SEMA News—June 2015

The 2015–2018 SEMA Board of Directors Candidates

Get to Know the Nominees

Chairman-Elect Category (one open seat)

Donnie Eatherly—President and CEO, P&E Distributors
Wade Kawasaki—President and COO, Coker Group

Manufacturers Category (two open seats)

Susan Carpenter—President, JR Products
Laurel Dasher—Northeast Sales Manager, Powerteq
Dave Edmondson—Senior Vice President, Roadwire

Distributor/Retailer Category (two open seats)

Jim Bingham (Incumbent)—President and CEO, Winner’s Circle Speed & Custom
Nick Gramelspacher (Incumbent)—Vice President Sales & Marketing, Meyer Distributing
Parley Valora—Vice President, Premier Performance
Dave Ziozios—CEO, Motovicity Distribution

Services Category (one open seat)

Dan Kahn—President, Kahn Media
Clint Sly—Chief Marketing Officer, Hagerty Insurance Co.

Eleven candidates entered this year’s election, each vying for a position on the 2015–2018 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 2015–2018 SEMA Board of Directors Election opened May 13 and will be available online until June 9. 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 Gala in July. The Gala is scheduled for Friday, July 24, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles. All SEMA-member companies are invited to join the festivities, but seats are limited. Register for the event at

For more information about the 2015–2018 SEMA Board of Directors election, e-mail Judi Ritchie at or call 909-978-6671. 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.

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.

Manufacturers Category
Susan Carpenter

Susan CarpenterI am definitely not a bench warmer. I take my commitments very seriously and am very passionate about the work I do. I have a proven track record in my business and volunteer work that show these attributes. I live by the following quote:

We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
—Winston Churchill

Issues I am passionate about:

  • Youth Initiatives
  • Government Policies
  • Intellectual Properties Initiatives
  • Tech Transfer Initiatives

JR Products Employment History:

  • President, January 2009–present
  • Director of Marketing, May 1998–2009
  • Territory Sales Manager, January 1994–May 1998
  • Director of Finance, January 1990–May 1994


  • RVAA President’s Choice—2012 and 2014
  • ECIDA Business of the Year—2013
  • Inc. 5000 The Fastest Growing Private Companies in America—2013

Volunteer Positions:

  • SEMA Show Committee—2014–2015
  • SEMA PAC Member—2013–2015
  • SEMA Cares Committee—2013–2015
  • SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Committee—2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
  • SBN Projects Task Force Chair—2013
  • SEMA Mustang Build, Product Procurement Coordinator Chair—2013
  • RVAA Executive Board Member—2013–2015
  • RVAA Board Member—2010–2012
  • RVAA Membership Benefits Committee Chair (created and launched)—2010–2014
  • RVAA Statistical Analysis Trends Program Chair (created and launched)—2014–2015
  • Relay For Life Board Member—2005–2007

Related Industry Interests/Projects:

  • SEMA Mustang Build
  • The Valkyrie Project
  • Hot Rod Power Tour Long Hauler—2013–2014
  • Car enthusiast

To get to know me better, visit my webpage at

Laurel Dasher

Laurel DasherAs an active SEMA volunteer with more than 20 years’ experience in the industry, I would appreciate your vote and support of my campaign for the SEMA Board of Directors. I will bring a unique balance of passion for the industry and the knowledge, leadership experience and education to convey a contemporary perspective to our changing industry.

Our industry is going through escalating changes in technology, economics and generational transformations. Managing these changes requires steadfast leadership with the courage to facilitate these changes. If elected, I will concentrate on the goals of improving programs that educate members about technology changes, increase awareness of automotive lifestyles to new generations and help our industry with legislative and regulatory challenges.

I have been with the MSD Performance Group since 2007 in various leadership roles with Powerteq, Superchips, Edge Products and MSD Ignition brands. I am actively engaged in strategic planning, sales and marketing management, profit/loss and budget responsibility, California Air Resources Board/U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulation activities and new-product development support. Throughout my career I have also worked within manufacturing, distribution, retail and e-commerce companies and have led teams responsible for the creation and implementation of domestic and international strategies. My focus, dedication, attitude and flexibility have enabled me to help implement big-picture transformations.

