Bob McJannett

2003 Inductee

Inductee Photo


Gallery
      

Biography

Bob has been instrumental in preaching the ‘gospel’ of how to run and manage a performance business through his prolific writings published not only by various Canadian automotive consumer magazines, but many SEMA publications as well,” said Bob Keller of Turbonetics. “He always professed the best interest of the industry as a whole—not just his niche.”

The “Bob” that Keller was referring to is Bob McJannett of Performance Improvements.

Those familiar with McJannett and his performance retails shops may be surprised to learn that McJannett started his business in 1964 as a small, part-time speed shop, with just $1,500 that he borrowed from Susan, his then-fiancé. Today, the company operates nine retail stores in two Canadian provinces, is responsible for 50 employees and continues to look for future growth.

As a car enthusiast and entrepreneur, McJannett has always whole-heartedly shared his experienced, knowledge and wisdom with others in the industry. For several years, he penned a regular column in SEMA News. Topics included how to increase sales and profits, enhance staff morale, decrease staff turnover and more.

Although located in an area that sometimes felt like a million miles from “what we think of as the mainstream,” McJannett was one of SEMA’s strongest supporters.

“Bob was more active than 90 percent of the people on the board,” said Keller, who sat on the board with him. “I don’t know many individuals who can compare to him as a spokesman for SEMA and our industry.”

“All in all he was a real delight to work with,” said Leo Kagan, who was also on the board with McJannett. “Bob and his wife have always been strong SEMA supporters. They evidence it by the efforts that they put into the association.”

John Towle, executive director of PWA, another organization that McJannett was actively involved with, said, “McJannett is one of the finest individuals in the industry. He is just a stand-up, straightforward guy with integrity at the highest level.”

McJannett always made efforts to open doors and provide opportunities for young people interested in entering the industry. “He’ll go out of his way to help people,” said Dick Van Cleve, who met McJannett about 15 years ago and considered him to be his closest friend. “Bob would hire kids just so that they could be around cars and learn about cars. He’d do that just so that they could learn about the industry.”

Performance Improvements continues to actively support the industry. McJannett helped to oppose an Ontario bill that threatened to ban certain aftermarket performance equipment in Canada earlier this year.

“Bob schooled me on the intricacies of Canadian provincial politics, while remaining open to the tried-and-true lobbying techniques that have proven successful in the States,” said Steve McDonald, SEMA director of government affairs.

“He brought to SEMA a wealth of experience in legislative analyses, coalition building and the development and implementation of association policy. The breadth of his knowledge of the issues of critical importance to the aftermarket has provided SEMA with an effective advocate in Canada and a valuable resource in our efforts to protect and advance the specialty aftermarket industry.”

Whether it was the way he managed his business, his involvement with SEMA or the information he preached through his writings, McJannett always had the industry’s best interests in mind. He was honored with the SEMA Person of the Year award in 1990. Being inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame, however, is something he never dreamed of.

“I was stunned,” said McJannett. “It’s an honor for me to be in something I never dreamed possible. My heroes are in the SEMA Hall of Fame. I never thought that I would be one of those people.”