I’ve been asked this quite a few times in the last 6 weeks since my nomination for SEMA Chairman, and I’ve realized… I don’t know everyone! So here are some basics..
I have been involved with the automotive performance industry for 25 years in a number of senior leadership roles, but the role I’m most proud of is my kids and family. I have been married for 12 years to my wonderful wife Melissa, and have three kids: Bradley, Jordan and Taylor. I strive to be a great leader to my company, Power Automedia, and to do the right things and make the right choices. I have drag raced for more than 20 years, with two NMCA championship trophies on my desk.
I’m highly competitive. I like to compete – from tennis, racing, to coaching my kids flag football team. I like challenges.
I am running for SEMA Chairman because I think it’s vital that SEMA get infused with fresh leadership and thinking.
I am the CEO of Power Automedia, an automotive-focused digital media company I co-founded in 2006. I am currently serving a three-year term on the SEMA Board of Directors and am the acting Chairman of the PRI Task Force, a major project underway that is currently developing a future roadmap for PRI as a leader in the motorsport community. Previously to Power Automedia, I co-founded and operated ProMedia—an automotive event production company.
I have been in love with cars my entire adult life. When I was 16 years old, a friend of mine purchased a ’65 Mustang, and persuaded me to help him modify it. Since then, I have devoted my life to the automotive industry. I have founded three automotive performance companies; am an avid car collector and active automotive enthusiast; and have won two NMCA championships in 2016 and 2018. I have an advanced E.T. license from NHRA. I also have three years of Circle track racing experience.
From my core, I believe in the magic of the automobile. I am an entrepreneur first and foremost, with a passion for building and growing organizations, innovation and technology. I believe that when running a team, the building blocks start with vision and values. An effective leader must start by laying out a clear agenda: the entire company or organization, and each member—from senior leadership to an entry-level employee, must completely understand why. Values provide the compass for that strategy.
From my core, I believe in the magic of the automobile. As a racer, I live and breath this industry.
2008–2019: Power Automedia. President and CEO. Power Automedia is a leading digital media company with digital publishing, video production, automotive TV shows and live broadcast divisions. I’m responsible for the leadership of the organization: implementing a strategic vision, building the right team and allocating the right resources.
1998–2008, ProMedia Publishing: President. Responsible for strategic direction, marketing, event, magazine product divisions, financial management.
1997–1998, Petersen Publishing Company: Editorial. Responsible for editorial content for Ford Performance Group (5.0 Mustang Magazine).
1995–1997, Ford Performance Solutions: Founder/owner of Ford engine builder/parts retailer. Early adopter of internet and online sales, web technology.
1994–1997, Trinity University (San Antonio, Texas) and UCLA (Los Angeles, California): Business administration and management.
I am proud to have been involved with SEMA on a number of levels, including currently serving a three-year term on the 2017–2020 SEMA Board of Directors, current (2018–2019) PRI Task Force Chairman, SEMA select committee and council-level task forces. I have been a significant driver of innovation in drag racing at many levels, including serving as the chair of the NMCA Technology Committee and advisor to leading sanctioning bodies.
- 2017–2019: SEMA Board of Directors. Serving a three-year term on the SEMA Board of Directors.
- 2018–2019: PRI Task Force Chairman. Current Chairman of the PRI Task Force.
- 2018: SEMA Board of Directors Nomination Committee Member, SEMA Person of the Year Task Force
- 2008–2014: NMCA Technical Committee, Chairperson
- 2010–2012: SEMA Young Executive Network, Select Committee
- 2010–2012: SEMA YEN Select Committee, Communications Task Force, Chair
In my role as CEO of Power Automedia, I have had leadership roles in marketing strategies and strategic business development programs for everything from Fortune 500 companies, major OEMs, to mom-and-pop manufacturers. I have been highly involved in technology and innovation in the automotive industry, accelerating the adoption of digital media. From a technical and product standpoint, I have a deep understanding of engines, powertrain, EFI, tuning, control systems and suspension. I have consulted with many leading manufacturers on product development projects.
I have been a presenter/panelist at numerous seminars on youth engagement, digital media and emerging technology for SEMA, PRI and leading industry companies. Recently was a featured speaker at the 2017 SEMA, 2018 SEMA, 2017 PRI and 2018 PRI shows, on PRI Motorsports Media, Youth Engagement, The Future of the PRI, and PRI International Motorsports Business Innovation.
- SEMA Media Person of the Year Robert E. Petersen Award
- SEMA YEN Member of the Month
- ProMedia Distinguished Service Award
- 2016 NMCA Limited Street World Champion, seven-time Race Winner and ET Record Holder
- 2018 NMCA Radial vs. the World Champion, four-time Race Winner, ET Record Holder