METAIRE, LA (10.13.2021) – Oracle Lighting has been named a finalist for SEMA’s Manufacturer of the Year. Also, for the third year in a row, founder Justin Hartenstein has been named a finalist for the prestigious SEMA Gen-III Innovator of the Year.
The Manufacturer of the Year Award is presented annually to recognize one company that represents the industry’s core values through innovative processes and products, outstanding business practices, workforce excellence, protection of brand equity, and active SEMA participation in the support of the automotive aftermarket.
“We are incredibly proud to be finalists for two industry awards, and it is an honor to be recognized in our first nomination for Manufacturer of the Year,” said Tiffanie Hartenstein, Oracle Lighting Chief Executive Officer. “Our team values the opportunity to be an engaged member of SEMA and to contribute to the continued success of the automotive aftermarket industry. As a company, we thrive on innovation in all aspects and are committed to fostering growth in spite of the challenges our industry has faced. We are excited to represent the values that propel us forward in enriching the aftermarket experience.”
One of just two individual awards that the SEMA organization presents each year, the Gen-III innovator is an honor given to a young innovator who exhibits the same pioneering spirit as the original industry founders. According to SEMA, the Gen-III Innovator of the Year recognizes individuals whose work is changing the way the automotive aftermarket does business. He or she may have been the first to act on a new trend, invented an original product or devised and implemented ideas that better suit the current automotive marketplace.
“It is truly an honor to be named a finalist for an award that recognizes hard work and innovation in such a large and dynamic industry,” said Justin Hartenstein, Oracle Lighting director of development who founded Oracle Lighting in his garage in 1999. “And to top it off, Oracle Lighting has received another prestigious honor as being named a finalist for Manufacturer of the Year. I would like to congratulate our team for making this happen as 2020 and 2021 have been tough on our industry and, despite this challenge, Oracle Lighting has continued to accelerate and grow.”
The SEMA Industry Awards recognize outstanding contributions to the specialty-equipment industry. Winners will be announced and recognized during the SEMA Industry Awards Banquet, Thursday, November 4 at The SEMA Show in Las Vegas, Nev.
When the Coronavirus pandemic first began, as for many other manufacturers, demand began to decrease as the economy slowed. Being the innovator that he is, Hartenstein pivoted and redirected his energy into an anti-virus device utilizing UV lighting technology. The result was the A.I.R. Device (Antimicrobial Irradiation Respirator), the world’s first UV face mask. In 2021, Oracle Lighting donated many of these masks to local Louisiana charities to help slow the spread.
In 2021, Oracle Lighting was also ranked as the third fastest growing company in the entire metro New Orleans area, with a three-year growth rate of 56 percent, according to New Orleans CityBusiness magazine.
Besides being a trend-setter, enthusiast, and innovator, Hartenstein is also an advocate for the automotive lighting aftermarket, making him an excellent candidate for this award. He sees the challenges that are taking a toll on the aftermarket lighting industry such as overseas counterfeiting. After months of working with foreign courts, attorneys, private investigators, and other authorities in China, Hartenstein filed and won legal action against an underground counterfeit factory ring in China that has repeatedly violated not only the Intellectual Property of ORACLE Lighting but of a half dozen other SEMA manufacturers.
In 2021, Oracle Lighting won its legal battle against a Chinese-based manufacturer of imitation products after a failed appeal process by the defendant. Hartenstein hopes to use this experience to create a roadmap for other SEMA manufacturers to follow in order to receive relief from the damage caused by illicit counterfeiting in the industry.