, Northwood University, Automotive Aftermarket)
- Baily Soto (Legacy EV, Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix, Education)
- Bruce Xiong (Truck Accessories Group, LLC, California State University-Sacramento, Mechanical Engineering)
- Chris Apkarian (AMS Osram, University of New Hampshire at Manchester, Mechanical Engineering Technology)
- Clayton Brown (Race Winning Brands, University of Akron Main Campus, Mechanical Engineering Technology)
- Derrick Steffen (Transfer Flow, California State University-Chico, Mechanical Engineering)
- Jeremy Kingkade (Dee Zee, Inc., Iowa State University, Industrial Engineering & Design)
- John Hyden (Royal Purple Synthetic Oil, Marian University, Business)
- Keith Farris (I-CAR, University of Phoenix, IT Business Manager)
- Mara Henderson (The University of Northwestern Ohio, Southern New Hampshire University, Business Administration/General Office Worker)
- Mark Mollica (Thyssenkrupp Bilstein, University of San Diego, Mechanical Engineering)
- Melanie Henry (Martin & Company Advertising, Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Altoona, Communications)
- Shawn Foster (Diode Dynamics, Missouri University of Science & Technology, Mechanical Engineering)
- Taylor Straley (DECKED, University of Washington-Seattle Campus, Business)
- Teresa Lang (Stellantis/FCA US LLC, University of Michigan-Dearborn, Engineering)
- William Krueger (Bob Drake Reproductions, Inc., Oregon Institute of Technology, Mechanical Engineering)
Tickets on Sale Now for Inaugural SEMA Fest
The two-day festival celebrating motorsports, music and car culture is open to the public and will be held November 3-4 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (July 14, 2023) – Tickets for the inaugural SEMA Fest, a two-day full-throttle festival that fuses car culture and music, are on sale now at www.semafest.com. Held November 3-4 at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds in Las Vegas, Nevada, SEMA Fest is a must-attend event open to the public and featuring world-class musical acts Imagine Dragons, Incubus, Wiz Khalifa, AJR, Third Eye Blind, Bush, Walk The Moon and more.
“We are excited to open the gates for the inaugural SEMA Fest and welcome car and music lovers alike to enjoy this one-of-a-kind festival,” said Mike Spagnola, SEMA president and CEO. “Automotive enthusiasts the world over have been asking for years how they can be part of the SEMA Show experience, and we are delighted to include them in this brand-new extension of our popular trade show. This new event will be separate from the trade show, open to everyone and promises to be like nothing they’ve seen before.”
SEMA Fest brings together automotive enthusiasts, the biggest names in music and the hottest automotive brands in a large-scale festival format. It will also feature a full slate of immersive automotive lifestyle events, a consumer marketplace, world-class drifting, motorsports competitions, freestyle motocross and more. Whether you are a diehard car enthusiast, a motorsports fan, a music lover or just like to have a good time, SEMA Fest is an event not to miss. More details will be announced soon, including a full concert lineup of more than 20 bands.
SEMA Fest is hosted by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), producers of the SEMA Show, a massive trade-only event held annually in Las Vegas. The inaugural SEMA Fest marks the conclusion of SEMA Week, which kicks off with the 2023 SEMA Show on October 31-November 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.
For more information about SEMA Fest and to purchase tickets, visit www.semafest.com.
Industry leaders and legends to be honored at prestigious celebration
— Hall of Fame members Steve Ames, John Iannotte, and Mitch Williams are among the industry icons who will be recognized at the SEMA Leaders & Legends Gala —
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (July 6, 2023) – Tickets for the 2023 SEMA Leaders & Legends Gala, to honor this year’s Hall of Fame members and fellow industry leaders, are now available at www.sema.org/gala. The prestigious annual celebration is open to the industry and will be held Friday, July 21, at the Anaheim Marriot in Anaheim, Calif.
“The SEMA Leaders & Legends Gala is among our association’s most iconic events,” said SEMA President and CEO Mike Spagnola. “As the event’s name implies, the Gala honors excellence and achievement, especially as embodied in our SEMA Hall of Fame inductees.”
