2018 SEMA Board of Directors Election

SEMA News—June 2018


By Amanda Gubbins

2018 SEMA Board of Directors Election

Meet the Candidates

Eight candidates are running for positions on the 2018–2021 SEMA Board of Directors. This year, five seats are open in the manufacturers, distributors/retailers and services categories. Voting will take place online May 8–22 and is open to current SEMA-member companies. Votes must be cast by each company’s primary contact. Election information and a ballot participation code went out to members via postal mail at the end of April.

SEMA Board members guide the strategic direction and initiatives of the association, ultimately shaping the future of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. For more information about the 2018 SEMA Board of Directors election, visit www.directvote.net/sema or contact Susan Alfonso at susana@sema.org.

Election winners will be announced by May 25 and formally installed on the SEMA Board of Directors at the SEMA Installation & Gala, taking place July 20 at the Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City in Universal City, California. All members are invited to join the festivities, which will begin with a cocktail reception at 6:00 p.m., to be followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. Seats are limited, so register today at www.sema.org/gala.

Tom DeeryTom Deery Donnie EatherlyDonnie Eatherly Dan KahnDan Kahn Brian LounsberryBrian Lounsberry
Dr. Jamie MeyerDr. Jamie Meyer Kim PendergastKim Pendergast Jon PulliJon Pulli Steve WhippleSteve Whipple

The following pages include biographical information from the candidates running for positions on the Board. This information serves to help SEMA members make informed voting decisions. As a reminder, the remarks and opinions expressed by the candidates are solely their own statements. SEMA does not edit the statements for accuracy nor content. The statements made by the candidates do not necessarily represent the views of SEMA.

2018 SEMA Board of Directors Candidates

Manufacturers Category
(two open seats)
Distributors/Retailers Category
(two open seats)
Services Category
(one open seat)
  • Dr. Jamie Meyer, Performance Parts Program Manager, General Motors
  • Kim Pendergast, CEO, Magnuson Products LLC
  • Steve Whipple, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Edelbrock LLC
  • Donnie Eatherly, President, P&E Distributors Inc.
  • Brian Lounsberry, CEO, Motovicity Distribution
  • Jon Pulli, CEO, Turn 14 Distribution
  • Tom Deery, COO/President, World Racing Group
  • Dan Kahn, President and CEO, Kahn Media Inc.


Manufacturers Category

Dr. Jamie MeyerDr. Jamie Meyer

Statement of Candidacy: As a SEMA Board of Directors member, I will work to fortify our performance rights, engage our youth, and prepare a bright future for the automotive aftermarket. Positioned in Detroit, I have seen the coming changes in the auto industry, and I know how these technologies are going to impact the aftermarket industry. A vote for me will ensure that SEMA has an expert on the Board of Directors helping us navigate this tumultuous time in our history.

Employment Summary: I have an extremely diverse background in the high-performance automotive industry. Over the past 25 years, I have worked with small speed shops, massive parts distributors, multiple media outlets, technical trade schools, motorsports sanctioning bodies, racers, custom car builders, television shows focused on cars, automotive dealerships, the most prestigious automotive auction companies, and enthusiasts from around the world. I am currently the performance parts program manager at General Motors, where my job responsibilities include developing (from concept to production) the high-performance parts portfolio for all Chevrolets, Buicks, GMCs and Cadillacs.

Outstanding Career Achievements: My accomplishments include bringing the COPO Camaro back to the market; working with SEMA to develop the emissions-compliant EROD line of engines; the early development of the NMRA and NMCA drag-racing sanctioning bodies; and setting the strategy for the next 10 years for GM high-performance cars and performance parts.

Prominent Positions With Other Associations: In 1994, I formed MOMS Racing, a non-profit organization designed to get street racers off the street and onto their local dragstrips. The AHA and NIH funded my cardiovascular research. And, I recently worked with the owners of SAM Tech to develop a marketing department and curriculum.

Related Interests: I hold an NHRA Competition license, and I routinely drag race my ’15 Stingray at Milan Dragway. I have more than 400 published automotive magazine articles, and my last project ran high 8s in the quarter-mile.

To learn more about my employment summary, career achievements, awards and honors, my association with other organizations, and my long history supporting motorsports, please head to my website, www.DrJamieForSEMA.com.

