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Inaugural SEMA Show Program to Empower Women in the Automotive Industry

The 2023 SEMA Show, the world’s leading automotive trade show taking place October 31-November 3 in Las Vegas, will feature a new program designed to help women advance their careers in the automotive aftermarket. The inaugural SEMA Women in Automotive Symposium will provide networking, mentoring, and professional development opportunities that will give attendees invaluable new tools and essential skills.

With the support of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN), this new program will include an inspiring opening keynote, a power networking luncheon and fireside chat, a four-part micro-learning workshop segment, and a discussion panel delivered by iconic industry executives and thought leaders. It will be a one-of-a-kind opportunity for women in the automotive industry to come together and learn from each other’s experiences.

“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 Wednesday, November 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)

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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 & 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. To learn more and register to attend, visit

This story was originally published on September 27, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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