SEMA Announces Board Election Results


By SEMA Editors

SEMA Announces Board Election Results

SEMA Members Vote Chris Douglas, Kyle Fickler and Les Rudd to Serve the Industry

2016–2017 SEMA Board of Directors

Chairman of the Board
Doug Evans, Luken Communications LLC

Wade Kawasaki, Coker Group

Immediate-Past Chairman and Secretary
Nate Shelton, Driven Performance Brands

John Johnson, The Spartan Group

Board Members

Greg Adler, Transamerican Auto Parts

Jim Bingham, Winner’s Circle Speed & Custom Inc.

Susan Carpenter, JR Products

Laurel Dasher, MagnaFlow

Chris Douglas, COMP Performance Group

Kyle Fickler, Aeromotive Inc.

Nick Gramelspacher, Meyer Distributing

Dan Kahn, Kahn Media Inc.

Tim Martin, K&N Engineering

Les Rudd, Bob Cook Sales

General Counsel
Russ Deane, Trainum, Snowdon & Deane

Results of the 2016 SEMA Board of Directors election are in, with Chris Douglas from COMP Performance Group, Kyle Fickler of Aeromotive Inc. and Les Rudd from Bob Cook Sales elected to serve on the Board. While Fickler is a current SEMA Board member who was re-elected into the group, Douglas and Rudd will join as the newest members of the Board.

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 entire 2016–2017 SEMA Board of Directors was honored and recognized during the SEMA Installation and Gala in July. Here is an introduction to the three newly elected Board members in their own words.

Chris Douglas, Vice President of Marketing, COMP Performance Group

Chris Douglas
Chris Douglas, Vice President of Marketing, COMP Performance Group

As SEMA navigates unprecedented industry changes, I seek to serve the collective membership on the Board of Directors by bringing 20-plus years of diverse aftermarket experience, next-generation perspective and high-integrity leadership to the position. My priorities include:

Legislative Affairs: I will work to ensure that SEMA takes a strong leadership role by proactively working with federal/state governments to eliminate and/or negate misguided regulations. SEMA is also responsible for providing member resources that will improve compliance with sensible regulations/laws.

Next Generation: To thrive in the future, we must define/engage the next generation of customers and employees. At 39 years old, with broad automotive, technology and marketing experience, I can be a bridge to help SEMA better understand the minds that will soon power the industry.

Member Value: From the SEMA Show to international business programs, I will advocate using our collective strength to create maximum value and provide a voice for all members, particularly small- and mid-size companies.

I grew up in this industry, and it shaped the person I am today. With childhood dreams of becoming a professional racer, I found success at the highest levels of motorsports. Graduating with a B.A. in marketing from the University of North Alabama, I transitioned from the driver’s seat to the business of motorsports.

My current position as vice president of marketing for the COMP Performance Group involves leading the industry’s largest internal marketing agency and strategic oversight of 15 iconic brands. An entrepreneur at heart, I recently helped found Xceleration Media, an automotive-focused media business.

Professional Employment

  • 1985–2003, Professional Race Car Driver (Karts, NASCAR, ARCA and ASA)
  • 2000–2002, Operations Director, Race-On Performance Driving School
  • 2003–2008, Marketing Director, COMP Cams
  • 2009–Current, Vice President of Marketing, COMP Performance Group
  • 2015–Current, Partner/COO, Xceleration Media

I’ve served in elected leadership positions with the Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council and Young Executives Network.

Outstanding Career Achievements and SEMA Involvement

  • Young Executive of the Year, 2012
  • 35 Under 35 Recipient, 2012
  • Gen-III Innovator Finalist, 2012
  • MPMC Chairman’s Service Award, 2014

Kyle Fickler, Director of Business Development, Aeromotive Inc.

Kyle Fickler
Kyle Fickler, Director of Business Development, Aeromotive Inc.

