SEMA News—June 2013

The 2013–2016 SEMA Board of Directors Candidates

Get to Know the Nominees


The 2013–2016 SEMA Board of Directors Candidates

Chairman-Elect Category

  • Doug Evans–Source Interlink Media
  • Tim Martin–K&N Engineering

Manufacturers Category (two open seats)

  • Al Azadi–Omix-ADA Inc.
  • Kyle Fickler–Weld Racing
  • Steve Matusek–Aeromotive Inc.
  • Tim Watts–Superlift Suspension Systems

Manufacturer’s Representative Category (one open seat)

  • Jeff Bates–Bob Cook Sales
  • Greg Bernheisel–Considine Sales & Marketing
Eight candidates entered this year’s election, each vying for a position on the 2013–2016 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.

Voting for the 2013–2016 SEMA Board of Directors Election opened May 15 and will be available online until June 11. Voting is open to current SEMA members, and votes must be submitted by the designated primary contact of each voting SEMA-member company.

Winners will be formally introduced as the newest members of SEMA’s Board of Directors at the SEMA Installation Banquet in July. All industry professionals are invited to join the celebration and welcome the new Board members by attending the gala on July 26.

For more information about the 2013–2016 SEMA Board of Directors election, e-mail Arlene Wood at or call 909-978-6678. Election results will be published in an upcoming issue of SEMA News.

The following pages include biographical information and statements from the candidates running for positions on the Board. Please take the time to review the biographies, as well as a short Q&A article featuring the candidates for the Chairman-Elect category on p. 36.

*As a reminder, the remarks and opinions expressed by each candidate are solely his or her statements. SEMA does not take responsibility for the accuracy or content of any of the candidates’ messages. The statements made by the candidates do not necessarily represent the views of SEMA.

Candidates for Manufacturers Category—Two Open Seats

Al Azadi

Al AzadiAs a lifelong enthusiast in the Jeep and off-road industry, I understand the importance and responsibility of being nominated to SEMA’s Board of Directors. I’ve been in the aftermarket trenches, through the halls of government and off-road for fun and for business.

We need a Board of Directors with real-world experience that will unite the membership and impact measurable change benefiting us all.

As a Board member, I’d focus on working with other SEMA members in two areas of special importance.

The first relates to advancing youth involvement in the automotive hobby and aftermarket; the second, organizing SEMA-member companies, their employees and families to stand up to threats that come with increasing government regulation. For example, the trend that denies public access to federal land for motorsports activities will negatively impact the aftermarket’s off-road and Jeep segments in the future.

For the past 25 years, I’ve worked almost exclusively within the aftermarket automotive community. I founded Omix-ADA with a combination of good fortune and strategic planning—and have managed to grow the company from just myself to nearly 100 employees developing and distributing more than 15,000 Jeep and off-road parts nationwide and to 60 different countries from warehouses in Georgia, Nevada, Virginia and Germany.

Over the past 20 years, Omix-ADA has been fortunate to receive numerous awards from the media and SEMA alike for our work developing products for the growing off-road community. Today, Omix-ADA holds numerous product patents for the innovations we’ve been able to develop in-house.

Beyond awards, recognition and revenue, I also realize as stewards of the hobby, it’s important to give back to the community.

Through Omix-ADA and its charitable arm, we’ve made significant philanthropic contributions to a variety of charities, ranging from the American Heart Association to the Diabetes Research Institute, industry-related nonprofits, The Boy Scouts of America and Tread Lightly!

Using strategic business know-how I’ve honed making Omix-ADA a success. If elected, I look forward to benefiting SEMA as a member of the 2013 Board of Directors.

Here’s to a better future…thanks for your consideration.



Kyle Fickler

Kyle FicklerOur future depends upon having the freedom to modify and enjoy our vehicles, and leadership ready to defend the interests represented by all segments of our industry. I bring SEMA members a unique perspective blended from the education of a licensed attorney, the unwavering commitment required of a business owner, and the hands-on passion demonstrated by a virtual lifetime of successful participation in motorsports.

I will work to:

  • Protect manufacturer and distributor interests against counterfeit products and other infringements upon our intellectual property rights;
  • Ensure the freedom to modify and enjoy our vehicles, and overcome potential land-use restrictions that threaten existing venues and our ability to enjoy them;
  • Foster development of the next generation of enthusiasts that will become our technical, engineering and business leaders;
  • Create programs that reward innovation and the development of new technologies, and the sharing of relevant OEM technologies;
  • Proactively position our industry, which is reliant upon the consumption of petroleum products, as a responsible stakeholder in the world economy.

