Larry Montante – SEMA Board of Directors 2021

Thank You and Ready to Serve

I would like to thank all those that followed, engaged with, and supported my campaign. I am honored and humbled to have been elected to the SEMA Board. I will do my best to represent the membership and tackle key matters that face our industry. Please follow relevant industry happenings and updates on my LinkedIn or Facebook pages.

Larry Montante for SEMA Board of Directors

37+ Years of Serving Suppliers, Jobbers, & Consumers

A Leader Who Gets Things Done

“As a SEMA Hall of Fame member and former SEMA board member, I fully endorse Larry Montante as candidate for 2021 SEMA Board of Directors.  Larry’s 37+ years of experience is unrivaled in the automotive industry. His work ethic is the perfect storm of professionalism, experience, common sense, and street smarts.  He joined Keystone Automotive as a young man, learned the business from the ground up, and as Keystone grew so did Larry.  Ultimately, Larrys unmatched work ethic and industry knowledge made him a key player in the overall sucess of the company.  I am confident that Larry will bring that same knowledge, energy, and passion to SEMA as a board member. “

Joe Amato – 5X NHRA Top Fuel Champion
Larry Montante for SEMA Board of Directors

37+ Years of Serving Suppliers, Jobbers, & Consumers

Vote for a Leader Who Gets Things Done

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The Market is Changing … It’s Time for Action with a Fresh Approach & Perspective
Larry Montante

My name is Larry Montante

I'm excited to have the opportunity to serve the SEMA Membership

A Proven Creative Leader / A Driver of Change

  • 37+ Years Experience in Multiple Functions and Channels
  • Knows the Needs of the Supplier, Retailer, and Consumer
  • Get-It-Done Attitude / No Tolerance for Bureaucracy
  • Energetic / Passionate / Transparent

A Man of Action, Focused on the Future

Jobbers, Suppliers, Consumers, and eTailers: We’re All One Community

My Proactive SEMA Agenda Focuses on The Industry as a Whole

Preserve

Focus Area #1
  • Protect our industry by engaging in the key legislative areas such as EPA and RPM act
  • Understand and help manage channel and market shifts that cause disruption
  • Foster the creative passion that drives our industry
  • Plan for the changes brought on by future vehicles and technologies

Grow

Focus Area #2
  • Expand our industry and increase consumer awareness
  • Target youth markets and onboard new enthusiasts and consumers
  • Develop plans to pursue adjacent spaces such as Active Outdoor lifestyle and Overlanding

Engage

Focus Area #3
  • Drive more engagement from existing membership and growing overall membership
  • Help drive more effectiveness and reach of SEMA communications
  • Diversify SEMA’s influence beyond the Las Vegas SEMA show and drive significant consumer reach and engagement through any and all relevant digital channels

37+ Years of Relevant Experience

More About Me and Why I'm Qualified to Represent You

Qualifications

About Me

I am happily married to my lovely wife Karen and have two daughters Julia and Livia and two stepdaughters Madison and Makenzie.

I have a very strong moral fiber and hold family in high regard. I grew up in Northeast PA and am a descendant of hard-working immigrants that instilled in me a strong work ethic and sense of pride. I am a very driven and competitive person with a passion for the outdoors, travel, and active lifestyle. I spent many years training and competing recreationally in outdoor sports like mountain biking and trail running. Cooking is a passion of mine, especially traditions within my ethnic heritage. I have a keen interest in new and emerging developments across many topics like technology, sports, home improvement, and of course cars.

Over the years have had the opportunity to own a few “drivers” cars. I’d label me a “Car Guy” and consider myself the perfect customer for our industry. This helps me in my day-to-day work role as I put myself in the consumers shoes and think about what our company needs to do to be successful.

Qualifications

Experience

  • 37+ Years at Keystone Automotive
  • VP Category Management
  • VP Marketing
  • Buyer / Category Manager
  • Salesperson
  • Retail Auto Accessory Store Associate
  • Warehouse Associate
  • Experienced Leader in 12 different Business Functions
  • SEMA Show Committee, WTC, TORA, YEN
  • SEMA event host: Town Hall, Big Show
  • Advisor to SEMA and Member companies
  • Federated Group Executive Board Member
Qualifications

Key Qualities

Business
  • Management
  • Supply Chain
  • Product Development
  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Business Analytics
  • Strategic Planning
  • Financial Planning
  • Acquisitions
  • Omni-Channel
  • Social Media
  • Affiliate Programs
  • B to B Systems
  • eCommerce
  • Process Improvement
  • People Development
Personal
  • Driven
  • Leader
  • Passionate
  • Creative
  • Analytical
  • Proactive
  • Strategic
  • Flexible
  • Dedicated
  • Transparent
  • Resourceful
  • Self-Aware
About Me
Experience
Key Qualities
Larry Montante Running for SEMA Board of Directors Election

