People Places & Racing News

MPMC Select Committee Nominees & Bios

On Monday, May 17, balloting opens for the SEMA Select Committee elections. The elections represent your opportunity to guide the direction of your SEMA councils and committees. Each SEMA council member company will receive one e-mail with instructions and links for completing an electronic Select Committee ballot. Only one ballot per company is e-mailed, and only one ballot per company will be recorded.

The e-mail ballot will be addressed to the person listed as your company’s primary council contact in the SEMA membership database. Balloting will remain open through Friday, May 28. If you think that you are the primary council contact and do not receive an e-mail on Monday, May 17, contact your SEMA staff liaison immediately.

MPMC Select Committee Nominees and Bios:

Will Baty – Centerforce Clutches
My name is Will Baty, and I have been involved in the automotive aftermarket for 21 years as a consumer as well as an employee of Centerforce Clutch. I would like to return something to the industry that has given me so much in my life. I am an advocate for educating/mentoring the younger people in our industry, I believe in “Take a Kid to a Car Show,” which helps our industry to grow and, ultimately, helps it to survive. I want to contribute and be part of the organization protecting our industry, SEMA. In the past, I was and now am the television voice (technical person) for Centerforce commercials and the liaison to the National Mustang Racers Association. I have also done technical seminars on many levels to various-sized groups.

Ed “Blake” Burgy – Mr. Gasket, INCUMBENT
I have more than 20 years industry experience with Summit Racing Equipment, CORSA Performance and Mr. Gasket Co./Prestolite Performance. I have also been active in councils; MPMC Select Committee Member – 2.5 terms, SPC Select Committee Member – three terms, YEN active member four years, PRO active member three years, SPC Person of the Year 2008, Chair of the SPC Internet Symposium task force (2008–2009), SEMA Show attendee/exhibitor 11 years and SEMA Ambassador. I am truly committed to do what is best for our industry and our many member companies, and I ask for your vote for Select Committee so that I can continue to contribute my energy, experience and dedication to the cause.

Todd Gartshore – Baer Brakes
I was involved in the original charter of the MPMC and served multiple terms on the Select Committee. I have served on the HRIA and SEMA Board and Executive Committees, as well as the SEMA Tech committee that originally developed the path way for Air Resource Board Executive Orders of Exemption. I believe I can offer a level of historical understanding of the big picture that will compliment the youthful enthusiasm of fellow MPMC candidates. Thank you for your consideration, sincerely, Todd Gartshore

Scott Hall – Moroso Performance
Being a drag racer (Top Alcohol Dragster) and engine builder, working with the people that ultimately use our parts, and not just sell them, I will bring a strong and unique perspective that will add diversity to the MPMC council. I grew up around my father’s machine shop and the drag races, surrounded by people that make this industry what it is. I have mechanical and manufacturing engineering degrees from New Hampshire Technical Institute, and more than 13 years experience developing parts at Moroso and Fragola Performance. I already have a lifetime of experience in many facets of our high-performance industry. But, at only 35 years of age, I still have many decades left to give back to the industry that molded and directed me into the person that I am.

Bob Roese – Magnuson Products
I have dedicated the last 20 years of my professional career to the high-performance aftermarket. My experience encompasses sales, marketing, press relations and consumer technical support, plus manufacturing operations at companies, such as Central Coast Mustangs (sales and tech support), Vortech Engineering (Manager of Corporate Communications and Race Liason) and Magnuson Products (vice president of marketing and sales). In these positions I have successfully managed customer relations with OEs, such as GM, Lotus, Cosworth and Toyota as well as aftermarket vendor's such as Roush Racing. I have worked closely with government agencies, including CARB, and understand how to comply with quality control standards and durability validation processes. I would like to serve on the MPMC Select Committee to give back to the industry I love and share my knowledge and experience in this time of change and opportunity.

John Spar – Stable Imaging Solutions LLC, Incumbent
For more than 25 years I have been actively working in the motorsports industry. I have successfully raced in the NHRA, AMA, SCORE, BITD and USAC; owned and operated a national racing series focused on the sportsman racing marketplace; was the director of racing operations for a major aftermarket manufacturer; and currently own and operate two growing businesses that cater to the motorsports industry. I am knowledgeable, passionate and understanding of our industry and am dedicated to its continued growth and success. I will be a positive asset to the Select Committee and will work diligently towards building a stronger motorsports marketplace for all of its members. Your MPMC Select Committee ballot should be on your desk soon. I would appreciate your vote and the chance to serve you.

John Sonnefeldt – Holley Performance Products

I have a lifetime passion for cars and more than 15 years experience in the High Performance Aftermarket. Some of my past positions include; national sales and marketing director for VP Racing Fuels, aftermarket sales manager for Eaton/Detroit Locker, business development specialist for 76 Racing Gasoline, motorsports sales manager for Auto Meter Products and district sales manager for Matco Tools. I have spent plenty of weekends with many other MPMC members in the pits working with racers and at display trailers talking with consumers. I regularly attend meetings and functions with fellow MPMC members, and their passion makes me eager to serve on the MPMC Select Committee and contribute to the industry that has done so much for me. Having a well-rounded feel and experience within our industry is what I can contribute immediately.

Rick Sparks – Comp Cams, Incumbent
I have been involved in the performance aftermarket my entire adult life as a racer, jobber, WD and for the last 15 years as vice president of sales for Competition Cams Inc., where I am involved in the day-to-day issues that arise between manufacturers, WDs, jobbers, mail-order houses, reps, publishers, editors, racers and sanctioning bodies. This experience has taught me to look at issues from multiple angles with an open mind before deciding upon a solution, the value of teamwork and selflessness in moving projects forward; it has taught me the value of integrity, patience and hard work. These ideals are the most important things that I bring to the MPMC Select Committee. I have been an active member of the MPMC Select Committee for four years, playing a part in our motorsports awareness initiative that is bringing new customers into our sport. I am also part of the task force that is updating our "Business Guidelines Manual," an excellent resource for MPMC members. So that we can continue our efforts, I ask for your support to elect me for another MPMC Select Committee term.

Steve Williams -K&N Engineering

Prior to K&N, I obtained history and engineering degrees from Loma Linda University, started Empire Construction in 1984 and purchased Precision Crankshaft in 1987. I ran both companies until March 1997, when I sold them to begin full-time employment at K&N Engineering Inc. as a program manager of intake systems. Since 2000, I have held the position of executive vice president, including product engineering and research & development. I currently sit on the NHRA (National Hot Rod Association) PAAC Committee, the Filter Manufacturing Council, the NHRA Drivers Commission and the MIC (Motorcycle Industry Council). As a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors at K&N Engineering, I am instrumental in the decision-making process for the company’s direction. For me, balancing family, the responsibility of heading K&N’s always-busy product engineering and research & development department and an active racing schedule is no easy feat. I consider it an honor and privilege to work for a company with such deep roots in racing—one that provides me with the rewarding opportunity to not only work in an environment that I enjoy but allows me to continue my favorite pastime—racing.

Gary Wright – Painless Performance
I am happy to accept the nomination as a candidate for the MPMC Select Committee. I have served as the national sales manager at Painless Performance for the past seven years. Over the years, my experience has traveled the gamut of the automotive aftermarket, including working for manufacturers of performance, off-road, racing and even general hard parts. Prior experience includes managing retail off road shop in Southern California and launching a custom wheel warehouse distributorship in the Dallas/Fort Worth market. Having worked through many of the changes and challenges in the aftermarket, I would now like to put that experience to work and return some time and talent back to this industry.