After receiving an MBA from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, I served on St. Joe’s Board of Business Ethics. In addition to mentoring students’ careful, sustained and critical reflection on ethical issues in their business decision making, I was involved in raising funds for the growth and prosperity of the business school.

I am honored to have received the 2012 SEMA Top Female Scholarship Award, SBN Woman of the Year and Young Executive of the Year awards. I am a current member of Truck and Off-Road Alliance’s (TORA) Select Committee and have previously served on SEMA’s Board of Directors; chaired the Young Executive Network (YEN), SEMA Cares Sponsorship Subcommittee Chair, SEMA Person of the Year Task Force; co-chaired SBN Mentor Program, Pro-Pledge Pilot Program Task Force, WD of the Year Task Force, SEMA Silent Auction Task Force Chair; and rallied with SEMA PAC in Washington, D.C.

Thank you for your consideration and your vote.

Dave Edmondson

Dave EdmondsonIndustry Advocate—Automotive Enthusiast—Proven Leader—Impactful Visionary

I am honored to have been selected by my peers as a candidate for the SEMA Board of Directors. Should I be your elected choice, I will dedicate my time and experience to provide strategic business leadership and create positive change and industry growth for SEMA members, utilizing SEMA’s influence and resources. I will work diligently on proactive, solution-based initiatives and SEMA activities, which will positively impact the future of our industry.

As a senior vice president and executive board member of Roadwire Inc. overseeing our subsidiaries—Distinctive Industries, Signature Automotive Products, Classic Soft Trim, Roadwire Leather Interiors and—I represent multiple aspects and segments of our industry, including manufacturing, restyling and expediting, installation services, e-commerce, and the restoration market. My diverse industry knowledge in sales, marketing, distribution, operations management and manufacturing allows focus on those areas that provide multiple opportunities for our industry.

I’ve been extensively involved in SEMA council activities. I am currently serving my second term on the Professional Restylers Organization (PRO) select committee and have participated in PRO-hosted seminars at the SEMA Show and numerous council taskforces, including communications and marketing, sales, social media, and PRO booth vehicle builds. In 2014, Roadwire was named PRO Manufacturer of the Year.

I have continued to support other SEMA councils thorough our subsidiaries, with current memberships in Truck and Off-Road Alliance (TORA), Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) and Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO). Through their active participation, including chairmanship of ARMO, my employees desire to make a difference for SEMA members, and I proudly support their efforts.

My gratitude to and passion for our industry drives my focus on giving back to SEMA and to humanity through volunteer service to SEMA as well as community and faith-based activities. I am a family man with three children, an off-road truck and Jeep enthusiast, and my son, son-in-law and I are active Trout Unlimited members and fly fishermen with a deep appreciation of the outdoors.

I humbly ask for your vote. I will be your industry advocate. I will listen.

Distributor/Retailer Category
Jim Bingham

Jim BinghamIt has been an honor to have served these last five years on the SEMA Board of Directors, and I am humbled and honored to be a candidate again. I have been involved with the automobile aftermarket industry for more than 47 years. My passion has not changed, it is to help grow our industry. We need to create excitement focused in and around our businesses.


I feel SEMA and our industry has three major challenges that need to be addressed in the coming years. If re-elected I will keep working hard to address these three areas with SEMA.

  • Legislative
  • Data
  • Youth


From 1968–1970, I worked at Lang Auto parts. Then June 1, 1970, I started Winner’s Circle Speed & Custom. Currently we have three retail locations in Illinois—East Moline, Peoria and Joliet. We are also a WD called 1st Performance Warehouse. I think what sets me apart from most presidents and CEOs is that I work side-by-side with my employees. I do everything (orders, billing problems, employee relations and, of course, waiting on customers) from the counter in the Joliet store. In our business, the consumer is looking to go faster, handle better and stop better; whatever it is, we provide the solution. That’s what I do. I find solutions to problems. I’ve been doing it all my life.

On November 5, 2009, I was honored by SEMA with the Chairman’s Service Award. I was a partner in the original group that built Route 66 Raceway which led to the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet. In 2008, we developed a consumer trade show called Race & Performance Expo. That led to the Hot Rodders of Tomorrow Engine Challenge. Now a nationwide event, the Engine Challenge is designed to keep the youth involved in our industry. To date, the Hot Rodders program has had thousands of tech students participate and awarded more than $10 million in scholarship money to help further their education and help get them involved with our industry.

