New Select Committee Members Installed on July 1
The Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) welcomed three new select committee members on July 1. Chris Thomson, national sales manager for Airaid, Lee McGuire, director of marketing and operations for Skyjacker Suspensions, and Steve Whipple, vice president of sales for Edelbrock LLC, will use their platforms as council leaders to help guide the direction of the group for the good of the whole industry. The three recently shared some of their goals for their terms.
SEMA Member News: What is your history in the industry and in the council?
Chris Thomson: I have been in the performance aftermarket for 41 years now. I have worked at all levels within the industry, including owing a speed shop in Phoenix. I was previously on the MPMC select committee about eight years ago. I also served on the SEMA Board of Directors.
Lee McGuire: I have been in the industry more than 10 years and am now serving as the director of marketing and operations for Skyjacker Suspensions. We have been members of MPMC for as long as I have been with the company, and I have personally attended all of the MPMC Media Trade Conferences we have exhibited at. I have been a SEMA volunteer since 2005 and have served on both the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network and Young Executives Network select committees over the years.
Steve Whipple: I started in the industry back in 1976, working in a speed shop. I was with that company for 22 years and then went to work for Hooker Headers as the director of sales and marketing. After that, I went to work for NOS doing the same thing and worked for them for a number of years before they were acquired. Then I moved to Edelbrock in 1999 as the national sales manager. Six months later, I was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing, and I’ve been doing that ever since. So it’s been about 38 years in the industry, roughly.
SMN: Why do you feel that it’s important to serve on the select committee?
CT: It is about paying it forward (and paying it back) to an industry that has been very good for me and my family.
LM: I feel it is important be a part of the select committee because you can give back to the industry and make your voice heard. SEMA is such a great resource to so many members, and this council serves a niche group of that membership. I want to be a part of helping shape the focus of this council. MPMC covers so many areas of our industry, and I feel that it is important to have the off-road motorsports side represented on the council.
SW: I guess a couple different reasons. [MPMC Chair] Rich Barsamian really went into some detail about some things, and he’s always e-mailed me and asked some of my opinions on various things. It’s just become more and more interesting to me. Because this is not only a job; it’s my hobby. It’s what I like to do.
SMN: What are your goals and how might your experience benefit the council?
LM: My goals are to support the new leadership’s vision for the council, which aligns with the SEMA Board of Directors’ overall objectives. I feel that my experience as chairman of the Young Executives Network and involvement on many of the past YEN projects will be beneficial for accomplishing things with MPMC.
SW: I’m just looking for any opportunity where I would fit and where I could be of value. I’ve got a lot of faith in the people who are there, and I’m sure that there will be all kinds of different things that I can help with.