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SEMA names marketing v.p.

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(LinkedIn photo)
Ira Gabriel

DIAMOND BAR, Calif. (May 9, 2014) — Automotive industry veteran Ira Gabriel has joined the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) executive team as vice president of marketing.

The former publisher of Hot Rod Magazine will work from SEMA’s headquarters in Diamond Bar, where the association said he will oversee strategic marketing initiatives for programs such as the SEMA Garage, SEMA Data Co-op and SEMA Show, held in the fall in Las Vegas.

“We’re fortunate to have Ira join the SEMA staff,” said Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Ira brings with him a tremendous amount of industry knowledge, experience, passion and leadership. SEMA is delivering new and valuable benefits to the industry, and Ira is well positioned to make certain these programs become value received by our members.”

Mr. Gabriel began his career more than 25 years ago on the editorial team of Sport Magazine in New York. Following that publication’s purchase by Petersen Publishing Co., he relocated to the Petersen headquarters in Los Angeles and later entered marketing and sales for the company’s corporate and automotive divisions.

In 2001, he became publisher of Hot Rod Magazine—only the ninth publisher in the brand’s 58-year history. Following the successful re-launch of Hot Rod, Mr. Gabriel’s “leadership and innovation was called upon to oversee the Motor Trend Automotive Group,” which comprised Motor Trend, Automobile Magazine, Truck Trend and Motor Trend Classic print titles, Web initiatives, 22 national automotive car shows, mobile platforms and branded licensed properties, according to SEMA.

Most recently, Mr. Gabriel was vice president and executive director of the Motor Trend Certified Vehicle Service Program, an Atlanta-based division operating under license from Motor Trend, whose parent company is Source Interlink Media L.L.C.

Mr. Gabriel can be reached at or 909-978-6736.

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