Kim PendergastKim Pendergast

As a Board candidate, I believe the SEMA Board’s most important jobs are helping SEMA members successfully build for the future and leveraging SEMA’s organizational strength to build enduring partnerships with OEMs and government.

SEMA should, if possible, protect us; if not prepare us; but always educate us.

I am the owner and CEO of Magnuson Products, a 40-year SEMA member. We make superchargers for OEMs and the aftermarket. Growing up on an Indiana farm, I worked in our family’s small manufacturing business and studied business at Indiana University. My first job was for Continental Can—first in Germany and later in Connecticut. Wanting independence, I left to found a consulting firm to pay the bills while I launched a series of business ventures. One had revenues of $100 million, another $70 million. An investment in MSD initiated my motorsports love affair. I bought a company making 300 NASCAR engines a year and built a Dodge-specific engine-related aftermarket business. In 2011, I bought Magnuson and became immersed in the daily challenges and rewards of superchargers and motorsports.

My career achievements are growth-oriented:

  • Transitioning from employee (big business) to owner (small business). I quit my job, started at my kitchen table, built a consulting business ultimately doing AT&T’s consumer strategy, invested my income in small-business ventures, and became a business owner.
  • Helping found LearningSpring School in NYC for children with Asperger’s (a form of autism). On September 12, 2001, we opened with 30 children and today have a new building and 100 children.
  • Selection by the Aspen Institute for the 20-person inaugural class of Henry Crown Fellows—now a worldwide program that recognizes and encourages young leaders to embrace business values and philanthropy.
  • Building Magnuson into a technology leader and quality-focused business (winner of two Toyota Quality Awards).
  • SEMA Experience: SBN 2017 Chair; Task Force for Person of the Year; Speaker, SEMA education program.

I love the excitement in NASCAR pits where our engines were used and at drag events where our superchargers perform—but most of all the people, whom I would be honored to serve as a SEMA Board member.

Steve WhippleSteve Whipple

Campaign Statement: The aftermarket has an aging consumer demographic with more consumers exiting faster than youth entering. This is a key area we need to address to ensure that we have another generation of skilled people to fill important organizational roles in order to keep our industry thriving. I would like to see SEMA help more with regulatory issues threatening our industry. We need to assist and educate SEMA members on guidelines and best practices for operating in compliance with the EPA, CARB, and state-specific issues such as Proposition 65. Finally, brick-and-mortar speed shops, accessories stores and aftermarket installation centers are closing at an alarming rate. We need to support the distribution channel at every level—from the wholesaler to the local speed shop—to stop this trend.

Employment Summary: My aftermarket career began when I sold parts direct as a counterman in 1976 at Garden Grove Racing. By 1978, I was promoted to store manager, responsible for a $2.5-million-a-year business. In 1981, I was promoted to regional manager, supervising 12 stores. Within four years, I was promoted to district manager, overseeing four regional managers responsible for supervising 58 stores. Finally, I became the western states sales manager, responsible for all operations west of the Mississippi.

In 1997, I went to work for Hooker Headers as director of sales and marketing. Upon the sale of the company, I moved to Nitrous Oxide Systems Inc. as the director of sales and marketing. I was responsible for all sales and marketing functions until the company was acquired. It was after this that I landed at Edelbrock as the national sales manager, and within six months, I was promoted to vice president of sales and marketing. Being one of the four senior managers, I am heavily involved in operational decisions, policies, strategy, recruiting, account management and new-product focus.

Outstanding Career Achievements: 2015 PWA Person of the Year, 2016 Motorsports Parts Manufacturers Council (MPMC) Chairman’s Award, 2017 MPMC Chairman’s Award.

SEMA Committees, Councils and Task Forces: Participated on many task forces and chaired many initiatives. I’ve really enjoyed volunteering on the MPMC select committee, knowing our work makes a difference. It’s been a feel-good thing.


Distributors/Retailers Category

Donnie EatherlyDonnie Eatherly

Nurture Relationships Among Other Industry Boards, Councils and OEM Manufacturers: Let’s reach out to other industry leaders who are ahead of the change curve to learn anything that could prepare our members for the future. Councils are a very important part of SEMA; they have a wealth of energy, knowledge and enthusiasm, and they offer future leadership. If elected, I will work with the Board, staff and councils and try to harness that energy to foster that leadership for the benefit of all SEMA members.

