ABOUT

This microsite contains biographical information and statements by candidates running for position on the SEMA Board of Directors. You are urged to review the background information provided and to cast qualified votes for the candidates of your choice.

The remarks and opinions expressed by each candidate are solely his or her statements. SEMA does not take responsibility for the accuracy or content of any of the candidates' messages. The statements made by the candidates do not necessarily represent the views of SEMA.

Voting will be conducted through an online voting service beginning May 14 – May 28. You will be receiving an email in your inbox “From: SEMA Election Coordinator <mailto:noreply@directvote.net> that will provide an electronic ballot. It will include a security code unique to each member company. All votes must be returned using the link provided. Each company may vote for candidates on the ballot in any of the categories. Voting credentials are sent via email to the primary contact for each SEMA member company. If you have questions about your company's primary contact, please email Timothy Johnson (timothyj@sema.org). If you have not received an email "From: SEMA Election Coordinator " by May 15, please check your Spam Filter or Junk Mail Folder.

Thank you for participating in this election. Your vote is important to the future leadership of SEMA.

Chairman-elect Category (one open seat)


James Lawrence

Power Automedia

Russell Stephens

Performance Brand Advisors

Manufacturers Category (three open seats)


Chris Douglas

COMP Performance Group

Chris Johnson

Derive Systems

Kim Pendergast

Magnuson Products LLC

Kathryn Reinhardt

Pilot Automotive

Melanie White

Hellwig Products

Manufacturers’ Representative Category (one open seat)


Les Rudd

Bob Cook Sales

Ken Schuck

KAM Marketing

CANDIDATES (listed alphabetically)

Chris Douglas - COO, COMP Performance Group

It’s been my honor to serve SEMA over the last three years on the Board of Directors. During my term, I fought for the industry while pushing for greater transparency and responsiveness from the association. However, the job isn’t finished, and the years ahead will bring additional political, economic and industry evolution challenges.

As SEMA navigates these uncertain times, I seek to continue serving the membership by bringing 25 years of diverse aftermarket experience, proven leadership and accountability.

My priorities include:

Legislative Affairs: I will ensure that SEMA takes a strong leadership role by proactively working with federal/state governments to eliminate and/or negate misguided regulations. We must recognize threats sooner and work to mitigate them before they threaten our membership.

Industry Growth: We must define/engage the next generation of customers and employees. As a marketer and father of two young children, I can help SEMA better understand the minds that will power the industry forward. We must also work smarter to expand engagement with the industry, domestically and abroad.

Member Value: From the SEMA Show to market research to international business programs, I will advocate for using our collective strength to create impactful resources and provide a voice for all members, particularly the small independent businesses.

I grew up in this industry, and it has shaped who I am today. From a successful career as a professional racer to earning a B.A. in marketing, the business of motorsports has been my lifelong focus.

My current position as COMP Performance Group COO involves leading hundreds of team members, financial guidance and responsibility for many iconic brands in the aftermarket.

  • 1985–2003: Professional Race Car Driver (Karts, ASA, ARCA and NASCAR)
  • 2000–2002: Operations Director, Race-On Performance Driving School
  • 2003–2017: Vice President of Marketing, COMP Cams
  • 2015–2018: Partner/COO, Xceleration Media
  • 2017–Current: COO, COMP Performance Group

I’ve served in elected leadership positions on the SEMA Board, Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council and Young Executives Network and received the following honors:

Additional bio and personal information is available at:

Chris Johnson - Founder, Derive Systems

Hi, I’m Chris Johnson. I am running for the SEMA Board of Directors because I am passionate about protecting and growing our industry for the business leaders of tomorrow.

As the CEO, president and founder of JMS and the founder and R&D principal at SCT/Derive Systems, I have dedicated my life to the aftermarket industry and have built multiple award-winning businesses that continue to grow today.

Strength in Numbers: Growing SEMA’s base through individual memberships will give our community a stronger voice to protect, enhance and grow our businesses, our industry, and our passion for the vehicles that we love.

Accelerating Compliance: Educating SEMA members on the pathways to compliance, and how to work with the EPA and ARB is a critical task. I believe that this should be addressed with constant, accurate information from SEMA. We will continue to work with government agencies to ensure the future of the aftermarket performance industry.

Future Forward: SEMA’s future is being decided right now. We must focus on growing our industry on our terms and not let anyone else control it for us.

ARB and EPA Compliance Specialist: As someone who has personally worked with the ARB since 2002, I believe that this prior experience uniquely qualifies me to help SEMA educate members about the path to emissions compliance.

