Press Release Article

  • 2/18/2020 12:00:00 AM
  • Harneet Kaur

EXETER, PA –  Keystone Automotive Operations is proud to announce that Chris Kersting, president and CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), will be presenting the Keynote Address to open The 2020 BIG Show at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. As the CEO of the trade association dedicated to helping businesses involved with vehicle customizations for the past 18 years, Kersting will be sharing his uniquely qualified perspective into trends and patterns that provide insight on where the automotive industry is heading.

“When selecting a keynote speaker, we looked for an individual that would exemplify this year’s theme: Our Vision for Serving the Aftermarket,” said Keystone Automotive Operations President, Bill Rogers. “Chris is an industry advocate, and as he leads SEMA into the new decade, he plays a vital role in many aspects of the automotive aftermarket. We couldn’t think of a better way to kick off The 2020 BIG Show and we’re looking forward to hearing Chris’ insights.”

Kersting will be discussing several factors and how they are impacting the future of the automotive industry, including the increase in electrified and alternative fuel vehicles, interest from the youth market and the ever-evolving regulatory landscape. Keynote attendees will learn more about what will power our vehicles in the future, if the next generation is interested in cars and how government regulations will affect the automotive industry. As he connects the dots between past, present and future indicators, Kersting will paint a realistic picture of disruptions and opportunities in the automotive aftermarket.

The BIG Show opens March 27 with Kersting’s keynote address presented by LEER, followed by a preview of the show floor and more than 250 suppliers and brands showcasing their products. With more than 75 featured vehicles, in addition to innovative product displays and technology throughout the 180,000 sq. ft. convention center, The BIG Show is a premier automotive aftermarket industry event.

“There are few individuals who possess the insight into the opportunities and challenges facing the automotive aftermarket than Chris Kersting,” said John Aleva, President and COO - Truck Accessories Group / LEER. “As SEMA CEO, he has an important viewpoint on these timely topics that will resonate with BIG Show attendees. We are proud to be sponsoring this informative and educational keynote address.”

 

The Keystone BIG Show, presented by Weatherguard, brings the leading suppliers and manufacturers in the specialty automotive parts and accessories industry together in one place for the best trade show outside of SEMA. The relaxed and interactive environment offers customers and exhibitors exciting opportunities to connect, share and discover.

Attendees will also be treated to an opening night concert as well as a spectacular closing reception.

For more information on The BIG Show, including exhibitor lists, sponsorship guides, and travel recommendations, interested customers or suppliers can visit https://www.keystoneBIGshow.com or contact their Keystone Automotive Operations representative.

 

About The BIG Show:

The Keystone BIG Show is the industry’s largest distributor event in North America, drawing thousands of attendees from Canada and the United States. Hosting more than 250 exhibiting companies, more than 75 show vehicles and an agenda packed with special events and networking opportunities, the BIG Show is the place to be March 27-28 in Grapevine, TX.

 

About Keystone Automotive Operations:

Keystone Automotive Operations is the leading distributor and marketer of automotive aftermarket products and services, uniquely positioned to offer customers and suppliers substantial scale, the most comprehensive inventory selection in the industry, high levels of customer service, and innovative marketing support. Keystone is committed to expanding its offerings to meet the ever-growing needs of its customer base, providing them everything they need, when they need it.

 

About SEMA

SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $44.6 billion specialty automotive industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. Association resources include market research, legislative advocacy, training and product development support, as well as leading trade shows such as the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, NV, and the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) Trade Show in Indianapolis, IN. For more information, visit www.sema.org, www.semashow.com, or www.performanceracing.com.

 

Chris's BIO

 

Christopher J. Kersting, CAE

President & CEO

Specialty Equipment Market Association

 

Chris Kersting has been president and CEO of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) since July 2002. He is the fifth staff executive to lead the trade group since its founding in 1963.

 

As president and CEO, Kersting has led SEMA’s growing influence in the automotive industry through a series of innovative programs and services that help the association’s more than 7,500 member companies capture new business opportunities. With a focus on programs targeted to small businesses, he has championed initiatives that include industry collaboration on vehicle technology, industry data standardization, and strong legislative and regulatory advocacy.

 

Kersting became a SEMA staff member in 1996 when he joined the Washington, D.C., office as vice president of legislative and technical affairs. As the association’s lead representative in the nation’s capital, he successfully urged lawmakers to pass bills that protected the interests of SEMA member companies and challenged government regulation in order to maintain innovation and growth in the aftermarket industry.

