Bringing 30 years of specialty parts aftermarket experience to the table, Jon Wyly has been hired to launch and manage the new Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Data Cooperative.

“We are pleased and excited to have Jon taking the lead as we roll out this key industry initiative,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. “Jon brings a unique mix to the table, combining broad experience in the specialty parts arena with exceptional insight when it comes to data management applications that will be needed in the future.”

Wyly’s career spans 30 years and has included key roles in sales, marketing, e-commerce, business technology and data management. A lifelong automotive enthusiast, he is well known to the specialty parts industry, having co-founded the SEMA Business Technology Committee and having served six years on the SEMA board. His background includes 25 years at Arrow Speed Warehouse, ending as executive vice president, and more recently as VP of e-Commerce at Keystone Automotive Operations, Inc. He was named SEMA Person of the Year in 2005.

Wyly’s immediate priorities will include launching a “beta” phase of the Data Co-op, which will precede a full-scale rollout. The SEMA board has identified the Data Co-op as a critical strategic issue, and has authorized funding to support the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the system.

“Our ability to get information about the industry’s products to more data users—more WDs, more jobber-retailers, more auto parts stores—is the key to expanding our total market,” said Kersting. “Better data means more sales. You’ve got to have clean, standardized product information easily available to the channel partners.”

SEMA is also collaborating with leading aftermarket associations on data standards, and with the hard-parts industry’s OptiCat data repository, so that complete product information for both specialty and hard parts can be accessed from either system.