SEMA to install new leaders

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Corky Coker, president of Coker Tire Co. Inc.,

Chattanooga, Tenn., will be installed as chairman of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) at the association’s annual installation banquet, Friday, July 25, at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach in Huntington Beach, Calif.

Coker has served as chairman-elect of the 5,000-member trade association for the past two years.

Also being installed are four new and nine re-elected members of the SEMA board of directors.

Dennis Gage will serve as a new SEMA director representing the manufacturing members. Gage is president of Bradley David Productions in Evansville, Ind., and host of the TV show "My Classic Car." He is a member of the SEMA Street Rod Marketing Alliance (SRMA) council and a select committee member of the SEMA Automotive Restoration Market Organization (ARMO) council.

Re-elected to the board from the manufacturers category are Joel Ayres, sales and marketing manager for Leer/Truck Accessories Group, Woodland, Calif.; Paul "Scooter" Brothers, director of research and development for Competition Cams, Memphis, Tenn.; Todd Gartshore, co-owner of Baer Inc., Phoenix, Ariz.; Dennis Overholser, vice president of product development for Painless Performance, Fort Worth, Texas; Bob West, vice president of sales and marketing for Westin Automotive Products Inc., Irwindale, Calif.; and Jeep Worthan, vice president of sales and marketing for Auto Meter Products Inc., Sycamore, Ill.

Newly elected directors representing the distributor/retailer members are Chuck

Lombardo and Robert Price.

Lombardo is president of California Street Rods Inc., Huntington Beach. He has been involved in the specialty automotive industry for 25 years, has served three terms on the SEMA board and is a past chairman of SEMA's SRMA council. Lombardo's industry accomplishments include serving on a presidential advisory panel about foreign trade. He is a member of the SEMA Street Rod Hall of Fame.

Price's 30-year career includes 10 years in the automotive aftermarket. Currently the CEO of Reliable Automotive, Overland Park, Kan., Price's industry service includes lobbying federal legislators to support the automotive industry.

Incumbents W.A. "Butch" Lahmann, CEO of Walcorp Inc., Northport, N.Y., and Anne Thomas, owner and president of SECO Performance Centers, Birmingham, Ala., were re-elected to serve on the SEMA board from the distributor/retailers category.

Bill Perry was elected to the single open seat in the manufacturers rep category. Perry,

president of Bill Perry & Associates, Carrollton, Ga., has been a SEMA member for more than 25 years. His company has won the SEMA Manufacturers Representative of the

Year award.

Mitch Williams, president and COO of Hella Inc., Peachtree City, Ga., also will be installed that evening as SEMA’s chairman-elect for two years.

Williams, a member of the SEMA board’s executive committee, was honored as SEMA

Person of the Year in 2001 and has served on SEMA task forces including Lighting, Congressional, International and OEM (original equipment manufacturer) Relations. He

has served on three additional SEMA committees and was in his third consecutive term on the board this year. Williams authored the 2002 SEMA report "Introduction to Quality Systems" about implementing quality systems.

Nate Shelton, president of SS Sales & Marketing Group, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., the current SEMA chairman, will stay on the SEMA board of directors as immediate past chairman.

Doug Mergenthaler, CEO of Kodiak Products, Cottage Grove, Ore., will continue to serve as the association’s secretary-treasurer.

Continuing to serve on the SEMA board of directors for the next year for the manufacturers category are Matt Agosta, president of Steele Rubber Products, Denver,

N.C.; Jim Cozzie, vice president, sales, for B & M Racing and Performance Products, Telford, Pa.; Brian Horowitz, CEO of American Products Co., Corona, Calif.; Rick Rollins, national

sales/marketing manager for Superchips Inc., Sanford, Fla.; and Russell Stephens, sales manager for MSD Ignition, El Paso, Texas.

Continuing on the board from the distributor/retailer category are Kathy Bybee-Hartzell, business development manager for, Virginia Beach, Va.; Patrick Judge, executive vice president of Keystone Automotive Operations Inc., Exeter, Pa.; Mark Pettersen, owner and president of Pettersen Motorsports Inc., Chico, Calif.; and Jon Wyly, vice president, sales and marketing for Arrow Speed Warehouse, Kansas City, Kan.

Steve Bolio, partner at Scafidi-Bolio & associates, Waltham, Mass., continues on the

board representing manufacturers representatives.

Christopher J. Kersting, CAE, is president and CEO of SEMA.

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