 

Early in his career, Kersting worked for SEMA as outside general counsel and government affairs representative. He also handled legal matters for SEMA member companies, as well as industry institutions such as the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA), Performance Warehouse Association (PWA) and Auto International Association (AIA).

 

A Certified Association Executive (CAE), Kersting received his law degree from Washington College of Law, American University in 1989 and graduated from the University of Colorado with a Bachelor of Science degree in business in 1985.

 

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kersting currently resides in Pasadena, California with his wife and family dog.  In his spare time, he enjoys getting outdoors to mountain bike, backpack and ski, that is, when he isn’t home-brewing a tasty pale ale.

  • 2/6/2020 12:00:00 AM
  • Harneet Kaur

EXETER, PA –  Keystone Automotive Operations (KAO) has announced that pre-cart electronic ordering for The BIG Show is now live, allowing attendees the opportunity to maximize their time on the show floor prior to their arrival to the event. The Keystone BIG Show, presented by Weatherguard, will be held March 27-28, 2020 at the Gaylord Texan Resort Hotel & Convention Center in Grapevine Texas. The BIG Show brings the top suppliers and manufacturers in the specialty automotive parts and accessories industry together in one place for the best trade show outside of SEMA. The relaxed and interactive environment offers customers and exhibitors exciting opportunities to connect, share and discover.

This integrated technology solution has been developed to improve attendees’ show experience, allowing them the opportunity to build their orders in advance, providing more time to visit with suppliers and learn about new lines and products as well as services offered by KAO.

“We aim to make the BIG Shows a great customer experience and ease of ordering is one key element of that,” says VP, Management Information Systems, Patrick “Skip” Stevenson. “Since 2016, we have offered self-service through our electronic ordering show site.  We also allow customers to build their cart in advance on eKeystone.com, and then on show day, they are able to see the show pricing applied to their pre-cart, browse our tremendous promotions, and track running totals from the orders they have placed online.”

Since its inception, the ordering process has been refined and updated, saving jobbers attending the show both time and money.

“This convenience allows our customers to maximize their time on the show floor with our valued supplier partners,” added Stevenson. “Customers can even order their Power Hour parts from their phone or tablet as well.  Of course, if our customers choose to order on paper, one of our outstanding customer care agents on the show floor will be happy to assist.”

“We’re constantly looking at opportunities to enhance The BIG Show experience,” says NTP-STAG Vice President, Sales, Fred Petrivelli. “Pre-cart ordering makes it easier than ever for jobbers to benefit from promotions and show-only deals while their time is spent more productively visiting with suppliers and experiencing everything show has to offer. It’s a fantastic system that benefits attendees, streamlines the system and the reduction in waste is better for the environment.”

Featuring this year’s theme, “Our Vision for Serving the Aftermarket,” The BIG Show opens March 27 with the keynote address followed by a preview of the show floor and more than 250 suppliers and brands showcasing their products. With more than 75 featured vehicles, in addition to innovative product displays and technology throughout the 180,000 sq. ft. convention center, The BIG Show is a premier automotive aftermarket industry event.

Attendees are also treated to an opening night concert as well as a spectacular closing reception.

“Of course, there’s a great deal of business that gets done at The BIG Show - but we have a great time visiting with our customers and having some fun as well,” concluded Petrivelli. “We’re looking forward to seeing everyone in Texas.”

For more information on The BIG Show, including exhibitor lists, sponsorship guides, and travel recommendations, interested customers or suppliers can visit https://www.keystonebigshow.com or contact their Keystone Automotive Operations representative.

 

About The BIG Show:

The Keystone BIG Show is the industry’s largest distributor event in North America, drawing thousands of attendees from Canada and the United States. Hosting more than 250 exhibiting companies, more than 75 show vehicles and an agenda packed with special events and networking opportunities, the BIG Show is the place to be March 27-28 in Grapevine, TX.

About Keystone Automotive Operations:

Keystone Automotive Operations is the leading distributor and marketer of automotive aftermarket products and services, uniquely positioned to offer customers and suppliers substantial scale, the most comprehensive inventory selection in the industry, high levels of customer service, and innovative marketing support. Keystone is committed to expanding its offerings to meet the ever-growing needs of its customer base, providing them everything they need, when they need it.

