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Wade Kawasaki, president of Avanche Corporation and long-time SEMA member, was presented with the 2007 SEMA Person of the Year Award.

"I'm very honored to be recognized by SEMA and my peers," Kawasaki said. "This industry has been such a big part of my life and my involvement with SEMA has enabled me to advance important industry initiatives, help guide and develop the growth of the next generation of leaders, and build some great relationships along the way."

Joel Ayres of Truck Accessories Group/Leer (left) and Wade Kawasaki of Avanche Corp.

Created in 1969, the Person of the Year Award honors individuals recognized for distinguished service to the trade association and the specialty-equipment industry. Kawasaki has been considered a strong voice in the automotive specialty-equipment market in several areas, including education, technology solutions, and international relations.

He is currently Chairman of SEMA's International Trade Committee, has served twice as Chairman of the SEMA Show, is a founding member and on the board of SEMA's Political Action Committee, and is active on several other SEMA committees. He is also a founding member of SEMA's Young Executives Network (YEN).

Kawasaki is president of Avanche Corporation, comprised of Racing Sports Akimoto (sport compact manufacturer), DUB-air (youth/urban market manufacturer), and Exports International (W.D.). The company has served the specialty-equipment market since 1987. He also serves on the Board of Directors of an Automotive Technology start-up and Northwood University's Automotive Aftermarket Management Advisor.