SEMA eNews Vol. 14, No. 45, November 10, 2011

Prestigious Chairman's Service Award Presented to Dan Gresham

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  Dan R. Gresham of Coutant Capital received the prestigious Chairman's Service Award at the 2011 SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet in Las Vegas.

Each year, the SEMA Chairman of the Board has the opportunity to present the Chairman’s Service award to one outstanding individual. That prerogative, however, is not necessarily acted on annually, making the award especially prestigious.

At the 2011 SEMA Show Industry Awards Banquet in Las Vegas, SEMA Chairman Paul "Scooter" Brothers explained the honor he felt in presenting the Chairman's Service Award to Daniel R. Gresham.

"My choice for this award is a man who’s been invaluable to me, SEMA and the industry as a whole," said Brothers. "His wisdom and guidance have helped with huge SEMA projects, such as the Data Pool, as well as some exciting future SEMA initiatives, so his outstanding service is not over yet."

Brothers went on to note that Gresham's commitment to SEMA and the industry had gotten in the way of retirement. "He thought he had retired to spend more time with his wife and take some exotic motorcycle trips to such places as Argentina and Siberia, but we stole him away and dragged him back into service," explained Brothers.

Concluding his remarks and welcoming Gresham to the stage, Brothers invoked a challenge, "My personal task for the rest of this year is to convince him, and more importantly his wife, to serve another year."

Gresham has more than 30 years of management and investing experience. He earned a BA in economics from Davidson College in 1968 and served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, including a tour in Vietnam. He then obtained his MBA from Tulane University in 1973.

After leaving graduate school Gresham joined Allied Signal where he worked as a financial analyst for two years. From there he moved to Continental Can Co., where he served in a variety of staff and operating positions.

In 1987 Gresham and the previous chairman of Continental formed a leveraged buyout firm, New Canaan Investments, and made a series of investments both in the United States and Europe. In 1996, Gresham and his partners at NCI joined with Fremont Partners in the acquisition of Kerr Group, Inc., a publicly-traded specialty plastic closure company.

Following his work on Kerr with Fremont in 1996, Gresham and his partners purchased Dynojet Research Inc., where he assumed the role of CEO. Dynojet has a large presence in the motorcycle aftermarket parts industry as well as the automotive aftermarket as a developer of diagnostic performance testing equipment.

In 2000, Dynojet was sold and Gresham retired to his home on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. In early 2004, he failed retirement and reentered the performance world. He and his new partners purchased MSD Ignition where he currently serves as CEO. Gresham has been married to Judy for 39 years, and the couple has a son who is a Navy F-18 pilot.

Join SEMA in congratulating the recipient of the prestigious Chairman's Service Award—Dan Gresham.

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