In Perfect Alignment

SEMA News—January 2018

FROM THE HILL

By Christian Robinson

In Perfect Alignment

COMP Performance Group Hosts U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly

  Trent Kelly
During his tour of a COMP Performance Group facility, U.S. Rep. Trent Kelly (R-MS) met with employees and executives to hear firsthand what matters most to them and the automotive aftermarket industry.
   

August 21, 2017, will be remembered as the day the United States experienced its first total solar eclipse since 1979. For U.S. Representative Trent Kelly (R-MS) and the employees of COMP Performance Group, it was also a special day when the paths of an industry-leading manufacturer and a colonel-turned-congressman intersected.

COMP Performance Group manufactures products that power enthusiasts’ vehicles on the street and in racing. Those products include valvetrains, drivetrains, electronic fuel injection, ignition, cylinder heads, nitrous-oxide systems, clutches and more. While COMP Performance Group is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee, the company’s worldwide distribution center is in nearby Olive Branch, Mississippi. That facility, once home to Holiday Inn’s printing operations, now houses approximately 150 COMP employees and roughly $40 million in inventory. In addition to distribution, COMP Performance Group also has its global purchasing group and video production studio within the facility.

“It was an honor for COMP Performance Group to host Rep. Kelly at our distribution facility in Olive Branch, Mississippi,” said Chris Douglas, COMP Performance Group chief operating officer. “We were able to share more about our company and follow up on the legislative topics that we discussed with the Congressman at the 2017 SEMA Washington Rally. Our employees enjoyed the opportunity to gain first-person insight into the current state of affairs in Washington. Everyone walked away knowing that Rep. Kelly will continue to be an advocate for common-sense politics and the automotive aftermarket industry.”

Trent Kelly
Before ending his visit, U.S. Rep. Kelly was treated to a cruise in COMP Performance Group’s fully restored ’69 Chevrolet Camaro.
 
   

Originally from Union, Mississippi, Rep. Kelly earned both his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Mississippi. Much of Rep. Kelly’s career has been spent serving his country in the Mississippi Army National Guard. He has been deployed to Iraq on three occasions, including Operation Desert Storm in 1990. From 2009–2010, Kelly served as lieutenant colonel and battalion commander of Task Force Knight of the 155th Brigade Combat Team in Iraq. For his service, he has been awarded two Bronze Stars and several other decorations. In 2010, Rep. Kelly received a master’s degree in strategic studies from the United States Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and he currently holds the rank of colonel. Prior to his election to Congress in 2015, Rep. Kelly served as a U.S. District Attorney for the First Circuit Judicial District, Mississippi.

During his COMP tour, Rep. Kelly met with employees and executives to hear firsthand what matters most to them and the automotive aftermarket industry. Topics ranged from the status of health care legislation to tax reform, a topic high on the agenda of both President Trump and Congress. The meeting also included a discussion on the importance of passing the Recognizing the Protection of Motorsports (RPM) Act of 2017. The RPM Act, of which Rep. Kelly is a co-sponsor, confirms that it has always been legal to convert a street car into a race car for use solely at the track.

Before ending his visit, Rep. Kelly was treated to a cruise in COMP’s ’69 Chevrolet Camaro. The vehicle was restored in 2016 to celebrate the company’s 40th anniversary and was featured at the SEMA Show that year.

“During my tour of COMP Performance Group, I had an opportunity to see the important role the First District company plays as a supplier of specialty automobile parts and to meet their dedicated team members,” Rep. Kelly said. “Their work supports Mississippians and all Americans who want to make the most of their vehicles and the millions of people who enjoy the sport of auto racing. COMP Performance Group is a vital component of our industrial base, which enriches the lives of the hardworking Mississippians they employ.”

For more information on planning your own congressional district site visit, contact SEMA Congressional Relations Director Christian Robinson at 202-794-8279 or christianr@sema.org.

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