Camaraderie and Passion on Full Display at the 2023 SEMA Trade Show With Mike Edge of Tread Partners

Gain Traction

Nov 10 2023 • 26 mins

Don Detore is the Editor of Tire Business, an industry trade magazine published by Crain Communications, and has over 35 years of journalism experience.

Geoff Doster is the President of Linglong Tires, spearheading the brand’s North American growth initiatives.

George Kingman is the Founder of Advanced Shop Leadership, a group of consultants focused on improving financials, team culture, training, customer experience, and operational excellence.

Greg Draper is in charge of purchasing at Dunlap & Kyle Tire Company, a tire distribution company who sells to wholesalers and resellers.

Jordan Swerdloff is the Founder of ADV.1 Wheels, and Chief Of Design and Partner at 4PLAY Wheels, making industry leading wheels specifically for trucks.

Melanie White is the CEO of Hellwig Products, a part of her family for four generations, and is the SEMA Chairman-elect.

Michael Mathis is the President of Atturo Tire, a niche brand of private-label tires for the SUV, crossover and 4x4 market.

Robert “Sonny” McDonald is Sr. National Training Manager at Toyo Tires, where he has worked for more than 20 years. He previously served as an aircraft maintenance specialist in the US Air Force.

Troy Coughlin Jr. is the Vice President of JEGS High Performance. He is a retired drag racer and three-time champion of the Pro Mod class.

Wade Kawasaki is Executive Chairman of The Wheel Group and has started and built multiple aftermarket companies.

In this episode…

The Specialty Equipment Market Association hosts an annual exposition event. The 2023 SEMA Trade Show was the pinnacle event in the automotive aftermarket industry, drawing thousands of key buyers and decision-makers who were eager to engage with exhibitors.

Participants value the SEMA Trade Show for the unparalleled networking opportunities it provides, facilitating business expansion within a vibrant community. The chairman-elect, Melanie White, highlights the show's growth and SEMA's crucial role in advocating for automotive rights, such as the right to work on one's own vehicle, which resonates deeply with small business owners. SEMA not only represents the largest assembly of small businesses worldwide but also a bulwark protecting the interests of the automotive community.

On this special episode of Gain Traction, Mike Edge attends the annual SEMA Trade Show in Las Vegas, where he speaks with ten participants who discuss the value of the trade show, their appreciation for SEMA as an association, and the focus of their respective automotive businesses.

Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • Don Detore talks about what the SEMA trade show means to the Tire Business publication
  • What makes SEMA valuable to 26-year industry veteran Geoff Doster?
  • George Kingman describes clients’ improved work-life balance after receiving coaching from Advanced Shop Leadership
  • Why coming to the trade show is important for Greg Draper to thrive in his role as a purchasing manager
  • Jordan Swerdloff reacts to winning the 2023 New Product of the Year award in the wheel category
  • Melanie White shares how her great grandfather founded Hellwig Products in 1946
  • The SEMA trade show is the biggest gathering of small business owners and executives in the world
  • The brand-new tire Michael Mathis and Atturo Tires introduced at SEMA
  • Robert “Sonny” McDonald discusses how SEMA promotes the aftermarket
  • Troy Coughlin Jr. discusses the types of products available at
  • Wade Kawasaki describes the crowd and overall vibe at the SEMA trade show

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Sponsor for this episode...

This episode is brought to you by Tread Partners.

At Tread Partners, we provide digital marketing for multi-location tire dealers and auto repair shops.

By using our strategy, branding, and marketing services, we help shops sell more tires and put more cars in bays.

We’ve helped companies like Action Gator Tire, Colony Tire and Service, and Ulmer’s Auto Care Center bring extreme growth in paid leads, ROI, and searches.

So, what are you waiting for?

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