I hope you will continue to let me represent and serve you by re-electing me to the SEMA Board of Directors. Thank you.

Nick Gramelspacher

Nick GramelspacherAs an incumbent running for the SEMA Board of Directors,
I am requesting your consideration for reelection for the 2015 position. If reelected, I would like to continue:

  • Expanding SEMA youth involvement and participation. We have an obligation to grab our youth’s attention as early as possible, ensuring the future success of our industry.
  • Educate our members with the benefits and availability of tools and services from SEMA, specifically the SEMA Garage. Membership awareness is vital to SEMA’s success.

As an employee of Meyer Distributing since 1999, I have been fortunate to participate in the following industry groups and organizations:

  • 2012–current SEMA Board of Directors
  • 2012–current Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Meyer Distributing
  • 2009–2012 TORA Select Committee
  • 2003–current SEMA Member
  • 2003–current TORA Member
  • 2011 PWA Board of Directors
  • 2006–2011 National Sales Manager, Meyer Distributing
  • 2006 and 2009 SEMA Rep of the Year Task Force
  • 2006–2009 Young Executive Network Select Committee member
  • 2007 SEMA/MRC Rep Conference panelist
  • 2006 Young Executive of the Year Winner

Not only do I love my job, but I am an avid off-road enthusiast. I own multiple Jeeps and attend all Meyer-sponsored off-road and rock-crawling events. My love of motorsports is evident in the numerous IndyCar Series and NASCAR live race events attended over the years. Attending Richard Petty Racing Experience 10+ times helps satisfy my need for speed and performance. I hope to add a classic musclecar to my garage sometime this year.

This industry is my life; I eat, breathe and live it. With the freedom that comes from being a family-owned and -operated business, I take pride in the fact that Meyer is quick to read the market and be flexible in all aspects of our business. I hope to use this knowledge and share it with other SEMA members through a position on the Board. Please consider me when casting your vote for the SEMA Board of Directors.

Parley Valora

Parley ValoraI would like to express my appreciation for the opportunity to run for the SEMA Board of Directors. It is a privilege to be selected as a candidate and, if elected, I hope to bring greater communication of what SEMA does for its members as well as a greater understanding and smoother process of the regulatory challenges that our industry faces.

I have worked in small business most of my life and have learned the vital impact that our industry has on the economy. Throughout my career I have worked in HR, IT, accounting, warehousing, sales, marketing and management. I joined Premier Performance in 2003, and in 2004 I was promoted to vice president of operations where I have been able to help oversee the outstanding growth of a company in an extremely competitive market. Being a part of this growth has allowed me to gain valuable experience in the challenges that all small businesses face in the automotive aftermarket. From data management to CARB regulations, I have had many opportunities to become intimately familiar with the challenges and opportunities that face our great industry.

I love the automotive aftermarket industry and the passion of the people in it. One of my greatest achievements is the relationships that I have with others in this industry. Those relationships not only make work a joy on a daily basis, but also provide me with the best opportunity to bring value and perspective while serving on the Board.

Away from work my greatest pleasure comes from my family. With my beautiful wife of 22-plus years I have six children that I have helped coach in sports, 4WD in the mountains, wrench, build, play and relax with. I hope to encourage the interest of my children and other youth in our industry so they can share in the American love of the automobile and help continue the growth our industry has enjoyed through the years.

Thank you for your support in my endeavor to serve on the SEMA Board of Directors.


Dave Ziozios

Dave Ziozios"SEMA’s best days are on the road ahead. Through thoughtful and measured guidance, the future of our industry is bright. In years past, I have served on other boards and deployed multiple initiatives, bringing clarity to organizational goals and alignment throughout the organization’s structure. It is my intent to do the same as a member of SEMA’s Board of Directors, ensuring that committee activities are aligned with the goals set forth by the Board of Directors and that these activities can be continuously measured and improved upon."

Dave Ziozios is CEO of Motovicity Distribution, SEMA’s 2013 Warehouse Distributor of the Year. As CEO, he is responsible for setting strategic directives, as well as accomplishing growth, profitability and revenue objectives. Dave has previously served as Motovicity’s general manager and controller.