Individual Membership for All: SEMA needs to grow—to millions of members—if we want to get the attention we deserve in Washington, D.C., California and across the world.

Proud to Support the RPM Act: The RPM Act must be passed or the motorsports that we love will never be the same.

Industry Growth: Growing SEMA’s base through individual memberships will give our community a stronger voice to protect, enhance and grow our businesses, industry and passion for the vehicles that we love.

At Derive Systems, we dealt with and negotiated the industry’s first Consent Decree settlement with the EPA and U.S. Department of Justice. I promise to leverage our unique insight to help all SEMA members understand how to work and thrive within today’s emissions laws.

Vote Chris Johnson for SEMA Board of Directors.

www.votechrisjohnson.com

James Lawrence - CEO, Power Automedia

My name is James Lawrence, and I am running for chairman of the SEMA Board of Directors because I believe it is time for change.

I believe in the magic of the automobile, and I have been blessed to enjoy an amazing career in the automotive aftermarket. Many people have helped me get to this point in my career, and I now have the opportunity to go beyond my job and company. This is a commitment to a more significant cause—to preserve our dream for a bright and vibrant future for automotive performance and motorsports.

The status quo is not okay. I refuse to be a part of letting our industry die and wither away, to sit by as regulations, government and the lack of youth interest chip away year by year until all we have left is a museum and a photo album of our hot rods.

It’s time we roll up our sleeves and address these issues:

Our industry is at a pivotal moment, and it’s vital we have strong proactive leadership at SEMA. I’m committed to make the changes necessary—even when the going is tough.

We have a huge opportunity with PRI to grow motor-sports, and support racers, race tracks, sanctioning bodies and manufacturers.

It’s time we brought our industry together and harnessed our power collectively to get youth involved, integrate better technology and address governmental and regulatory issues. We shouldn’t be fighting these individually.

We need to drive the politics out of SEMA, and get more transparency into what SEMA’s leadership and Board are working on. We all need to grab some shovels. Sometimes SEMA can be more about cocktails than action, so we need to focus primarily on helping member companies.

I have the leadership and industry experience necessary to succeed:

  • SEMA Board of Directors: 2017–Current
  • President and CEO, Power Automedia: 2008–Current
  • President, ProMedia Publishing: 1998–2008
  • President, Ford Performance Solutions: 1995–1997
  • SEMA Media Person of the Year Award
  • SEMA YEN, Select Committee
  • NMCA World Champion

I respectfully ask for your support and the opportunity to lead SEMA with energy and passion.

www.jamesforsema.com

Kim Pendergast - CEO, Magnuson Products LLC

As a SEMA Board Member, I will work hard to protect our performance rights, help SEMA members prepare for the future, engage our youth and build enduring partnerships with government.

“SEMA should, if possible, protect us; if not prepare us; but always educate us.”

I am honored to run and will make SEMA and this industry my top priority.

Employment Summary: I am owner, chairman and CEO of Magnuson Superchargers—a 40-year SEMA member—responsible for daily operations as well as overall corporate infrastructure, including engineering, testing, product development, manufacturing, international business, marketing, sales and distribution. I have worked closely and directly with CARB. I am the key driver for strategic planning and business development. Based out of Magnuson Superchargers’ corporate headquarters in Ventura, California, I also spend time at our Detroit offices.

My automotive career started in NASCAR, running the daily operations of a business building 300 race engines per year and providing R&D for Dodge Racing.

Before I was 45, I founded, funded and built five companies, two reaching $70 million and $100 million in sales, respectively, each in less than 12 months. Earlier in my career, I was part of a small team that developed AT&T’s consumer strategy, which I think I can leverage to advance SEMA’s goals.

Outstanding Career Achievements:

Magnuson Superchargers, winning the opportunity to provide superchargers to GM’s COPO race program. Long exclusive relationship providing superchargers to Toyota (two Toyota Quality Awards).

  • Speaker/Section head for CSCMP trade organization serving $3.4 trillion industry.
  • Co-founder K–8 school in NYC for autistic children.
  • One of 20 top businessmen selected nationwide to be a Henry Crown Fellow, a leadership program encouraging young leaders to embrace business values and philanthropy.
  • 2018 SEMA’s SBN Athena Woman of the Year.

SEMA Experience:

  • Speaker SEMA education program
  • 2017 Task Force for Person of the Year Chair
  • 2018 Member SEMA PAC Board
  • 2018 Scholarship Committee Chair

Related Interests:

The people who love to drive—our customers—are who I want to serve as a SEMA Board member.

To learn more, head to my website, www.Kim4sema.com.

