Santa Monica resident Kevin Emamian, owner of The Haus automotive repair center has been recognized by his alma mater, Arizona State University, in the Sun Devil 100 awards for launching and managing a successful and fast-growing business.
Some 157 outstanding alumni were announced as members of the class of 2023 in the annual awards program that recognizes the fastest-growing alumni-owned or -led organizations. They range from individual business owners to leaders of large corporations from dozens of industries, including architecture, construction, information technology, legal, marketing and public relations, nonprofit and real estate.
After watching his best friend be accepted and honored as part of the class of 2022, Emamian was determined to make the cut. “I was absolutely going to make it happen. When my friend walked onto the field at Sun Devil Football Stadium I was both proud and jealous in equal parts,” he laughs.
Emamian had been offered a track and field sports scholarship for triple jump and long jump to Westmont University, but tragically he injured himself not long before the academic year was due to start and the offer was rescinded. Searching for a last minute alternative, he visited and subsequently fell in love with the campus at ASU.
“This is the ninth year Sun Devil 100 has celebrated entrepreneurs, changemakers and leaders who have graduated from ASU,” Christine Wilkinson, president and CEO of the ASU Alumni Association said in a statement. “We are proud of each alum and the impact they’ve made in their fields. Not only are they success stories in their own right, each honoree operates the company they own or run in a manner consistent with the ASU Charter.”
The class of 2023 honorees were unveiled at a reception on April 27 at the massive Mullet Arena in Tempe, Arizona, but all recipients of the award will also be celebrated on September 9, once again at the Sun Devil Football Stadium before the Sun Devils take on Oklahoma State. This is the event Emamian is most looking forward to.
“I’ll get to hang out with old friends, once again meet the other award winners and hang out with them too, but most importantly, I get to walk out onto the pitch and reflect on all the hard work that’s gone into getting this far,” Emamian says.
The Haus is a certified independent Mini Cooper and BMW repair shop located at 2621 Pico Blvd — with a second location at 14850 Calvert St in Sherman Oaks — and if you’re the proud owner of one of those diminutive icons of design, emblematic of British yesteryear, then you’ll no doubt already be familiar with The Haus. In fact, the name means “house” in German, entirely appropriate since BMW bought and rebooted the Mini brand in 2000.
Upon graduation Emamian returned to Santa Monica and was mentored by another successful automotive entrepreneur from the area, LAcarGUY’s CEO Mike Sullivan. Celebrating its seventh location in Santa Monica, the LAcarGUY dealership has announced that the latest outlet will be the country’s first standalone showroom focused specifically on Hyundai’s all electric brand, called the Ioniq.
“He had the same kind of deal out of college, he came from the Palisades, was a professional beach volleyball player and never wanted to sell cars,” Emamian laughs. “I didn’t know how to sell cars, I don’t know anything about cars. And he just told me ‘I’ll take you under my wing. I’ll let you learn every aspect of the dealership. You know if you’re good, you’re good if you’re not we’ll figure something else out for you.’”
The criteria to qualify for the awards program involves three tiers, which are broken down by revenues of $250,000–$1.999 million, $2 million–$9.999 million and $10 million-plus, the first one of which is the category Emamian’s business falls into.