Weld Racing LLC—Owner/Vice President of Sales
A principal in the private-equity acquisition of Weld Racing, a brand with more than 40 years of industry heritage manufacturing wheels in the U.S.A. for the drag-race, oval track, hot-rod, street-performance and truck markets.

Aeromotive Inc.—Director of Business Development
Engaged in progressively responsible sales and marketing positions from the company’s formation in 1994 to becoming the market leader in high-performance fuel delivery.

Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC)

  • Chair
  • Immediate Past Chair
  • Select Committee

NHRA Performance Aftermarket Advisory Council (PAAC

  • NHRA National and Divisional Event Winner
  • AHRA World Champion

Our industry is what my family lives for; my wife, Debra, is an intellectual property attorney specializing in the automotive aftermarket and a member of the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN). She is also an active NHRA drag racer, and our daughter, Danika, just started her career in Quarter Midget racing. Virtually every weekend you will find me at an enthusiast event—whether a truck race in the desert, a dirt track working with our race teams or a rod run enjoying some vintage tin.

I respectfully ask for your vote and will work hard to represent your needs.


Steve Matusek

Steve Matusek

My name is Steve Matusek, founder and president of Aeromotive Inc. I am privileged to be a nominee for the 2013 SEMA Board of Directors.

I started Aeromotive Inc. with Venture Capital in 1994. I have a master’s degree in business management, a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics and an Associate of Science degree in Avionics.

My passion for this industry was instilled in me as a youngster. My father was a mechanic and racer in the early ’60s through the ’90s. I understand the time, energy, investment and passion enthusiasts possess. With that understanding, I founded Aeromotive Inc., a manufacturer of products for enthusiasts like me. I’m driven to provide opportunity for the next generation of enthusiasts, so they can be rewarded as I’ve been by this great industry.

In my second term as a member of the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC), I lead by example. My leadership style is one of teamwork and empowerment. I have a history of mentoring young professionals, which is why I feel I received the MPMC’s Chairman’s Award in 2012.

Recently, I helped create and am on the board of Real Pro Mod Inc., which was formed to preserve the NHRA Pro Mod class. Throughout my tenure I have been granted numerous patents. In 2005, our first year exhibiting at the SEMA Show, we received SEMA’s Best New Performance Racing Product award. I finished ninth in points in NHRA Pro Mod in 2012 and have run as quick as a 5.96 E.T. at more than 252 mph in the quarter-mile. I have the ability to adapt to ever-changing environments and have the unique experience of being an engineer, business owner, racer and enthusiast.

I have supported my family in this industry for more than 20 years. I am proud of my accomplishments and the knowledge I have been afforded by hands-on experience. My goal is to leave this industry better than I found it. Addressing industry issues head on requires serious and committed individuals. I ask for your vote so that I can give back to the industry that has been so generous to me. 


Tim WattsTim Watts

As a true automotive enthusiast, I have been fortunate to make a career out of something I am truly passionate about. I am currently the vice president of sales and marketing for Superlift Suspension Systems. I began my career with Superlift more than 20 years ago, and I have had an active role in growing a small company into a large one. Over the years, I have been involved in every facet of operations, with most of my efforts focused on sales and servicing accounts. Hands-on involvement at all levels—manufacturing, distribution and retail, provides me invaluable insight on the challenges our industry faces and what role SEMA can realistically serve in addressing them.

I offer “real-world” experience and insight and an exceptional work ethic—plus I understand that SEMA exists for one reason…to serve its membership. It is an honor to again be considered for the Board, and I greatly appreciate your vote and the opportunity to continue to serve our industry.

I am a former two-term SEMA Board member and I am currently an active member of the Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA). I have served as the Board liaison for YEN as well as having served on the YEN Select Committee, Advanstar’s Off-Road Advisory Council, twice on the SEMA Nominating Committee, Data Co-op Evaluation Task Force, Data Co-op Focus Group, Data Co-op Oversight Task Force, WD of the Year Task Force and SEMA Person of the Year Task Force. I am currently on the SEMA Show Committee, Suspension Task Force, Electronic Stability Control Work Group and Marketing Task Force, and I am the chair of the SEMA–Clemson CU-ICAR Task Force.