Career Accomplishments

Given the length of my career, the various leadership roles I have been in, and the opportunities presented to me as Keystone has grown, I had the freedom to innovate, construct and drive a variety of programs, systems, and initiatives. Here are some of the highlights:
Major Business Impacts
  • Developed and launched the Category Management organization and structure at Keystone.
  • Created and executed much of KAO’s geographic expansion strategy and plan
  • Spearheaded KAO’s market facing plan to execute the expansion into new market segments including RV, Trailer and Marine
  • Guided the Launch of multiple New Brands & Products
  • Built the architecture, content, and launch of many B to B customer-centric systems and websites including eKeystone.com
  • Established a variety of internal mainframe and web based analytical, process improvement, CRM tools and systems that drive sales, growth, and profitability
Major Marketing Innovations
  • Founded and developed the innovative Parts Via omnichannel click-to-mortar supplier and jobber affiliate program
  • Developed and launched the TrailFX private label brand and product offering
  • Conceptualized and organized the Keystone Big Show now in its 22nd year
  • Created and launched over 25 unique programs including Affiliate programs, Catalogs, web sites, events, and more
  • Drove the evolution from print-based marketing programs to digital programs
  • Created, launched, and managed the KAO customer incentive Trip and Loyalty programs
Industry Involvement & Recognition
  • Multiple WD of the Year Awards and SEMA product awards
  • 30+ Supplier Top Customer Awards
  • SEMA event host: Town Hall and Big Shows
  • Advisor to SEMA and Member companies
  • Attended 30+ SEMA Shows
  • Graduate of the Wharton School’s Advanced Management Program
  • Federated Group Executive Board Member
Listen to My Speeches

Most Recent Speeches

Latest News & Events

The Latest News

02 December, 2021
Education Association Conference

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Testimonials
What People Say About Me

Endorsements

What My Colleagues Say About Me

David-min

David MacNeil
Founder/CEO – WeatherTech

“I would like my fellow SEMA members to know that I fully support Larry Montante becoming a SEMA Board member. There are very few people that have the stellar reputation that Larry does in our industry, which includes decades of priceless knowledge of the aftermarket industry, both domestic and international, government regulations, and of course all while maintaining an ethical course with suppliers and customers alike. Our industry needs leaders like Larry. Please vote for Larry Montante for the SEMA Board.”

Myles-min

Myles Kovacs
DUB Founder, 2020 SEMA Person of the Year

“As a former member of the SEMA Board of Directors along with serving in many different capacities over the years, I am proud to lend my support to Larry Montante in his candidacy for the SEMA Board Directors. Over the span of his decades-long career, Larry has been a passionate industry leader and a champion for his customers, large and small. The automotive industry is about innovation and Larry has utilized his extensive experience in all aspects of the business to envision what’s around the next corner to the benefit of the Keystone organization as well as the suppliers, manufacturers and customers he has done business with for more than 37 years.

As our industry moves forward through the decade, Larry has the vision, insight, perspective and most importantly, the leadership, to roll up his sleeves to get the job done for all of us.”

Amy-min

Amy Faulk
CEO – Hypertech, SEMA Hall of Fame Member

“Larry is a proven leader, a problem solver, a forward thinker and a team player but most importantly, Larry will represent all SEMA members without bias. As a past member of the SEMA Board of Directors myself, I understand the commitment and work ethic needed to be a contributing SEMA Board member and I am convinced Larry Montante is this the exact type of person our association needs on the SEMA Board of Director. Your vote can make a difference, I recommend casting your vote for Larry Montante.”

Jim-min

Jim Cozzie
Biz Dev Director – Ridetech, SEMA Hall of Fame

“I have worked with Larry Montante over the course of my career. Larry has always demonstrated not only a passion for his life’s work, but always carried a steadfast commitment to driving change in the way business was done. His approach of doing research prior to making changes is and extension of his personality no matter work or leisure.”

“My experience serving on the SEMA Board and my term as Chairman taught me that Board service requires doing the work, forming a position, and become committed to that position for the good of all and not swing views because one’s position is not popular. Larry has that skill set and I am sure will apply those skills as a member of the SEMA Board.”

“Larry Montante has my vote!”