Formerly known as the SEMA Awards Gala, the SEMA Leaders & Legends Gala will honor incoming and outgoing members of the SEMA Board of Directors, industry leaders and volunteers, and 2023 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees Steve Ames, John Iannotte, and Mitch Williams.
The SEMA Cares Pinewood Drags, a cherished Gala tradition, will run in conjunction with the Gala, offering industry participants opportunities to sponsor a child-built pinewood racecar or challenge industry colleagues in head-to-head competition. The races, which are run throughout the Friday reception and into the evening, support SEMA Cares, a group that unites the automotive aftermarket to raise funds for various charities, including the Austin Hatcher Foundation, Childhelp, and Victory Junction.
“It’s a great opportunity to come together mid-year and recognize those who have made extraordinary contributions to the industry,” said Spagnola. “I’m looking forward to celebrating with friends and colleagues.”
For more information and to secure a seat or table at the exclusive event, visit www.sema.org/gala. For more information about SEMA Cares or to sponsor a SEMA Pinewood Drags race car, visit www.sema.org/sema-cares.
Best-selling author, star athlete Tim Tebow highlights SEMA Show Main Stage Experience
— Tebow’s keynote is part of a robust education program that is available to all SEMA Show attendees —
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (July 5, 2023) — World-renowned athlete, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Tim Tebow will share his mission-possible life message with attendees at the 2023 SEMA Show as part of the trade-only event’s professional-development experience. Taking place Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Las Vegas, the SEMA Show will highlight Tebow as a keynote speaker on the SEMA Show Main Stage, a new program that will feature iconic personalities in the automotive industry, thought leaders, and entertainers sharing fresh perspectives and innovative ideas and strategies.
“I’m looking forward to helping SEMA Show attendees find their mission and create a life that counts,” said Tebow. “I hope my experiences and the lessons I’ve learned first-hand will inspire them to live a purposeful life that helps them succeed personally and professionally.”
Tebow’s keynote address will take place at 1 p.m. on November 2 in the West Hall. His speech is part of a comprehensive SEMA Show Education program that focuses on leadership and year-round skill development.
“We’re really excited about bringing Tim Tebow to our Main Stage Experience as a subject-matter expert who has the knowledge and ability to inspire change,” said Pamela Brown-Matthis, SEMA Director of Education. “His ideas will elevate and strengthen an attendee’s business strategy because he’s a very strong entrepreneur himself. His multigenerational message is going to resonate with all attendees.”
In addition to globally recognized speakers and industry leaders on the Main Stage, the 2023 SEMA Show Education Program will include 99 learning sessions that begin the Monday before the official start of the Show, six highly focused SEMA Education tracks, the Dale Carnegie Leadership Essentials program, a Women in Automotive Symposium, and an on-site electric vehicle (EV) certification program. Access to most education programs is included as a benefit to registration.
“The SEMA Show is the only place where aftermarket professionals can discover new products and trends, make new business contacts, and take their careers and businesses from good to great in one location,” said SEMA Trade Show Director Andy Tompkins. “We are committed to ensuring that participation in the SEMA Show is easy, affordable, and provides the greatest return on investment.”
To learn more or to register to attend the 2023 SEMA Show, visit www.semashow.com.
2023 SEMA Show to feature expanded education program
— The new SEMA Show Education program is fully customizable and can be used to create a best-in-class professional development experience throughout the year —
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (June 14, 2023) – As part of SEMA’s initiative to create a more robust career- and professional-development program year-round, the 2023 SEMA Show will feature a fully customizable hands-on education program that focuses on leadership and skill development, networking, exploration of emerging trends, and industry best practices. Attendees will be able to use this year’s program to jump-start and create a comprehensive year-long educational program.
“We want to support our attendees by offering a customizable learning journey for skill development and competency-based education inclusive of the Show and throughout the rest of the year,” said Pamela Brown-Matthis, SEMA Director of Education. “Our goal is to engage showgoers by creating high-energy learning situations throughout the Show environment and creating educational opportunities that are delivered in various formats, whether they be ‘fireside chats,’ workshops, Main Stage Experiences, or celebrity showcases.”
This year’s program will feature globally recognized speakers and industry leaders sharing their expertise with attendees. Also new for this year is an EV certification program from Legacy EV that offers hands-on training to automotive techs who want an up-skill understanding of EV anatomy, powertrains, and electrical theory. Attendees who complete the program will receive an EV101 certificate from Legacy EV.