Expand Upon the Momentum of the SEMA Data Co-op:
I will use my experiences and data-acquisition knowledge to help lead the Board, staff and councils in ways to get more members involved. I will challenge them to think of new data-enhancing programs that will help fuel the growth of our industry in all channels of distribution.

Monitor Federal and State Legislation to Protect Our Industry: Pass the RPM Act! I am very passionate about our industry. Because of my knowledge and passion, I have been asked to speak at Senate and House press conferences in Washington, D.C., as well as at the National Press Club. If elected, I will call on those federal and state legislators who write laws that affect our industry, such as the RPM Act, CAFE standards, intellectual property rights, import/export, business tax reform and protecting our off-roading abilities. I will call on those legislators with the same passion and conviction I demonstrated previously.

Prior SEMA Volunteer Work: Three-term SEMA Board member, 2007–2013; PAC Red Line member since 2016; Executive Committee, 2009, 2012, 2013; Marketing Task Force, 2008–2014; Wheel & Tire Council Board Liaison, 2007–2013; Rep of the Year Chair, 2005, 2008, 2017; Rep of the Year Committee, 2016; Election SOP Task Force, 2007, 2013; Nominating Committee, 2009, 2011, 2013; WD, Person, Rep of the Year SOP Task Force, 2010; Data Pool Program participant; Launch Pad Mentor, 2016, 2017.

Custom Automotive Network (Formerly PWA): Pioneer Award, 2014; President, 2012, 2013; LRP Chair Person; Three-Term Board Member; Person of the Year Committee Chair, 2009; Manufacturer of the Year Committee Chair, 2008.


Brian LounsberryBrian Lounsberry

Campaign Statement: Qualified and ready for the job. I will use the experiences of my past and present to help shape the future of this industry, alongside the SEMA Board of Directors and membership, by bridging the gap between good and great. A vote for me is a vote in the right direction. I’m counting on your support!

Bio: Hi, my name is Brian Lounsberry, and as CEO, I am the driving force behind Motovicity Distribution. I specialize in creative problem solving with a passion for futurism in business. I enjoy assisting our unique manufacturers with new ways of engaging the consumer and continually focusing on adding value to our ideal customer network.

My ability to think about things strategically has helped this company evolve, succeed and survive this changing sub-segment of distribution.

Highlights and Milestones: Version 2.0 and 3.0 design, project management and launch of the Motovicity website; founder of Speed Ring and Never Lift racing events; creator of tremendously successful sales plans for manufacturers.

My education has always been rooted in experience and consistent curiosity versus the traditional classroom. I’ve followed mentors and learned from my success and mistakes, always believing that I can improve all with the foundation of a country-boy work ethic.

I’ve traveled extensively during the last 13 years, visiting our manufacturers to learn what is important to them and how I can pair that with my decade-long experience of working in shops like the ones our company supports. I enjoy a face-to-face conversation over all others and talking shop.

In addition to my passion for Motovicity and this industry, my other hobbies include riding dirt bikes and quads on my dad’s farm and wrenching on projects in the garage. Past builds include: a ’96 CR500 + a ’06 CRF250 = ’15 CR500AF/’13 Road Glide built for long hauls; a ’16 Hardtail Chopper; a ’65 Plymouth Fury lowrider; and my daily driver—a ’16 lifted F-150.

Jon PulliJon Pulli

My name is Jon Pulli. I am co-founder and CEO of Turn 14 Distribution, and I would like your vote for the 2018 SEMA Board of Directors. I started my first SEMA-member company at the age of 20 and represent the demographic of business owners who started with the birth of e-commerce in the early ’00s. My expertise revolves around the planning required to reach long-term goals, and my track record speaks to my success in this area. I bring the perspective of the industry’s youngest national wholesale distributor. Turn 14 Distribution’s sheer existence means we are doing things differently, and I believe the Board needs that perspective.

As a Board member, I will focus on our industry’s ability to adapt to the future: Emissions regulations and electric vehicles are areas where the small businesses that make up our industry need help to evolve. Additionally, I will lobby for a federal statute that prevents auto-parts manufacturers, distributors or dealers from being held liable by federal, state or local agencies when regulations have been breached by individuals with their products. SEMA-member companies should not bear the burden when consumers use race-only products on the street.

The dynamic shifts that have taken place in sales channels over the past decade also warrant focus. I have been centrally located as a wholesale distributor to witness how each manufacturer and retailer has adapted. Now more than ever, companies require sound policies in order to promote healthy sales channels and avoid leverage positions.

