Key SEMA Awards go to Full-Time Shop Owners, Part-Time THE SHOP Contributors

Nov 13, 2015

The SEMA councils and professional networks announced annual award winners and honorees during the 2015 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

Among the honored recipients were Josh Poulson and Dino Perfetti, two shop owners who both write for THE SHOP magazine. Poulson, owner of Columbus, Ohio-based Auto Additions, won the PRO Council’s Nat Danas Person of the Year award; while Perfetti and John Prosser, co-owners of Minneapolis-based Automotive concepts, won the PRO Council’s Restyler of the Year award.

View all award winners and honorees from the councils and professional networks, as well as notes from SEMA:

Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) Award Winners

  • PRO Manufacturer of the Year: Brandmotion
  • Nat Danas Person of the Year: Josh Poulson, Auto Additions
  • Restyler of the Year: John Prosser/Dino Perfetti, Automotive Concepts
  • Jim Borre Lifetime Achievement Award: Dwight Forrister, Distinctive Industries

Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA)

  • Business of the Year: Danny’s Hot Rod Shop
  • Industry Recognition: Steve Tracy
  • Hall of Fame: Bill Mullins

Bill Mullins is a lifetime industry enthusiast and the perfect example of someone who followed a dream and made a living out of his passion. He broke into the industry as a brake/front-end specialist and was acknowledged by GM and Chevrolet for his work. His expertise in the steering-related field eventually led him to starting his own business.

Mullins has been involved in SEMA for more than 30 years and has been an HRIA council member since its inception in the early 1990s when he served multiple terms on the select committee.

Mullins has owned an array of hot rods, including a 1941 Willys that he built. He comes from a drag-racing and professional motorcycle racing background.

Light Truck Accessory Alliance (LTAA)

  • 2015 Retailer of the Year: Cap World Inc.
  • LTAA Hall of Fame: Charles Morrison Jr.

Charles Morrison Jr. and his son Charles Morrison III from 1976 to 1998 operated Cap City USA, which began selling truck caps out of an old crab shack in Southern Maryland. Cap City grew into a multi-store retail chain that reached from New York to Florida, and manufactured its own aluminum and fiberglass truck caps from 1985 to 1998.

In 1989, Morrison took six months off to start the Truck Cap Industry Association (TCIA), which later became the LTAA, and personally hired an association director to get the group off the ground. He organized the first TCIA meeting in 1989 in Omaha, Nebraska, where Dillard Fletcher was nominated and then elected the first TCIA president. By August of that year, he, along with other TCIA committee members, met in Chicago to finalize plans for TCIA’s future and the first TCIA Show. He served as the first TCIA show chairman.

Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO)

  • Business of the Year: Original Parts Group
  • Person of the Year: Ken Howell
  • ARMO Hall of Fame: Mark Headrick, Auto Metal Direct
  • Mark Headrick was one of the early members in the Hemi Owner’s Club, and has owned more than 80 HEMI cars.

Headrick’s first venture into the reproduction business was as a founding partner in MSE, a company that specialized in tubing products. Through that, Headrick made connections at Year One and was eventually hired as vice president, where he was heavily involved in developing new parts. Headrick saw a need for body panels to restore cars that required full body panels and eventually left Year One to start Goodmark Industries.

In the early 2000s, Headrick felt he could take what he had learned and develop an even better quality line of body panels if he had more control over parts manufacturing and development. This led to a relationship with a manufacturing factory and the formation of Auto Metal Direct. The goal was to produce enough different body panels so many of the previously un-restorable cars could now be saved. With full panels, the possibility of restoring wrecked and rusted cars now opened up.

Headrick has developed a close relationship with GM and Chrysler and now produces an extensive line of licensed, factory-endorsed body panels.

Manufacturers’ Representative Network (MRN)

  • STAR Award: B.J. Leanse of Big Country/Go Rhino
  • MRN Hall of Fame: Jeff Bates of Bob Cook Sales

Bates began his rep career in the mid-1980s with Sam Compton & Associates and moved to Bob Cook Sales in 1989. His experience began in his home state of Pennsylvania working for retailers and wholesalers in the performance aftermarket before moving to the Charlotte area. Bates handles a diverse customer base that includes large performance warehouses, niche marketers, professional race teams, engine builders and the Advanced Auto Parts retail chain.

Bates also enjoys a strong relationship in and around the NASCAR/Circle Track racing industry, based in and around the Charlotte area. He serves on the SEMA Board of Directors and its Executive Committee. He has received multiple awards from both the customer/WD side of the industry and from manufacturers.

SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN)

  • Athena Champion: Rose Kawasaki of Exports International
  • Athena Woman of the Year: Nan Gelhard of Summit Racing
  • Athena Rising Star: Kristin Stone of Reaction Time Marketing

Wheel & Tire Council 

  • Jim Smith: Ultra Wheel Company

Founding owner and director of Ultra Wheel Company, Jim Smith is an entrepreneur and racer who has dedicated his life to the automotive industry. Smith has been involved in the aftermarket wheel business for several decades and is an active philanthropist and racing advocate.

Young Executives Network (YEN)

  • Vanguard Award: Kathryn Reinhardt of MagnaFlow
  • Young Executive of the Year: Jared Chavez of MagnaFlow