My formal education includes a B.S. in finance, a B.A. in philosophy, and a Juris Doctor in Law, all earned at the University of Montana. However, the best education I received was growing up in a family of small-business owners, understanding the commitment you need to succeed with your name on the door, and learning to blend formal education with the needs of an ongoing business. As an active racer and car owner, I am a hands-on enthusiast who truly lives the industry at several levels.

The majority of my industry experience has been with two very successful companies that each presented very different challenges and opportunities.

At Aeromotive Inc., I was engaged in progressively responsible sales and marketing positions, from the company’s formation to becoming the market leader in high-performance fuel-delivery systems. As a startup funded by venture capital in 1994, the company focused on private-label manufacturing for other high-performance companies, with my primary functions being on-track testing and customer development as an independent contractor. Wanting to take the Aeromotive brand to market, I was hired as director of business development in 2000. I was responsible for all phases of relationships with warehouse distributors, jobbers, media, sanctioning bodies, sales reps, racers and other manufacturers.

In 2008, I assumed the role of vice president of sales and marketing at Weld Racing LLC as a principal in the private-equity acquisition of the assets of Weld Racing, a brand with more than 40 years of industry heritage. Our initial challenge was overcoming a variety of operational and business issues while rebuilding the trust and confidence of distributors, vendors and other industry partners. The company enjoyed incredible growth in my six years as an employee by introducing a wide variety of new products in our core drag-racing and dirt-oval markets while re-entering the truck and street-performance markets with new and innovative products and expanded overseas distribution.

I rejoined Aeromotive Inc. in 2014 while retaining my equity stake in Weld Racing LLC. My return to Aeromotive provides a challenging mix of strategic and tactical opportunities as the company enters new markets and continues to evolve as the dominant player in high-performance fuel-delivery systems.

Outstanding Career Achievements and SEMA Involvement

  • SEMA Board of Directors executive committee and nominating committee
  • SEMA PAC President’s Club
  • Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council chair, select committee and numerous task forces
  • NHRA Performance Aftermarket Advisory Council

Les Rudd, President, Bob Cook Sales

Les Rudd
Les Rudd, President, Bob Cook Sales

My entire adult life has been wrapped around the automotive aftermarket. It’s who I am, and it’s what I do. I love it!

From circle tracks to drag races, street rods to customs, lifted 4x4s and Jeeps to lowered trucks, and from imports to domestics, I have had my hands, heart and mind in all segments of this industry.

I am honored to have this opportunity to serve as part of the SEMA Board of Directors. I will bring my lifelong experiences and knowledge of our industry to the forefront, including manufacturing, sales representation, distributor, retailer, speed shop and e-tailer.

With an impartial mindset, I will strive to support all SEMA members with vision, integrity, loyalty and honesty as we face the key issues that lay before us today. I will maintain a key vision on the issues and opportunities that will lead us toward a prominent and secure future.

Professional Employment

  • Bob Cook Sales, 1991–present
  • Representative, 1991–2003
  • Partner/Principal, 2004–2013
  • President, 2014–current
  • 1985–1991 TCI Automotive, national sales manager

Outstanding Career Achievements and SEMA Involvement

  • Current SEMA Manufacturers’ Rep Network chair
  • SEMA Manufacturers’ Rep council chair, 2002–2004
  • SEMA PAC President’s Club
  • More than 19 years of SEMA council and network involvement
  • Certified Professional Manufacturers Rep
  • Current PWA Board of Directors Liaison
  • Member of Bob Cook Sales for five SEMA Rep of the Year Awards
  • Numerous Rep of the Year Awards from manufacturer clients and customers
  • Goodguys Pros Pick, 2007 and 2008
  • Super Chevy Editor’s Choice, 2008, and Outstanding ’55 Award, 2008
  • Numerous committees, task force memberships and industry recognitions

Although our industry is a large part of my everyday life, I spend time on other interests as well. I am an avid outdoorsman. I am a regular volunteer at my church. I enjoy gardening, a great steak, a nice wine, my five sons, my two grandchildren and my great wife, whose patience and support allow me to seek my dreams.

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