Recent Articles

Keystone Automotive Operations Celebrates 50th Anniversary at 2022 BIG Show

EXETER, PA (April 5, 2022) – The automotive aftermarket industry gathered in Grapevine, Texas to join the leading distributer and marketer of aftermarket products and services in celebrating its 50th anniversary at the 2022 Keystone Automotive Operations BIG Show sponsored by Weather Guard, March 25–26.

The 50-year Legacy Celebration presentation at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center ballroom was the first activity of a full show agenda that included exhibiter displays, more than 100 show vehicles and product education along with substantial show-only sales and promotions within the world-class Gaylord Texan facilities.

“What a show!” exclaimed Keystone Automotive Operations Vice President of Sales, Fred Petrivelli. “With more customers in attendance than we’ve seen in the past few years, and the show floor overflowing with the industry’s leading suppliers, the energy and enthusiasm throughout the event was incredible.  We saw record sales, but most importantly, we have been extremely grateful to receive so much positive feedback from everyone who had a fantastic time with us in Texas.”

Opening the two-day annual customer event honoring company founder, Joe Amato alongside an impressive roster of associates, customers, industry suppliers, manufacturers and organizations, the company paid homage to many of those who had contributed to its success for the last five decades.

“With a history spanning fifty years, there have been a tremendous number of people that have been a part of Keystone’s legacy,” said Keystone Automotive Operations President, Bill Rogers. “Beginning with our foundation of associates who have been with us thirty years or more, and then extending to customers and suppliers who we’ve had partnerships for decades, this event provided us with a wonderful opportunity to recognize them for their important contributions to the success of our business.”

Sharing the Legacy Celebration stage with those who contribute throughout Keystone’s infancy and growth, the affable Amato, introduced by Keystone Automotive Vice President of Category Management, Larry Montante, stole the show as he discussed the company’s early days along with his thoughts on developing the business as he was pursuing what was to become a legendary drag racing career.

“His is a true American success story,” recounted Montante, himself an honoree for his extensive tenure with the company. “It was an honor to bring him to the BIG Show to see what his legacy with our business has become. Whether with Keystone, in racing, or in his current involvement in real estate, Joe Amato has the Midas touch and has found success at every juncture along the way. He has had such a significant influence on this industry, it was special for us all to have this time to share with him at the show.”

As part of the show activities, attendees were treated to a host of networking opportunities, a Friday night concert presented by Weather Guard, and a Saturday evening reception in addition to 50th  Anniversary activities. Special displays included an Amato’s championship winning NHRA dragster as well as a unique collection of memorabilia from his personal collection alongside a variety of items representing the history of Keystone Automotive Operations over the many years.  

 

“Beginning with Joe Amato, there’s something very special about this company, its history and the people that have made it the success it is,” added Rogers. “This BIG Show, while spending some time with our customers and suppliers at a wonderful facility, gave us the unique opportunity to look back at how we got to where we are and honor some of those who have impacted the business over the years. An occasion like this doesn’t come around very often and it was our privilege to share it with everyone at The BIG Show.”

For those unable to attend the 2022 BIG Show, Keystone will expand the show’s reach as they once again present a virtual BIG Show following the live event, April 4-8. This virtual show will be the third year of the online event, allowing participants the chance to participate in many of the same offers and promotions as the live event while engaging with presenting suppliers in a safe and convenient online format.

For more information, please visit keystonebigshow.com or contact your Keystone Representative. 

 

About Keystone Automotive Operations:

Keystone Automotive Operations is the leading distributor and marketer of automotive aftermarket products and services, uniquely positioned to offer customers and suppliers substantial scale, the most comprehensive inventory selection in the industry, high levels of customer service, and innovative marketing support. Keystone is committed to expanding its offerings to meet the ever-growing needs of its customer base, providing them everything they need, when they need it.

2022 Keystone BIG Show to Feature 50 Year Legacy Celebration

EXETER, PA (March 8, 2022) - Keystone Automotive Operations will be commemorating its 50th anniversary with their Legacy Celebration when the leading distributor and marketer of automotive aftermarket products and services, returns to Grapevine, TX for the 2022 BIG Show presented by Weather Guard.

Throughout the annual customer event, held at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center March 25-26, 2022, Keystone will be recognizing their history along with honoring many of the individuals who have contributed to the success of the company and the industry over the last half century. Joining this special Legacy Celebration will be one of the company founders and multi-time NHRA drag racing champion, Joe Amato, who will be interacting with show attendees throughout the weekend. The festivities will also feature a special presentation honoring Amato along with individuals representing the company’s suppliers, manufacturer’s representatives, customers, and employees who have been instrumental in the 50-year history of Keystone Automotive Operations.

