In his executive role, Kawasaki oversees the twelve Coker Group brands and six operating companies as well as the overall corporate infrastructure, including product development, manufacturing, international business, marketing, sales and distribution, plus strategic planning, acquisitions and business development. He is based out of the Coker Group’s corporate headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and also has an office in Coker’s West Coast headquarters in City of Industry, California. Read more >>
Wade is also the Founder and CEO of Exports International, an exports management company which specializes in the wholesale distribution of American-made automotive specialty aftermarket products to overseas customers and it is still run by his wife, Rose, today. Exports International represents several U.S. Automotive Aftermarket Manufacturers with their international distribution. Wade’s international business expertise has placed him on several SEMA international delegation trips. He has also been a speaker at CIAPE in China, AAAA in Australia, and the Salão Internacional do Automóvel in Brazil.
On July 28, 2017, Kawasaki was sworn in as Chairman of the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Board of Directors at the SEMA Installation Banquet in Pomona, California. Kawasaki has previously been on the board of directors for three consecutive terms. He has spent the last two years as the Chairman-Elect, after winning the election in 2015.
Prior to becoming Chairman, he has served the automotive aftermarket industry for more than three decades and has participated in many committees within SEMA including two terms as SEMA Secretary / Treasurer, two terms as Chairman of the SEMA Show Committee and was appointment by the United States Secretary of Commerce to APAC, Automotive Parts Advisory Council. His list of achievements includes SEMA’s Person of the Year Award, Chairman’s Service Award, Young Executive of the Year Award, among other industry accolades. Most recently, Kawasaki received SEMA SBN’s Athena Award and was inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame.
About SEMA Board of Directors
SEMA is a trade association that represents the 41-billion-dollar automotive aftermarket. The SEMA Board of Directors is made up of members who work in the automotive industry and volunteer their time to lead and guide the association. The members are elected by SEMA-member companies and represent parts manufacturers, distributors, retailers and services within the automotive aftermarket.
About The Coker Group
The Coker Group is based in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is a family of brands that includes Coker Tire Company Inc., Honest Charley, The Great Race, Phoenix Race Tires, Specialty Wheel, Roadster Wire Wheels, Coker Cycle Company, Chestnut Properties, Wheel Vintiques and others. For more information on the Coker Group contact Marla Moore at 423.648.8559 or email@example.com.
"I encourage you to vote for Wade Kawasaki for the position of SEMA Chair-elect. Wade has a management style that builds consensus, gets people engaged and excited to move forward. Combined with his industry experience, strong personal convictions and a true love for the industry that he helped to shape, Wade will be an excellent Chairman of the Board.”See Full Endorsement
"Wade is a visionary industry leader who understands the future of our industry, and I do not know anyone more passionate about our industry than Wade. He is a person of high integrity that can be counted on to do the right things for SEMA. Wade has been preparing for this position for his entire career and I am confident in saying that he is the right leader at the right time for SEMA. I respectfully ask you to consider casting your vote for our future by supporting Wade as your next SEMA Chairman.”See Full Endorsement
"I am personally urging you to vote for Wade Kawasaki for SEMA Chair-Elect. He is the rightchoice. Wade thinks for the industry as a whole and takes off his company hat time and time again to make decisions that will move our industry forward as a whole. It has been said that a leader lights a fire under people to motivate them, but a real leader “lights a fire inside people”…Please vote for Wade Kawasaki so that he can light that fire within our industry!”See Full Endorsement
"Wade Kawasaki is a man of integrity. He is a trusted, proven and tested leader. He is the ONLY candidate that has been honored with SEMA's highest awards SEMA's Young Executive of the Year, SEMA Chairman's Service Award, SEMA Person of the Year and most recently inducted into the SEMA Hall of Fame. We need trusted, proven and tested leadership to meet the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for our industry. Please join me in casting your all important vote for Wade Kawasaki.”See Full Endorsement