“We have been very intentional about selecting our sessions and speakers this year,” explained Brown-Matthis. “All of our speakers are subject-matter experts and industry leaders who have the knowledge and ability to inspire change, and our sessions offer content that is relevant, meaningful and valuable for all our Show participants.”
Other SEMA Show Education Program highlights:
- 99 sessions by subject matter experts, beginning Monday afternoon (October 30) to provide wider access to education
- Six highly focused SEMA Education tracks: Inside the Shop; Aftermarket Updates and Future Trends; Small-Business Strategy; Sales and Marketing; Vehicle Technology and Electric Vehicles; and Legal and Regulatory
- Women in Automotive Symposium, including a Micro Learning Lab Experience consisting of four professional-development workshops, keynotes, power networking luncheon and a C-Suite Insights panel
- Dale Carnegie Leadership Essentials program, a six-part series by executive coaches from the world-renown Dale Carnegie Program that are designed to enhance leadership skills
- Education sessions from partners Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS), and the Tire Industry Association (TIA).
Access to most education programs are included as a benefit to registration. For more information about the SEMA Show, this year’s Education Program, or to register, visit www.semashow.com.
The 2023 SEMA Show, taking place October 31-November 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, is the ultimate business gathering for the automotive specialty equipment industry. It is the place to discover new products and trends, make new business contacts, strengthen existing ones, and help professionals take their careers from good to great.
SEMA and EcoLogic Partners Lawsuit Seeks to Protect Motorized Recreational Access at Oceano Dunes SVRA
— Litigation is scheduled for a June 15 hearing in the California Superior Court of
San Luis Obispo —
— The hearing is a key moment in the fight to protect motorized recreational access around the country —
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 7, 2023) – SEMA’s joint lawsuit with EcoLogic Partners—a legal collaboration between the Off-Road Business Association (ORBA), American Sand Association, and American Motorcyclist Association District 37—challenges the California Coastal Commission’s plans to prohibit motorized recreational and overnight camping access at Oceano Dunes State Vehicle Recreation Area (SVRA). The coalition’s lawsuit is scheduled for a June 15, 2023, hearing in the California Superior Court of San Luis Obispo County.
SEMA and EcoLogic Partners seek recognition from the court that the California Coastal Commission does not have the authority to terminate off-highway vehicle (OHV) use and beach camping at the state-authorized and legislatively sanctioned Oceano Dunes SVRA. The lawsuit is combined with a suit filed by Friends of Oceano Dunes making similar allegations.
SEMA, ORBA, ASA, and AMA are leading advocates for motorized recreational activities, and the upcoming hearing marks a crucial moment in the ongoing battle to protect motorized recreation access in California and across the United States.
Oceano Dunes SVRA is a premier destination for motorized recreation enthusiasts and tourists alike as the only off-road park in the state offering direct access to the Pacific Ocean. For decades, recreationists and off-roaders have enjoyed riding all types of motorized vehicles, from trucks and SUVs to dune buggies and quads, on the California beach, which is now threatened by the Commission’s March 2021 amendments to Coastal Development Permit 4-82-300 that demanded the California Department of Parks and Recreation phase out off-highway vehicle (OHV) access to Oceano Dunes SVRA by 2024.
“SEMA advocates for land-use policies that provide motorized recreational access to publicly owned lands while providing reasonable safeguards needed to protect natural resources,” said SEMA President and CEO Mike Spagnola. “The Coastal Commission’s efforts to stop off-road access at Oceano Dunes are unreasonable and set a dangerous precedent. Oceano Dunes is enjoyed by over two million enthusiasts and tourists each year. SEMA is committed to their rights to responsibly recreate on California’s Coast and public lands throughout the country.”
The Honorable Tana Coates is the presiding judge for the June 15 hearing. The judge is expected to issue a final decision in July or August. Any additional appeals following this ruling could extend the outcome of this litigation for an additional 10-13 months.
The trial court’s decision is critically important to SEMA and EcoLogic Partners’ efforts to protect motorized recreational access at Oceano Dunes.
