By SEMA News Editors
2018 SEMA Board of Directors Announced
Eatherly, Kahn, Lounsberry, Meyer and Whipple Elected to Serve
The results of the 2018 SEMA Board of Directors election are in, with Donnie Eatherly from P&E Distributors Inc., Dan Kahn from Kahn Media Inc., Brian Lounsberry from Motovicity Distribution, Dr. Jamie Meyer from General Motors, and Steve Whipple from Edelbrock LLC elected to serve. Kahn is a current SEMA Board member who was re-elected to the group; Eatherly has served as a past Board member; and Lounsberry, Meyer and Whipple will join as new SEMA Board members.
SEMA Board members are industry representatives who volunteer their time to lead and guide the association. They are elected by all SEMA-member companies and represent the key membership categories: manufacturers, distributors/retailers, manufacturers’ reps, and services.
The newly elected Board members were officially instated at the SEMA Installation & Gala in July. Below is an introduction to the new directors, in their own words.
President and CEO, P&E Distributors
Nurture Relationships Among Other Industry Boards, Councils and OEM Manufacturers: Let’s reach out to other industry leaders who are ahead of the change curve to learn anything that could prepare our members for the future. Councils are a very important part of SEMA. They have a wealth of energy, knowledge and enthusiasm, and they offer future leadership. I will work with the Board, staff and councils to try to harness that energy and to foster that leadership for the benefit of all SEMA members.
Expand Upon the Momentum of the SEMA Data Co-op: I will use my experiences and data-acquisition knowledge to help lead the Board, staff and councils in ways to get more members involved. I will challenge them to think of new data-enhancing programs that will help fuel the growth of our industry in all channels of distribution.
Monitor Federal and State Legislation to Protect Our Industry: Pass the RPM Act! I am very passionate about our industry. Because of my knowledge and passion, I have been asked to speak at Senate and House press conferences in Washington, D.C., as well as at the National Press Club. I will call on those federal and state legislators who write laws that affect our industry, such as the RPM Act, CAFE standards, intellectual property rights, import/export, business tax reform and protecting our off-roading abilities. I will call on those legislators with the same passion and conviction I demonstrated previously.
Prior SEMA Volunteer Work: Three-term SEMA Board member, 2007–2013; PAC Red Line member since 2016; Executive Committee, 2009, 2012, 2013; Marketing Task Force, 2008–2014; Wheel & Tire Council Board Liaison, 2007–2013; Rep of the Year Chair, 2005, 2008, 2017; Rep of the Year Committee, 2016; Election SOP Task Force, 2007, 2013; Nominating Committee, 2009, 2011, 2013; WD, Person, Rep of the Year SOP Task Force, 2010; Data Pool Program Participant; Launch Pad Mentor, 2016, 2017.
Custom Automotive Network (Formerly PWA): Pioneer Award, 2014; President, 2012, 2013; LRP Chairperson; Three-Term Board Member; Person of the Year Committee Chair, 2009; Manufacturer of the Year Committee Chair, 2008.
CEO, Motovicity Distribution
Thank you, SEMA members for electing me to the Board of Directors for the next term period. I’m excited to join my fellow board members and contribute to the overall success of our industry. We thank our board predecessors for their time and efforts. I hope to carry on their key initiatives along with fresh ideas that I’ll bring to the table.
Since 2005, I have climbed the ranks from new business developer, sales manager and vice president of sales and marketing, before becoming the CEO of Motovicity Distribution Inc. in 2016. My hands-on approach to business has helped facilitate a new era of growth and expansion at Motovicity. I specialize in creative problem solving with a passion for innovation and enjoy collaborating with my team and industry professionals alike on new ways to engage with consumers.
During the last 13 years, I have traveled extensively; visiting manufacturers, shops and consumer events to help create a healthy business ecosystem for the aftermarket industry. I also personify the industry lifestyle by enjoying cars and motorcycles in my free time.
Above all, I embrace personal relationships with people.
President and CEO, Kahn Media Inc.
My first job was working the parts counter at a speed shop at 16. I literally grew up in this industry, and I am very passionate about protecting it. Over the course of my career, and with the current growth of my firm, I have also been very fortunate to surround myself with people that are smarter and more experienced that I am. I try to learn from these people, and apply those lessons as both a business leader and as a volunteer.
Kahn Media continues to work with more than a dozen of the best brands in the aftermarket, but we also work for global brands outside our industry like Rolex, Peninsula Hotels, museums and more. Exposure to these markets and their leaders have allowed me to see how other industries function and how they connect with people on a B2B and B2C level.
Over the past year I have also made an effort to attend as many shows and events outside our world as possible, including SHOT Show, CES and E3, in an attempt to gather data and ideas about what they do, how they do it and how we can apply those lessons to SEMA and our membership.