"I respect both candidates running for Chair Elect but I believe that Wade fully understands what's most important for all SEMA members and he's a leader that knows how to get things done. I've worked with Wade and served with him on the Board of Directors and he has always impressed me with his integrity, knowledge and experience. When it comes to the SEMA Chairman of the Board, I vote for experience. I'm voting for Wade Kawasaki.”See Full Endorsement
"Wade, like me, grew up in this industry, traveling, selling, shipping, manufacturing, racing, and running businesses with just a few people to hundreds. There is not a more capable guy in our Industry who has the integrity, wisdom, fortitude and leadership skills to lead our industry than Wade Kawasaki. Wade understands where he came from, who he is, and how he got where he is… which is a solid foundation for any leader. I encourage you to vote for Wade Kawasaki for Chair Elect of SEMA.”See Full Endorsement
"As an executive at Chrysler, I had the pleasure of working with many people and with SEMA for over ten years. Wade Kawasaki was always an asset when dealing with SEMA. He was instrumental in Chryslerfirst becoming involved in the data sharing program, now known as "Tech Transfer". Personally, I can't thank Wade enough for his leadership and support over the years. He has my full endorsement and support and would make a great SEMA Chairman. I encourage you to also support him.”See Full Endorsement
"I worked with Wade when I was on the SEMA BOD 2000-2004. He is a hard working, honest, straight forward leader. I haave nothing but good to say about him. Has worked in many aspects of our industry, and has dedicated much of his professional life to the cause. He has my strongest endorsement for your consideration for SEMA CHAIRMAN!”See Full Endorsement
"I personally have known Wade for many years and he has been involved In the industry in a very unique fashion; he has been a manufacturer, a distributor, and a rep… His experience and knowledge will enable him to lead the staff in an effective way to address the current problems that each of us face. The issues that threaten us today will require a chairman who’s broad knowledge of all of the segments of our industry can help SEMA to protect us from the threats that we face. In my opinion Wade is the right man for the job.”See Full Endorsement
"I'm supporting Wade Kawasaki (Wade Kawasaki for SEMA Chair) for Chairman of SEMA. Both candidates are excellent but I think Wade is the right person at the right time. Regardless of your choice, if you are a SEMA member, don't forget to vote.”See Full Endorsement
"I'm very excited to support Wade. Between our own Doug Evans coming into the helm with the chance to have Wade right behind him makes for the perfect 1-2 punch for progress!”See Full Endorsement
"Wade has my vote and support! You've done a great job for SEMA members and car guys for as long as I have known you (20 years?). Keep up the great work!”See Full Endorsement
"I've known Wade several years now and believe that his passion & knowledge of all aspects of SEMA, having been a buyer, retailer & manufacturer himself, is what we need as SEMA chair.”See Full Endorsement
"I would like to urge you to vote for Wade Kawasaki for chairman elect for the SEMA Board of Directors. I have watched Wade's volunteerism for SEMA make a difference throughout his career, have served with him on the SEMA Board, and know him to be a man of the highest integrity in both business dealings and his personal life. I am convinced he is the man for the job. He will have my vote and I hope he has yours.”See Full Endorsement
"Wade's "All IN" commitment to SEMA membership has been repeatedly acknowledged by the association with a long list of honors including SEMA Hall of Fame. He's also a true car guy and owns a '32 Ford roadster , '61 Chevy Impala, '64 El Camino, '70 GTO Judge, '70 Dodge Charger, '71 Porsche 911 T and a 2015 Jeep Rubicon. As a former member of the SEMA Board of Directors I recognize the skill and dedication required of our Chairman. We need a proven leader that wants to lead, and I honestly believe Wade is that guy. Wade knows business, Wade knows cars and Wade knows SEMA.”See Full Endorsement
"I've come to know Wade not only as a true Hot Rod guy, but also as a solid businessman in manufacturing specialty parts. Manufacturing remains the core of our industry, so for me a candidate with those credentials is important. I support Wade for Chairman of SEMA and I ask you to consider doing the same.”See Full Endorsement