“This very special Legacy Celebration within The BIG Show provides us with an opportunity to acknowledge many of the important people who have made a significant contribution to our success over the last 50 years,” said Keystone Automotive Operations President, Bill Rogers. “It’s an honor for us to celebrate this milestone alongside many influential individuals who have had a tremendous impact on the entire automotive aftermarket industry.”

Visitors to the two-day show will also have the chance to view one of Amato’s NHRA championship winning Top Fuel dragsters which will be prominently displayed at the entrance to the Gaylord Texan Convention Hall. Keystone Automotive Operations will also be hosting a unique showcase featuring memorabilia from the private Joe Amato collection highlighting his prolific racing career along with items representing the corporation’s history and progression over the last five decades.

“This company has a long and wonderful history and it’s quite a story to tell,” said Keystone Automotive Operations Vice President, Category Management, Larry Montante. “We’re excited to have Joe with us for the weekend and look forward to him sharing some of the stories from those early days with everyone at the show. The BIG Show is our signature event, bringing our customers and suppliers together in a wonderful setting to renew, foster and establish many meaningful relationships in an environment that is unlike any other event in the industry. There are a great number of people who are responsible for our success, and we are excited for this celebration as we shine some light on their impact over these many years.”

In addition to Legacy Celebration festivities, The BIG Show will be showcasing exhibiter displays, more than 100 show vehicles and product education along with substantial show-only sales and promotions within the world-class facilities of the host Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center.

“The BIG Show brings the industry together and for many, this is the first opportunity of the year to meet with industry colleagues and interact in person,” stated Rogers. “From the new product showcases to feature vehicles and supplier displays, our customers will have valuable exposure to the industry’s most popular and in-demand products while sharing their feedback with the manufacturers who bring them to market. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone and having some fun in Texas.”

For those unable to attend the 2022 BIG Show, Keystone will expand the show’s reach as they once again present a virtual BIG Show following the live event, April 4-8. This virtual show will be the third successive year of the online event allowing participants the chance to partake in many of the same offers and promotions as the live event while engaging with presenting suppliers in a safe and convenient online format.

“There is nothing like the in-person event, but we are pleased to present the automotive aftermarket’s best virtual show for those who are not able to be there,” says Montante. For more information, please visit keystonebigshow.com or contact your Keystone Representative.

About Keystone Automotive Operations:
Keystone Automotive Operations is the leading distributor and marketer of automotive aftermarket products and services, uniquely positioned to offer customers and suppliers substantial scale, the most comprehensive inventory selection in the industry, high levels of customer service, and innovative marketing support. Keystone is committed to expanding its offerings to meet the ever-growing needs of its customer base, providing them everything they need, when they need it.

2022 Keystone BIG Show Dates and Location Announced

Keystone Automotive Operations, the leading distributor and marketer of automotive aftermarket products and services, is returning to Grapevine, TX for the 2022 BIG Show. This annual customer event will be held at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center March 25-26, 2022, followed by a virtual event from April 4-9.

Returning to Texas after a successful 2021 BIG Show, the world-class facilities of Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center will once again host the event showcasing exhibiter displays, show vehicles and product education along with substantial show-only sales and promotions. Keeping with their ongoing commitment to support customer growth, Keystone will feature a full suite of innovative digital marketing programs and solutions will be featured throughout the event.

“Outstanding coordination between our experienced events team and the Gaylord Texan staff allowed us to present a first class show this past March that not only exceeded the required health and safety standards but also effectively connected our customers with many of the industry’s leading manufacturers and their products, in an in-person setting,” stated Keystone Automotive Operations President, Bill Rogers.

The March 2021 event marked the return to Grapevine for the BIG Show after a one-year hiatus.

“That was the first opportunity the industry had to meet in quite some time, so we felt a tremendous responsibility to safeguard the health and safety of the participants and our staff. While the knowledge gained from our most recent event provides us with a strong template for future success, we continue to monitor the events landscape as we move forward with our 2022 planning,” continued Rogers. “We look forward to hosting the show in March and providing our customers and suppliers the opportunity to benefit from this unique platform.”

For those unable to attend the 2022 BIG Show, Keystone will expand the show’s reach as they once again present a virtual BIG Show following the live event. This virtual show will be the third successive year of the online event allowing participants the chance to partake in many of the same offers and promotions as the live event while engaging with presenting suppliers in a safe and convenient virtual format.