Kathryn Reinhardt - Vice President of Marketing, Pilot Automotive

Hi, I’m Kathryn Reinhardt, and I am running for the 2019 SEMA Board of Directors. First and foremost, I am an automotive enthusiast. I was born in Detroit, raised in Georgia, and I have spent the last 17 years helping move aftermarket companies forward by creating successful marketing programs.

I want to be a fierce voice for every small business by providing resources for all our companies to prosper, working to stop regulatory overreach and growing our industry for the next generation of consumers. I will work hard to increase awareness and benefits of existing SEMA programs, and provide creative new opportunities to help serve your business needs.

Experience:

Manufacturing: Having worked for a series of aftermarket manufacturers, I can relate to new product development, tariffs and regulations.
Distribution: The speed and accuracy of distribution is deeply affected by ever-changing consumer buying habits.
Marketing: I have my finger on the pulse of how to effectively market to consumers and create cross-marketing opportunities with fringe industries.
Legislation/Regulation: I have firsthand experience lobbying elected officials on regulations and working with task forces to reduce government overreach.

Leadership:

  • Vice President, Pilot Automotive
  • Director of Marketing, MagnaFlow
  • LTAA Chairwoman 2017–2019
  • SEMA Cares Committee (Pinewood Drags)
  • Auto Care Scholarship Committee

Achievements:

  • 2015 SEMA Person of the Year
  • 2015 YEN Vanguard Award
  • 2014 SBN Woman of the Year
  • 2015 LTAA Chairman’s Award
  • 2013 SEMA News 35 Under 35

I am prepared to serve on the SEMA Board of Directors and be your champion for change. Let’s take our $43-billion industry and work together to make it $53 billion! I have the vision and the drive to achieve goals and create transparency so every member knows what SEMA is doing to support business growth.

Les Rudd - President, Bob Cook Sales

I am honored to have this opportunity to continue my service as the incumbent for this year’s SEMA Board of Directors election. With your support and vote, we will—together—make a better SEMA!

With an impartial mindset, I will strive to support all SEMA members with vision, integrity, loyalty and honesty as we face the key issues that lie before us today. There are threats against us that many cannot see and are not aware of. In turn, I will maintain a key mindset on these issues and seek opportunities that will lead us toward a more prominent and secure future. Your vote is appreciated!

Professional employment:

  • 1991–present: Bob Cook Sales
  • 1991–2003: Representative
  • 2004–2013: Partner/Principal
  • 2014–current: President
  • 1985–1991: TCI Automotive, National Sales Manager
  • 1983–1985: Bloomfield Auto Parts and Speed, Manager

Outstanding Career Achievements and SEMA Involvement:

  • 2016–current: SEMA Board of Directors
  • 2014–2016: SEMA Manufacturers Rep Network Chair
  • 2002–2004: SEMA Manufacturers’ Rep Network Chair
  • SEMA Political Action Committee Presidents Club
  • More than 22 years of SEMA council and network involvement
  • CPMR–Certified Professional Manufacturers Rep
  • Previous CAN (PWA) Board of Directors Liaison
  • Member of Bob Cook Sales for seven SEMA Rep of the Year Awards
  • Numerous Rep of the Year awards from manufacturer clients and customers
  • 2007 and 2008 Goodguys Pros Pick
  • Super Chevy Editor’s Choice 2008 and Outstanding ’55 Award 2008
  • Numerous Committees, Task Force memberships and industry recognitions

Although our industry, by choice, is a large part of my everyday life, I do spend time on other interests as well. I am an avid outdoorsman. I am a regular volunteer at my church. My wife and I have been blessed with the task of raising our two granddaughters; her patience and support allows for me to seek my dreams.

Your confidence in me is an honor; your vote is greatly appreciated.

Ken Schuck - Vice President, KAM Marketing

It is my distinct pleasure to be able to have the opportunity to run for the SEMA Board of Directors. With more than 35 years working in the aftermarket and close to 30 of those spent within the SEMA community, it would be a great honor to be elected to the SEMA Board of Directors. My mission is drawn on my years of experience working with legendary manufacturers and customers from a perspective that only a manufacturer’s representative will have.

I pledge to work as hard for SEMA as I have done in building our business through hard work, striving to add value to SEMA the same way I have added value to the customer-manufacturer relationship throughout my career. As we all know. the industry is rapidly changing, with regulatory threats ramping up, new innovative ways of reaching our consumers at hand, and the traditional ways of doing business threatened. My goal is to help navigate these and other issues to keep the industry we know and love prospering.