As an avid enthusiast and business owner, I’m passionate about our industry having a prosperous future. I believe that the perceived lack of youth involvement is a symptom of our industry’s unclear path forward—not a cause itself. Eighty-four percent of my employees at Turn 14 Distribution are Millennials; I am confident in my ability to understand and cater to them. A vote for me is a vote for driving SEMA to create a clear future for our industry with legislation, guidance and investment initiatives focused on new vehicle technology.


Services Category

Tom DeeryTom Deery

Deery4SEMA: Racing. Risk. Regulation.

“Tom Deery is a fresh perspective and tremendous candidate coming from the motorsports side.”

Friends: I am honored to be nominated for the industry service seat on the SEMA Board of Directors. A strong board performs at its best when all constituents are seated at the table. My four decades of experience in the motorsports industry will serve the SEMA membership well with a fresh perspective on a $6-billion industry—even more important with SEMA’s acquisition of PRI.

Racing aside, my insurance background provides SEMA with a valuable resource. I also have the energy, experience and vested interest to serve as a leader in SEMA’s continued fight for the RPM Act that promises to protect our future.

A career that has taken me from a family business to private equity and public companies—and from a local short track to the boardrooms of the nation’s largest sanctioning bodies—has given me a deep understanding of the industry.

  • The World of Outlaws/DIRTcar Racing, COO/President, 2006–current.
  • Rand Sports & Entertainment Insurance, Senior Vice President, Motorsports, 2002–2006.
  • NASCAR, Vice President, Weekly and Regional Touring, 1996–2001.
  • Rockford Speedway/LaCrosse Fairgrounds Speedway, GM, 1976–1996.
  • Promoted more than 3,000 live events: motorsports, car shows, concerts and more.
  • Frequent speaker at PRI Race Track Business Council and RPM Industry Council.
  • Founding member of Illinois Motorsports Society (legislative advocacy group).
  • Former member of SEMA Race Track Council.

The automotive specialty-equipment market is driven by passion, and for many, racing is the fuel that feeds that passion. I am a dedicated advocate for amateur and professional participants, spectators, manufacturers and stakeholders alike. My career in racing, together with my background managing and mitigating risk, along with my experience with local, state and federal regulation, make me an ideal candidate for the SEMA Board.

I can’t wait, with your support, to join the Board with ardent energy, bringing principled leadership paired with a plain-speaking, get-it-done approach. Spreading the value of membership, leveraging SEMA’s position with PRI, and serving the industry will be my top priorities.

Every vote counts. Join the team at www.DEERY4SEMA.com and www.facebook.com/DEERY4SEMA.

Dan KahnDan Kahn

My name is Dan Kahn, and I’m running for the SEMA Board of Directors. I’m a car guy, a business owner and a family man. I’ve worked in the aftermarket my entire life, and over the past decade I have built my business, Kahn Media, into one of the leading marketing firms in the industry through hard work and determination. I know the stress, pressure and passion it takes to make a business succeed, and I will look out for the best interests of all business owners if re-elected to the SEMA Board of Directors.

I offer the SEMA Board three things:

Experience: I have experience with nearly every aspect of our industry, from manufacturing and motorsports to distribution, sales and marketing. I have served on the SEMA Board for one term, I am the chairman of the SEMA Show Committee, and I serve on the Youth Engagement Task Force. I’m a proud member of the SEMA President’s Club, and I served as chairman of the Young Executives Network. I know how to get things done and make real change, not just talk about it.

Leadership: I believe that a strong, independent board is critical to the long-term survival of our association as we face unprecedented challenges. We need to focus on cutting-edge communications, marketing to youth, preparing for driverless tech, and protection against overseas counterfeiting and government overreach. As the chair of the SEMA Show Committee, I have worked with staff to enact real change that helps members have a better Show experience. In my second term, I will ensure that our association gives us the tools and protections we need to grow and prosper.

Vision: The industry is graying. As Baby Boomers retire, we need to find fresh new talent to lead the industry, and we need to find new customers. As an industry, we need to use every tool at our disposal to show the next generation that the aftermarket offers both amazing careers and incredible entertainment as a hobby. I have the ideas, vision and ability to execute to make this happen, to protect our future.

Learn more at www.Dan4SEMA.com.

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