Prior to his tenure at Motovicity, Dave worked as a financial and strategic consultant for middle-market companies and not-for-profit organizations, with engagements as varied as strategic alignment and implementation, turnarounds, forensic preparation, and organizational recapitalization.

Dave holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University, and continues to attend various classes, workshops and seminars, including Chief Executive Forum and World Business Forum.

Dave is currently the treasurer of the Performance Warehouse Association. He is a SEMA member and previously served on the Select Committee for Emerging Trends & Technology Network (ETTN) and served as the liaison to the government affairs office. He is a former chairman of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Global Communities Finance Committee, has served as a member of the Strategy and Performance Metrics Committee, and has chaired the ad hoc committee on Program Prioritization Analysis.

Dave spends much of his free time enjoying various aspects of motor- and powersports, both on- and off-road. He spends his time on the open road on Harley-Davidson motorcycles and takes to the trails with a Jeep TJ. Dave also has a modified
6.0 PowerStroke Ford Super Duty, a ’79 Harley Ironhead chopper, and other motorcycles. Whether personal or professional, his enthusiasm for this industry continues to grow his ambition to succeed.

Services Category
Dan Kahn

Dan KahnMy name is Dan Kahn, and I’m running for the SEMA Board of Directors. I’ve worked in the aftermarket my entire life, starting off at a speed shop, then as a magazine and web editor before honing my skills in marketing and founding Kahn Media, the fastest growing marketing firm in the aftermarket, working with some of the best brands in the industry.

I am currently the SEMA Young Executives Network chairman, where I have led our group of more than 1,400 young professionals to create bold new programs, including the SEMA Launch Pad and the YEN Power Tour Program. I am also serving as a SEMA council Board liaison, which means I’m the interface between our industry councils and the current board.

This industry has supported my career and my family, and I want it to continue to flourish so my children will have the same opportunities I had. We NEED leaders with a vision for the future who understand how to connect with young consumers and who can use the latest technology to ensure the industry stays relevant. I am that leader.

As a long-time SEMA volunteer I understand how to get things done within the rules of the association. I understand EVERY aspect of our industry, from manufacturing to distribution to sales and marketing. I work with some of the brightest minds in the business on a daily basis, and I’m fortunate to call them friends and clients.

We are on the precipice in 2015: the automotive aftermarket will either fade away as Baby Boomers retire, or a bold NEW generation of bright business minds will lead us to a prosperous future. I grew up in my dad’s garage turning wrenches, and my son is doing the same. I believe there will ALWAYS be car guys; we have to ensure that there’s an industry here to serve them. I’ve started the process with Young Executives Network (YEN), and with your support, I’ll bring those strategies to the SEMA Board as well.

For more information, please visit Thank you for your support.

Clint Sly

Clint SlyI am the current chief marketing officer of Hagerty—the world’s largest insurer of collector vehicles and the classic car valuation and data experts.

I have more than 25 years of business growth experience in broadcast, special events, print, digital publishing, business ownership and auto sales. Specifically, I co-founded and was president of duPont Publishing; managed a high-line dealership in Florida; and owned Boulevard Customs. I also served as president of Clear Channel NW, where I turned around and managed groups of troubled radio stations. Additionally, I created and managed large consumer and concert events.

I have always believed in giving back to the community and have served in leadership roles for many nonprofit organizations. My civic involvement includes the development of a 25-year growth plan for the city of Portland; being a charter member of the St. Peter Foundation; 12 years of scout leadership; and president of the Portland Radio Broadcasters Association and the Denver Area Radio Broadcasters Association.

I am a father of six wonderful children. My hobbies include collecting classic cars and international travel.

Because I am part of the enthusiast community and have past automotive experience, I see SEMA’s biggest opportunities centered on the future of the aftermarket and enthusiast industry, as the industry is currently being redefined.

Crucial questions for SEMA membership and participation will include: How do we adapt to the trends of future generations so they will have an innate interest in current and future enthusiast vehicles? How do we intercept young men and women who have technical interests, introduce them to specialty vehicles, and help educate and nurture their careers? Lastly, how will autonomous vehicles shape the future of the automotive aftermarket?

I feel very strongly about preserving history, protecting the future rights of collector-vehicle owners and engaging young people in this industry. I currently serve on the operating committee for the Historic Vehicle Association, and I am a board member for the Hagerty Education Program.

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