My position is vice president of KAM Marketing, a manufacturers’ representative firm that has been in existence for more than 40 years. In 2001, the opportunity arose to become the account manager for one of the largest warehouse distributors in the world. I currently manage a team of sales, tech and service people responsible for that account. Our team is responsible for working with their category management, marketing, sales and supply-chain departments. Under my leadership, our team provides value-added service helping our manufacturers maintain a leadership position.

I am a member of the MRN select committee and began my second term in 2018. I have been in charge of the MRN Rep Match Program since my term commenced in 2016. I also served on the 2015 SEMA Person of the Year Committee.

I have been honored with the SEMA Manufacturers’ Rep Firm of the Year Award in 2014, the Edelbrock individual Manufacturer Rep of the Year award three times, and the Powermaster Individual Manufacturer Rep of the Year award.

Thank you for considering me for this year’s SEMA Board of Directors election.

Russell Stephens - President, Performance Brand Advisors

My name is Russell Stephens, and I have been selected to run for chairman-elect of the SEMA Board. I humbly ask for your vote.

Our industry is facing issues that will have a great impact on its future. Through my 33 years working for a SEMA Show exhibiting manufacturer, I understand all facets of the industry including the manufacturer and distributor/reseller relationship. It is because of this understanding that I am a recipient of the Person of the Year award by PWA. I also understand the important role of manufacturer’s sales representatives. The Manufacturers’ Rep Council recognized this fact by awarding me with their inaugural Sales Team of the Year award. My professional experience and 25 years of SEMA volunteering gives me a unique perspective to help face these threats to our industry. I would be honored to represent you as the chairman of the SEMA Board.

Priorities as Chairman:

  • Protect against regulations that assault our rights to modify our vehicles.
  • Meeting the next generation of enthusiasts where they are.
  • Protecting and growing SEMA’s number-one asset—the SEMA Show.
  • Help SEMA members navigate changing automotive
  • technology.
  • SEMA is the only voice speaking out for the rights of automotive enthusiasts. As chairman, I will ensure SEMA dedicates the necessary resources to fight the threats to our industry and to take advantage of the opportunities.

Employment: I started working at MSD in high school and continued through college working in the repair, tech and marketing departments. After graduating college, I ran MSD’s sales team for 17 years before assuming vice president and general manager roles and, eventually, president.

SEMA Service:

  • SEMA Board of Directors: Three full terms (seven years)
  • SEMA Board of Directors Executive Committee
  • SEMA Board Nominating Committee: Five times (chairman three times)
  • SEMA MPMC Select Committee: two terms
  • SEMA WD of the Year Committee: seven times (chairman)
  • SEMA Rep of the Year Committee: two times
  • SEMA Person of the Year Committee
  • SEMA PAC President’s Club

Cars and racing have always been a part of my life. I humbly ask for your vote to represent you as SEMA Chairman of the Board.

To learn more visit www.russell4sema.com.

Melanie White - President, Hellwig Products

My name is Melanie Hellwig White, and I am running for the SEMA Board of Directors to protect the little guy, to focus on the small businesses that built this industry, and because SEMA members deserve a board that understands what they are going through and that will fight for their needs.

Protecting Our Legacy: I am the fourth generation of my family to run Hellwig Products, founded by my great-grandfather in 1946. We have exhibited at the SEMA Show since its inception, my family has been committed to this industry for more than 70 years, and I am committed to ensuring we have a bright future for years to come.

Experience: I worked my way up from sales to the shop floor to being the first female president of my company. I live in steel-toe boots and have worked the line. After running a family manufacturing company and working daily with small shops and major OEMs, I know the challenges our members face every day.

A Seat at the Table: Outside interests are reshaping SEMA and the way it represents our needs. Small businesses and real manufacturers who still make products in America need a voice on the SEMA Board. I will be the voice of small and family businesses on the Board.

Taking the Long View: Our industry tends to “ride the wave” up and down; we have been too reactive to Washington, the OEMs and changing consumer tastes. Are we prepared? Are our members? I want to make sure both the association and our members have the tools they need to survive.

SEMA Leadership: I was the 2018 SEMA Person of the Year, and have served as chair of Light Truck Accessory Alliance and SEMA Cares. I participated in SEMA Board meetings as a Council Board Liaison, served on six councils and networks, was a key stakeholder in the program with SEMA and Clemson University that studied stability control and suspension modifications, and I fought for the RPM Act on Capitol Hill.

With your vote I will fight for small businesses on the SEMA Board. Thank you for your support.

Learn more at www.Mel4sema.com