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.
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.
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.