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $50.9 billion specialty-automotive industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. Association resources include market research, legislative advocacy, training and product development support, as well as leading trade shows such as the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nev., and the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, Ind. For more information, visit www.sema.org, www.semashow.com or www.performanceracing.com.
About EcoLogic Partners, Inc.
EcoLogic Partners, Inc. is dedicated to protecting and preserving public access to recreational venues, including designated OHV parks, throughout California and the western United States. EcoLogic is a consortium comprised of the American Sand Association, the American Motorcyclists Association District 37, and the Off-Road Business Association, and their respective members. To learn more, visit www.offroadbusiness.org, https://www.amadistrict37.org/, and https://www.americansandassociation.org/.
SEMA Announces Board Election Results
– Melanie White and Ted Wentz III elected to lead the association and serve the industry —
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (May 30, 2023) – SEMA members have elected Melanie White, President of Hellwig Products, and Ted Wentz III, CEO of Quadratec, to lead the association over the next several years as key members of the 2023-2024 SEMA Board of Directors.
White was voted incoming chair and fills the position held for the past two years by Kyle Fickler (ProCharger), who will begin his term as chairman in July when James Lawrence (Power Automedia) concludes his term in that position. White’s current seat on the Board will be filled by Marcus Umlauff (Toyota North America) for the balance of the two-year seat. Current SEMA Board member Wentz was re-elected to serve another term of three years.
SEMA Board members are industry representatives who volunteer their time to lead and guide the association. They are elected by SEMA-member companies and represent the key membership categories: manufacturers, distributors/retailers, manufacturers’ rep, and services.
The SEMA Board of Directors for 2023-2024 will be as follows:
- Chairman – Kyle Fickler, Director of Business Development, ProCharger
- Incoming Chair – Melanie White, President, Hellwig Products
- Immediate Past-Chair/Secretary – James Lawrence, Senior Consultant, Power Automedia
- Treasurer – TBD
- Rich Butler – CEO, R&R Marketing Consultants
- Lindsay Hubley – Managing Partner, Lodestone Events LLC
- Norris Marshall – CEO, BluePrint Engines
- Larry Montante – VP, Category Management & Marketing, Keystone Automotive Operations
- Kim Pendergast – CEO, Magnuson Superchargers
- Brian Reese – President & CEO, T-Sportline
- Kathryn Reinhardt – Senior VP of Marketing and Events, Hemmings
- Marcus Umlauff – General Manager-Truck, Toyota North America
- Ted Wentz III – CEO, Quadratec, Inc.
- Steve Whipple – President, PRW Industries, Inc.
Outgoing Board Members
- Tim Martin – CEO, Aftermarket Advisors
- Les Rudd – President/CSO, Bob Cook Sales
The entire 2023-2024 SEMA Board of Directors and outgoing Board members will be honored and recognized during the 2023 SEMA Leaders & Legends Gala (formerly the SEMA Awards Gala) in Anaheim, Calif., on July 21. All SEMA members and industry professionals are invited to join the celebration by purchasing tickets at www.sema.org/gala.
2023 SEMA Hall of Fame inductees announced
— Newest members are Steve Ames, John Iannotte, and Mitch Williams —
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (May 9, 2023) – Three industry leaders are joining the prestigious SEMA Hall of Fame: Steve Ames of Ames Performance Engineering, John Iannotte of Kunzman & Associates, and Mitch Williams, who recently left StopTech Performance Brake Systems to join Rigid Industries.
Created in 1969, the SEMA Hall of Fame honors trailblazers who have significantly enhanced and contributed to the automotive industry. Its members are considered heroes, and each individual has a unique story to tell. The industry is invited to join in honoring the new SEMA Hall of Fame members during the 2023 SEMA Leaders & Legends Gala in Anaheim, Calif., on July 21. More details on the inductees will be shared during the Gala.
Steve Ames: Having developed a fascination for cars at a young age, Steve Ames began drag racing after earning an engineering degree from Columbia University. He started in the parts business by traveling along the East Coast buying New Old Stock (NOS) parts. In 1976 he noticed that Pontiac parts were in particularly high demand and began focusing exclusively on such products. As business continued, Ames realized that demand for restoration parts outweighed that of NOS parts and launched Ames Performance Engineering. He expanded with other companies within the restoration industry, providing much-needed products for growing markets, and became an authoritative voice in the classic car industry. Ames is one of the original founders of SEMA’s Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO), was named ARMO’s Person of the Year in 2007, and is a recipient of the ARMO Lifetime Achievement Award. Ames passed away in December 2020.
