I am incredibly grateful and humbled to share with you that I have been elected Chairman-elect of SEMA starting in July 2019. My actual term as Chairman will start in 2021, as I will be in a supporting role as Tim Martin takes over as Chairman in July.
We would not have won without the efforts of so many of you that care so deeply about our industry, the automotive performance lifestyle, and the motorsports community. I am proud to stand along side each and every one of you as we grow, and we protect, our future.
While I had a glass of champagne with Melissa Lawrence to celebrate the occasion last night, the real work has just begun. This is just the beginning of a tremendous opportunity to make a difference. I appreciate deeply the kind words, at the same time, I hope that in four years we will look back, and together with the SEMA Board of Directors, we can truly appreciate THEN what we will have accomplished with SEMA and PRI (Performance Racing Industry).
My commitment to SEMA and PRI, the SEMA members, and our industry, is to lead with passion and kindness. Change isn’t easy, and there are many big projects ahead of us. Only working together for a common goal, will we achieve greatness. There are tough decisions that will need to be made, and every project can’t be a priority.
While it’s not a part of SEMA’s official mission statement – SEMA is in many ways the protector, the leader, and the driver of innovation for the entire automotive aftermarket. YES – SEMA exists to support the membership. YES – SEMA exists to produce world-class trade shows. But there is something bigger than that, a stewardship of this automotive life which so many of us love so dearly. When Melissa Lawrence and I look at our kids and their budding love of cars, we want SEMA to be there for them, to make sure that they’ll get to enjoy the same opportunities so many of us have had.
I am looking forward to working together with the SEMA Board of Directors, the SEMA leadership team, Chris Kersting (President of SEMA), Bill Miller, the SEMA staff, SEMA members, and automotive enthusiasts everywhere to collaborate on this mission. We will need you. This isn’t something that can be done alone.
I want to thank Russell Stephens, my fellow candidate for Chair-Elect who has given so much to this industry. It has been a pleasure to go through this process with you, and I thank you for your service.
Second, thanks to my wife Melissa Lawrence and our kids Bradley, Taylor, and Jordan, who endured the many late nights I spent time on this campaign and dream, but always had my back understanding that this is what I was destined to do with my life and understanding the sacrifices weren’t always mine to make. This also includes my work family at Power Automedia who has helped me through my SEMA volunteer efforts, and has encouraged me and supported me through this entire process.
Thank you to Wade Kawasaki and Tim Martin, whom I served under the last two years on the SEMA Board, who encouraged me in my volunteerism, provided me opportunities and projects, and who urged me to make a difference.
Finally, Congratulations to my (new) fellow members of the SEMA Board of Directors – Melanie Hellwig White, Chris Douglas, Bunyan Les Rudd, and Kathryn Reinhardt, who were elected (or re-elected) to SEMA’s board to represent our membership with pride and determination.