Nominate. Vote. Volunteer.

SEMA News—December 2019

Nominate. Vote. Volunteer.

Your Trade Association Needs YOU!

Chris Kersting

Chris Kersting

The origins of the SEMA trade association say a lot about the strong tradition of volunteerism that guides the association today. From its founding in 1963 and for years thereafter, the association had no paid staff. The benefits provided were entirely the work of board volunteers.

Today, the organization has a significant team of professional staff delivering a long menu of services, tools and events, all aimed to help SEMA-member businesses succeed. But even now, the organization’s strategic direction and the decisions to deploy its resources are still very much the work of the volunteer Board of Directors. That’s why the process for nominating and electing SEMA Board members is important to the industry—and is worthy of your time, consideration and input.

Around this time every year, we ask each of you to help make sure that the SEMA Board is populated by individuals whose knowledge, experience and judgement will help deliver valuable benefits to the members. The only way that happens is for you to bring the most promising candidates to the attention of the nominating committee.

The Board election process begins in December each year. We are asking each of you to recommend people in the industry who, in your view, would be strong candidates to run for the SEMA Board. You’ll see more about the specifics of nominating a candidate in SEMA eNews in the coming weeks, but here are the basics: Members are free to nominate colleagues as well as themselves. We ask that you contact the individual in advance and confirm his or her willingness to run in the election and to serve if elected. You then complete the nomination form and forward it to SEMA.

After that, the nominating committee reviews every recommendation and undertakes an extensive vetting process to winnow the field to a highly qualified group of candidates, who will appear on this year’s ballot for Board elections. Actual voting will take place in May (each member company gets one vote) and the newly elected directors begin service in July. SEMA needs you to participate in voting for Board members as well.

Our industry has always faced significant challenges and opportunities, and today is no different. SEMA has become an increasingly capable organization to assist the industry. It’s evolved to this point under the guidance and business judgment of the Board of Directors.

For instance, we now operate the SEMA Garage to assist members in adapting products to new vehicle technology and provide tools to improve product development quality and efficiency. The Garage also offers an Emissions Compliance Center, complete with expert staff and an emissions lab that is recognized by the California Air Resources Board.

The association also operates the SEMA Data Co-op (SDC), providing manufacturers and resellers with a means to standardized, centralized and updated digital product 
information.

Those are just two examples of the innovative and valuable endeavors provided by SEMA today, and they’ve required a Board with vision and judgment to move them forward. When we ask you to participate in the annual nominations, you have a chance to ensure that there’s a Board in place to build programs such as those for the industry’s future.

We recognize that growing a business in the specialty aftermarket takes hard work, focus and dedication. Not everyone has the time to volunteer. But even if you can’t serve, the Board nomination and election process is a way you can contribute. Take the step this year and send us a nomination. Then complete the cycle by voting in May. Your valuable input is part of a process that will keep SEMA focused on providing services that will propel the industry to a successful future.

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