SEMA Announces Person of the YearSEMA, the trade association representing the $31.32 billion specialty automotive industry, honored some of its most respected and influential people at a gala dinner last night, during the 2013 SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

More than 3,000 industry luminaries and business owners gathered at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA)’s annual SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet for a night of celebration and entertainment that included American Idol winner, Taylor Hicks. 

The 2013 SEMA Person of the Year award, SEMA's most presitgious, went to George Lathouris, a 36-year marketing veteran, in recognition of his volunteer leadership contributions, philanthropy and overall influence on the marketplace. Lathouris is currently senior category manager at Keystone Automotive Operations in Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Lathouris served two terms as Chairman of SEMA’s Light-Truck Accessory Alliance council, where he was active in informing and educating committee members on how to be more engaged with SEMA and industry leaders, put together the first ever “Jeep Build” to showcase new products, and was active with SEMA Cares activities to bring the voice and resources of the SEMA community together to make a positive difference in the lives of others.

Lathouris started his career working in a warehouse for American Speed Equipment in New York, and worked his way up to national sales and advertising manager. He opened warehouse distribution in Colorado for Dick Cepek in 1992 and became the company’s purchasing manager in Los Angeles in 1994. He then moved back to the east coast in 1995 and became the eastern regional sales manager for Deflecta Shield and, eventually, Lund Industries. He took a position as national satellite sales and outside sales manager for Keystone Automotive in 1999, which led to his current position.

In addition, Mike Kunzman of Mike Kunzman and Associates won the 2013 SEMA Rep Agency of the Year Award and MOTOVICITY (Dave Ziozios, CEO) was named 2013 SEMA WD of the Year.  Both awards recognize outstanding commitment to the industry and a high level of involvement with SEMA committees, task forces, councils or board of directors participation.

Hall of Fame Inductees Honored
This year several big names were inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame, including legendary Hollywood custom car builder George Barris, Eric Grant, Wade Kawasaki and Joe Schubeck. All were honored for their contributions to the industry.

Background and information on all SEMA Hall of Fame inductees can be found online at http://www.semahof.com.

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