“Although nothing can replicate the in-person experience of attending the actual show, we feel we have honed our capabilities to provide the very best virtual event that is available anywhere for those customers that just can’t get there” said Larry Montante, VP Category Management at Keystone Automotive Operations.

For more information, please visit keystonebigshow.com or contact your Keystone Representative.

Keystone Automotive Operations Delivers Dual 2021 BIG Shows
Harneet Kaur, Sr. Director of Marketing
 
The automotive aftermarket came together for the first industry tradeshow in over a year as the Keystone Automotive Operations BIG Show took place March 5 - 6 at the Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas. The two-day in-person event was followed by a weeklong Virtual BIG Show sponsored by Weather Guard, which allowed online attendees access to many of the same show-only promotions, supplier displays and presentations as the in-person event.
  
“Our objective was to produce a safe in-person event, while applying the appropriate precautions and protocols, in which our customers, suppliers and team members felt comfortable interacting as collectively we took this important step to return to normalcy,” said Keystone Automotive Operations President, Bill Rogers. “We’re pleased that the result of our event team’s efforts and collaboration with the Gaylord Texan management and staff allowed us to execute what we feel was a very successful onsite event.” 
 
The BIG Show featured the industry’s leading suppliers presenting their latest offerings to the contingent of automotive retailers both onsite and later, online. 
“We had over 200 suppliers represented across both show events,” shared Keystone Vice President, Category Management, Larry Montante. “Despite the recent challenges, the automotive industry is experiencing a tremendous level of success and our customers were eager to share some time with exhibitors and explore new and popular products. Along with significant buying opportunities, The BIG Show provided retailers the chance to delve into industry trends that will help drive their business in the coming year.” 
 
In following the in-person BIG Show, the Virtual event held March 15 -19, provided an additional avenue in which to connect suppliers with their automotive retailer customers. 
“Presenting The Virtual BIG Show allowed us to expand our customer and supplier reach through a comprehensive digital platform,” said Senior Director Of Marketing, Harneet Kaur. “With the significant interaction, in addition to strong transactions throughout the week, we foresee the Virtual Show as an important continued element in enhancing the BIG Show experience for our partners and attendees.”
 
2020 SEMA Person of Year, Myles Kovacs set the tone for the weekend with his Keynote Address: “From Street Kid to Success: Navigating the Journey with Myles Kovacs” as he shared his experience of growing up in a tough, East Los Angeles neighborhood and developing a career that has established him as an influential figure in the automotive media and wheel industries.
 
“Myles is a dynamic, energetic personality whose story resonated with both our suppliers and customers in attendance,” added Rogers. “His message of starting from humble beginnings and utilizing his determination, drive and willingness to be uncomfortable to achieve success, provided a unique perspective to attendees while his contagious, positive approach was refreshing. We enjoyed hearing his presentation and getting to know him a little better over the course of the show.”
 
While the two-day in-person event treated customers to opening and closing receptions, fantastic promotions and the opportunity to win attractive door prizes, the weekend also represented an opportunity for the industry to reacquaint itself with the interpersonal interactions that come with events such as The BIG Show.

“The automotive industry is resilient,” concluded Rogers. “We have faced our share of challenges and despite the obstacles put in front of us over the last year, we have found ways to thrive and achieve success together. We value and appreciate our supplier partners who helped us present The BIG Show and we are extremely grateful for our customers who joined us both in Texas and virtually. We look forward to serving you throughout the year and we’ll see you in 2022.” 

For more information on The BIG Show interested customers or suppliers can visit https://www.keystoneBIGshow.com or contact their Keystone Automotive Operations representative.
 
About The BIG Show: 
The Keystone BIG Show is the industry’s largest distributor event in North America, drawing thousands of attendees from Canada and the United States. Hosting more than 250 exhibiting companies, more than 75 show vehicles and an agenda packed with special events and networking opportunities, the BIG Show is the place to be. 
 
About Keystone Automotive Operations: 
Keystone Automotive Operations is the leading distributor and marketer of automotive aftermarket products and services, uniquely positioned to offer customers and suppliers substantial scale, the most comprehensive inventory selection in the industry, high levels of customer service, and innovative marketing support. Keystone is committed to expanding its offerings to meet the ever-growing needs of its customer base, providing them everything they need, when they need it.
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