Joe Amato 5 Time NHRA Top Fuel Champion Endorsing Larry Montante for SEMA Board of Directors

Joe Amato
5X NHRA Top Fuel Champion – Keystone Founder

“As a SEMA Hall of Fame member and former SEMA board member, I fully endorse Larry Montante as candidate for 2021 SEMA Board of Directors. Larry’s 37+ years of experience is unrivaled in the automotive industry. His work ethic is the perfect storm of professionalism, experience, common sense, and street smarts. He joined Keystone Automotive as a young man, learned the business from the ground up, and as Keystone grew so did Larry. Ultimately, Larry’s unmatched work ethic and industry knowledge made him a key player in the overall success of the company. I am confident that Larry will bring that same knowledge, energy, and passion to SEMA as a board member.”

Bill Reminder President of Truck Hero Endorsing Larry Montante for SEMA Board of Directors

Bill Reminder
President & CEO – Truck Hero

“I believe Larry Montante would be an outstanding addition to the SEMA Board of Directors. I’ve known Larry for over 20 years and during this time he has consistently demonstrated a thoughtful and leading expertise on our industry. Larry has led an incredible array of successful initiatives throughout all the years I’ve known him. He has been incredibly insightful on proactively adapting to our changing landscape.

As we all grow awareness to the aftermarket and strengthen our engagement with our customers, he brings a wealth of proven success that is unmatched. As I have grown my business he has and remains a trusted advisor. Larry has my vote!”

Jim Oostdyk of OK Auto Endorsing Larry Montante for SEMA Board of Directors

Jim Oostdyk
President – OK Auto, 4WD & Tire

“I’ve known Larry Montante since he was first joined Keystone 37 years ago. For the entirety of the period, I’ve known Larry as someone who is passionate about his work and as someone who cares about his customers, his company, and his industry.

From a customer perspective, Larry has always given us personalized attention, made us feel appreciated, and expertly solved issues as they arose. Likely due to his passion for the industry as well as the loyalty amongst his customer base, I’ve watched him grow within the Keystone organization that he has helped build from a small partnership to a publicly traded company.


The bottom line is that our industry needs passionate, loyal, enthusiasts who effortlessly adapt to the changing marketplace by exhibiting a keen vision for our future. This knowledge and experience is exactly what SEMA needs as we adapt to the disruption occurring in our industry and is also why I wholeheartedly support Larry’s candidacy for the SEMA Board of Directors.”

Nick Gramelspacher Endorsing Larry Montante for SEMA Board of Directors

Nick Gramelspacher
VP of Brand Strategy – Meyer Distributing

“As a two-term former SEMA Board member I understand the importance of Distributor representation on the board. Larry Montante has the experience, knowledge, and passion needed and brings a new perspective to the table. His agenda focuses on protecting and growing our industry. I know Larry will get things done on our behalf so he has my vote for the SEMA Board.”

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    Career Experience – Over my 37 years at Keystone I have been fortunate to progress in my career and learn my different business functions. My first role was in the warehouse where I learned operations then transitioned to Sales managing accounts where I got a deep understanding of the needs of the jobber / retailer.

    In my next role as Buyer was responsible for all aspects of our supplier relationships including product assortment, marketing, and the purchasing of over 100 suppliers. This segment gave me great insight to what it takes to bring a product to market, managing the supply chain, and supplier relations. Was then given the opportunity to start the Marketing area for the company. In this period, developed many innovative programs and publications and was able to further hone my go to market skills with a wide variety of activities.

    As Keystone changed ownership, the company entered a high growth period. Next in my VP Marketing role I led the expansion into new markets and worked through several acquisitions. Also played a key role in the design and launch to the company’s B to B platform.

    Over the years in my current role, VP Category Management, I have managed many different functional areas including Category Management, Inventory Management, Purchasing, Supplier and Customer Pricing, Product Master Data, Marketing, and eCommerce.

    The opportunities provided to me over this timeline have been invaluable. All this experience, coupled with what I learned and experienced through the varied ownership structures and philosophies and my previously stated broad SEMA involvement, puts me in a great position to be a leader and driver of change on the SEMA board.

    SEMA Experience – Over my career, I have been very involved with SEMA as a member of the SEMA Show Committee and participated in the WTC, TORA (LTAA), and YEN. I have driven many Keystone events where SEMA was featured in an effort to expand SEMA reach membership, exposure, and engagement including hosting a SEMA Town Hall. Additionally, given my relationship with SEMA I have been called upon to provide feedback and guidance on several key SEMA initiatives over the years.

    As an engaged SEMA Member for more than 46 years, Keystone has produced 1 Hall of Fame Member, 3 Persons of the Year, 4 SEMA Board members and has won the Warehouse Distributer of the Year multiple times. Throughout my 37-year career at Keystone, my marketing leadership has driven the exposure, campaigns, branding, and industry messaging that has supported and contributed to many of these accomplishments. From a broader participation perspective, I am currently serving on the Executive Committee for the Automotive Parts Services Group (The Group) which is a program group of WD’s and affiliate program under the Federated and Pronto brands.