If elected, I promise to amplify the voice of the SEMA member and work tirelessly on what I consider to be our most important issues: emerging vehicle technologies; business technology; increasing member benefits and potential legislative threats.

Feel free to contact me at 318-397-3000 or any time to discuss these issues and opportunities.

Candidates for Manufacturer’s Representative Category—One Open Seat

Jeff Bates

Jeff Bates

If elected again to the SEMA Board, I would use the valuable experience gained during my previous terms 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.

Employment Summary

  • Bob Cook Sales Inc.–Memphis, Tennessee; Manufacturer’s Rep, 1989–present
  • Rep South–Sam Compton & Associates–Hendersonville,
    Tennessee; Manufacturer’s Rep, 1984–1989
  • Dunn & Grasso Performance–Bristol Pennsylvania/Trenton, New Jersey; Sales/Purchasing, 1976–1984
  • Royal Auto Supply–Colmar, Pennsylvania; Store Manager, 1974–1976

Outstanding Career Achievements:

  • SEMA Board of Directors 2009–2013
  • SEMA Board Executive Committee 2010–2013
  • Honored several times with rep awards from WDs and manufacturers. MSD Ignition’s 2006 Rep of the Year; nominated for the PWA Person of the Year award.
  • Have been a member of Bob Cook Sales for 24 years. During that time, the company has received five SEMA Manufacturers’ Rep of the Year Awards. In 2006, I became one of three principal partner/owners of the BCS agency.

Industry Involvement

  • SEMA Board of Directors
  • SEMA Board Executive Committee
  • Manufacturers’ Rep Council
  • Served on several manufacturers focus and steering groups

I’ve always had a passion for automobiles and racing and have been fortunate enough to turn this passion into a career. I became involved in drag racing while in school and pursued it for several years. Those years spent under a car hood and at the race track have provided me invaluable experience that has helped me throughout my career. After moving south to the Charlotte area, I forged business relationships that have kept me close to the NASCAR scene. I attend multiple NASCAR, drag race, circle track and street-rod events throughout the year on behalf of the manufacturers I represent, and call on a very diverse customer base made up of retailers, WDs, professional race teams as well as engine and car builders.


Greg BernheiselGreg Bernheisel

I have served in the automotive aftermarket for more than 28 years, serving in most every facet of the industry. I provide hands-on leadership skills and proven performance. As a SEMA Board member I will place members first and foremost, serving with integrity and professionalism.

Employment Summary

  • Considine Sales & Marketing, Partner
  • Bowdoin Marketing, Manufacturer’s Rep
  • Pardner’s Truck Accessories, Vice President of Sales & Marketing
  • Dash Designs, National Sales Manager
  • LTD Accessories (Shelf-It), Sales Manager
  • Midland American Sales, Manufacturer’s Rep
  • Rondur Industries, Sales Manager
  • Vandermaas Automotive, Partner

Awards and Honors

  • Centric, StopTech and Power Slot Sales Achievement Award, 2012, 2010, 2009
  • CPMR (Certified Professional Manufacturer’s Representative), 2010
  • SEMA Manufacturer’s Representative of the Year, 2009
  • Dee Zee Rep of the Year, 2009
  • Meyer Distributing Rep of the Year, 2009, 2006
  • Airaid Top Gun Producer Award, 2007
  • Power Slot Rep of the Year, 2005
  • Hawk Sales Rep of the Year, 2005
  • MacNeil Automotive Salesman of the Year, 2004, 2003
  • Blacksmith Distributing Rep of the Year, 2002
  • Dash King Rep of the Year, 1991

Committees and Task Forces

  • Committee Member, SEMA Person of the Year, 2011
  • Former member, Chicago Region SCCA
  • Judge, Hot Rodders of Tomorrow, 2011
  • Board of Directors, Community Church of Waterford, Goshen, IN, 2011–present
  • Coach, local Junior Football League, 2000–2011

Related Interests

I am an avid fan of all motorsports. I have attended the Driving Schools of Bob Bondurant and Richard Petty. I was a member of the American Motorcyclist Association and enjoyed racing in hair-
scrambles and enduros. I have served as an SCCA GT1 crew member. CSM is proud to be a sprint car sponsor in the DIRT car circuit. There’s nothing like the sound of engines and the smell of racing fuel!



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