John Iannotte: John Iannotte is among the industry’s most known and respected sales reps. As a teenager, he was the first-ever service rep for the Mr. Phone/Mr. Gasket organization. He continued his career playing a key role in the founding and growth of Bob Barker Marketing & Sales and for much of the success at the multi award-winning company Kunzman & Associates. An active member and supporter of the SEMA Manufacturers’ Rep Council (MRC), Iannotte advocated for and became one of the first certified professional manufacturers reps (CPMR) and pushed for standards throughout the industry. He served numerous terms on the SEMA Board of Directors, where he fought legislative issues involving manufacturing tax relief, pushed for industry data standards, supported philanthropic activities, and promoted ongoing education and training throughout the industry. Iannotte continues to serve as a sales rep for Kunzman & Associates, as well as volunteer his time and expertise to many industry initiatives.
Mitch Williams: Mitch Williams has nearly 40 years of industry experience, including six terms on the SEMA Board of Directors – one as SEMA Chairman of the Board. As such, he introduced lean concepts to SEMA and expanded SEMA’s global influence by founding the SEMA International Task Force to connect SEMA members with international business opportunities. He also served on the Joint Operating Committee, providing oversight to the SEMA Show and its partner show, AAPEX. He was a charter member of the SEMA Political Action Committee (PAC) and personally lobbied members of Congress on important industry issues. Williams founded the SEMA Lighting Task Force at a time when NHTSA was targeting lighting companies. In addition to nearly 20 years with Hella, Williams held executive positions with Original One Auto Parts, Restoration Parts Unlimited, APR, Dinan Corp., Xstream Trucking, StopTech, and recently joined Rigid Industries as its president.
Ames, Iannotte, and Williams will be formally introduced during the 2023 SEMA Leaders & Legends Gala in Anaheim, Calif., on July 21, at which time newly elected and outgoing SEMA Board members will also be honored. All SEMA members and industry professionals are invited to join the celebration by purchasing tickets at www.sema.org/gala.
2023 SEMA Show registration opens May 1
— Annual in-person trade show allows participants to stay at the forefront of new products, trends, and technology while building meaningful relationships and partnerships —
— Planning ahead and registering early saves money, delivers greatest return on investment —
DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (April 20, 2023) – Registration for the 2023 SEMA Show opens May 1 at www.semashow.com/register. The annual trade event taking place October 31-November 3 at the Las Vegas Convention Center is the ultimate business gathering for the automotive specialty equipment industry.
By bringing together all segments of the industry – including racing and performance, mobile electronics, hot rod and restoration, restyling and car care, collision repair, trucks, offroad, powersports, overlanding, and wheels and tires – the SEMA Show is the place to discover new products and trends, make new business contacts, strengthen existing ones, and help professionals take their careers from good to great.
“With the worldwide automotive industry gathered together in Las Vegas, the SEMA Show gives attendees the once-a-year opportunity to connect as a global community,” said Tom Gattuso, SEMA VP of Events. “Attendees build meaningful relationships, develop trust, and strengthen bonds that lead to partnerships and real results. They are engaging on a level that doesn’t compare to anything else.”
Registration of only $40 per person is open to buyers and attendees who sign up between May 1-June 30. Early registration also ensures that applicants will receive important news and updates about the SEMA Show in advance, including actual badges in the mail before the event in November.
“The most successful attendees at the SEMA Show are those who secure their badges early,” said Gattuso. “In addition to saving money, Showgoers who register early benefit by learning about special events, opportunities, and discounts.”
Upon registering, attendees will be guided on exclusive discounts for hotels, best practices for connecting with exhibitors, links to sign up for free educational seminars, details about networking events and activities, tips for navigating the Las Vegas Convention Center, the ability to request a travel visa, and more.
SEMA Show registration is offered in three primary categories – attendee, exhibitor, and media – and everyone must qualify to attend. For more information about qualifying documents and the 2023 SEMA Show, log on to www.semashow.com.
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