New SEMA Show Program Aims to Empower Women in Industry

The 2023 SEMA Show, scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 3 in Las Vegas, Nevada, will feature a new program designed to help women advance their careers in the automotive aftermarket, show organizers announced.

New for 2023, the SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium will provide networking, mentoring, and professional development opportunities with the support of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN), the organization said. The new program will include an opening keynote, a networking luncheon and fireside chat, a four-part workshop segment, and a discussion panel featuring industry executives and figures.

“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 Nov. 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 and 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.

A.J. Hecht

A.J. Hecht is the managing editor of THE SHOP and host of the In Gear with THE SHOP podcast. Have an idea, a tip, or a question you’d like to see answered? Contact A.J. at

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