I currently employ nearly two dozen people at my firm. I take that responsibility very personally—each and every one of them depend on me for their livelihood. I have to ensure that we have work for them to do, that our clients are happy and that the future is bright. If my serving as a Board member and volunteer leader for SEMA can, in some small way, help ensure that our industry will be around for many more years to come to support these jobs and the thousands of jobs created by our member companies—then there is no more noble calling for a guy who set out to “write about cars” for a living.
Finally, I would be remiss in filling out an “about you” section without talking about my family. It sounds corny, but I am a third-generation car guy. My grandfather grew up on the south side of Chicago with no money, yet after the war he came back and—as time allowed—he liked to restore pre-war vehicles (stock, he thought hot rods were “wasteful”—again he was a Depression-era kid). My dad was the typical Baby Boomer car guy—grew up cruising Van Nuys Boulevard in the early ’60s, built hot rods and still does to this day.
I got my very first car on the cover of Hot Rod and have been a gearhead since day one. I have three beautiful children who are the center of my universe along with a wonderful and very patient wife. My son is, at 3 years old, already a car guy. He loves playing with his Hot Wheels and he works with me in the garage whenever he can. I will not push him into a career in this industry, but should he decide he wants to follow in my footsteps, I want to make sure there is an industry here waiting for him. That is my driving force as a volunteer.
Dr. Jamie Meyer
Performance Parts Program Manager, General Motors
I will work to fortify our performance rights, engage our youth, and prepare a bright future for the automotive aftermarket. Positioned in Detroit, I have seen the coming changes in the auto industry, and I know how these technologies are going to impact the aftermarket industry.
Employment Summary: I have an extremely diverse background in the high-performance automotive industry. Over the past 25 years, I have worked with small speed shops, massive parts distributors, multiple media outlets, technical trade schools, motorsports sanctioning bodies, racers, custom-car builders, TV shows focused on cars, automotive dealerships, the most prestigious automotive auction companies, and enthusiasts from around the world. I am currently the performance parts program manager at General Motors, where my job responsibilities include developing (from concept to production) the high-performance parts portfolio for all Chevrolets, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs.
Outstanding Career Achievements: My accomplishments include bringing the COPO Camaro back to the market; working with SEMA to develop the emissions-compliant EROD line of engines; the early development of the NMRA and NMCA drag-racing sanctioning bodies; and setting the strategy for the next 10 years for GM high-performance cars and performance parts.
Prominent Positions With Other Associations: In 1994, I formed MOMS Racing, a non-profit organization designed to get street racers off the street and onto their local dragstrips. The AHA and NIH funded my cardiovascular research. And I recently worked with the owners of SAM Tech to develop a marketing department and curriculum.
Related Interests: I hold an NHRA competition license, and I routinely drag race my ’15 Stingray at Milan Dragway. I have more than 400 published automotive magazine articles, and my last project ran high 8s in the quarter-mile.
Vice President, Edelbrock LLC
The aftermarket has an aging consumer demographic, with more consumers exiting faster than youth entering. This is a key area we need to address to ensure that we have another generation of skilled people to fill important organizational roles in order to keep our industry thriving. I would like to see SEMA help more with the regulatory issues threatening our industry. We need to assist and educate SEMA members on guidelines and best practices for operating in compliance with the EPA, CARB and state-specific issues, such as Proposition 65. Finally, brick-and-mortar speed shops, accessories stores and aftermarket installation centers are closing at an alarming rate. We need to support the distribution channel at every level—from the wholesaler to the local speed shop—to stop this trend.
Employment Summary: My aftermarket career began when I sold parts directly as a counterman in 1976 at Garden Grove Racing. By 1978, I was promoted to store manager, responsible for a $2.5 million-a-year business. In 1981, I was promoted to regional manager, supervising 12 stores. Within four years, I was promoted to district manager, overseeing four regional managers responsible for supervising 58 stores. Finally, I became the western states sales manager, responsible for all operations west of the Mississippi.
In 1997, I went to work for Hooker Headers as director of sales and marketing. Upon the sale of the company, I moved to Nitrous Oxide Systems Inc. as the director of sales and marketing. I was responsible for all sales and marketing functions until the company was acquired. It was after this that I landed at Edelbrock as the national sales manager, and within six months, I was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing. Being one of the four senior managers, I am heavily involved in operational decisions, policies, strategy, recruiting, account management and new-product focus.
Outstanding Career Achievements: 2015 PWA Person of the Year, 2016 Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Chairman’s Award, 2017 MPMC Chairman’s Award.
SEMA Committees, Councils and Task Forces: I’ve participated on many task forces and chaired many initiatives. I’ve really enjoyed volunteering on the MPMC select committee, knowing that our work makes a difference. It’s been a feel-good thing.