Wrong Reasons Not to Vote

SEMA News—June 2014

CHRIS KERSTING

Wrong Reasons Not to Vote

Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO Once a year, SEMA provides members with a way to select the Board of Directors—the volunteers who help SEMA make decisions that will help your business and the industry to succeed. I want to thank the many members who participated in the nomination process; we have some very strong candidates again this year. And thanks in advance to all of you who will be first-time voters, as well as all our regular voters.

Not everyone can find the time to work on the Board, but every company can have a voice in the process. If you haven’t voted, you may think that you have good reasons, like the ones listed below. Let’s talk about those.

“My vote won’t really make a difference.”

This is not an election where the winner is decided by huge margins or by special-interest groups. Look at who is running, and see what they want to emphasize in leading SEMA. Find the candidates who have the same ideas and aims as you, and take two minutes to cast your vote. Many of the SEMA races are decided by just a few votes. This is an election where your vote really could be the deciding one.

“Someone else will do it.”

Sadly, wrong. Voting in the SEMA elections is an easy act of volunteerism that will help guide your association. We need a good number of votes to adequately represent the aims of the membership. No one can do it for you. Voting takes only a few minutes, and you can vote from your desk.

“Nobody from my segment is up for election.”

Your ballot will allow you to vote for any candidate in any category, across the board. True, there was a time when each SEMA-member company was allowed to vote for only candidates in their own category. That restriction has been lifted, and Board members are elected to serve the interests of all SEMA member companies.

“SEMA will do fine without my vote.”

Good times or bad, your association doesn’t run on autopilot. The Board focuses on preparing the industry for future challenges and opportunities. Difficult decisions are made about allocating resources. SEMA’s work on legislative and regulatory challenges, the SEMA Data Co-op, the tools in the SEMA Garage—these are just a few examples of important initiatives that require attentive leadership and effective long-range vision. Vote for the leaders you believe have the right ideas about the future.

“I’m too busy at work.”

True, we’re all busy. But the voting process is now electronic, making it quicker and easier to register your vote than ever. The ballots and links have already been sent to each member company’s designated primary contact. Those of you who have already voted know that it’s not a tedious process. Taking five minutes to register your vote should be a meaningful and rewarding part of your day.

“I don’t know enough about the candidates to vote.”

This issue of SEMA News gives you all you need to know. Take a look at the candidate profiles in these pages or go to www.sema.org/BOD14. Each candidate has taken the time to share his background and ideas about what he believes is important. Our nominees come from a range of segments and functions in our industry. All are volunteers, spanning a broad range of age and experience.

So by now you know that I respectfully suggest the “reasons” above just don’t add up to good reasons not to participate. Here’s the bottom line: If you have received a voting packet, we urge you to vote. Do it now, before the June 10 deadline expires. It will take only a few minutes, and it will help ensure that SEMA continues to deliver useful tools to help you succeed.

—Chris Kersting, SEMA President and CEO

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