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SEMA has hired industry veteran Mike Spagnola to fill the newly created position of VP, OEM & product development programs, effective immediately.
Spagnola brings with him 40 years of specialty auto parts experience, including more than 20 years of product development and project vehicle work. With a focus on heightening SEMA services to help members develop products quickly and efficiently, Spagnola will collaborate with the SEMA OEM and vehicle technology departments while serving as a resource and a liaison for members and automakers.
“We’re excited to have Mike join SEMA in developing services that help members with product development and OEM initiatives,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “SEMA’s vehicle technology and OEM programs, led by John Waraniak and Bill Wolf, have proven to be extremely beneficial over the years. Mike will work with our existing team to enhance and add to the services SEMA makes available to our members.”
Spagnola’s experience includes retail, distribution and manufacturing. Most recently, he served as president for Street Scene Equipment, where he managed the company’s day-to-day business for 16 years. His project vehicles have been featured on the covers of more than 50 enthusiast magazines and honored with more than a dozen design awards from various OEMs. Spagnola has also completed six years of service on the SEMA Board of Directors, a position from which he resigned effective with his new role as a staff member.
“I’ve personally witnessed the industry, particularly the product development process, change significantly over the years,” said Spagnola. “Through the use of new technology and partnerships, manufacturers can develop products faster, more accurately and less expensively than ever before. Programs such as SEMA’s Technology Transfer, Rapid Prototyping and Vehicle Measuring Sessions can all be enhanced to help our member companies make and sell more products. I look forward to developing tools and services to add to these programs and to educating members about how they work.”
Spagnola will oversee the new SEMA Product Development Center located adjacent to the SEMA headquarters in Diamond Bar, Calif. The building has a history of serving as a vehicle technology center, giving SEMA the opportunity to offer these services without having to start at ground-zero. While based in Southern California, these programs and services will be available to SEMA members everywhere.
“The SEMA Product Development Center is going to be an amazing resource for SEMA members,” Spagnola said. “I’m excited to be a part of the expansion.”