Nineteen industry professionals are vying for a position on the 2011–2013 SEMA Board of Directors. The SEMA Board provides strategic direction to the association and plays a critical role in shaping the future of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. Election materials were mailed to the primary contacts at eligible SEMA-member companies within the corresponding categories May 17. The voting process, which is entirely electronic this year, will be ongoing until voting closes June 14. Election results will be published in an upcoming issue of SEMA News.
Board of Directors 2011-2013 Nominees
I am Joel Rosenthal, and I am asking for your vote for the SEMA Board of Directors. I am eager to be a proactive and an aggressive voice to the association on behalf of the manufacturers’ representative members.
I began my career in 1984 as a rep covering the St. Louis marketplace. I joined Gantt-Thomas & Associates, Inc. (GTA) in 1989. I have been with this organization for more than 20 years. In 1999, Tom Schaefer and I bought the agency. Our firm is Midwest based with eight associates. My role at GTA is to manage our sales force, national accounts and oversee the finances for the company. I am eager to use my experience and abilities to serve you on the SEMA Board.
I believe our Board must continually evaluate SEMA programs to focus resources and energy on those that will bring the most benefit back to our members. As a voice for the manufacturers’ representative segment to the SEMA Board, I will support these significant initiatives:
If elected again to the SEMA Board, I would use valuable experience gained during my first term and work diligently to help guide SEMA’s future, addressing issues and challenges facing our industry today . I would view all SEMA matters impartially and work to maintain a high level of professionalism to the manufacturers’ rep category on the Board.
Bob Cook Sales Inc.–Memphis, Tennessee
Manufacturers Rep 1989-present
Rep South–Sam Compton & Associates–Hendersonville, Tennessee
Manufacturers’ Rep - 1984–1989
Dunn & Grasso Performance–Bristol Pennsylvania/Trenton, New Jersey
Sales – Purchasing 1976–1984
It is an honor to be chosen as a candidate for the SEMA Board of Directors. I would welcome the opportunity to once again serve the membership in these difficult political and economic times. During my 35 years in the industry, I have seen the business climate in similar conditions and feel we will come out of it even stronger. You can count on me to represent your interests, if I am fortunate enough to be elected.
I am the owner of Weathers Auto Supply, a regional WD located in central Virginia since 1980. Previously, I worked for a small 4WD shop in North Carolina. I have been an employee, an installer, a general manager and an owner of a truck and automotive-related business my entire career. I still enjoy the challenges of my business and going to work every day. My passion turned into my vocation; it doesn’t get any better than that.
- SEMA Board of Directors 1997–2003; 2007–2011
- Chair-Software Committee
- Executive Committee
I am honored to be considered for the SEMA Board of Directors and look forward to giving back to my peers. I have designed my life around this industry, and you can rely on my rock-solid work ethic and passion for the business to be exercised in the best interest of our members.
With 29 years of experience in the industry, I’ve dedicated my career to providing customer satisfaction through innovative thinking. As a SEMA member for over 25 years, I feel a personal connection to the Association and especially the membership. Helping members achieve their objectives is why SEMA exists, and it’s why I am running for a seat on the SEMA Board.
My professional experience starts at Dee Zee Manufacturing where for 13 years I worked in sales, distribution, production and R&D. In 2005, I became a partner at Considine Sales & Marketing.
A game-changing opportunity exists for SEMA to help shape the enthusiast market, addressing the new crop of enthusiasts through their preferred communication channels: the Internet and mobile. As consumers use the Internet and smart phones to express and enrich their passions, aligning members on data standardization, along with product content, education and innovation, will be incredibly powerful for the organization. My technology/ecommerce background and overall leadership experience in the automotive industry affords me a strong experience base and network from which to advise SEMA on these opportunities. Data and consumer experience are the driving needs of the Internet/mobile user, and as a SEMA Board member and from my position as senior director of eBay Motors, I will help to ensure that SEMA plays offense and leads the industry into its progressive future.
My employment history and achievements include:
- Manager, KPMG [now BearingPoint], Internet strategy practice
- Director, Business Development, InstantAuto.com, acquired by Vesta Insurance
Dear SEMA Members:
It is an honor to be selected as a candidate for the SEMA Board of Directors. I will use my lifetime experience in the automotive aftermarket to improve the association. As an industry, we are at a crossroads with many industries competing for the same discretionary dollars. I will use my information technology background in conjunction with my understanding of the automotive aftermarket to help improve the flow of information from the manufacturer to the distributor and, ultimately, to the end consumer.
Our company, Baxter Auto Parts was founded in 1936 by my grandfather. I officially started my career in the automotive aftermarket in our Baxter Auto Parts retail stores. Baxter Auto Parts is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2011. The specialty-equipment market is a key component of our business. Performance Warehouse was born out of Baxter Auto Parts in 1969 and was awarded the SEMA Warehouse Distributor of the Year award in 1994 and 1999. I am now charged with overseeing all aspects of our warehouse locations as director of warehouse operations.
I want to thank those who supported me during my last two terms. I am asking for your vote to represent you for a third term. I’ve led the charge to help bring PWA and SEMA closer together, to push a marketing program which helped lead to the creation of the SEMA Marketing Committee. I am active on the behalf of small businesses on the legislative front, industry education and standardized data for the industry.
I began my career at P&E 1974. After school I rode the bus downtown to the shop and swept and cleaned install bays. From those humble beginnings I’ve worked in every capacity of our family-owned business for more than 30 years from stockboy to my current capacity of President. We received the SEMA W/D of Year Award in 2004 and 2009.
I have attended the SEMA Show for 25 years, PWA conferences for 22 years, countless racing events, various trade shows, held car shows, jobber shows, and hosted jobber training events.
I am honored to be nominated for the SEMA Board of Directors. If elected to the SEMA Board, it will allow me to fulfill a goal of giving back to the industry. As CEO of Transamerican Auto Parts, the diversity of my business experience will be helpful to SEMA members:
- RETAIL - Overseeing the operations of 55 4Wheel Parts retail stores in 17 states provides an understanding of the needs of the store owner/manager.
- INTERNET AND CATALOG/MAIL ORDER - Understanding of the Internet and how it impacts our industry from data needs to search engines to social media.
- WHOLESALE DISTRIBUTION - Realize the challenges that distributors face in today’s changing environment.
- MANUFACTURING - The Pro-Comp and Smittybilt brands were developed at Transamerican over many years. I have learned how to make brands succeed through multiple channels.
I truly consider it an honor and am very proud to have the privilege to be a candidate for re-election to the SEMA Board of Directors. I have worked diligently as a Board member in representing the SEMA manufacturers and association members at large and hope to have this opportunity again. I am passionate and committed to our industry. I have been active in our association since the ’80s, and I will continue to give my all to serve the Board and the association.
As in the past, there are numerous issues facing our industry and the association today that the Board must focus on. Issues, such as the continued encroaching legislation constantly bombarding us by both state and federal legislators; the rapidly emerging changes in vehicle technology and assisting our members in responding to those changes; the ongoing education for segments of our membership, such as installers and countermen; member benefits; and others. Perhaps the most pressing issue facing us today is our struggling economy and its effect on our industry. How are we going to help our association members survive during these trying times? I am experienced, passionate and truly committed to the welfare of our association, its members and our industry. I am ready to tackle these challenges and more.