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SEMA has hired Will L. Woods, CAE, to the newly created position of vice president of councils. Woods brings with him more than 25 years of professional experience, including 13 years as executive director of a 2,400-member trade association and seven years with a California-based automotive trade association.

As SEMA’s first vice president fully dedicated to the council department, Woods will oversee and manage the association’s eight councils.

“We are fortunate to have an individual as experienced and talented as Will join SEMA,” said SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting, CAE. “I’m confident that Will’s knowledge and expertise will be instrumental in helping our councils in achieving their goals and bringing value to the members.”

SEMA councils are groups of SEMA members that share common interests. They typically represent niches or segments within the automotive specialty-equipment market and include between 100 and 600 companies. Both the number of SEMA member companies and the number of councils have grown tremendously during the last 10 years, resulting in the need for a designated SEMA vice president of councils.

“Over the years, SEMA councils have proven to be valuable and effective at addressing niche-specific issues and concerns,” said Kersting. “From legislative issues to marketing and networking activities, the councils are at the forefront of what matters most. With Will on staff, we will be able to accomplish more than ever before.”

Woods, who began his post with SEMA on Wednesday, May 30, 2007, will work closely with volunteers and leaders from each SEMA council. Upcoming activities include the SEMA Council Summit, which is held in conjunction with the SEMA Installation Banquet & Gala Fundraiser, as well as the SEMA Internet Symposium, MRC Rep Conference and the MPMC Media Trade Conference.

“SEMA councils are active and dynamic groups,” said Woods. “In fact, although the councils are a subgroup of a larger association (SEMA), many of SEMA’s councils are more productive than some associations that exist. It is going to be exciting and a great pleasure to work with such motivated entities.”

Woods reports directly to SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting. Woods can be reached at, 909/396-0289, ext. 210.