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MRC 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.

MRC Select Committee Nominees and Bios:

Vic Bennett - Gantt-Thomas & Associates
It is an incredible honor to have been asked to run for a Select Committee seat on the MRC. I am Victor Bennett and I am a member of Gantt-Thomas & Associates Inc. (GTA), a rep firm located in the Midwest. For the last 15 years, I have worked for Joel Rosenthal at Gantt-Thomas & Associates, and I have truly enjoyed all of my experiences in the automotive aftermarket. The rep community as well as the automotive aftermarket has been going through a time of major adjustment. I’m focused on the future and encouraged to be part of a group that is centered on stabilizing and enhancing the rep segment. Solutions for rep agencies in the automotive aftermarket begin with open communication from Reps around the country.

If elected to the committee, I will participate with the passion and commitment I have for my business. Joel Rosenthal’s term as MRC Chairman concludes in July and the agency is committed to supporting my efforts with MRC. Thank you in advance for considering me to be a part of the MRC Select Committee. Please accept this open invitation to contact me directly with any questions prior to your vote. My office phone number is 913/483-7772 or e-mail me at

Bill Eagan - Airheart Sales
My name is Bill Eagan and I feel I am the best candidate for a seat on the Manufacturers' Rep Council Select Committee for several reasons. I have a strong interest in addressing the issues concerning the manufacturers' representatives in our industry, and playing an active role in decisions that lead to our continued success in the future to come. What I can offer the committee is a balanced background of working for both a manufacturer for 10 years and as a manufacturer’s representative for almost eight years. During that time I gained knowledge and experience in what it takes to provide a sense of value to our customers, manufacturers and the industry. I am committed to the important role that a manufacturer’s representative plays in our industry and our overall success.

Derrick Johnston - Alliance Sales
If elected to the Select Committee, I will provide an international voice for the MRC. I am an active member of AIA (Automotive Industry Association of Canada), and I am involved with fundraising efforts benefiting the “Be Car Care Aware” program and scholarship opportunities in the automotive aftermarket on behalf of AIA. My agency is a member of MRC and also a member of PWA. I have been in the industry for 20 years working on the counter, in a WD phone room, as a WD outside sales rep, in management and now a manufacturer’s representative and principal in a leading Canadian sales agency. In my spare time I enjoy racing, golf, hockey and spending time with my wife Jennifer, six-year-old daughter Eden and two-year-old son Matthew.

Tommy Jourdan, CPMR, True High Performance Sales, INCUMBENT
Growing up with a father working in this business has given me insights on how things are achieved. At the age of 22, after college, I began working as a manufacturers' rep. With that experience, along with my father, we started our own rep organization, True High Performance Sales. We started this organization 20 years ago, from the ground, and turned it into a successful business.

With the knowledge I have gained from all of the experiences I have encountered, I feel I have given the Select Committee points of view on what the owner of a rep organization faces. True High Performance Sales has received many top sales awards from numerous manufacturers. I am a 2010 graduate of CPMR, a SEMA-sponsored certification program for manufacturers’ reps.

If I am reelected, I will work to further the image of reps and the MRC as the professionals that we are and promoting the important job that we do.

Evan Mecham - Evan Mecham & Associates, INCUMBENT
Thank you for considering me as a candidate for the MRC Council. I attended my first SEMA Show in 1977 and have loved this organization and the industry it represents ever since. I have industry experience in manufacturing and distribution and as the owner of a sales agency, this gives me a unique perspective into the needs and expectations of all sides of our industry.

I started my career as the national sales manager for Acrobilt Corp., then as the director of sales for LeVan Specialty. My next position took me to Saddleman Seat Covers as vice president of sales and marketing and then to Reliable Automotive as general manager of their Denver warehouse. From 1884 until 1991, I was president and CEO of Velm Inc. During this time, I participated on and was chairman of the SEMA Open Air Select Committee. During our five-year relationship with General Motors, Velm won two consecutive Golden Achievement Awards from General Motors for superior quality and delivery of product on a timely basis. When Velm was sold to the CR Laurence Company, I worked for this industry giant for three years as vice president of Automotive before starting Evan Mecham and Associates.

Evan Mecham and Associates has been nominated several times for the SEMA Rep of the Year Award and has won numerous Representative of the Year Awards from such companies as Extang and Westin Automotive Products.

As a member of the Manufacturers' Rep Council, I will continue to work and promote to our manufacturers the importance sales agencies bring to our industry as the liaison between their retail and WD customers and the specific and vital geographic and demographic differences of each individual sales territory each of us travel and represent.

Jerry Nunez – Innovative Marketing Services
My entire career has been in this industry with the last 19 years as a manufacturers’ rep. I’ve worked for a large agency and recently started my own company. In our changing marketplace, I strongly feel the business model for rep agencies must adapt in order to grow. The role of the rep in any industry has withstood the test of time, and I am confident the same will apply in our industry. The key will be adjusting, and I am committed to making those adjustments with my company and sharing with the MRC. I feel it is more important than ever that we present a united front to provide strength for the rep position in our industry. Through the years, I have achieved many awards, served on several councils and appreciate the consideration for this position.

Mark Petro – R&R Marketing
First of all, I would like to express how honored I am to be considered for a seat on the MRC Select Committee. Looking back to the mid-80s, it amazes me that a job in a small speed shop in Huntington Beach, Califronia, grew into a fulfilling career in the performance and off-road industry. I have learned so much from the various positions that I held in the industry ranging from counter sales to lead technician and growing into top management staff. I strongly feel that with my wide knowledge of the industry from the top to the bottom as well as my years as a manufacturers' representative, I have the knowledge needed to be an integral part of the Manufacturers' Rep Council. If I am selected to the MRC Select Committee, it would offer me the opportunity to be a larger part of SEMA and also help serve our industry. If elected, I pledge to devote the time and energy necessary to serve the SEMA MRC Committee. Together, I feel we can make our industry even more successful for everyone that is lucky enough to be a part of it.

Outstanding Career Achievements

  • Four-time SEMA Rep of the Year recipient during my time with R&R Marketing Inc.
  • Many of my manufacturer’ have also been recognized by SEMA as Manufacturers of the Year.
  • Awarded Rep of the Year by Competition Specialties in 2007.
  • Presented with Top Sales Award from R & R Marketing on multiple occasions.
  • Restoring musclecars is a hobby, and I have been recognized by Hot Rod magazine and featured on one of their covers.
Based on the feedback that I have received from customers and manufacturers, I believe that if selected, I would be a beneficial member of your team. I look forward to hearing from you and hopefully starting a successful working relationship as a member of the Select Committee for MRC.

Bunyan “Les” Rudd, CPMR – Bob Cook Sales – INCUMBENT
As we venture into the unknown future, I am honored to have the opportunity to once again serve on the Select Committee for the MRC. I have seen the struggles, fought the battles and celebrated the accomplishments of the MRC over my many years of service. I feel that this council will continue to grow and prosper by raising the bar to new heights in order to increase our impact as a vital industry segment.

2010 will bring my 20th anniversary as a manufacturers' rep and more than 28 years in the industry, I feel my multi-channel experience will benefit the council and allow me to assist as we navigate the treacherous waters ahead.