SEMA Show Chronicles: 24 Years of Automotive Madness and Passion

UGH—SEMA

Man AGAIN. ALREADY?!? It feels like the illustrious SEMA SHOW seems to pop up sooner and sooner each and every year. Seriously. It’s pure madness. But all jokes aside, I absolutely love the SEMA Show and even the chaos (yes, I thrive in Chaos) leading up to the weeklong trade-only automotive aftermarket event.

What’s even more crazy than the love/hate relationship I have for the SEMA Show is the fact that this will be my 24th (almost the big 25!) year in attendance. I still remember my very first SEMA back in 1999 and it was MASSIVE! To a high-school grad who eat, sleeps, and breathes all things custom truck—that was a huge highlight and turning point in my life (and career lol). I was like a kid in a candy store. Upon walking through the thousands of vendors, cars, and products, I realized that I wanted to pursue a career in the custom automotive aftermarket.

I didn’t know it at the time, but almost 25 years later, I’ve attended SEMA as almost every type of possible “badge holder” you can apply for. I’ve attended as media, vehicle-builder (feature vehicles at first, but worked my way up into some pretty prominent booth placements), buyer, and as my career grew and flourished, I eventually even attended as an exhibitor with my own booths set up center stage (manufacturer – FLO AIRRIDE). Man, what an experience! A wild career, and through the years I have learned to never take these things for granted. Sure, we can get a little jaded after attending these trade shows and events year after year, but every single year kids and young adults are there walking around with eyes wide (just like I was) and vowing to make a career out of cars/trucks and the automotive aftermarket.

We owe it to these kids to be THE BEST versions of ourselves and remember that excitement—and give that excitement back to them, to our employees, to our members, to our community, and, of course, to ourselves! To remember that we are truly living a dream and pursuing our passions, and not to let the stress, deadlines, and madness pull us away from that realization. We get to wake up every single day and DO TRUCK STUFF, literally living the dream!

So thank you all for listening, supporting, buying, building, showing, and continuing to teach the next generation just how special this industry is—and, most importantly, sharing that passion so we can all continue to do what we love until the man upstairs calls us home!

Keep on truckin’, and we’ll see you out there!


 

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